Creating a semi-circle around Old Center, the Canal Ring is a series of man-made waterways lined by beautiful historic mansions. Though it has expanded over the years, the Canal Ring was first made in the 17th century in order to provide a means of movement for shipping within the city center.
The Canal Ring is often what people envision when they think of Amsterdam. The narrow canals are separated by tree-lined streets and gorgeous buildings. Most of the buildings were formerly the homes of wealthy merchants, but nowadays some house hotels, restaurants, antique shops, and museums. An important museum to see in the area is the Anne Frank House. Other museums run the gamut from interesting to bizarre (the Cat Cabinet museum, a museum dedicated to feline friends, falls into the latter group).
Due to its beauty and rich history, the Canal Ring was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010. Many believe that the Gouden Bocht, or the "golden bend," is the most scenic canal to float down.
There are many beautiful hotels and inns in the historic homes along the canals. Some say it is not a trip to Amsterdam if you don't stay -- at least for a night -- in a canal-facing hotel, but the hotels here can be extremely expensive.
June - August
November - February
Varies; visitors from the United States, Canada and Europe do not need a visa
230 V, 50 Hz
In restaurants a service charge is included in the bill. For exceptional service an extra 10% is appreciated.