About the CanalsYou might often hear about Amsterdam's nickname, Venice of the North. This is mainly because of the canals that are in it and cross the city. The entire canals network (Grachtengordel) extends over 100 kilometers, with 90 islands and 1,500 bridges between these canals. This canal network was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010.
Most of the city's main canals were excavated by workers in the 16th century. Their original purpose was to drain the marshes, to keep the land from flooding and to allow for expansion outside the walls surrounding the city. Later, they became waterways for ships and boats. Most of the goods were transferred to warehouses located on the banks of canals in the center of the city. Some of the warehouses were right on the water. Today, the most common sight on these canals is the sight of tourist boats sailing over them. At night the lights on the bridges light up and give a pleasant and romantic atmosphere especially during the cruise.
Amsterdam has three main canals, which you will not miss: Hernegracht, Prinsengracht and Kaisersgracht. They were excavated during the Golden Age of the Netherlands, around the 17th century. You can find 1550 buildings along the canals.
Canal NetworkThe canal network area is recognized by tourists from all over the world for many years. The three canals, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht are joined by streets filled with restaurants, cafes and shops built in the golden years of Amsterdam. It is not by chance that the three verbs end with the end of "Haracht". The word "haracht" in Dutch means "canal".
The canals form a horseshoe around the center of the old city and the entire area serves as a passage from the noisy area to the quieter and calmer neighborhoods. The area becomes particularly lively at night, where you will find plenty of clubs, bars and pubs, restaurants and more.