When you think of Amsterdam, you think of the canals!
The mainly 17th century waterways give our capital its unique character. Since 2010, the canals have even been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. But how many canals does Amsterdam actually have? This and more facts about Amsterdam’s canals.
The official count stands at 165 canals with a length of 75km. The oldest canal dates back to 1385, namely the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, and at 6.3 kilometers, the Singelgracht is the longest canal. At 31 meters wide, the widest canal is the Keizersgracht from 1612. About 6,000 bikes are fished out of the canal each year, by the way.
The number of canals fluctuates from time to time, as every now and then another one is drained or opened. For example, Rozengracht is now a road, and Raadhuisstraat used to be Warmoesgracht. Below is a video of the growth of canals in the 17th century.
Lots of water means: lots of bridges. Amsterdam does have 1281 of them, of which the 1648 Torensluis is the widest at 42m. This is also the oldest bridge still in use. Under the Tower Lock are still old dungeons that you can visit. The city’s narrowest bridge is the Three Herrings Bridge.
Of course, the Amsterdam canals are best seen from the water. If you are interested in a day on the Amsterdam canals, book a boat with Rederij de Nederlanden and experience the canals to the fullest.