The Ring of Canals: The most beautiful museums on the canals

To understand the soul of Amsterdam, you must understand the canals, those famous canals, which for hundreds of years have been a means to trade, travel, create and celebrate life.


The ring of canals was built in the 17th century, Amsterdam's Golden Age, and has become one of the world's most unique urban landscapes. That is why it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2010. The four main canals, now connected to streets filled with stores, galleries, cafes and restaurants, remain one of the biggest reasons tourists want to see this beautiful city.

But not only tourists enjoy this typical Amsterdam picture. Locals also like to stroll along the Grachtengordel to discover the best spots of Amsterdam. Today we like to share our favorite museums within the Grachtengordel.


Anne Frank House
Prinsengracht 263-267

This is of course the most famous museum in Amsterdam, this canal house/museum was once the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family before they were discovered by the Nazis. It is the best place to see the world-famous diary of an otherwise ordinary Jewish girl come to life.

canal museum-amsterdam1

Canal Museum
Herengracht 386

The Grachtenmuseum tells the story of Amsterdam's canals in a most fascinating and surprisingly compact way. An exciting journey through 400 years of history using film, audio and interactive exhibits awaits you in a monumental canal house.


Museum van Loon
Keizersgracht 672

This former home of the regent Van Loon family is a great way to experience how the wealthy lived during the Golden Age. The interior of the house is largely intact, with impressive portraits, beautiful furniture pieces, the finest silver and porcelain and a beautiful garden to explore.


Herengracht 605

This was the grand 19th-century mansion of Abraham Willet and his wealthy wife Sandrina Louisa Geertruyda Holthuysen, the impressive ballroom, conservatory and dining room of this charming canal house museum offer a tantalizing glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Amsterdam's ancient aristocracy.


Foam Photography Museum
Keizersgracht 609

Housed in a large mansion on Amsterdam's largest canal, Foam is one of the world's most famous photography institutions with photographs from a variety of genres, from historical to contemporary. And with several hundred thousand visitors a year, it is one of the best museums of its kind.


House Marseille
Keizerzgracht 401

Dedicated to the art of photography, this museum contains an extensive collection of contemporary works by Dutch and international artists and up-and-coming talent. It is housed in a beautiful canal house from the 17th century and the location is also worthy of some wows.

City Archives

The City Archives
Vijzelstraat 32

Housed in the striking 1920s former bank building De Bazel, the Stadsarchief Amsterdam is the "memory of Amsterdam" with more than 50 km of documents and images of historical importance to the city, as well as intriguing activities and temporary exhibitions.


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