Amsterdam’s canals are a world-famous tourist attraction. Many of the canals in Amsterdam are over 400 years old, and their banks are lined with traditional houseboats, picturesque narrow streets and 17th-century merchant houses, as well as several famous museums and churches (such as the Hermitage Museum and the Westerkerk Church). There are more than 100 kilometers of waterways that run through the historic city center, part of which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list. Even though all are unique in their own way, some Amsterdam canals are more famous than others. The most important Amsterdam canals are the Herengracht, the Prinsengracht, and the Keizersgracht.
A brief history on the map of Amsterdam
The map of Amsterdam has changed a lot since the city was founded in 1275. If you look at the map of Amsterdam today, you’ll see a ring of canals that encircle the historic city center. Most of these iconic Amsterdam canals were constructed in the 17th century, during the so-called Golden Age of the Netherlands. It was at this point in time that the Dutch economy experienced a huge boost thanks to the highly lucrative monopoly on spice trade that the East India Company had established. This led to an increase in spending on infrastructure, military, science and the arts. The map of Amsterdam changed drastically during that time and has since grown continuously, with new suburbs and neighborhoods being incorporated to this day.
What are some of the ways to explore Amsterdam’s canals?
There are a couple of ways to do it. One of the most popular options is by taking a canal cruise. There are several types of canal cruises available—some operate during the day, others in the evening and there are even some that also include lunch, dinner, and drinks. Another option is to go alongside the canals by foot or by bicycle—the preferred Dutch way—for which there are also several guided trips available. A novel way to explore the Amsterdam canals is with the Hop on Hop off ticket. These convenient tickets will let you take unlimited canal cruises and get on and off at various stops in the Amsterdam canals.
Amsterdam’s canals are a must-see attraction. Come to Holland and see them for yourself!