The first things you think of when you imagine a trip to Amsterdam are tulips, clogs and its famous and very picturesque canals. (Well, there might be one or two other things that come to mind, but let’s leave them for another day.) The city is, quite literally, built on a network of waterways. If you don’t take the opportunity to experience them, both on and off the water, you’re missing out. |
Book a cheap flight and an Amsterdam airport shuttle and head off for a unique and spontaneous weekend on the water!
A Watery Heritage
Many people are surprised to know that it’s not Venice that holds the honour of being the most watery city in the world, but the Dutch capital. Around a quarter of the total area is comprised of waterways and the seventeenth-century Canal Belt gained a UNESCO world Heritage listing in 2011. The canals were originally intended for defence and water management, but once established they became important as a method of transporting merchandise.
The three main waterways of the city form an intrinsic part of its medieval centre... and each has its own story.
Named after the Austrian Emperor Maximilian, work began on Keizersgracht in 1612, with the waterway eventually measuring 31 metres across. Originally the plan was for a wide boulevard to be created in front of the city houses, but changed due to locals who wanted to be able to reach their homes by boat. In winter, when it freezes, it is the site of the famous ice-skating sprint race, the ‘Keizersrace’. Highlights along the route include the House with the Heads, the Greenland Warehouses and the impressive City Archive.
The so-called ‘Princes Canal’ is the outermost of the three main waterways that contributed to the spread of the city and increased its size. Sights along the route of Prinsengracht include the Unicorn Lock, which helps control the height of the water across the network, Huddes Stone and the oldest café in the city, Papeneiland, which dates back to 1641.
Considered the most prestigious of the waterways, Herengracht (the Gentleman’s Canal) follows a route that passes the former homes of some prestigious regents and merchants. You’ll pass by the oldest house in the city as well as some of the most impressive, which include Bartolotti House, the Hoxton Hotel, Cat’s Cabinet (where some of the film Ocean’s Twelve was shot), the Cromhout Houses and the ‘Love Story’ house, famous for its dramatic romantic history.
How to Get There
The Dutch capital is just a hop, skip and jump from the UK – but it’s so much easier to fly! Flight time is only an hour and 30 minutes and all the budget airlines fly regularly from various airports in the UK. In order to get the rest of the way to your accommodation once you land, your best bet is to book an Amsterdam Airport shuttle before you leave home. If you think you’ll pay too much for this kind of convenience, think again – when you choose a shared ride with other travellers, an Amsterdam airport shuttle is completely affordable.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable Amsterdam airport shuttle Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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