Boat Rental Amsterdam

Why Rent a Boat in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is known for its winding canals, picturesque bridges, and beautiful architecture. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Amsterdam is by renting a boat. Boat rental in Amsterdam is a popular activity among locals and tourists alike.

There are several reasons why you should rent a boat in Amsterdam. Firstly, it allows you to explore the city at your own pace. You can choose your own route and stop at any of the city's attractions that catch your eye. Whether you want to explore the historic canal belt, visit the famous Anne Frank House, or simply enjoy a relaxing cruise, renting a boat in Amsterdam gives you the freedom to do so.

Secondly, boat rental in Amsterdam offers a unique perspective of the city. From the water, you can appreciate the city's beauty in a different way than from the street. You can also take in the stunning views of Amsterdam's skyline and admire the city's impressive architecture. Finally, renting a boat in Amsterdam is a great way to spend time with family and friends. You can enjoy a picnic on board, have a few drinks, and create unforgettable memories.

If you're planning a trip to Amsterdam, consider renting a boat to experience the city in a unique way. Look for Amsterdam boat rental companies online or in the city to find the best deals and options for your needs.

Types of Boats to Hire

Classic Salon Boats

These boats offer a touch of luxury and elegance. They are typically smaller in size, with a capacity of up to 12 passengers. Classic Salon Boats are perfect for intimate gatherings, romantic cruises, or small family celebrations. These boats are usually equipped with comfortable seating, heating, and a sound system, making them perfect for year-round use.

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These boats are sleek and modern, and offer a comfortable and stable ride. They are a popular choice for larger groups, with capacities ranging from 12 to 50 passengers. Sloops are equipped with comfortable seating, a sound system, and often have a canopy to provide shade. They are perfect for cruising the canals and taking in the sights of Amsterdam with friends and family.

Tug Boats

Tug Boats are a unique choice for those looking for something different. These boats are powerful and sturdy, and offer a smooth and steady ride. They are typically larger in size, with a capacity of up to 35 passengers. Tug Boats are perfect for corporate events, team building activities, and large group outings. They offer a unique and unforgettable experience for those looking to explore the canals in a different way.

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Best Areas to Rent a Boat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Centrum

The city centre is a popular area to hire a boat and explore the canals. From here, you can see many of the iconic sights such as the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, and the Royal Palace. You can also navigate through the smaller, quieter canals to see Amsterdam from a different perspective.

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Amsterdam Oost

This area offers a more local and authentic experience, away from the tourist crowds. You can explore the beautiful Artis Zoo or take a break at one of the many parks and gardens along the way. The canals in this area are quieter and less busy, making for a peaceful and relaxing cruise.


Westerpark is a popular area for boat rental in Amsterdam. The park has a large lake, perfect for a leisurely cruise or a picnic on the water. The park also offers plenty of restaurants and cafes, as well as cultural attractions such as the Westergasfabriek, a former gasworks turned cultural venue.

De Wallen (Red Light District)

Although known for its red-light district, this area offers a unique and fascinating perspective of Amsterdam. A canal cruise through the red-light district offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Amsterdam, as well as a view of the stunning architecture and bustling streets. It's definitely an area worth exploring.

Know Before You Rent a Boat in Amsterdam

Best Times to Rent a Boat
Boating Rules in Amsterdam

The best time to rent a boat in Amsterdam is during the spring and summer months, from April to September. During this time, the weather is typically mild and the canals are less likely to be frozen, allowing for a comfortable and enjoyable cruising experience. 

In addition, the city is bustling with activity and there are plenty of events and festivals happening, such as King's Day, the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, and the Amsterdam Light Festival. It's also important to note that weekends and holidays tend to be busier, so if you're looking for a more relaxed experience, consider renting a boat during the weekdays or in the early morning or late afternoon.

  • Have a valid boating license or hire a licensed skipper to operate the boat.
  • Follow the designated water routes and avoid entering restricted areas.
  • Adhere to the speed limit, which is typically 6 km/hour in the canals.
  • Keep a safe distance from other boats and avoid creating waves that could damage other boats or buildings along the canal.
  • Do not consume alcohol while operating the boat.
  • Wear a life jacket for safety, especially if you are not a confident swimmer.
  • Be aware of the weather conditions and avoid boating during storms or high winds.
  • Respect the environment by properly disposing of any trash or waste.


Is a boating license required to rent a boat in Amsterdam?

A boating license is not required to rent a boat in Amsterdam as long as the boat is not faster than 20 km/h and does not exceed a length of 15 meters. If the boat is larger or faster than this, a license is required.

Can children ride on rental boats in Amsterdam?

Yes, children can ride on rental boats in Amsterdam as long as they are accompanied by an adult and wear a life jacket, which is usually provided by the boat rental company.

Are there restrictions on where you can take a rental boat in Amsterdam?

Yes, there are restrictions on where you can take a rental boat in Amsterdam. Some areas, such as the canals in the city centre, may have specific rules and regulations that you must follow.

Are there any safety precautions to keep in mind when renting a boat in Amsterdam?

Safety precautions to keep in mind when renting a boat in Amsterdam include wearing life jackets, obeying all rules and regulations, being aware of your surroundings, and watching out for other boats and pedestrians.

Can you bring food and drinks on a rental boat in Amsterdam?

Yes, you can bring food and drinks on a rental boat in Amsterdam. Many rental companies even offer catering services or allow you to bring your own food and drinks.

Is it recommended to book a boat rental in advance or can you rent one on the spot?

It is recommended to book a boat rental in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability and avoid disappointment. However, you can also rent a boat on the spot, although availability may be limited.


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