Anyone who knows me knows I love food and being on the water. So when I found out there is an Amsterdam food tour that includes a canal cruise I just had to give it a try!
This tour is organized by Eating Europe and is actually one of three food tours in Amsterdam offered by them.
The Amsterdam Canal Cruise & Food Tour – My Review
1. The Food During the Amsterdam Food Tour
We started at a local, typical Dutch cafe (we call them ‘Brown Cafes’ because of their brown, wooden interior).
The cafe has been run by the same family for over 100 years and with a good cup of coffee and a plate of authentic ‘poffertjes‘ it instantly took me back to my childhood in the Netherlands!
Then we walked to a well known seafood shop to taste what’s probably the most famous fish dish in the Netherlands: brined herring.
And I have to admit, I was dreading this moment! Growing up I thought herring was disgusting and definitely didn’t understand why the Dutch love it so much…
So, the last time I tried herring I must have been no older than 8.
I guess my taste has changed! I actually really enjoyed it. Plus the visit to the fish shop was a lot of fun and we got to taste some oysters and kibbeling (deep-fried cod with a delicious sauce) as well.
Our next stop was a quick one: a Dutch bakery that has been in Amsterdam since 1969. Here we got to taste some local pastry.
After a bit of a wander through the streets of Amsterdam, we arrived at a local bar for some classic Dutch bar food: bitterballen. Served with a Dutch Amstel beer.
These bitterballen are basically fried breaded meatballs. But, something I didn’t know; these days you can get them in different flavors!
From Dutch cheese to Thai curry, the relatively boring (in my opinion) Dutch bar snack all of a sudden became a lot more interesting!
Then it was time to visit a family-run butcher to pick up some sausages to take with us on our canal cruise.
And lastly, before we boarded the boat, we stopped at this nice wine shop for a wine tasting. I learned yet another thing about my own country: the Dutch make wine!
After this, we boarded our canal cruise for what would be a lovely, one-hour canal cruise through the main canals of Amsterdam.
2. The Walk During the Amsterdam Food Tour
I went on this food tour first and foremost to taste the food and enjoy Amsterdam’s canals.
But, even though I am from the Netherlands and have even briefly worked in Amsterdam, I have to admit I don’t know the city well.
So to be able to walk around the city with our knowledgeable tour guide who shared some interesting facts about the city and showed me areas I’d never been to before, was absolutely great!
I do love being a tourist in my own country! 🙂
3. The Amsterdam Canal Cruise
Amsterdam is famous for its canals and I had wanted to go on one of those Amsterdam canal cruises for years.
But, there is a reason why I never did.
Many of these cruises carry 50 or more tourists and if you are unlucky you are stuck in the middle of a bachelor party. Yes, Amsterdam’s reputation as a party destination, unfortunately, is justified…
But the great thing about this Amsterdam canal cruise is that it’s a private cruise! So it was just our small group on a cute Dutch boat with an incredibly friendly captain.
For an hour we got to experience Amsterdam from the canals while sipping wine and snacking on Dutch cheese and sausages.
I loved learning about the history of the city, the different buildings and the way the Amsterdammers live their lives.
And yes, we cruised past the Red Light District too. And what’s better than having a local tour guide to ask questions about the area, how locals feel about it, etc.
Tip: if you are not interested in a canal cruise, Eating Europe also offers food tours in Amsterdam without a canal cruise.
Conclusion – My Opinion of the Amsterdam Canal Cruise & Food Tour
Food tours in Amsterdam are popular and for good reasons!
I really enjoyed tasting some of the food I grew up with again. But most of all I loved our private canal cruise and talking to our guide about life in Amsterdam, the history of the city and the country.
If you love food and exploring a city, this is such a great way to really get to know the city!
It takes you away from the touristy parts and shows you a different side of the city. It shows you real life in the city.
Final Tips For This Amsterdam Food Tour
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes
You will be walking a lot during the food tour so just make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
2. Check the Weather
Well first of all, as anyone who has looked into visiting Amsterdam knows, it rains a lot here! So check the weather before you go on the tour and bring an umbrella if needed.
3. Best Time of Year For The Amsterdam Food Tour
Since you will be walking around the city I would say the best time of year is when the weather is warmer. This is roughly from mid-May until the end of September, but can vary quite a bit per year.
But then there is a magical atmosphere in Amsterdam around Christmas time as well. And July and August, when the weather is normally the best, is also peak season which means the city will be a lot more crowded…
So I guess as long as you check the weather and dress appropriately, you will be fine any time of year!
4. Let Them Know in Advance If You Are Vegetarian
This Amsterdam food tour is not a vegetarian tour but if you let them know in advance they can make sure you get vegetarian options at the different food stops.
Booking These Food Tours in Amsterdam
As mentioned before, Eating Europe offers several food tours in Amsterdam. And they offer one tour just outside of Amsterdam, in a cute city called Haarlem.
I had a great experience with Eating Europe and I love their mission. They want to give travelers a non-touristy, food-related experience in undiscovered neighborhoods of the most fascinating cities in Europe.
They try to expose people to real food, local people and local neighborhoods. And I think, at least during my food tour and Amsterdam canal cruise, they did exactly that!
Visiting Amsterdam? Also Read:
- Amsterdam: 10 of The Best Annual Events
- Tips from a Local for Visiting Amsterdam
- 10 Cool Hotels in Amsterdam
- 8 of the Best Cafes With Good Wifi in Amsterdam
- Interview With an Expat About Life in Amsterdam
Want to See More of the Netherlands? Also Read:
- 10 Places to Visit in the Netherlands Besides Amsterdam
- Is The Hague Worth Visiting?
- What to Do in Eindhoven, Where to Stay & More Tips
- Things to Do in Utrecht When it Rains & Tips For Sunnier Days
- Zeeland in Pictures
- Leiden in Pictures
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Disclaimer: our Amsterdam canal cruise and food tour was sponsored. As always though, all opinions are my own and I would never recommend anything I didn’t enjoy.