Renting a Boat in Haarlem

Renting a boat in Haarlem for a few hours in much easier (and more affordable) to do than one might expect. Now that the weather is nice, it might be something to think about doing. This article is a review about my experience with renting a boat at Greenjoy.

I’ve lived in Haarlem now for over four years and am happy to say that I’ve finally had the chance to ride a boat around through the canals of our beautiful city. Friends of mine rented from a company called Greenjoy. The experience could not have been easier.

The rental

First you need to sign up and pay for your rental at Greenjoy’s website and then at the day and time that you signed up for you need to go behind the Stadsschouwburg and pick your boat up in the canal there. Don’t expect signs for the business, there are none. In fact, no one actually works at the rental location. The boats are turned on remotely by calling the company after you get in the boat. When you come back, simply dock the boat, plug it in and call to have the boat disabled. The price can depend on the weather forecast and the amount of time you are renting the boat. We ended up paying €50 all together for two hours of canal cruising on a Friday evening. So when split between the group, we each paid €7!

Operating the boat

Greenjoy’s boats are electric and are quite slow compared to their fossil fuel powered counterparts. But when you are cruising around Haarlem, speed is not something that is really needed. Once you have the boat remotely started, operating it is quite easy. There is a throttle that can be used to adjust the speed or make the boat go in reverse and a steering wheel; that’s it. Steering takes a bit of getting used to but after a little while it’s no problem. Maps are provided on the company’s website with recommended routes depending on the amount of time that you rented the boat for, or you can make you own route as you go. The people that rented the boat before us ended up being about 15 minutes late, because of this, we were allowed to stay out longer than our scheduled docking time.

On the boat

According to Greenjoy’s website, the boats can fit six adults but we had seven people on the boat and had no issue, there was plenty of extra room. There is a table in the middle of the boat that is perfect for drinks and snacks (that you bring yourself) to enjoy during your trip. The seats are not all that comfy but they are not bad either. It’s easy to just sit back and take in the view while conversing with friends and enjoying a nice cold beer.

The good and the bad

+ Very affordable
+ Easy to rent and operate
+ Provides a unique prospective of Haarlem
– No one on site if there are problems
– Boats are battery powered and could slow down towards the end of the trip


Go for it! We ended up having a really nice time relaxing and enjoying the city on a Friday evening. For me, this was the perfect way to end a nice sunny day and to start the weekend. While the boats are not the best boats ever, for the small amount of money that you pay, it is well worth it.

20% expatsHaarlem members discount in Haarlem and Utrecht

Do you  also want to rent a Greenjoy boat in Haarlem or Utrecht? Grab your chance NOW: the first 25 members of expatsHaarlem get 20% MEMBERS DISCOUNT! OP = OP.

A member of expatsHaarlem is a liker/follower of the expatsHaarlem Facebook page plus a member of the expatsHaarlem Facebook group. Not a member yet? You know what to do.

To get the discount, send an email to She will check your membership and send you the discount code. The code is valid till the end of the season and as long as the stock lasts (25 pieces). ENJOY!