Amsterdam counts 100 canals with a length of 100 km span by 1000 bridges.
I think the most famous of these bridges is the "magere brug" show in my front page.
In 1963 Amsterdam put a lot of iron gates along the canals to protect cars from falling in the water, however they can't prevent that at least once a week a car ride into one of the canals.
Lots of warehouses along the canal, canal boats supply them with their goods in the old days.
They call these two warehouses, father and son.
If you look very closely at this picture you see the low iron gates to prevent the cars from falling into the canal.
Favorite thing: While visiting Amsterdam, one good option is to do a tour by boat around the channels. That will provide a beautiful view of this beautiful city and allow you to get an overview of Amsterdam. Unfortunately i had no time left for this, since i thought i would do it by the end of my short visit, but i had no time left for this. On Centraal Station's square you can find several boats that will do city tours.
Fondest memory: More often I guide people around in Amsterdam, the number one tourist attraction in my country. One sticks out above all others. During the international choir festival (2001). I guided a wonderful Czechian girls-choir (Kantilena from Hradec Kralovy) around in our capitol and we had such fun. The expressions while walking through the red-light-district, hahaha. I will never forget the proud faces of three of them telling me secretly they got their hands on a joint. Thanks to them, especially to Magdalena and Tereza, for a perfect time.
Take a canal boat tour of the gorgeous city if you can. In fact if you are on a layover at the Airport I would recommend that you hop on a quick train to the city centre and take a canal tour. They are only about two to three hours long and are a great way to become aquainted to this lovely city. There are several stops where your can board the boats through out the city including at the Amstel Train Station. There are also day tickets that you can purchase and use through the day as an alternative means of transportation.
While on the boat a cruise guide will give you information on the various sight that you pass as you snake your way around the canals. They also give you information about the canals themselves and how they periodically flush the water out back into the sea.
Fondest memory: The canal boat tour of Amsterdam is a photographers dream. Do not forget you camera and bring lots of film on your voyage. There will be lots of photo opportunities.
In the past there was not enough living accomodation for the inhabitants of Amsterdam that is why the city of Amsterdam legalize living at houseboats.
Each of the houseboats has their own mailadres and each of them are conected to electricity.
A canal cruise while in Amsterdam is mandatory, but the size of the boat you ride in and canal's you cruise down are not.
The St. Nicolaas Boat Club offers a canal cruise on a boat that will hold around ten people, has no glass top, and can maneuver through canals the big boats cannot navigate. You sign up for the ride at Boom Chicago in the Leidseplein, which is a fabulous part of Amsterdam and you should be there anyway, as far as I'm concerned. They are rather casual about the whole thing, completely unlike the very business-like, glass-covered, tourist-filled canal boats you find along the Damrak.
Your pilot will ask what you would like to see. We glided past the tourists waiting in line to get in the Anne Frank's house then wound our way through small canals lined with houseboats lined with potted flowers in full bloom-a definitive riot of color. We passed houses with tiny patios facing the canals.
You are welcome to bring refreshments and your favorite intoxicant along - Looza, Oranjina, Heineken, Super Silver Haze. It is an altogether refreshing, relaxing way to see Amsterdam.
Fondest memory: Amsterdam is as much a part of me as my own home town. I feel about it as Gertrude Stein did of Paris. I fell completely in love with Amsterdam the first day and now have a burning desire to live there for a little while during my lifetime.
To pick a best memory would be like picking a favorite child. Was it lovely dinners with my B&B host? Was it the energy I discovered in the Leidseplein? Was it the acceptance I got that I didn't even know I needed when I sat in my first coffeeshop? Was it the trees lining the canals with their bright green leaves and dark bark? The list of fond memories is lenghthy; I cannot pick a fondest.
There are so many favorite sites and places to see in and around this city, choosing only one is impossible. Incredible people truly made Amsterdam my favorite destination. From the open air markets, to the wealth of culture and fantastic art museums, to great dining, partying and happiness everywhere I went.
One thing you must do is SEE Amsterdam from it's canals. A daytime and nighttime canal sightseeing tour is an absolute must if you want to feel this cities heartbeat.
The Wine and Cheese candlelight canal tour by Kooy was one of the most enjoyable 2-hours of total relaxation I experienced all week. 'Museumboot' during the day is another all day adventure not to be missed. (Please see my amsterdam travelogue for more pix and details)
Fondest memory: Queensday 'Koninginnedag' parties and street festival extravaganza on Queen's birthday! This one-day (ahem...2-day) party was so 'goed', I'll be there next year decked out in my brightest orange attire.
And ohhh how I miss those Stroopwafels...
LIFE ON WATER IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM LIFE ASHORE....
Some INFO for you...
reservations: phone +31 (0)20 623 98 86
HOLLAND INTERNATIONAL CRUISE DEPARTMENT
Pier opposite Central Railway Station
Prins Hendrikkade 33 a
Phone: +31 (20) 622 77 88
REDERIJ LOVERS / MUSEUMBOOT
Prins Hendrikkade opp. nr. 26
Phone: +31 (0)20 530 10 90
Stationsplein 8 (Central Station)
Phone: +31 0(20) 530 10 90
Amsterdam is famous with its canals and a boat tour in the canals is a must do..
However due to on going extensions of the metro line, Canal boats are now leaving from a different place..
So all canal boat companies near the central station is temporarily closed..
TAKE A CANAL CRUISE
Fondest memory: This was me just before the canal cruise set off. It was really nice to see Amsterdam from that perspective and its fairly inexpensive so I would recommend it to anyone with a little time to kill in the city.
sailing along those beautiful canal houses, made me wonder how this all looked like during the old days.
Women dressed in beautiful long dresses wearing the most fancy hats. Coaches riding at the narrow streets along the canals.
Fondest memory: I took this as the canal boat passed the end of this canal and we got a great view under all the bridges - cetainly a different view than you get from just walking around. Plus its a nice relaxing way to pass the time!
Favorite thing: A canal tour is a great way to start viewing the city and it's probably the best approach to Amsterdam. After all the city was founded and has developed around its canals and there's nothing like a boat trip to give you a feel of Amsterdam. There are lots of places to board the canal tours, several cruise companies that run tours and many different itineraries to choose from. We took ours from across the Centraal Station, where there were boat tours departing every hour. I don't remember how much we payed but it was worth it. They had an English-speaking guide who gave good information about the city. The tour allows you to see most of the highlights of the city. It does feel a bit like mass tourism at first but as soon as you start seeing the beautiful houses that line the canals and the boat-houses and the bridges you'll start enjoying the experience.
Taking canal cruise provides an opportunity to see the city in an entirely different way.
Fondest memory: Cruising around on a canal tour can be very romantic especially at dusk or at night when everything (including the bridges!) is all lit up.