Canal Ring of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Built during the Golden Age of the 17th century, Amsterdam’s Canal Ring, known locally as the Grachtengordel, is comprised of a network of intersecting waterways. These were developed through the drainage and reclamation of land for new development. Yet what was initially a practical feature, allowing the city to grow beyond its fortified boundaries, subsequently evolved into the area’s characteristic gabled canal-side estates and spectacular monuments thanks to financial enrichment from the booming maritime trade. The most famous trademarks of this new canal belt became the concentric loop of the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel canals.

Since 1999, the city’s distinctive canal landscape has officially been protected, and in 2010 the Amsterdam Canal Ring was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In 2013, the Canal Ring also celebrated its 400th birthday.

Amsterdam’s maritime success in the Golden Age not only led to urban expansion, but a boom in trade and architectural development. This was marked by the building of the city’s remarkable canal-side estates in the 17th and 18th centuries – most of which are still standing today. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to call one of these monuments your home, there are plenty of ways to experience life by the water in both museumsand special events in and around the canals.

Located inside an actual canal house, Het Grachtenhuis (Museum of the Canals) is a great way to learn more about the Canal Ring and its development over the centuries, with its multimedia exhibits bringing history to life. And for those looking to experience the present as well as learn about the past, events such as Open Garden Days and Amsterdam Heritage Days allow canal houses and city centre monuments to open their doors to the public.

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Founded: 17th century
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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karol G (2 years ago)
They everywhere and you can get easy access through canal taxi , get cruise it's soo relaxing
Charles Ifeanyichukwu Nweke (2 years ago)
Arguably the best way to experience Amsterdam. Cruising in the night makes you realize how big and inspirational the city is.
Nataniel Ciekawy (2 years ago)
Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has more than one hundred kilometers of grachten (canals), about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht), dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age, form concentric belts around the city, known as the Grachtengordel. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings. The 17th-century canal ring area, including the Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan, were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam's fame as the "Venice of the North".
Ahmad Zarei (3 years ago)
Very beautiful and interesting canal. Boating is something that I can say the best thing you can do in Amsterdam canals. You can see whole city and enjoy with your partner. 1 pass gives you 2 boat rides that you can use in between 10 am to 17 pm. if you planning to go there then try to plan in April or May so that you can see beautiful tulip flower garden for which Amsterdam is famous for but if you go there in the other months it does not mean that you can not enjoy. Amsterdam is really amazing and lovely even in cold months. We went there in December so we missed the garden beauties but the other things were wonderful.
Diksha Guleria (3 years ago)
Very beautiful place and canal boating is something that I can say the best thing you can do in Amsterdam. You can see whole city and enjoy with your partner. 1 pass gives you 2 boat rides that you can use in between 10 to 5. if you planning to go there then try to plan in April or May so that you can see beautiful tulip flower garden for which Amsterdam is famous for. Because we went there in July so we missed the garden thing.
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