Cruises to Amsterdam bring travelers to one of the largest cities in Europe. It is the capital of both the provinces of Holland and the The Netherlands. Amsterdam is known for its many historic canals and its countless bicycles. Because of the large network of canals, the city has even been called the “Venice of the North.”
It offers something for everyone -- with great food, nightlife, and wonderful sights. Cruises to the the Dutch Netherlands capital are sure to be remembered for a lifetime, and that’s why they’re one of our favorite European cruise destinations.
Top neighborhoods to visit in Amsterdam
The Netherlands capital has no shortage of options for whatever you have in mind. The city itself is very walkable -- most residents rely on bicycles instead of cars to get around. It’s split up into several neighborhoods, many of which have themes to match what you’re looking for in your vacation. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are neighborhoods perfect for ethnic dining, breathtaking architecture, or inspiring art. Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the most notable and fun to visit.
- Jordaan. This neighborhood is one of the hippest in the cities. Popular with local young professionals and artists, it’s full of renovated old buildings and interesting little shops. Jordaan has multiple little pop-up markets and artist studios throughout. It originally belonged to the working class, but was renovated in the 70s to be a modern hub for the city. The neighborhood has many great spots to eat, with little cafes and Dutch restaurants all over.
- Old Centre. The oldest neighborhood of Amsterdam, the Old Centre is filled with sights and history. Much like Amsterdam, it has something for everyone. It features many of Amsterdam’s best older buildings, including Dam Square and Centraal Station. In addition, it houses the beautiful Hotel Estherea -- a UNESCO heritage site built in the 1600s. Filled with gorgeous canals and plenty of great dining, Old Centre is a must-see for your cruise to Amsterdam.
- De Wallen. Amsterdam’s Red Light District, De Wallen is a lively and popular tourist destination. Many travel from far and wide to visit this part of the city. It has some excellent coffee shops, historic museums, and live jazz music. Like Old Centre, which De Wallen overlaps with, the neighborhood has beautiful canals throughout. It shares the same old Dutch architecture as its neighbor, with buildings like the Old Church sure to please.
- Jewish Quarter. This neighborhood is home to several Jewish landmarks. Amsterdam’s oldest flea market -- Waterlooplein Market -- is a great place to shop for the day and find all kinds of clothing and trinkets. Other important sights include Hollandsche Schouwburg, an architectural masterpiece of a theater, and the Jewish Historical Museum. There are plenty of other attractions, including Jewish cafes and delis. Not quite in the Jewish Quarter, but nonetheless a Jewish landmark, is the Anne Frank house. It’s only a 10 minute streetcar ride away, and is a must-see for those interested in Amsterdam’s Jewish history.
- Museumplein. Amsterdam’s museum district, Museumplein is an important stop for those cruising the city. It features the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam’s national history and art museum). If these aren’t enough, shopping the designer boutiques on PC Hoofstraat is always fun. Many of the world’s top fashion houses, like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Cartier, have stores on the street. Once you’re tired from all the museums and shopping, grab a snack from one of the local cafes and visit Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest public park. It’s a great place to relax and people watch after a long day.
- Rembrandtplein. Another Amsterdam neighborhood known for its nightlife, Rembrandtplein is a blast to stop in before returning to the cruise ship. It has excellent bars and is a hub for disco dance clubs. This neighborhood is also home to the art deco Tuschinski theater. Rembrandtplein is Amsterdam’s perfect spot to dance the night away.
- River IJ Waterfront. This last spot on our recommendation is the easiest neighborhood to visit. That’s because it’s bound to be the first part of the city you see when your cruise arrives. The IJ Waterfront is Amsterdam’s waterfront district, and is home to many of the city’s best sights. The NEMO Science Museum is always an interesting stop, front it’s sci-fi inspired design to its exciting exhibits. The Maritime Museum is also located nearby, complete with a wooden replica trading ship. The river IJ itself has a beautiful view and offers everything from dining to shopping.
Amsterdam is bound to have a neighborhood perfect for what you’re looking for from your cruise. Parts of the city have been around since the 9th century. Because of this, it’s had hundreds of years to develop into the modern city it currently is. The Netherland’s capital has both historic and brand-new locations, perfectly intertwined together to fit the needs of its visitors and locals.
Amsterdam is one of the Rhine River's most popular cruise destinations
One of the best parts of cruising Amsterdam is the lively cityscape viewable from the ship. Cruise ships give you the opportunity to see all parts of a city and get the most out of your trip. The whole time, you’ll have opportunities to stop and walk around Amsterdam. Once you’re worn out from a long day in the city, you’re able to return to your ship to relax and unwind. One of the main stops -- where all Amsterdam cruises dock -- is the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.
The Passenger Terminal Amsterdam provides a central location ideal for getting around the city. Whether on foot or by car or train, it’s a close shot from the port terminal to the city’s center. It provides a great launch pad for your exciting visit to Amsterdam, and a great home base as the adventure continues.
Voyagers to Amsterdam will most often begin their cruise along the Rhine River, an incredible stretch of water famous for its castles and nature. The Rhine also offers easy access to other European rivers via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. Here, cruises can opt to branch off into either the Main River or the blue Danube River, Europe's second longest river.
During its winding path throughout Europe, the Danube brings travelers to a number of other popular European tourism destinations. Below, we've listed a few of our most popular cruises along Europe's Danube River.
The city itself is a destination that many wait their whole lives to see, and it’s no wonder why. It’s incredibly lively, full of historic architecture and beauty. There’s also tons of modern innovation and creativity happening at the same time. Because of this, it’s a must see on your European river cruise.
Book your Amsterdam river cruise with us
When it comes to destination cruises, Amsterdam is one that can’t be missed. We provide top quality cruises at prices that are fair and competitive. If you’re interested in seeing one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in the world in the best way possible, book your Amsterdam cruise with us.
Best things to do in Amsterdam
There is plenty to do while visiting Amsterdam. Take a stroll down the streets of this unique city and get the authentic Netherlands experience. While exploring town, stop and grab a bite at some of the most iconic local restaurants. Here's a list of the local hubs you can't miss.
Little Buddha Amsterdam
Little Buddha Restaurant offers a mouthwatering variety of Asian-cuisine menu items, prepared by world-class chefs who work only with the freshest, highest-grade ingredients; this makes Little Buddha an extraordinary culinary experience. Enjoy some freshly-made sushi, or popular dishes such as the Mongolian Beef and Orange Chicken. Everything goes into the middle of the table, perfect for sharing with friends or colleagues.
But there's more. In the evenings, Little Buddha Amsterdam hosts the best DJs and most talented bartenders in town to create an unforgettable experience for their guests. The lounge and bar offers an unmatched selection of lavish drinking experiences and specialty cocktails. The essence of the Buddha Bar experience is captured in its spacious, enchanting lounge which makes guests feel disconnected from the outside and have a great time.
Amsterdam at Night Photo Gallery
Little Buddha Amsterdam was inspired by the game-changing success of Buddha-Bar in Paris - one of the European nightlife's most successful stories. The success spread when the Buddha Bar team developed a series of exotic venues in some of the world's most exciting cities. Little Buddha was founded on the concept of bringing together the restaurant and bar, with a live DJ, for a more fluid, premium experience. The concept is still as fresh and energizing than ever.
A city nearly underwater
As sea levels slowly rise, the city has uniquely been challenged to build barriers for the sea to prevent flooding. Over hundreds of years, the city has persistently seen floods due to its relatively flat, low-lying nature. Some experts believe we'll see Amsterdam underwater in coming years -- a major reason why so many are flocking to visit the city now.
When will Amsterdam be underwater?
It's expected that we'll see the city be more and more affected by floods in the coming years, but it's not so rapid. The Dutch people have dealt with the water levels for years, even seeing the loss of nearly 2,000 people from one in 1953. Since that fateful flooding, the country has adapted the city with masterful feats of engineering to prevent us from losing the beloved city. Still, with the rising sea levels, experts predict that we'll find Amsterdam under water in the next hundred or so years. Thanks to the skillful engineers of Amsterdam, it should be a long time before we see sharktips (or any other manner of sea creature) along Museumplein!
While rising sea levels might be of concern, they haven't prevented Amsterdam from being one of the most lively cities in the world. Just walking around you'll find countless musical acts, from soulful streetside guitar acts to bass-thumping DJs in crowded clubs. You can find many of these acts through an Amsterdam gig guide. An easy way to find out what's happening, they're generally always accessible through a quick web search. When your river cruise lands in Amsterdam, one of the best ways to see the city's culture is through its music. With a gig guide, Amsterdam opens its doors to newcomers and residents alike, giving a vibrant, picturesque view of the city's lively side.
Amsterdam's predisposition for music has spanned into nearly every facet of design and daily life. You'll find it in the architectural design of the the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam -- a massive modernist concert hall located along the water. Or, find intuitive designs from Danish makers, like the Toom Lounge Romy, created to be the perfect furniture piece for outdoor relaxation as beautiful music drifts through the air. Though a fantastic place for classical and world music, Amsterdam also loves its electronic sounds as well. The city holds the world's largest club festival each year, the Amsterdam Dance Event, or ADE. During the event, thousands of artists from all over the world come to showcase their music at music venues all over Amsterdam.
The city has risen to one of the world's best destinations for music lovers, a bastion for modern and classical alike. Our Amsterdam river cruises invite you to share in the city's passion for music, whether you're a casual listener or a certified audiophile. To learn more about cruises to Amsterdam and all the exciting possibilities that come with them, contact our experts today.