There’s something about canals that is able to delight the modern traveler, almost more than any other city feature. Canals are a sign of a historic past when the most important facet of a city was how close it was to the water transport routes. In modern day life — where aircraft and automobiles have reduced these canals to little more than odd little city quirks — canals offer a glimpse of a former time and are charmingly quaint when found in the midst of a bulging metropolis.
Of course, if you’re thinking of visiting a canal city, it’s nigh-on impossible not to consider Venice. Ask someone to name a canal city, and Venice is likely to be at the top of their list; we can all even picture the gondolas drifting beneath the Bridge of Sighs from the mere mention of the city name…
As wonderful as Venice is, it’s not the only city with a long, rich canal history. If you want to include a journey down a canal as part of your next city break, why not try something different and sample one of the other famous canal cities that Europe has to offer?
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If you’re considering cheap flights to Amsterdam and need that final push to convince you it’s the destination for you, then Amsterdam’s status as a canal city might finally be the convincer you need. Amsterdam features a network of more than 100 kilometers of canals, and over 1,500 bridges have been constructed to cross the famed waterways. Head to Amsterdam for your next break, and you will find yourself enjoying picturesque views such as this…
St. Petersburg, Russia
What comes to mind when you consider a visit to Russia? Probably the word “cold” and an expectation of snow, which is fair enough, but it’s not just a winter wonderland that St. Petersburg offers. The city features a network of canals that total over 300 kilometers in length, with 800 bridges constructed to cross them. There’s plenty to explore in this historic city, and a canal trip is the perfect icing on the cake for your time spent here.
As Germany’s second city, it comes as no surprise that Hamburg features an old canal network. What is a surprise is just how stunning and picturesque these canals can be; there’s no doubt that Hamburg gives Venice a run for its money. If you’re not convinced, then have a look for yourself…
Or better yet, visit and see the canals in real life– you won’t regret it.
Annecy is nicknamed the “pearl of the French Alps” which, given how beautiful the entire Alpine region of France is, is quite a claim. The canals of Annecy are their crowning glory, delighting visitors with their quaint Gallic charm and historic tourist attractions. There’s nowhere better than Annecy if you want to experience Canals: French Style.
So, do you think any of the above potential destinations can compete with Venice when it comes to canal cities you want to visit?