Amsterdam, a City of Canals

HUGE thanks to I Amsterdam for providing the Iamsterdam city cards that made this adventure possible! As always, all opinions are our own.

We took a canal cruise in Amsterdam, Holland!

For an introduction to the canal system and an overview of the city often called the Venice of the North, we hopped on one of the many tour boats for a guided cruise.

Once again our Iamsterdam city card came in handy, since the cruise, as well as dozens of museums and other attractions, are included with it.

Inside a canal cruise boat in Amsterdam

The boat took us through the harbor, among the cargo barges and ferries crossing over to what the locals call the "opposite side."

Eye, the film museum in Amsterdam
Eye, Amsterdam's film museum

Nemo, the children's science center in Amsterdam
Nemo, the children's science center

The old city watchtower in Amsterdam, Holland

On our way to the Amstel River we passed the old city watchtower and many of the old warehouses from the Dutch Golden Age, including the one for the Dutch East India Company.

See all of our adventures in Amsterdam!

 

 

The Dutch East India Company warehouse in Amsterdam, Holland
Dutch East India Company warehouse

Amsterdam from the water

Entering Amsterdam's canals by boat

When we left the river, we enter the canals in what is known as the Canal Ring.

These three waterways were dug in the early sixteen hundreds, and form a semicircle around the city center.

This allowed for expansion as Holland was entering that Golden Age. Dutch ships and merchants spanned the globe over the next century and Amsterdam grew into one of the world's great cities.

Amsterdam has so many bridges!
Sooooo many bridges!

A beautiful view from our canal cruise in Amsterdam, Holland

That's some wonky stuff!

In Amsterdam, the propensity for the older buildings to slant every which way. The land is very soft, so in order to build wooden pilings had to be set deep into the soil to reach more solid ground. But these have settled over time and left some crazy crooked structures!

One thing we couldn't help but notice, both from the boat and while we were walking around, is the propensity for the older buildings to slant every which way.

The land is very soft, so in order to build wooden pilings had to be set deep into the soil to reach more solid ground. But these have settled over time and left some crazy crooked structures!

In Amsterdam, the propensity for the older buildings to slant every which way. The land is very soft, so in order to build wooden pilings had to be set deep into the soil to reach more solid ground. But these have settled over time and left some crazy crooked structures!

The buildings in Amsterdam are tall and skinny

There is a definite style to the houses built along the canals, tall and skinny.

Since space along the waterways is limited, builders chose to make narrow, deep houses that are two or three times as long as they are wide, and stand at least three or four stories high.

In Amsterdam, because the houses are so tall and skinny, almost every house has hoisting beams attached above the highest windows. This way  furniture or heavy repair materials can be pulled up and brought inside through  a large window. Think piano movers in an old silent movie, that's the idea

The design makes it hard to get furnishings in and out, so almost every house has hoisting beams attached above the highest windows.

This way furniture or heavy repair materials can be pulled up and brought inside through a large window.

Think piano movers in an old silent movie, that's the idea.

See all of our adventures in Amsterdam!Canal view from out boat in Amsterdam, Holland

A fantastic overview of Amsterdam

Houseboats line the canals - there are about 2,400 of these semi-seafaring gems docked along the walls of the city.

Houseboats line the canals of Amsterdam

There's a pretty groovy history connected with these houseboats - click here to see more!

Anne Frank House was at the top of our list of places to visit when we arrived.

The house is the actual building where the Anne and her family --and four others -- hid before they were betrayed and captured by the Nazis.

The cruise took us by this and many other places on our list, helping us orient ourselves with the city.

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Delve Deeper:
See where we stayed in Amsterdam - hint - it's a houseboat!
Find out how it feels to visit Anne Frank House
Experience the must-do cruise of Amsterdam's canals

Follow us into the oldest building in Amsterdam - Oude Kerk (Old Church)

HUGE thanks to I Amsterdam for providing the Iamsterdam city cards that made this adventure possible! As always, all opinions are our own.

See all of our adventures in Amsterdam!




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