11 fun facts about the magical canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is also known as the Venice of the north. Surrounded by water, this Dutch capital is perfect for magical canal cruises along endless interesting sights and picturesque houses. The historical city centre and its waters hold many ancient secrets and mysteries. Of course, we unraveled some and we are more than willing to share.

  • Amsterdam is the most watery city of the world, since almost a quarter of the city is filled with its canals and harbours.
  • During the 17th century, also known as The Golden Age, most of Amsterdam’s canals were built. These waterways benefited the commerce as products could easily been moved through the city.
  • The historical canals in the city centre are part of UNESCO World Heritage.
  • All together, the 165 Amsterdam canals are over 100 kilometers (60 miles) long.
  • Where Venice is home to 409 bridges, Amsterdam almost triples this number. With a stunning 1.281 bridges, Amsterdam beats the Italian water capital with ease and therefore well deserves the title “Venice of the north”.
  • Since the Dutchies are such water freaks, they decided to literally make it their home. Over 2.500 floating house boats are located in the Amsterdam canals. Wonderful to sail through with a boat tour.
  • The most famous bridge of the Dutch capital crosses the Amstel River and is called the Magere Brug (red. Skinny Bridge). This charming bridge has nine passages and was built in 1737. The story goes that the iconic name is derived from two Dutch parsimonious skinny sisters who supposedly financed the bridge. This bridge is also one of the main attractions of the Amsterdam Light Festival 2019
  • The canals separate the city of Amsterdam into 90 different islands.
  • In 2012, the Dutch Queen Maxima, participated in the yearly fundraising event called
    the Amsterdam City Swim. She completed the 2028-meter course in only 50 minutes.
  • However, we advise not to do a casual canal swim yourself. Every year, about
    15.000 bikes end up in the canals. A special boat was designed to collect the bikes from the water, a true attraction on its own. Fishing for bicycles became a full-time occupation for the city.
  • The canal ring has been – and still is – one of the richest neighbourhoods of Amsterdam and attracts wealthy homeowners. The most expensive building for sale in the city this year was an office at the Keizersgracht, with an asking price of almost 10 million euros.

You may have been wondering why Amsterdam was such a popular city to visit (besides its famous Red Light District and coffee shops) and why a canal cruise is the most popular activity amongst tourists. Well, know you know. And if you fancy a ​private boat tour​ around the canals, you know where to find us!