Named after the Prince of Orange, Prinsengracht canal is the longest of the main canals in the city center, measuring around two miles (three kilometers). It's one of the liveliest canals in the city and is notable for myriad colorful houseboats and numerous historic sites flanking its banks.
Prinsengracht is one of several main canals that run through the center of Amsterdam. There are numerous points of interest along the canal, including the Unicorn Lock at the entrance of the canal, The Anne Frank House where The Diary of a Young Girl was penned, the West Church (Westerkerk), and the Houseboat Museum. Take a guided walking tour for an overview of Prinsengracht or a boat tour for a water view.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Prinsengracht is a must-visit for history lovers and architecture buffs.
- A boat ride along the Prinsengracht is a fun excursion for travelers of all ages.
- Top attractions on the canal include the houseboats and historic canal houses.
How to Get There
This canal flows right through the center of Amsterdam and runs next to Emperor's Canal (Keizersgracht). It’s easy to reach by foot, boat, or bicycle, and it’s less than a 15-minute walk to the northern part of Prinsengracht if you are coming from Centraal, Amsterdam’s main railway station.
When to Get There
This canal is worth visiting any time of year, though it’s at its most pleasant in summer when weather is relatively warm and dry. If possible, plan your visit to coincide with the annual Prinsengrachtconcert in August, an open-air classical music concert held on a pontoon in the canal.
One interesting building along the canal is Cafe Papeneiland—it's one of the city's oldest and most famous "brown cafes," a traditional Dutch pub known for hearty local fare and beverages. Dating back to 1642, Cafe Papeneiland is also known for its apple pie and for having a subterranean tunnel that leads to the Posthorn church, once used by Catholics fleeing persecution.