Canals and Bridges
Amsterdam is probably best known for its canals, and for good reason! There are more than one hundred kilometres of canals here, and crossing these waterways are roughly 1,500 different bridges.
With so many canals and bridges the city has long had the nickname ‘Venice of the North’, and the 17th century canal ring area was added to the prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2010.
The three main canals are named Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht and they were built during what was called the Dutch Golden Age.
These three canals form concentric belts around the city and they are also linked to numerous other notable, and not so notable, canals.
Walking around the medieval centre of Amsterdam is a real joy, crossing all the canals over its many bridges.
The only drawback with so many canals and bridges is that it’s easier to get lost as many do look similar!
Ask for a good map from your hotel reception desk so that you can navigate the streets successfully.
Seeing the canals from the streets is great but you can cover a larger distance on a boat cruise, and you’ll get to see some buildings and areas of the city that you probably wouldn’t otherwise.
As you might expect, there are several different companies offering cruises along Amsterdam’s canals.
Tour times, duration, and routes vary so you may want to compare them and find the one that suits your schedule best.
The cruises they offer can vary, but here are some tips on boat trips that looks exciting.
Hop on hop off cruise
Canal Company also has a variety of different cruise options. The Canal Bus is a hop on/hop off boat for which you buy a ticket that’s valid for one or two days.
You can stop at many of the city’s most popular sites, get off, see the site, and get back on a later boat.