Amsterdam Canal Belt
Amsterdam’s canal belt (Grachtengordel in Dutch; literally means canal girdle) is the famous canal ring surrounding the Old Center of Amsterdam. It is home to the rich and famous, and also the majority of nightlife in the city.
The most convienient way to get to the canals is by tram, however you will not have to walk far to find them from any spot in the city. From Central Station, tram lines 1, 2 and 5 go right through the middle of the canal belt, cutting the western and the southern side of it in half. Notable stops include Koningsplein, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht and Leidseplein. Rembrandtplein can be reached with tram lines 4, 9 and 14.
Things to See & Do
The Amsterdam canal belt is home to some of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Amsterdam. In the Golden Age of the city, in the 17th Century, the growing class of merchants, made wealthy by the sea-faring nature of the city, had huge, sumptuous houses and mansions built along the main canals. Here is a list of the most architecturally treasured buildings:
Singel 140-142, De Dolphijn (circa 1600).
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 14, Wapen van Riga (1605).
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 57, De Gecroonde Raep (1615), in Baroque Amsterdam Renaissance style.
Herengracht 170-172, Bartolotti House (circa 1617).
Keizersgracht 123, House with the Heads (1622).
Herengracht 168 (1638). Rokin 145 (1643).
Kloveniersburgwal 29, Trip House (1662).
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 187 (1663).
Singel 104-106 (1743).
Singel 36, Zeevrugt (1763).
Although not famed for it’s museums, the Amsterdam canal belt is home to three notable exceptions. The world famous Anne Frank House, the Willet-Holthuysen museum (a converted merchant’s town house) and Cat Cabinet (Kattenkabinet), a curious little museum of cat related art and oddities.
Please visit the Canal Belt section of our museums page for full information.
There is a huge selection of great restaurants in the Amsterdam canal belt area. Owing to the classy nature of the area, a lot of restaurants are pricey, however there are a few places you can eat on the cheap.
Please visit our restaurants page for full listings.