SOUTH­ERN CANAL RING

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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

Bloe­men­markt

(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

Rem­brandt­plein

(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,” o—cially known as

Reg­uliers­gracht.

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 makeshiž 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.

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