There are many things that come to mind when one thinks of Amsterdam. I know for me it was initially the Anne Frank House, Van Gough Museum, the red light district, smoking pot in coffee houses, and the canals. I have done all of those including more in Amsterdam, but we will focus on their historical canal ring, which was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
I have always found that understanding the cultural history behind any site I visit, a more intelligent and fascinating way to travel. So why are the canals of Amsterdam important, and why were they inducted as a UNESCO site?
The canal district dates back to the 17th century, as it was built for the new ‘port city’ at the end of the 1600s. The network of canals cleverly encircled old town Amsterdam, while connecting with the medieval port. This system gave way to create an urban ensemble of various monuments, and charming gabled houses. This urban environment was the largest and homogenous for its time.
Touring the canals– If it is your first time visiting Amsterdam, you must do a canal cruise. I did a canal cruise on my first visit, but have not done one since. Taking a canal cruise is a great way to explore the waterways, as well as getting around the city. There are various cruises you can take including a hop on hop off, a one hour cruise, and a dinner cruise.
I had done the hop on hop off, which was a great way to get from one place to another since it stops off at many of Amsterdam’s important sites. I think the next time I visit Amsterdam, I will do a dinner cruise because it sounds so enjoyable and relaxing. Plus eating and cruising are a couple of my favorite things to do!
Please check out my other Netherlands and Amsterdam blogs, for more recommendations:
Don’t just exist, wander and explore…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre