Wander around the canal ring comprising of Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht for a view of Amsterdam's beautiful canals framed by the interesting facades of Dutch buildings. Each house has something different to see.
Each time Ive visited Amsterdam Ive enjoyed the sights as Ive walked about to get where Ive been wanting to go - theres always so much to look at along the way, any way..... the canals and the interesting or stunning architecture along them, the boats and houseboats, the bridges and interesting cast iron decorations, the bicycles.... even the fellow pedestrians are great for people watching!
The canal system in Amsterdam goes for miles - amazing - and its much too enjoyable to miss by heading for the public transport to take you around Amsterdam!
Amsterdam, as much as Venice or Brugge, is known for its canals lined with quaint gabled townhouses. This is the most instantly likeable thing about the city.
The townhouses are made out of dark brick typically without any stucco. Gables differ, and some sport very intricate designs. The buildings are separated from the canals by tree-lined alleys that further enhance their appeal.
Amsterdam is a walking city. If you are physically capable of walking, there is little that you will be unable to see in Amsterdam. It is a city of 200 canals and 1200 bridges. Most of the city is below sea level (don't ask me how, it is very complicated and I think that God is involved in some way). Anyway, the city is very flat; no hills to worry about. It is a very peaceful existence living along one of the canals. The views from the front of the houses and apartments are wonderful in any kind of weather. The canals are mostly tree-lined and very serene. I could live there.
Amsterdam is famous with its canals. So any tourist takes one or two picture of canals from a bridge. I did take, too. Now I think they are the best views of Amsterdam.
I recommend you to find a bridge, beware of bicycles, take a good position and take the pictures of canales with the reflections of the boat houses, old houses and trees in the water.
The canals and the narrow tall houses in different colours give Amsterdam its characteristics.
Many lucky people live in the boats and have their balcony outside or even on the roof of the boat. Many have planted numerous plants and flowers to make their own floating home look like a little paradise.
The best way to see both the canals and the houses around them is to take a canal cruise.
If it is too expensive, buy a normal one way ticket (like bus- or train ticket); you don't have to take a special cruise if you don't want to. Many of the boats are in usual everyday traffic at usual bus/boat prices available for everyone.
Amsterdam has big canals like Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Besides these waters there are a lot of smaller ones to explore.
My personal favorites:
-Bloemgracht and Egelantiersgracht
If you visit Amsterdam for the first time, a walking option is a guided tour.
On some of the canals, you’ll notice that there is an abundance of houseboats. I don’t know if it is still the case, but apparently this was a way to avoid taxation. No land no taxes. It’s only surprising that there aren’t more boats.
Amsterdam is a haven for houseboats. When houseboat living came into being, it was to avoid taxes. It is still cheaper to live on a houseboat, but the taxes are pretty steep. The boats come in all sizes and shapes. They were mostly commercial boats at one time and when they had outlived their commercial usefulness, they were sold and converted to houseboats. There are houseboat rentals available for visitors who want to experience houseboat living.
The houseboat owners frequently have gardens on the roof and lounge areas both fore and aft. The cabins are like small apartments complete with small kitchens, toilets, and showers. Waste water is in holding tanks and pumped out to a sanitation truck periodically. Those who live on houseboats love it. It certainly looks like it could be a very tranquil lifestyle.
Upon arrival in Amsterdam we decided, because of limited time, to spend some of our time just walking along the various canals in the city. In Venice, Italy the canals are all haphazard, put in place where the water was, here in Amsterdam it is all in straight lines, all dictated by man. You realize one of the problems having a city built around canals when you see something on the other side of "the street" (read canal also) and you have to continue down the canal till you find a place to pass over the canal, then backtrack to the place you want to go.....
With over 75 km of canals and 1400 bridges, it is easy to enjoy the atmosphere of walking along the water. What a great lifestyle to live along the canals of Amsterdam in one of the many houseboats. Their seems to be plenty of boat tours, but we really enjoyed just strolling along the many canal banks.
Undoubtedly, the Canals of Amsterdam grace the city with its unique character, a Venice of the north of sorts. Not only do the canals provide a scenic backdrop to the city, but they also serve as an efficient means of transportation. A boat tour of the city is a fantastic way to see the city, but a stroll along the canals can be most enjoyable and peaceful. Choose either, or do both!
In addition to Amsterdam's booming economic engines of the arts, retail sales and tourism, the city has a very active and lucrative maritime industry that includes cruise ships, container and cargo transport, commercial fishing and shipbuilding.
It is not uncommon to find a small working vessel such as the "Starlite" moored among the houseboats and pleasure craft of even the more desirable canal locations.
Just take a walk around Amsterdam and enjoy the views. Lovely old buildings, nice peaceful canals. It sure beats the busy hustle and bustle of the Damrak area and the RLD. When you need a rest just dip into a cafe or bar for some light refreshment.
where the Houseboats catch your eyes, bridges need to be walked, camera always ready. saturday afternoon in Amsterdam walking along the Canals, someone looks after the Geraniums, a colourful bird calling, pretty boy.