5 of The Most Beautiful European Canal Cities

Is it just me, or do cities with canals have this striking charm that can leave any person in an infatuated state of mind. Although they are big cities like many others, the canals and bridges criss-crossing all around give them a specific trait which makes them ideal destinations for hopeless romantics like myself.

Here are my favorite European canal cities


Venice    ride
The Floating city of Venice

You can’t have a best European canal city list without Venice in it. Just because it was mentioned a billion times by many other travel blogger doesn’t make it less true. It’s peerless beauty makes it hard to compare with any other city.

Venice is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges.

I find it absurd when I read nicknames of cities like Amsterdam and Bruges being “The Venice of the North, or “The Venice of the Alpes” when it comes to Annecy. Venice is Venice, Amsterdam is Amsterdam, Bruges is Bruges and Annecy is Annecy. They are all enchanting unique cities and they deserve their own tag. Don’t you think?

Magical Venice
The Small Canals of Venice

2-Amsterdam-The Netherlands

Amsterdam canals
I cant get enough of Amsterdam

Instead of “The Venice of the North”cliche, I decided to nickname Amsterdam “The Bermuda Triangle for bikes”: 25,000 bicycles end up in Amsterdam’s canals each year. Strangely, only 8,000 bikes are pulled out of the canals annually . Where did the 17,000 bicycles go??***Cough, Bermuda Triangle***

Now let’s talk some canals: Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometres of canals, 165 canals, 90 islands and 1,500 bridges. If locals aren’t on a bike, they may well be on a boat. With its canals and gigantic harbour, this city reclaimed from the sea offers numberless occasions to wander and get lost in the city.

Amsterdam bike city
Bikes , boats. Typical Amsterdam


As for Bruges, I thought that “The Sleeping beauty of Europe” fits better than “Venice of the North”: Bruges, a former hub of Europe, slept for 400 years. During the 15th century the Zwin, the waterway linking Bruges to the sea, silted up. Despite attempts to build another canal, the city’s economic lifeline was gone: abandoned houses, deserted streets and empty canals.

Bruges fell into a deep sleep, only to be awaken in the 19th century by the true love of an increasing number of visitors who were charmed by what had then become a medieval toytown.


I believe Hamburg is “The city of bridges”: Hamburg has more bridges than any other city in the world. This city port is surrounded by water. A network of canals criss-crosses the centre which makes in total 2300 bridges! And yes, Hamburg has more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam combined.

Hamburg was one of the most surprising cities I have been to: I always thought of it as an industrial business district kind of city, except it was much more than that. It is a very laid back city, with a beautiful promenade, lake, fascinating architecture and great shopping streets ***girls hurry up**


As for Annecy, I thought that “Storybook city” fits better than Venice of the Alpes : The city’s history and stunning sceneries makes you feel like you have stepped into a dream, into a storybook filled with princes and princesses, love, dragons, an evil queen, magic, spells, frogs ….The old town is criss-crossed by enchanting canals lined with colourful Piedmont style houses . Definitely a postcard picture worthy city!



The cities mentioned above are without any doubts romantic destinations especially suited  for couples planning for an anniversary getaway, a honeymoon, valentine… I believe they are spellbinding enough to rekindle the spark of any relationship. So what are you waiting for, your relationship deserves destinations like these! 


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