What would Rome be without the Colosseum? And what would Amsterdam be without its never-ending canals? Undeniably, one of the city’s main attractions is its extensive river system, which is a lot longer than the water corridors in Venice.
The canal-system in the capital of the Netherlands stretches out for 75 kilometers (46 miles), and are connected to either side by over 1,000 bridges. The canals are also home to 2,500 barges.
The canals play an extremely important role in Amsterdam, to the point that the gold vaults of the De Nederlandsche Bank (The Dutch Bank) are located at the bottom of the canal, although they will be relocated to Zeist in the following years. If the alarm ever goes off, the vaults are flooded.
Grachtengordel, meaning Canal District in English, is a district in the center of Amsterdam that encompasses the city’s main four canals. It was designed during the seventeenth century to accommodate the ever-rising population.
The Canal Ring includes the following four canals (from furthest away to closest to the Old Town): Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel. One of the prettiest canals is Herengracht, flanked on either side by beautiful mansions.
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Amsterdam is to take a canal cruise and admire the city from the water. There are several companies that offer different tours along the vast river system, some of which include dinner with open bar. The cheapest cruises are approximately € 15 (US$ 17). Check the various options available here: