The Canals of Amsterdam

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26 Weteringschans, Amsterdam, Netherlands
020 623 9886

The Canals of Amsterdam Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
The Amsterdam Canal Belt Sep 28, 2014
Amsterdam is inseparable from its canals. It is impossible to visit Amsterdam and not encounter the canals in some way. They form concentric rings around the city, radiating out from the harbor area. The outermost canals have defined the city limits over the centuries. As the city expanded, new canals were dug. The Prinsengracht defined the city limit in the 17th century. By the 19th century, the city had expanded outward and the Singlegracht then formed the boundary.

Construction of the inner canal belt system began in the 16th century and continued into the 17th century coinciding with the rise of Amsterdam as a world commercial and shipping capital. The canals were meant to support commercial traffic, connecting business with the harbor, very much like the canals of Venice. Like Venice, some of the canals have been filled in over the year and become streets. Unlike Venice, motor vehicles, trams, and cyclists use the streets running alongside and over the canals.

Townhouses in the Dutch Renaissance style line all of the older canals. They range from mansions along Herengracht to simpler, but no less attractive, houses and businesses lining Prinsengracht. Along newer canals like Singlegracht, one finds 19th century buildings, parks, hotels, restaurants and museums in a variety of styles. A surprise is the number of houseboats on the canals. They are in all styles, from ones that look like boats to ones that look like floating boxes. The city has imposed a cap on new houseboats, so in order to own one, you have to buy an existing one. Thus, supply is limited and they can be very expensive! The inhabitants personalize them will all sorts of decorations and plantings.

The canals can be explored at street level on foot or bicycle. Or you can explore them by sailing on the canals themselves. There are two ways to do this. The Canal Bus runs three hop-on, hop-off lines from Central Station as far as Museumplein. There are also narrated canal sightseeing tours operating similar style boats. Either way, I really recommend seeing the canals at water level!

The "Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prinsengracht houseboats
Korte Prinsengracht
Houseboats at Westerdok
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
westwind57 says:
Nice blog and nice pictures too :)
Posted on: Nov 05, 2014
spocklogic says:
The Venice of the North they say! I would not go that far based on my experience, but it's nice nevertheless. The traffic in Amsterdam got on my nerves a bit, but it's been some 15 years since I visited there.
Posted on: Nov 04, 2014
rsvpme says:
Do like this, with great photos.
Posted on: Nov 04, 2014
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rcpilgrim rcpilgrim
40 reviews
Amsterdam Canals May 24, 2012
The Seventeenth Century Canal Ring of Amsterdam is a model of engineering feats. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and protected as thus. The canals were designed in the late seventeenth century to give Amsterdam some measure of protection as a medieval port city and to extend the layout of the city by filling in reclaimed swampland forming hundreds of concentric islands within the four main rings. The historic city center and canals are filled with tourists year round and the canals can best be seen in a glass covered boat. The buildings and monuments that line the canals are just as impressive as the canals themselves.
The canal Ring Amsterdam UNESCO
In the Red Light District Amsterdam
Alleyway in the canal ring
on the sculpture trail in Vondel P…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Paulovic says:
In fact they wre built for trade within the city. Because the seventeenth century was the so called Golden Century for the Netherlands. All the trade we brought back to Amsterdam was put on smaller boats at the harbour of Amsterdam and brought into the city by all the waterways/canals. :)
Posted on: Feb 26, 2013
magnificent magnific…
60 reviews
Amsterdam (Venice of the North) Mar 23, 2010
There are many ways to enjoy the charm of the many canals of Amsterdam. You can go for a stroll along the adjacent streets, take a canal boat or taxi ride, stay on a houseboat sitting on the deck, or enjoying a drink or meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes along the tree lined canals.

I think a combination of some of these gives you a deeper appreciation! Getting the City's "Iamsterdam" card (earlier review) can give you a few options making the best use of your time.

I found a gem in the St. Nicolas Boat Club. Go to "Boom Chicago". As you walk in and to your right there is (was) a sign up sheet with the times. You come back at that time and one of the guys walk you over to the boat. When I went the boat was about 3-4 blocks away and it was a total of 7 passengers. They take you for about an hour boat ride. I asked a lot of questions and Diego gave some great tips like that place to get the great apple pie (when I go to Amsterdam in August I will find the place and write a review on it). They don't charge but donations are welcomed. In comparison you get so much more that you will on the big boats.

You can take one of the big commercial outfit and get that tourist feel. Also try renting a bicycle and make your rounds that way.

There is a rich history associated to the canals, explore and discover!
magnificent says:
A very charming experience. I went again last year but no post for it however I do have a blog enjoy
Posted on: Feb 20, 2011
SamsTravels says:
Great Review! I am going to Amsterdam in a few weeks and are reading up on things to do whilst I am there! Thanks for teh tip about this attraction! Sam :@)
Posted on: Feb 16, 2011
denizsen denizsen
2 reviews
canal tour is a must in amsterdam Jun 19, 2008
Very relaxed and pleasant way to tour Amsterdam, or after you tired from walking or biking around then take the boat tour, captain take you all around amsterdam trough the greatest canal of amsterdam, then the crosS harbour and return back the original point. Takes around 45 min. and costs only 8 Euro (very good value) Dont miss it.
SamsTravels says:
Great Review! I am going to Amsterdam in a few weeks and are reading up on things to do whilst I am there! Thanks for teh tip about this attraction! Sam :@)
Posted on: Feb 16, 2011
academyuk says:
I'll be there next week for the first time. I'm so excited. well, I dreamed of this trip...:)))
Posted on: Sep 01, 2010

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