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Sightseeing along Amsterdam’s Canals

The best way to tour Amsterdam is by boat or ferry on the city’s famous Canals. More than 100 km long, the Canals of Amsterdam snake around 90 islands and 1500 bridges, giving Amsterdam the nickname “Venice of the North.” The best waterways to travel are those lined with the city’s lavish country homes, mansions, and churches.

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One of these canals is Singel, which served as a moat to the city during the Middle Ages. It's lined with many unique and ornate canal houses, among them the Old Lutheran Church, the Round Lutheran Church, the library of the University of Amsterdam, the Kalvertoren shopping centre, and the Muntorren tower. The city’s famous flower market, Bloemenmarkt, is also situated along the Singel canal, where the market stalls are actually boats displaying their trade.

Next, try Herengracht or Gentleman’s Canal, the first and grandest of the major canals. Here you'll find the fashionable Golden Bend, lined with numerous mansions, inner gardens, and coach houses. Continue along Keizersgracht or Emperor’s Canal, which is the second and widest of Amsterdam’s three major canals, and is named after the Roman emperor Maximilian I. More picturesque houses line this canal.

Then travel along Prinsengracht or Prince’s Canal, the longest of the main canals, lined with houses built during the Dutch Golden Age of the United Provinces. Some of the sights to see here are the Northern Church, the Northern Market, the Anne Frank House, the Western Church (Amsterdam’s tallest church), as well as the Homomonument or Gay Monument.

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