The most romantic bridges in Amsterdam
6 February 2024
The Dutch capital might not be known as a particularly romantic city but it sure has its romantic spots. Especially among the many canals the city is known for throughout the world, 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 we can name the most romantic bridges in Amsterdam. And we can recommend some romantic canal cruises for your Valentine’s Day date.
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.
According to local legend a kiss between lovers while on or passing under this bridge will ensure that they will be in love forever. Our canal cruises often pass under this bridge, so you can try it out for yourself. When the bridge is lit up at night with 1200 light bulbs, the legend is easy to believe.
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.
Wine & Cheese Cruise date
Of course, every canal cruise is a fun experience to share with loved ones. But some canal cruises are that bit extra special, one perfect way to see the canals while on a date is the Wine & Cheese Cruise. This cruise offers you the chance to take in the city from the water with a glass of wine in one hand and a piece of cheese in the other.
There are several different types of wine to choose between, three white wines, two red and two roses, so that everyone can have what they enjoy. The cheeses on offer are locally sourced. They include the smooth and creamy flavour of ‘Old Amsterdam’ cheese, based on a fiercely-guarded family secret, as well as the specially selected cheeses ripened by ‘Reypenaer’, and other young and ripened cheese.
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 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. When you look at the bridge from the park you can see a glacial erratic beneath it. This rock was brough to the area by land ice during the penultimate ice age.
This short canal, a little over 500 metres long, connects the Herengracht to the Lijnbaansgracht, crossing 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.
The Dinner Cruise experience
For a full dinner on the water, we offer the Amsterdam Dinner Cruise. This 2-hour long cruise consists of a 4-course dinner and even the drinks are included in the price. In February, this cruise takes place long after sunset, so that you can enjoy the sight of the canals twinkling in the darkness as they are lit up by thousands of lights.
You can choose between a meat, fish and vegetarian menu when you book your tickets. All three menus have the same dessert: a delicious tiramisu with chunks of stroopwafel. This dinner is sure to be a memorable date!
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 romantic view, including Claude Monet.