Fun Canal Biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

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Fun Canal biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

Have a unique, fun experience exploring the historic canals of the Dutch capital at leisure. Reduce your carbon footprint by canal biking in Amsterdam.

Canal biking in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam centrum

A remarkable city built on waters, Amsterdam boasts all manner of canal cruises with its 200 tour boats, captivating the interests and imagination of its 3 million or so visitors each year. The cruises encompass large tourist boats, smaller boats with fewer passenger, open-top boats, boats with buffet lunch or boats on private hire. Therefore, when visiting Amsterdam, canal cruises are an absolute must experience activity.

Alongside canal cruises, canal biking is an eco-friendly activity that is popular and fun to experience whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

In this simple guide, you shall find 7 reasons on Why canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring and how you could experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories.

While we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

Why Canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring

canal biking in Amsterdam
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Canal biking in Amsterdam has been a popular activity since 1984 and is a great way to experience the canal city from the waters.

Rent a canal bike (pedal boats, pedalos) and head out to the waters by yourself, with your special someone or a group of friends for a truly personal experience of the canals. There is nothing quite like experiencing the city of canals from the waters. Enjoy the gentle breeze, summer sunshine, shades of the setting sun along with the spectacular views of the houseboats, incredible architecture of the gable-houses and the numerous bridges you shall pass under – all at your own pace.

canal biking in Amsterdam
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Bridges in Amsterdam

Here are 7 reasons why canal biking is worth exploring:

1 | Pedal power!

These engine-free boats are a remarkable sustainable highlight. With zero emission, not only do they contribute to the green environment but it is also a great opportunity for a simple workout. Moreover, if your feet tire, you could always swap with the others in the group.

2 | Noise-free

Engine-free boats means these are also noise-free! No engine-sounds to overcome when you speak or to endure during your cruise.

3 | Pedal at your own pace

canal biking in Amsterdam
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The Montelbaanstoren, Amsterdam | Netherlands

Views of Amsterdam’s historic buildings such as Anne Frank’s House, the Old City gates, the skinny bridge, the old tower and so many more are truly stunning. The experience is more rewarding when seen unhurried and self-guided, minus the sounds of the engine. You pedal your way around the canals as fast or as leisurely as you wish.

Suggestion: Pedal boat hire are usually for 1 hour or 1.5 hour but you could always hire the boat for longer by paying a little more.

4 | Money saver

Pedal boats are not only good for the environment but it is also less expensive than a canal boat tour – best of both worlds 🙂

Prices start from € 25.00 per group up to four persons and you may not pay anything if you book through your I Amsterdam City Card.

5 | Fun and close comfort for family

Most pedalos are equipped for four passengers, perfect for small groups.

Pedalling your way around the canals of Amsterdam is certainly a fun way to explore with family and friends. Being in close comfort of each other is definitely more enjoyable for the kids. This also means no unwanted or unpleasant company!

6 | Canal biking in Amsterdam come rain or shine!

Canal biking in Amsterdam is perfect for the summer. Even so, it does rain in this beautiful city. A waterproof hood is fixed onto the tour boat so, you could explore the canals unhindered. However, keep your ponchos handy as the sides are not covered and you may still need put your ponchos on.

7 | Flexibility canal biking in Amsterdam

Maps, directions, instructions and sailing tips are provided so you could navigate with confidence. There are four suggested routes to take ensuring you see all the major sights!

There are 100 pedalos that can be rented from four locations around the city. You have the flexibility to rent the pedal boat from one location and drop-it off at another.

How to experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories

Amsterdam.responsible tourism.pedal boats | Canal biking in Amsterdam
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Pedal boat tours by Stromma Netherlands

There are 2 ways to experience canal biking in Amsterdam – by prior booking a pedal boat rental for your group, use your I Amsterdam City Card and enjoy a free ride and turn-up on the day and purchase your ride.

**Terms and Conditions apply with the I Amsterdam City Card.

1 | Book a pedal boat rental online

Choose a 1 hour or 1.5 hour rental. Customise the route to suit your interests.

What you need to know:

i | You’ll receive a free guidebook containing a map and canal routes around the city;

ii | Customise your route to see the city’s highlights – the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, the Skinny Bridge, and the Amstel River, as well as other attractions such as the Mint Tower, St. Nicholas Church, the Golden Bend, the Royal Palace, the National Monument, Albert Cuyp Market, and the old city gates.

iii | Wi-Fi access is available at the point of departure via the Canal Network;

iv | There is a 20€ deposit per pedal boat;

v | If you decide to return the boat to a different location there is 20€ charge.

What the pedal boat rental includes:

i | Pedal boat rental for the duration;

ii | Free guidebook

iii | Free Wi-Fi at the tour operator’s mooring and shops

Not included with the pedal boat rental:

Live tour guide

20€ deposit per canal bike (please pay on the day of your rental)

Learn more about the pedal boat rental and Book online

2 | Enjoy canal biking in Amsterdam with I Amsterdam City Card

To rent a pedal boat, using your I Amsterdam City Card you need to book a time-slot with Stromma Canal tours. Ensure your City Card is valid at the time of the activity.


i | Free guidebook to customise your route;

ii | Rental of pedal boat for the duration;

iii | Free Wi-Fi at the tour operator’s mooring and shops.

To book:

Visit the office at Stationsplein 10 (opposite Amsterdam Central Station) or visit Damrak Pier 5.

Learn more and buy your superb value I Amsterdam City Card

Practical information about pedal biking in Amsterdam

Book in advance

Booking online in advance is highly recommended given that pedal biking in Amsterdam is a popular activity.

Digital ticketing

Touch-free digital ticketing is encouraged. You are also required to adhere to safety measures in place.

Where to go

You could go to one of the following locations:

i | Stromma Shop Rijksmusem – Stadhouderskade 520

ii | Stromma Shop Leidseplein – Leidse Bosje 2

iii | Stromma Shop Anne Frank House – Prinsengracht 279

Operating times

Pedal boats are available for hire from 11:00 in the morning. Last departure is at 4:00 p.m.

Closing times may vary depending on the weather or national holidays.


Highly recommended that you hire the pedal boat for 1.5 hour so you could really take your time and immerse in all the architecture and allure of the city you shall find along the way.

Book online with our trusted partner, Get Your Guide.

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

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52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
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Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
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Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

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Fun Canal biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight first published at

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Canal biking in Amsterdam | Pedal boats in Amsterdam | Canal cruises in Amsterdam | Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Reasons to pedal boat in Amsterdam | Amsterdam canals | Things to do in Amsterdam | Amsterdam in 48 hours | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/
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By Georgina

Georgina is a Travel Blogger, Travel Writer, history buff, wine (red) enthusiast and a lover of all cultures. She gave up the corporate race to embrace a more meaningful lifestyle to travel more, to write and to share the very best of her adventures. Georgina has lived in three continents, and now, based at a stone's throw of London, which is her home. She has a special interest to bring the best of Britain to her audiences worldwide. Becoming newer from each travel, Georgina enjoys sharing her travel stories, drawing her readers into her world of boomer adventures while immersing them in the history, culture and food of a region. Together with her own informative, in-depth writing style, practical tips and suggestions on her blog, Timeless Travel Steps, Georgina make travel dreams a reality. She is happiest waking up to the chirpy sounds of the birds or sipping wine over sand in between her toes, while watching the rolling clouds melt into darkness.

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