District: Canal Belt
The Canal Belt in Amsterdam
The canal belt in Amsterdam (in Dutch: Grachtengordel) was built in the 17th century around the old city center. With the many beautiful Canal Houses located on the Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht and the canals themselves it is the most known sight of Amsterdam. The canal belt in Amsterdam was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. The popular entertainment and shopping area’s in Amsterdam are located around the canal belt. The area can be explored on foot or by bike. Cars are welcome in this part of the city, but with lots of one-way streets and limited parking space a care isn’t advised when you want to explore this part of town.
The history of the canal belt in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals. The four main canals Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, en Singel form the iconic belt around the old city. Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings from the 17th and 18th century. Most of these canals are the result of successful city planning in the 17th century. The canals where used for residential development, defense and water management. Besides that the canals were also used to ship goods around the city.
Things to do
As stated before, many of the popular attractions of the city are close to the canal belt in Amsterdam. Experience the nightlife around Rembrandplein and Leidseplein or visit the Anne Frank house that is situated on the Prinsengracht. From the belt it is a short walk to the 9 streets where you can find numerous shops and cafes.