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Explore Amsterdam's Western Canal Belt - Amsterdam Walking Tour

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6 of 10

Sixth Leg: Prinsengracht
Intersection of Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht

Intersection of Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht

© 2006 Shannon McAllister, licensed to About.com

Directions

Walk down the even-numbered side of Brouwersgracht to Prinsengracht, where you'll have to cross the Papiermolensluis ("paper mill lock") bridge to the left. Stop for a minute to take in the view of the intersecting Lekkeresluis ("delightful lock") bridge, before crossing it to reach Prinsengracht's even-numbered far side.

Prinsengracht

  • Prinsengracht means "prince's canal."

  • The Prinsengracht is the longest of the three main waterways of the Grachtengordel (approximately two miles).

  • Filled with houseboats, cafés and locally-owned shops and galleries, Prinsengracht is by far the liveliest of Amsterdam's three main canals.

  • This particular western stretch is (roughly) the eastern border of the Jordaan neighborhood, originally built for workers and now a popular area for hip, young residents. The Jordaan is known for its dense collection of smaller canal houses, narrow streets and a distinctive bohemian feel.

  • On the southwest corner of Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht (at No. 2) stands one of Amsterdam's oldest brown cafés, Café Papeneiland, which opened its doors in 1642. The building features a magnificent double-sided, step-gable design (pictured above).

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