The most romantic bridges in Amsterdam

The Dutch capital is known throughout the world for it's canals, often even dubbed the 'Venice of the north'. The city has over 100 kilometres in waterways and because the national mode of transport is the bike and not a boat, Amsterdam also has a lot of bridges.

Over 1900 of them in fact and while many have names, they all have a number, counting from the city centre to the suburbs of the city. To make a list of the top bridges in the city is nearly impossible but this are some the most romantic.

Skinny Bridge

As possibly the best known and most photographed, the Skinny Bridge, or Magere Brug, is a good place to start. Only pedestrians and cyclist can use this crossing spanning the Amstel river between the Kerkstraat and the Nieuwe Kerkstraat.

Counted as number 242, this wooden, double draw bridge has a rich history dating back to the late 17th century. It's earliest iteration had 13 arches, whereas today there are 9 arches. The middle arch is used by canal boats and other river traffic to pass underneath.

According to local legend a kiss between lovers while on or passing under this bridge will ensure that they will be in love forever. When the bridge is lit up at night with 1200 light bulbs, the legend is easy to believe.

Love bridge

From eternal love it is easy to jump to one of the smallest bridges in the city, which is often used for wedding proposals and wedding photoshoots. The Liefdesbruggetje, number 172, spans across a the drainage system in Sarphatipark. No boats pass underneath it but plenty of people cross it on foot.

Surrounded by greenery, standing on this wooden foot bridge gives you an unobstructed view over a large part of the park, while looking at the crossing from the park you can see a glacial erratic beneath it.

ReguliersgrachtReguliersgracht bridges lined up

This short canal, a little over 500 metres is connects the Herengracht to the Lijnbaansgracht, crossing across the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht along the way. The canal is crossed by seven bridges (#31, 39, 40, 72, 73, 74 and 81) which can best be seen from a canal boat as you can see all seven at the same time if you know when to look.

All seven are single arch bridges and at night they are lit up, which adds to their romantic and almost magical character. A cruise along this canal often sees a hidden kiss or even wedding proposal underneath a bridge.


This classic Dutch draw bridge (nr. 227) crosses the romantic Groenburgwal canal. Up to 2015 many lovers hung locks on the bridge's guy-wires, sadly the locks damaged what had become known as the Dutch Pont des Arts and were removed by the city. Today the city regularly removes newly hung love locks.

Standing on the Staalmeesterbrug, looking down the tree lined canal you have an amazing view of the Zuiderkerk, a 17th century Protestant church. Many great artists have painted this view, including Claude Monet.

Christmas on board with Lovers

Here at Lovers we love the holiday season, as this video certainly shows. And a cruise through the Amsterdam canals is possibly the perfect family activity for this time of year.

With the dock at Prins Hendrikkade 25 and the canal boats decorated for the season, everyone steps on board with a smile on their face. Whether you choose a daytime cruise or decide to view the city after the sun has set, Amsterdam shows itself from its best side when you view it from the water.

When the sun is up you'll have a great view of points of interest such as the Westerkerk and the canal houses along the city's major canals: Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. As the Dutch often keep their curtains open and love to decorate their homes for the festive season, you will be able to enjoy not just the city's sights and Christmas decorations but also those of the people who live in the city.

Skinny bridge at nightIn the evening, or in these winter days late afternoon, the city sparkles with all the lights both from the bridges, such as the famous Skinny bridge, and the twinkly lights from the Christmas decorations. During an Amsterdam canal cruise you can sit back, relax and enjoy your surroundings and the company from your family or friends.

Each Lovers canal cruise is unique as the captain changes the route through the city depending on traffic on the canals and the size of the boat. The canal tours are exactly long enough for a fun family outing and short enough to avoid the Christmas tradition of a family argument.

As you sit back and enjoy the sights you can listen to the audio guide to find out more about what you are seeing or ask the captain what he knows about this beautiful city, such as how many canals does Amsterdam have. Or ask the captain to play a Christmas song, though that might cause them to sing a long, so tread carefully.

What is a comfortable modern boat?

Lovers Canal Cruises has the largest fleet of the Netherlands. It consists entirely of comfortable, modern boats, but what do we mean by that?

In 2016 the entire fleet underwent a substantial upgrade with the installation of new interiors and a fresh coat of paint. On board of our boats you have your own seat instead of sharing a bench with other passengers. This ensures that other passengers do not get into your personal space, leaving you room to relax and enjoy the views. And we haven’t been idle since then. Our fleet is constantly being improved and developed.

For the colder days of the year, our boats are heated. The captain controls the heating, so feel free to mention it if you’re a bit too cold or warm. A consequence of the colder weather combined with warm bodies and wet coats is condensation on the windows. As anyone with single glazed windows or who wears glasses knows, this cannot always be avoided. Our newest boats and new to be build boats have double glazing which helps to stop the fogging up of the windows so that in future we can offer fog free windows on all our cruises.

Fortuitously, if you just want to go outside for a bit, 80% of our boats have a deck on the back. Some big some small, but it is the perfect place to go to take beautiful photos of the city.

Take pictures from the back deckDuring the summer months, when even in the Netherlands the sun can be burning down on us, all the windows on the boats can open up or you may find yourself on the biggest open boat of the city. Leaving you with a comfortable breeze from the water while surrounded by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the canals of Amsterdam and no need for an environmentally unfriendly air conditioning system. Even during colder months there is no need to be cut off from the fresh air on our boats. Weather permitting, we also sail with semi-open boats and sloops.

Currently 70% of our fleet is electric and we aim to have this at 100% in 2025. Already, Lovers Canal Cruises, together with its parent company and sister companies, is completely energy neutral. Lovers Canal Cruises promotes environment friendly business with 4500 m2 of solar panels at the main office and an active tree planting programme.

Light festival

Book a canal cruise that follows the route of the light tour of Amsterdam. This winter the light festival will be held in the Dutch capital with beautiful light installations. You can discover these during a nice boat trip provided by LOVERS canal cruises.

What exactly does the light tour involve?

The light tour is an art festival that takes place in the winter of 2019-2020 in Amsterdam. For this light festival 20 artists from different countries designed beautiful works around a theme. What is the theme? Disrupt! Are you curious how the artists converted this into a light installation? Then discover it during a pleasant cruise along the light tour in the canals of the capital.

Which cruise do you choose?

The canal cruises follow the light route on the water. There are various options. Are you starting your cruise near Central Station or Leidseplein? We also offer a canal cruise in a semi-open boat so that you can easily take pictures of the works of art in good weather. Enjoy the light tour in all comfort with friends or family.

Book your tickets online

Would you like to discover the beautiful light tour? Thanks to the audio commentary you will learn everything about the radiant works of art and the artists on our boat trips. Book your tickets online now for one of our cruises. By the way, if you get there on time, you'll enjoy an early bird discount! 

Championship cruise with Ajax kids club

On Sunday 14 July, together with the AJAX supporters association, we organised a great championship cruise through the Amsterdam canals for 3 winning youth teams.

The tour boat was equipped with snacks, drinks and champion bowls to wave along. The members of the Ajax Kids Club could win this prize with their champion winning team by participating in a photo contest. The day was a great success!


Can I safely book a cruise now?

No one can deny it, the world has changed in the last months. But what hasn’t changed is our human desire to explore and discover new sights and sounds. We just want to do so safely. And you can! Cruises, tours, attractions and museums have all taken measures to protect your health. Which measures have been taken? Let’s take a closer look at one of our new canal cruises: New York Pizza by LOVERS.

Safely cruise the Amsterdam canals

Before you board the cruise you are asked if you have any Covid-19 related health issues, like a cough, we also ask you to disinfect your hands by using the disinfection spray and we check your temperature at your wrist. On board we limit the amount of people so we can maintain proper social distancing rules and we ask you to remain seated at your allocated table throughout the cruise.

New York Pizza by Lovers

Time for pizza and stunning views

As we cruise to the IJ river, you can enjoy your first drink of the evening. What will you have? A nice cold Heineken, some wine or maybe a soft drink or some water? The choice is yours. As we make a quick stop on the IJ river to pick up your pizza, hot from the New York Pizza ovens, you can enjoy the views of the striking architecture of the Eye Film Museum or ponder swinging on the roof of the A’DAM Lookout.
As we serve your pizza’s, we’ll make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Amsterdam canals. Sit back, relax, enjoy the views, your pizza and the occasional fun fact from the captain about the canals and its inhabitants. For instance, did you know there are over 800.000 bikes in Amsterdam. Sometimes they fall into the canals. More than 10.000 bikes are fished out of the canals every year!
Finished your pizza? Don’t worry the cruise isn’t over yet. It’s time for desert, who doesn’t love Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip ice cream?

Are you ready to book your New York Pizza by LOVERS cruise?

Best Outing of the Netherlands 2020

This year, Rederij Lovers has been nominated for the Best Outing of the Netherlands 2020. The public award on behalf of 4.5 million ANWB members. We would of course like to win this great title. We need your help with that!

Do we have your vote?

Leukste uitje van Nederland.

ANWB the 'Nicest outing in the Netherlands' election

Every year, the Country of ANWB organises the election of the nicest outing in the Netherlands. Voting is possible until 3 November 2019. Can we count on you again this year? The winners will be announced at the beginning of January.

Discount on the Amsterdam light festival canal cruise

From 28 November 2019 to 19 January 2020, Amsterdam's canalbelt will be transformed into the unique setting of the Amsterdam Light Festival for the seventh edition. More than 20 works of art and installations by international artists, designers and architects will illuminate the city centre of Amsterdam. In addition to the fixed discount, you can now take advantage of the Early Bird discount on the canal cruise with Lovers Canal Cruises until the start of the festival.

Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise: early bird advantage

The sale of the Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise has started! Would you like to take advantage of the Early Bird* discount? Then don't wait too long and order your tickets online quickly and inexpensively.

* The Early Bird discount is available until the start of the festival.

Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise: don't wait too long!

If you want to take advantage of the Early Birds discount for the Amsterdam Light Festival, don't wait too long to order your tickets. Popular days and times are soon sold out! But the most important reason not to wait too long is of course the fact that the discount is only valid until the start of the festival! So grab your chance and book online.

Amsterdam Light Festival Canal Cruise

The cruise of Lovers follows the itinerary of the Amsterdam Light Festival. The artworks are illuminated from 17.00 to 23.00 hours. It is not only the best way to get more information about the works of art, but the canal cruise is also one of the nicest trips according to many Dutch people and tourists. With the comfortable and well heated boats of Lovers Canal Cruises you can sit back and enjoy the impressive view. Come and experience it for yourself with the Amsterdam Light Festival canal cruise of Lovers Canal Cruises! Book your tickets online here.

Efteling boot vaart door Amsterdamse grachten

Kaatsheuvel, 20 februari 2019

Collaboration between two of the biggest attractions of the Netherlands

Over the next two years, an Efteling cruise boat will sail through the canals of Amsterdam. In this way the Efteling wants to seduce tourists visiting our capital to make a day trip to the amusement park in Kaatsheuvel.

The cooperation between the two biggest attractions in the Netherlands is obvious, explains general director of the Efteling Fons Jurgens: The Efteling is an international holiday destination, but guests can also simply drop in from Amsterdam for a day trip. Many tourists who want to discover the Netherlands make a tour of the canals with LOVERS Canal Cruises and the boats themselves are also an attraction. It is very nice to give shape to our cooperation in this special way'.

Yesterday, Fons Jurgens and Little Red Riding Hood made their first trip on the Efteling boat. At least until 2020, it will sail daily along the Skinny Bridge, the Anne Frank House and other Amsterdam tourist attractions.

Take a virtual canal cruise through Amsterdam

At the end of summer LOVERS Canal Cruises joined with Tiqets to celebrate it’s Awakening Weeks. During these weeks, we celebrated the reopening of many attractions and museums worldwide. LOVERS Canal Cruises captain Anthony took viewers on a virtual canal cruise through the city of Amsterdam on a lovely sunny day.

You can now rewatch this virtual cruise and get a sense of what awaits you when you do get to Amsterdam and take a cruise in person.


Marry an Amsterdammer for the Day: Amsterdam’s response to overtourism

We, LOVERS canal cruises, are participating in an exciting new event called Marry an Amsterdammer for the Day. This Wednesday, the 5th of June Amsterdammers and tourists can enter a symbolic marriage for a day. This initiative by the Untourist Moment was launched to improve relations between tourists and locals. Wed & Walk will organize the ceremony in the church Posthoornkerk at the Haarlemmerstraat in Amsterdam.

Why the event is hosted
The event Marry an Amsterdammer for the Day is Amsterdam’s response to the commotion around overtourism. Together with 200 hotels, guides, artists, social enterprises, museums and other organizations they created a movement that is willing to turn overtourism into something positive by giving tourists a meaningful encounter with a local. The outcome: let visitors explore someplace new and experience something that is helpfull– for the city, the world, Amsterdam and each other. 

Information about the event
Marry an Amsterdammer for the Day is the perfect start to turn overtourism into something positive. And you can join the festivities by marrying an Amsterdammer for the day! On Wednesday the 5th of June from 01.30 PM till 02:00 PM you can get married in the church Posthoornkerk. Wedding attire is available upon arrival. After a short speed-date, the couples are created and the marriage will take place. And after the ceremony, you will go on a honeymoon! Ok, sorry guys – not a real holiday. But, you will go to a nice activity with your freshly married Amsterdammer. You can either visit a museum, meet your new stepchildren or eat some pancakes.

Everyone involved with the event is doing this on goodwill base – meaning they volunteer. So take your chance and marry (symbolically) a handsome Amsterdammer!

If you want to learn more about the event hop on one of our canal cruises and let our skippers invite you personally.

Visit the Anne Frank House with the Hop On – Hop Off Boat Tour!

We all know the famous red Hop On – Hop Off buses that you can find in all the main cities around the world. In Amsterdam, we’ve got them too, but we also got something different, we’ve got Hop On – Hop Off boats! Because of all the canals in the city center, a boat is an excellent way to get around. While you get from point A to point B with the Hop On – Hop Off boats you’ll also have an amazing sightseeing experience. Enjoy the beautiful historic canals with the 16th-century canal houses along their banks. You will sail past many sightseeing highlights such as the Westerkerk (Western Church), the Noorderkerk (Northern Church) and the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge).


Anne Frank House

The Hop On – Hop Off boat has many stops around the city. One of the stops, for example, is right in front of the Anne Frank House. That makes it very easy to make your way to and from the Anne Frank House. This museum tells the story of Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is the exact house that Anne Frank and her family hid in during the war. Even the hidden rooms at the rear of the house are still intact, and you can visit them. Other stops of the Hop On – Hop Off boats include the Rijksmuseum/Leidseplein, Central Station, Albert Cuyp Market and much more. That makes the Hop On – Hop Off boat a fantastic means of transport to discover the city.


A great deal

We offer you a great value deal on the Hop On – Hop Off Boats. We offer this product in a 24-hour ticket or a 48-hour ticket. So you can choose the ticket that fits your itinerary best. You can also buy a combination ticket. With this ticket you won’t only get access to the Hop On – Hop Off boats but also to the buses. The buses can bring you to places that are more difficult for the boats to go to, such as the Amsterdam Icebar and the Heineken Experience. So with the combination ticket, you can make sure that you can reach all the famous places with just one ticket.

Combine your visit to the Anne Frank House with a Canal Cruise!

A lot of canal cruises leave near Amsterdam Central Station. Which is great, because it is close to the city center and easily reachable. But sometimes you are somewhere else in the city and you feel like taking a relaxing cruise along the Amsterdam canals. A canal cruise takes about an hour, which makes them easy to combine with other activities. That’s why we offer multiple locations where you can board one of our ships. One of these locations is right next to the Anne Frank House. This museum is the former house and hiding place of Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. It is the 3rd most visited museum in the Netherlands and a must see when you are in Amsterdam. When you leave the museum you might feel like taking an Amsterdam canal cruise to overthink the impressions of the museum and to see some more of the surroundings.

Tour the Amsterdam canals

Near the Anne Frank House, you’ll find the Prinsengracht from where our Amsterdam Canal Cruise leaves. The Prinsengracht is the fourth and longest of the main canals in Amsterdam. The canal houses you’ll see along the way where mostly build during the Dutch Golden Age, which makes them of great historic value. Other famous buildings you’ll see during the Amsterdam Canal Cruise are the Noorderkerk (Northern Church), the Noordermarkt (Northern Market) and the Westerkerk (Western Church). But this cruise doesn’t stay on the Prinsengracht. Also, many other great Amsterdam canals like the Keizersgracht and the Herengracht will be part of the cruise. So you’ll also see famous sites like the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets), the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) and the Amstel river where Amsterdam got his name from.

A great value deal

With the boarding location of our Amsterdam Canal Cruise so close to the Anne Frank House and a nice discount, this is a great value deal. The boat has frequent departures between 10.30 and 19.30 (on Saturdays and in August from 10.30 till 21.00). The modern boats have an audio system in 19 languages, so you can hear all about your surroundings in your own language. Do you want to board somewhere else? We also offer Amsterdam Canal Cruises from near the Central Station and from the Leidseplein (Leidse Square).

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Amsterdam canals!

If you can only see one thing during your trip to Amsterdam, make it the canals! Why? Just read on and let us explain. The canal tours in Amsterdam attract more than 3 million passengers each year and with that, it is the busiest attraction in the Netherlands. But, it truly is one of the best. Over 100 kilometers of beautiful canals run through the city center of Amsterdam. There is so much to discover during canal tours in Amsterdam and we’ll explain all the interesting parts right here!

Venice of the North

Amsterdam has more canals than Venice and 3 times more bridges. Impressive right? The canal ring became part of the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2010 and is protected ever since. The many canal tours in Amsterdam will take you on a trip through the canals and you will pass countless old bridges, famous landmarks and picturesque merchant houses. So make sure you don’t forget your camera. The most important canals are the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht. You can also find a drained canal in Amsterdam: the Nieuwezijdse Voorburgwal. Because Napoleon’s brother (King of Holland in that time) couldn’t stand the stench of the canal he had it drained and made into a street.

How the canals came to be…

The history of the Amsterdam canals starts in the 16th century. Plans were drawn for the canals to form central belts around the city. They were used to stimulate trade, make transport easier and to reclaim land from the water to expand the city. The waterways became a great source of wealth for Amsterdam. You can still see a lot of history when you are on one of the canal tours in Amsterdam. For instance, in the Middle Ages, a wall was built to defend Amsterdam. Most of it was destroyed in the 19th century, but if you book one of the canal tours in Amsterdam you’ll still see remains of it. The Amsterdam canals were also an inspiration to artists. Monet painted the Zuiderkerk 13 times during his visit to Amsterdam. You can see the exact site when you go on one of the canal tours in Amsterdam with Lovers Canal Cruises.

You can live on the canals!

Amsterdam is the most watery city in the world, with canals and harbors filling a full quarter of the surface of the city. Around 1850 there was a big shortage of living space in Amsterdam which gave people the fantastic idea to live on the water. More than 2500 houseboats can be found in Amsterdam. Some more than 100 years old! Even houseboat hotels exist. The Bloemenmarkt is a houseboat borne flower market. You’ll pass all these amazing sights while enjoying a drink on one of the canal tours in Amsterdam. But there is not just life on the canals, there is also life in the canals. Twenty different type of fish and many crabs can be found in the canals. Just look at the water during one of the canal cruises in Amsterdam and maybe you can spot them.

But are they clean?

10.000 bikes are fished out of the canals each year. That comes down to 50 each day! Yet the canals have never been cleaner than they are now. The sewer no longer ends in de canals, the quality of the water is checked at all times, the boats used for canal tours in Amsterdam are getting environmental friendlier every year and there are even swimming competitions in the canals. The beauty of the Amsterdam canals is unprecedented and definitely worth a visit for everybody. So don’t hesitate and book your canal cruise in Amsterdam right now!

Amsterdam Light Festival

The Amsterdam Light Festival latest edition was in the winter of 2019-2020. Beautiful light installations coloured the water and transformed Amsterdam into a city of light. With a boat trip of LOVERS canal cruises you'll see the city as you've never seen it before.

See the beautiful artworks of the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019 - 2020.

The theme of the Amsterdam Light festival 2019-2020 is 'Disrupt'. Several international artists will show their interpretation of this theme in dozens of works of art in the Dutch capital. Are you curious what form these light installations take? Discover them from the front row with a cruise along the route of the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019-20120 During our professional boat trips with audio guide you will learn all about the light installations and the artists. Because the boat trip takes place in the evening, you combine it perfectly with a visit to the other sights in the city during the day.

Discover the oasis of light in the capital

It promises to be another dazzling edition, bringing an oasis of light into the dark winter months. Experience it up close with your family and friends or plan a romantic date with your partner. Book your tickets directly online and experience the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019 - 2020 from a warm and comfortable boat. Do you have any questions? Check out our special Amsterdam Light Festival FAQ.