Amsterdam canals

400 years of Amsterdam canals

Amsterdam canals
The four main canals

The Amsterdam canals are unique: a work of art attesting to outstanding city planning and architecture that aptly expresses the growth and success of Amsterdam in the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age. The Canal Ring, 13 kilometers long, was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2010 and to this day, the city’s biggest celebrations such as King’s Day and Gay Pride Canal Parade take place on the canals. Within the Canals Zone there are 2,000 classified national monuments, and an extra eight hundred municipal monuments.

Of course, so many miles of canals can not be sighted in a few hours’ walk, so I have two suggestions:

Canals Amsterdam
Canal zone West

1. West: the first lay-out, where it all began, at the extremely picturesque Brouwersgracht (voted the most beautiful canal in Amsterdam by newspaper readers). From 1613 to 1625 four canals were dug and also lined with houses, hundreds of which still stand. As a rule, these houses combined merchant residences with offices at ground level and warehouses at the top. Including a number of so-called hofjes (‘little courtyards’), early examples of social housing, payed for by the well-to-do, and built around quiet little courtyards for the elderly, for unmarried women, and the like.
Two to three hour walk: € 150-200 for 1-4 participants

bookings and/or information Tijd/Ruimte

Amsterdam canals
Canal Zone East

2. East: the second and fin al lay-out, with the largest houses. The four canals were extended and lined with luxury residences at a slower pace, but the houses are larger and more refined, in Baroque and Rococo styles. Most of them were heightened after 1700 and were given a spectacular Rococo gable top. In the 19th century, many were converted into banks and insurance companies, and churches of all conceivable denominations were inserted.
Two to three hour walk
: € 150-200 for 1-4 participants

bookings and/or information Tijd/Ruimte

extra: Photo Service
If you prefer to just watch and listen, I can provide a fun, candid photo shoot of your party with all intersting backgrounds and more of your tour of choice, resulting in wall­-worthy vacation photos with everyone together. Gorgeous photos you can’t capture alone. A priceless souvenir of your trip for only a 100 euros extra.
Within 5 business days of the walk, professional digital photos will be emailed to you via an online gallery, along with a link to download all the high resolution photos.

Amsterdam canals
Herengracht

 

Endorsements:

The guide is very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and easy to understand. Unfortunately due to the weather we would could not get the full curated tour and Michel had to improvise since we moved indoors.
Rachel Gotlieb, Toronto

Our guide weathered difficult weather with us, was generous with his time and his knowledge. We learned so much. Thank you!
Margaret Polaneczky and Paul Schulman, New York
Michel Was very knowledgeable about the city in a pleasant companion to show us around.
Kathy & Jerry Drew, US
The walk was comprehensive and extremely interesting.
Herb & David Parsons, US
Michel Didier led a very comprehensive and excellent tour covering a lot of ground with a great ending at the Beginhof and the Amsterdam Museum.
Peter Karsten, Kansas City
Michel is a fount of wisdom on Amsterdam – its history, culture, mythologies – and of course knows his way around the city center.
Helen Scott & Ira Nordlicht, Rye, NY
Our guide Michel Didier was extremely engaging, personable which is what everyone wants.  Not rehearsed speech but engaging, fun, enthousiastic. As well as well versed in his subject. All the elements of a “friend” in the city. It is fun to mix history with today history, economy, what makes Amsterdam the city it is today too for people who will sign up only for 1 tour in the city.
Dominique & James Ashton, Menlo Park, CA
MIchel is a wonderful guide. The depth of his knowledge and love of his city shine through the entire walk. We learned so much about places we had walked by many times. He gave us multiple insights into the political, economic, social and aesthetic contexts of Amsterdam – complete with the quirks and complexities of the Dutch. We hope to return to Amsterdam and take other tours with him.
Stefan & Karen Kieserman, New York
The docent was very professional, informed and interesting and we did enjoy the tour.
Michael Myers, Western Springs, IL
We were extremely pleased and interested by Michel’s knowledge and ability to explain what we were seeing and we consider this to have been a most worthwhile experience.  Michel was a terrific guide…..knowledgeable and personable.
James Bolton, US
My husband and I had the pleasure of having Michel as our own personal art history tour guide in Amsterdam for two full days (not nearly enough) and came back to the USA with a true appreciation for all that Amsterdam museums and Squares and coffee shops can offer.
Whatever the question we had, it was answered and we had a great time too!!!
Peg and Bob Marcus, Carlsbad, CA