Het Grachtenhuis (Museum of the Canals) – Amsterdam

I had a great time visiting the Museum of the Canals. It introduced the history of the canals and canal houses in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) through interactive media. It was fun and impressive.  My favorite part was the room with the exhibition of the canal houses, its interior and the residents’ activities. I spent quite long time in the room just to observe each canal house.

From the museum, I also learned there are five interesting facts to know about the canals in Amsterdam. It’s better to know this before exploring the canals of Amsterdam…

The canals in Amsterdam called “grachtengordel” (the belt of canals) with incredible precise planning for each canal: for residential development, for purposes of defense and water management.

It was built in the early 17th century to respond the increasing number of immigrants (an interesting interactive display in the museum that explained this!)

There are 165 canals and 1281 bridges with four canals known as major canals: The Singel Canal (the oldest of the major canals); Herengracht Canal (the most elegant canal); Keizersgracht Canal (the widest canal); and Prinsengracht Canal (the longest canal).

There are approximately 3,000 houses along the four major canals, and each of them has its distinctive architecture design. The houses along the canals usually called as Canal Houses. Historically, the city planner of grachtengordel planned that each canal house has a garden (backyard) as designated green area in the city. Until the present day, it is not allowed to build a building on the designated green area.

The average depth of the canals is between two to three meters and known as a place where you can easily fishing for a bike!

2016-12-09-17-27-32I recommend visiting the museum if you are interested in the history of the canals in Amsterdam. The belt of canals of Amsterdam is truly remarkable and showing how well-planned the Dutch were in anticipating the increasing number of population. It is better to visit the museum before taking canal boat trip.

The entrance to the museum is free for I Amsterdam City Card holder. For more information, please visit:

The official website of the museum: Het Grachtenhuis

The official website I Amsterdam City Card: I Amsterdam Card

69 replies

  1. Wonderful post, Indah. I enjoyed the history and facts about the canals, and your photos too. And that video at the end of the two people rescuing the submerged bicycle was really fun. I’ve visited Amsterdam, even went for a canal ride; I found the canals intriguing and beautiful, and if I return, I will go to the museum too.

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