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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Most beautiful canal cities in the world


Traditionally, the thought of a canal city has always conjured up images of Venice, its mesmerizing beauty and its world famous gondolas. However, there are many other canal cities in the world which might not be as popular as the iconic Venice, but definitely offer equally beautiful natural sights and attractions. Each of these cities boast of their unique charm and presence along with their own culture and history. So stop dreaming and saving for that trip to Venice and begin packing for a trip to a canal city which is located much closer to you. Here is the list of the most beautiful canal cities in the world.

10. St. Petersburg, Russia


The city of St. Petersburg was built in the early 18th century by Peter the Great on a swampland. It comes across as no surprise that the iconic city seems to be a lot more European in its designs and architecture than Moscow. The original layout of the city was designed by an Italian architect who planned to build a city which was covered with a vast network of canals. As a result, the city of St. Petersburg was built on a number of islands, giving it the name “City of 101 Islands”. The canal system is fed by the waters from the Neva River which passes by the State Hermitage Museum, a number of mansions and the Cicra 1800 cathedrals.

09. Annecy, France


There is no doubt that all French cities boast of unique charms and a rich culture and Annecy is no different from the rest. Paris might be known to be the city of romance, but Annecy is known for its unique French culture and its classiness. A number of French delicacies can be found all along the canal waterways and the ancient archways, picturesque cathedrals, beautiful bridges and mesmerizing natural sights ensure that there is more than enough for tourists to see. What makes a trip to Annecy so brilliant is the fact that the canal waters attain a beautiful green – blue colour when light falls on them, thereby making the surrounding sights seem surreal. Make sure that you visit the Palais de I’Isle while in Annecy.

08. El Gouna, Egypt


Egypt might be more popular for its magnificent old world pyramids, but the brilliance of El Gouna, a self contained town located on the Red Sea coast, simply cannot be disputed. Built during the nineties, the city of El Gouna is extremely popular among beach lovers and the canals which channel out from the Red Sea breathe life into the desert sands, giving them a glittering and glimmering look.

07. Giethoorn, The Netherlands


Giethoorn is a small town located outside Amsterdam that grew old amid swampy marshlands. The canals around town were created by peat farmers in the 12th century as a solution to transport their goods from one place to the other. However, these canals act as one of the main tourist attractions for Giethoorn today. What makes a trip to Giethoorn so unique is that it still boasts of that old world feel and consists of more than 150 old world wooden footbridges, 6.4kms of waterways and luscious thatched roof houses located all along the water’s edge.

06. Stockholm, Sweden


Irrespective of where you are in Stockholm, you are never far from beautiful bridges or striking pathways located next to the waterside. In fact, one of the best ways to explore Stockholm is to take one of its sightseeing boat tours and explore the city through its beautiful waterways. Stockholm, also known as the Venice of the North, is built on 14 islands and consists of 47 bridges, 58 locks and a vast network of beautiful canals that flow all through the city.

05. Alappuzha (Alleppey), India


What could be better than romancing your loved one under the shimmering moonlight in a houseboat while on your trip through the serene waterways of Alappuzha. Alappuzha (Alleppey) is a waterfront city in South India which is dominated by its canals and portrays exotic India at its very best. A trip along the waterways allows you to pass through the old world fishing villages and it is quite easy to understand why the British never wanted to leave India – it is truly one of the most magical places on earth.

04. Hamburg, Germany


Hamburg, a city which has been built on water, is known for its network of canals, streams and rivers. The Alster lakes pass the city through its centre and are crisscrossed by a network of 2300 different bridges. In fact, the number of bridges in Hamburg exceeds the total number of bridges in Venice, London and Amsterdam – no wonder Hamburg is popularly known as the City of Bridges. The old Speicherstadt warehouse district is one of the most popular spots in the city for tourists looking for an authentic Hamburg experience. The canals run along rows of red brick warehouses which gives the entire area an extremely beautiful look and a unique old world charm.

03. Bangkok, Thailand


Bangkok, the city of contradictions, is a city where mega shopping malls stand side by side to old world monasteries. The tuk-tuks might be the most famous mode of transportation in Bangkok, but the longboats and waterways are what offer tourists with the best experience that the city has to offer. The bustling metropolis might be more popular for its flashy lights, delicious cuisines, beautiful old world temples and floating markets, but it is its network of canals which give Bangkok its true character. The city was initially built upon a swampland that was carved by a vast network of canals. Most of these canals were covered over the years. However, an extensive network of canals can be found even today. Most of these canals are full of gondolas which sell a wide range of wares that vary from a variety of artefacts to clothes.

02. Bruges, Belgium


Bruges is known to be one of the most famous tourist attractions of Belgium. Popular as a city which has been frozen in time, Bruges boasts of traditional architectural designs, winding passages, picturesque town squares and beautiful canals. The romantic waterways offer the perfect setting for lovers and couples and each canal in the city is known to have its own set of attractions which range from beautiful sights to lush green areas to unique souvenir shops.

01. Venice, Italy


Venice is undoubtedly the most beautiful canal city in the world. The city oozes a sense of thrill and romance like none other and has always been a source of inspiration for romantics, poets, writers and movies across the world. The city is built on a group of 118 islands which have been separated by canals. The daytime might see Venice overrun by tourists and visitors, but the afternoons and evenings reveal its century old allure and unique persona.


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