Top 10 journeys in Amsterdam

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From bike tours to tram rides, there are lots of great ways to explore the city around your Amsterdam hotel. Choose from any of these top 10 Amsterdam journeys and discover the Dutch capital on the move

Cycling along Herengracht canal

Past narrow houses, alfresco cafes and ornate facades like Bartolotti House, a guided tour along Amsterdam’s cycle-friendly paths is informative and fun. Or cycle the route by night and take snaps of the illuminated bridges and canal houses. MacBike has rental branches at Centraal Station, Waterlooplein and Leidseplein.

MacBike, Stationsplein 5, 1012 AB Amsterdam

Tram 5 – Centraal Station to Zuid

Buy strippenkaarten tickets before boarding tram 5 from Centraal Station. This armchair ride past Amsterdam’s sights takes in Dam Square and the Royal Palace, before gliding through lively Leidseplein square towards Museumplein and the Museum Quarter. Stay on board for Amsterdam's upmarket Zuid district.

Tram 5 from Central Station or Dam Square

Pedal-boat touring

Renting a Dutch-style pedalo, a cross between a boat and bike, is a unique way of exploring Amsterdam’s maze of canals. Rental is widely available, including from Centraal Station. Pedal along the waterways to the Westerkerk church near Anne Frank’s house then towards Rijskmuseum in the Museum Quarter.

Pedal boat rental from Centraal Station

Amstel river rambling

From Amstel Station, south of the centre, a three-kilometre river walk back to De Pijp takes in the city limits. Bearing north (staying on eastern side of river), walk past Rembrandt Tower and Berlage Bridge before crossing Nieuwe Amstelbrug (bridge). After a coffee break on café-lined Ceintuurbaan or ice cream in Sarphati Park, bohemian De Pijp is just a short stroll away.

Amsterdam Amstel Station

Canal cruising

A swan’s-eye view from Amsterdam’s waterways is a must-do. Themed evening cruises include a la carte jazz nights, pub cruises and candlelit dinners. Tour boats depart from around Centraal Station, Damrak and Rokin, near Dam Square.

Cycle to Haarlem

At the weekend, join Amsterdammers and tourists on the easy route to medieval Haarlem. It’s a 25-mile round trip on flat cycle lanes past picture-postcard countryside. Haarlem itself is a historic 17th-century town with tiny streets leading off its main square, Grote Markt.

MacBike, Stationsplein 5, 1012 AB Amsterdam

Chopper views

The only helicopter tour over Amsterdam, this is a unique opportunity to snap Amsterdam’s historical quarter, canal loop and 17th-century warehouses from the air. Catch a glimpse of the old windmill on the banks of the river Amstel. 

Siriusstraat 148, 1622 ZL Hoorn, The Netherlands 

Bus-top vistas

For views over Amsterdam’s canals, bridges and squares, the transparent glass rooftop (open-top in summer) of the Tourist Bus Amsterdam is an all-weather option. Tours leave from Damrak near Dam Square, passing Centraal Station, the Jewish Quarter, Jordaan and Leidseplein square. 

Damrak 34, Amsterdam 

Hop-on, hop-off canal bus

Canal buses sail along three routes in Amsterdam - the green, the red and the blue line - past sites like Anne Frank’s House, Van Gogh Museum, Artis Zoo and the Nemo science centre. The hop-on, hop-off tour also includes discounts to many Amsterdam attractions. 

Weteringschans 26, 1017 SG Amsterdam 

Friday Night Skate

Proficient skaters head for the free Friday Night Skate at 8 p.m., meeting at the round bench by the park’s Filmmuseum. Organisers run a free 20-kilometre guided tour around Amsterdam, returning to the expansive leafy spaces of Vondelpark – a favourite among skaters and rollerbladers. 

Vondelpark 7, 1075 VR Amsterdam