What to see in Amsterdam from a bike or a boat?

Bike leaning against a bridge in Amsterdam

So you are visiting Amsterdam in The Netherlands for a weekend. Let’s check out what you can see along the canals.

Explore the historical canal houses

The canal belt (grachtengordel as it is known in Dutch) has many idyllic canal houses all around. Take a few hours to wander around aimlessly and admire the old canal houses. In past centuries, Amsterdam was a trading hub and the shipping going to and from Netherlands often stopped or started in Amsterdam. The canals were designed to allow for boating inside the center of the city. And this led to the very unique and picturesque cityscape that is seen in Amsterdam in modern times.

Row, row, row your boat!

Go boating in the canals that form the semicircular canal belt, or the Amstel river. There are plenty of boat rentals in the city and they are equipped with outboard motors, so you can gently glide around and focus on the views from the water.

Cycling back and forth

Rent a bicycle and go bicycling in the parks Vondelpark and Westerpark. As a matter of fact, bicycling is one of the most common ways to get around in the city. Add to this that it can be plenty of fun, and you can’t wish for a more scenic surrounding than Amsterdam’s canal belt. If you want to cycle further and outside Amsterdam, then head for the park Amsterdamse Bos in the south, which is as close as you will get to a real forest in the city.