Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, is for those abroad known for its canals in the center of the city. The canal system is the result of conscious city planning. Over the years they have continued to define the city’s landscape. Nowadays they are the home of many festivities such as the Gay Pride or Kingsday. In addition the canals are one of the city’s most touristic attractions. You probably already know a few facts about these canals. There are, however, a certain fact you probably didn’t know (yet)…
Paris is often described as the city of love. But did you know, that Amsterdam is particularly perfect for a romantic getaway? Amsterdam’s city center is rather compact, which enables you to reach most of the popular attractions by foot. Enjoy each other’s company while strolling through the city’s narrow streets and dining at the most exquisite restaurants or experience the beauty of Amsterdam together during a romantic canal cruise.
Amsterdam is the most watery city in the world. Its canals and harbors fill a full quarter of Amsterdam’s total surface. Amsterdam has over 100 kilometers of canals, which surpasses the amount of canals in Venice considerably. In addition, Amsterdam has approximately 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1500 bridges. No wonder the city’s nickname is: ‘Venice of the North. The canals of Amsterdam are characterized by an enormous amount of historical buildings, that are built along the banks of the canals.
Throughout the year canal tours show tourists the amazing historical canal houses of the city from the water. Some people however enjoy this view every day from their floating home. There's no city on earth with a higher density and a broader variety of floating homes than Amsterdam. In the old days living on a houseboat meant you were poor. Nowadays, however, they are extremely popular especially when they are located near the city center.
The ring of canals in Amsterdam is dotted with many unusually narrow houses. The reason Amsterdam has so many of these narrow buildings is because at one point in its history, the government charged homeowners based on the front width of their home. You can find Amsterdam’s smallest house nearby the canals of Amsterdam at Oude Hoogstraat 22. The façade of the house is a mere 2.02 meters wide, and the house itself is six meters deep. Due to two canal houses on either side the house is barely noticeable.
Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly cities of the world, mainly because the narrow streets are best navigated by bike. It’s a well-known fact that most locals get around by bike but did you also know that the city has more bikes than inhabitants? Amsterdam has close to 800.000 inhabitants who together have an estimates 900.000 bikes. Apparently some of these bikes get lost though; each year the city removes close to 10.000 bikes from its canals.
Are you excited to explore Amsterdam and its canals? Book a dinner cruise through Amsterdam!