Amsterdam is also known as the “Venice of the North”, famous for its more than hundreds kilometers of canals, which are creating around 90 little islands and which can be crossed via 1,500 bridges.
There are basically three parallel channels, built during the Golden Age of the city, connected by a tight network of narrow streets filled with shops, bars and restaurants. The really ambitious architectural project dates back to the 17th Century, when the city organized a plan which should quadruple the size of Amsterdam, because immigration was on a height.
The 17th-Century canal ring area (Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan) comprises a network of connections on the water, which has expanded over the centuries to connect the old city center, the medieval part, the port and gradually all areas of the city and was declared as World Heritage by the UNESCO in 2010.
Former the Grachtengordel, consisting of three canals (Herengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht) was mostly used for residential development and a fourth canal, the Singelgracht, for purposes of defense and water management. The plan also included interconnecting canals, which you can see in the Jordaan quarter with its parallel canals, which were primarily used for the transportation of goods.
Nowadays these canals characterize Amsterdam and visitors can explore them through a tour with one of the cruise companies. If you want to surprise your beloved with something special, some companies also offer special arrangements like candlelight cruises. Rental companies are to be found at all strategic locations, including the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum.
At night the canals become even more attractive: many of the canal houses and bridges are beautifully illuminated and inviting you for a stroll through this wonderful city.
Blue canal at night in Amsterdam Flickr Gallery joiseyshowaa
Canal in Amsterdam Flickr Gallery Planned
City Houses Flickr Gallery Veronique Debord