If you love canals, but have already been to Venice and need a change then there are a number of other canal cities in Europe that offer great alternatives to that iconic Italian destination. From Amsterdam to Bruges, Europe is home to a number of other spectacular canal towns and cities that have the same romantic allure and must-see culture as Venice.
Check out these top five beautiful canal cities and get planning your next European canal cruise:
While the city may be notorious for its red-light district and coffee shops, Amsterdam has a lot more to offer than that. In 2010, Amsterdam’s canal ring, made up of 165 canals, was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built to stimulate trade and expand the city, the canals are the permanent centerpiece of Amsterdam’s beautiful historic center.
Take a canal bus, bike or taxi and see the sights of the city from the water. The city also offers a number of private canal cruises, which often include stops to some of the most interesting cultural locations along the bank.
Often referred to as “The Venice of the North,” Bruges, the capital of Belgium, is a historic city that is also a World Heritage Site. Thanks to its bustling port, the city has a tumultuous history as a commercial European port, and that history can be felt by taking a ride on its famous canal network.
The canals date back to the 12th century and are a great way to compliment your driving tour of the city’s historic center with a Bruges rental car. See the city from a different perspective on one of the city’s canal cruises or tours that follow its oval frame network of canals.
Take a canal cruise on the Göta or Dalsland Canals to experience the real heart of Stockholm. Göta Canal has 58 locks and 47 bridges, and starts at Söderköping on the Baltic Sea all the way to Sjötrop at Lake Vänern. This series of canals is part of “Sweden’s Blue Ribbon” that connects Stockholm and Gothenburg by water.
Take the canals out of the city and experience some of Sweden’s lush countryside and traditional towns and villages from a unique point of view.
This beautiful French town is set in the Alps region, and is referred to as the “Venice of the Alps”. The canals trace the historic old town of Annecy called Vieille Ville, with its series of tiny bridges, waterside cafes, and exquisite mountain scenery. The small town is perfectly navigable with a canal cruise or Annecy car rental; make sure you have time to stop off at one of the beautiful riverside restaurants.
Believe it or not, the water actually comes from one of Europe’s shortest rivers, the River Thiou, that connects with River Fier and Lake Annecy. As the river meanders around the town, the city is split into little islands that are linked with tiny bridges and each filled with narrow passageways.
Dating back to the 17th century, Copenhagen’s small scale network of canals are lined with old historic buildings and are very much a part of the culture in the city. Bringing a peaceful, relaxing vibe to the industrial city, the canals are a great place to eat, drink and chill out.
You can take a one-hour long canal cruise and see the city’s sights, such as the Opera House, the harbor, the Amalienborg Palace, the Royal Library and the National Museum, among many more. Pass through residential neighborhoods with a cruise or car rental in Copenhagen and hear stories about the history of Denmark’s capital city. Just make sure you watch your head on the low bridges!
There’s a world of undiscovered destinations just waiting to be uncovered and these canal towns in Europe are only a small sample! Grant yourself the ability to travel at your own direction and without restrictions by making use of an affordable rental car to help you get wherever you’d like to go. Kemwel has some of the best travel deals available, too, so avoiding costly and crowded transportation is more realistic than you ever thought possible! Whether you want to rent a car in Amsterdam and tour world-renowned locales or get a taste for the quaint allure of Annecy, we’ve got your back with price’s that’ll make you think twice about what’s possible on your next holiday abroad. Check out your options with Kemwel online or call us, toll-free at 1-877-820-0668, to find out just how cheap your next trip can be!