SOUTHERN CANAL RING
Start – Singelgracht End – Amstel River
Length – 1.5 miles; two hours Set o at the Singelgracht by the R ksmuseum and head north into the nexus of art and antique shops of the Spiegel Quarter, with Nieuwe Spiegelstraat at its heart. On Herengracht, Amsterdam’s swankiest patch of real estate – the appropriately named Golden Bend – has a row of doublefronted houses (rare in Amsterdam, due to the taxes imposed) awash with classical French flourishes.
Stop by the
(pictured above at right), a famous flower market that’s a good place to buy tulips in season and bulbs year-round, as well as plenty of high-kitsch souvenirs. From the eastern end, you’ll see one of the city’s most enduring emblems, the striking Munttoren (Mint Tower). From the tower, head east along
the Amstel river to take in the grand Hotel
de l’Europe ( leurope.nl), where polished ski s moor at the terrace restaurant. At the bridge, turn south into tiny Halvemaansteeg (Half-Moon Lane) and the heart of the entertainment district around the square known as
(pictured above at center).
As you cross the square, it’s almost obligatory to pose with the lifesize figures re-creating Rembrandt’s The Night
Watch, before making your way to De Kroon
( dekroon.nl), one of the square’s most stylish grand cafés, at number 17. Pass through Thorbeckeplein to Herengracht, lean on the bridge and do your Insta-thing on the “canal of seven bridges,” ocially known as
The house at Reguliersgracht 34
has an unusual twin entrance and an eagle gable for the original owner, Arent van den Bergh ( arend is a Dutch word for eagle).
Where Prinsengracht crosses Reguliersgracht, there is a house with a statue of a stork outside; the dwelling once belonged to a midwife. Where Herengracht and Reguliersgracht join up, you can count a whopping
15 bridges as you peer east–west and north–south. Take a few steps farther south and you’ll come to the
Amstelkerk, a curious wooden church with a belfry that was put up as a makeshi structure in 1668; its intended permanent replacement was never built. Go east down a quiet section of the Prinsengracht until you reach the shores of the Amstel river.
From here, you can admire the petite
Magere Brug and, beyond the sluizen (lock), the neon-lit roof of the
Koninkl k Theater Carré ( carre.nl), whose facade is richly decorated with faces of jesters, dancers and theater folk.