Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour, Amsterdam

Grachtengordel (Dutch for the Canal District) is an international icon of urban planning and architecture in Amsterdam. Still very much intact after four centuries, the area is known for its small bridges, crossing the canals, and 17th-century homes. Forming a horseshoe around the Old City Centre, the Canal Ring comprises Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht canals, built during Amsterdam's Golden Era. Interconnected with streets, the three canals offer a plethora of shopping, eating and drinking opportunities, complete with cultural attractions, among which are the Pipe Museum, The Cat Cabinet, the Torture Museum, the Mint Tower and others. A walk around Amsterdam Canal Belt will leave you anything but bored.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam (See other walking tours in Amsterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Author: clare
1
Leidsestraat

1) Leidsestraat

Leidsestraat is a busy Amsterdam street, located between the King's Square and the Leidseplein. It has many luxurious clothing boutiques like Karen Millen as well as cheap souvenir shops.
2
Pipe Museum

2) Pipe Museum

Smoking has been a part of cultures since ages. In fact, the first citation of smoking was reported as early as 5000BC and that too as a part of a religious ritual. We have come a long way since then and yet smoking remains the one way man can legally and openly subject himself to neuronal drugs.

Whether it is ritualistic, societal, leisure or a status symbol, smoking seems to be the one habit; man has kept alive (apart from drinking, of course!). So what best way to celebrate this kind of achievement than a Museum dedicated to the history of smoking and more precisely the tool for smoking – pipes.

The Pipe Museum or the Pijpenkabinet in Amsterdam is one of its kind in Europe. What started off as Don Duco’s passion for collecting and preserving pipes, has now turned into a celebrated museum that people from all over the world come to visit.

Don Duco started collecting pipes in 1969 and his hobby has led to a vast collection of over 20,000 pipes. Although the museum may not display each and every piece, the best of the lot are surely put on display. Some of the most prized possessions in the Pipe Museum are the ceramic pipes from the Dutch Golden Age. These pipes are now categorically regarded as an archeological find. With elaborate designs and mindboggling beauty, the little Pipe Museum is sure to blow your mind away.
3
Spiegelkwartier

3) Spiegelkwartier

If you're looking to acquire a nice piece of antique either for yourself or anybody, Spiegelkwartier is the place to go. The variety of objects available here is enormous, from Egyptian 6,000 year-old antiquities and Chinese porcelain to the 17th century Delftware and abstract modern art.
4
Galerie Clement

4) Galerie Clement

The Galerie Clement features graphic art as well as other forms of art. It opened in 1969. The gallery displays paintings, sculptures and paper works by Jan Baas, Peter Breevoort, Jan Hendrix, Terry Thompson, Antonie Wiertz, Jan Swart, Ronald Tolman, Jan Cremer and many other creative minds. Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
5
Toussaint Bonnet Decorative Arts and Antiques

5) Toussaint Bonnet Decorative Arts and Antiques

Located at Nieuwe Spiegelstraat in Amsterdam's antique district, Toussaint Bonnet Decorative Arts and Antiques specializes in antique furniture, ceramics, porcelains, sculptures and many more. Established more than 25 years ago by Toussaint Bonnet, the gallery also offers decorative objects from the 18th to 20th century, Chinese and Japanese porcelain, as well as bronze and marble sculptures.

Operation Hours Wednesday - Saturday: 12 pm - 5 am, or by appointment
6
The Cat Cabinet

6) The Cat Cabinet

If you are a cat person and just adore the feline, The Cat Cabinet must not be missed. But don’t let that be the only reason to visit this amusing museum. Located on the banks of the Herengracht Canal, the Cat Cabinet is housed in one of the most opulent areas of the city.

The structure that now houses the Cat Cabinet has stood its ground since the early 17th century and seen many elite families of merchants, mayors and ambassadors come and go.

For years the building housed important and noteworthy people but it was only after its purchase by Bob Meijer that the fate of the building got sealed as a Museum. Meijer purchased the structure in 1985 and restored it to make it home for him and his 5 feline house mates.

The building was converted into The Cat Cabinet in 1990 in remembrance of Bob’s favorite pet John Piermont Morgan, a red tom cat named after a US banker. The museum boasts a collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, posters and drawings that are dedicated strictly to cats. The museum is a fun visit with the exhibits displayed in a manner that makes you understand and appreciate the affection and love that Meijer had towards his cats.
7
Torture Museum

7) Torture Museum

One of Amsterdam’s most gruesome but still interesting places is the Torture Museum. At the Museum, step into dungeons that hold the darkest and most terrible secrets of history and travel back to a time when prisons, justice and laws meant ripping of body parts and tearing of flesh. Get an glimpse of how prisoners and criminals were brought to justice or even got to confessing their crimes.

The Museum is definitely renowned for the ambiance it creates. With its dimly lit interiors and spooky surroundings one can just appreciate how the outlaws were brought to justice some 500 years ago. The Museum boasts of a vast range of torture apparatus from the medieval ages. Right from the classic guillotine to the torture chair along with many other indigenous instruments with just one intention- torturing its host the Museum has it all.

Also in its possession are some rare medieval torture apparatus which are just one of its kind. Each exhibit has a description along with it and if the information is still difficult to fathom, there are paintings that will aid the process. The Torture Museum is not the perfect place for the innocent and weak hearted but if you can muster the courage, it is definitely a watch.
8
Mint Tower

8) Mint Tower

The Mint Tower is one of the structures in the city which has a rich past. A part of the wall that guarded the city of Amsterdam, the Tower was one of the main gates of the Regulierspoort.

Built in the latter half of the 15th century, the Tower underwent tremendous renovation over the centuries. From the fire of 1618, which engulfed and destroyed most of the city’s walls, the Mint Tower emerged almost untouched, only to be reconstructed in the Renaissance style a year later.

Hendrick de Keyser, a renowned Dutch architect and sculptor, oversaw the building’s reconstruction and also attributed to the stylish eight sided top half of the Tower. Elegant additions of 4 clock faces and a carillon of bells were also made. Today the original bells are on display in the Amsterdam Historical Museum and replaced by newer ones. The Tower chimes ever quarter of an hour and on Saturdays between 2 and 3 pm one can hear a live concerto of the bells.

The Tower earned its peculiar name in the 17th century, when the Dutch were at war with England and France. With most of the Dutch territory occupied, the risk of losing valuable resources was high. A tower was used as a make shift center to mint money which is now known as the Mint Tower.
9
De Kleine Komedie

9) De Kleine Komedie

De Kleine Komedie is today the oldest theatre in Amsterdam, dating from 1788. In the Fifties and Sixties many famous people in the Dutch entertainment world, like Toon Hermans, Wim Kan and Fons Jansen, made appearances in this theatre. In 1973 the building was closed by the Amsterdam fire brigade due to fire hazard. After a renovation financed by private sources, it was reopened in 1978.

Amsterdam's oldest theater, De Kleine Komedie is the nation's premier cabaret stage, though it also offers a wide range of musical acts. Today the Kleine Komedie offers a stage for both upcoming and established Dutch talents.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Amstel Antiques

10) Amstel Antiques

Amstel Antiques is located at the Amstel canal, in the South Canal Ring district of Amsterdam. The shop features a wide collection of antiques, such as old vinyl records, CDs, as well as some 20th century art and furnishings.
11
Museum of Bags & Purses

11) Museum of Bags & Purses (must see)

The Museum of Bags and Purses, located in Amsterdam, is a museum devoted to historic handbags, purses and suitcases. The museum's collection includes 4,000 items dating back to the 1500s. One of only three museums across the globe specializing in the field and its collection is the world's largest. While the majority of visitors to the museum are women, the most valuable item on exhibit is a 16th-century men's goat-skin belt pouch with iron clasps. The earliest handbags in the museum's collection are typically small, used to carry coins, keys and sewing kits. Such bags were carried, by both men and women, under clothing to avoid drawing the attention of thieves. The development of pants with pockets for men and the change from billowing skirts to more form-fitting dresses led to handbags becoming an item for women, often with elaborate adornment.

Why You Should Visit:
A quirky museum, set in a lovely building. Well combined with Museum Willet-Holthuysen on the same canal.

Tip:
In addition to wandering through the museum, you can make a reservation for High Tea and savor the view of the canal with delicious tea & food.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Kunsthandel P. de Boer

12) Kunsthandel P. de Boer

Located in the South Canal Ring district of Amsterdam, Kunsthandel P. de Boer specializes in Dutch and Flemish Old Masters paintings. Its collections include masterpieces from the 16th to 18th century, although the main focus is on 17th century works. Established in 1922, Kunsthandel P. de Boer also provides advice on restoration and framing matters.

Operation Hours Monday - Friday: 11 am - 6 pm, or by appointment
13
FOAM

13) FOAM

If you want a break from the history and architecture of Amsterdam the FOAM is a pleasant change.

Located in a beautiful 19th century warehouse and residential complex with the interiors a mix of the old and new, the FOAM comes alive with its myriad of photographs and exhibits. The Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam or FOAM is a photography museum with international reputation and acclaim. Attracting admirers from all over the world, the FOAM offers its viewers a peek into the minds and emotions of the photographer.

A mix of young upcoming artists and famous photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, etc. the FOAM brings to its viewers photographs in the perfect ambiance and style. Exhibits range from still life, art, history, contemporary, fine art and documentary to multimedia and film. The museum maintains an immaculate and serene interior, with glass, plain stark walls that highlight the exhibits perfectly.

Not only is it a place to watch your favorite photographers’ work, FOAM is also a platform where you can meet them in person. The museum also holds talks and meetings with famous and established photographers whose work is on display. The museum also has its own magazine that gives a detailed agenda of the exhibits and events held at the museum.
14
Gallery Lemaire

14) Gallery Lemaire

Located in the South Canal Ring district of Amsterdam, Gallery Lemaire has been in the trade of tribal art from Oceania, Africa, Indonestia and New Guinea since 1925. Over here, you can find a large collection of items such as statues, masks, jewellery, textiles and utensils. In addition, Gallery Lemaire has an elaborate library that contains information about any item found within the gallery (i.e., its origins, tribe background, age, etc). Gallery Lemaire also participates at the Tribal Art Fair.

Operation Hours Thursday - Saturday 11 am - 5 pm, or by appointment

Walking Tours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Creating your own self-guided walk in Amsterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Amsterdam has been the center of the Dutch Jewish community for the last four centuries, and although the holocaust had a dramatic effect on it, great efforts have been made to rebuild it in the years since. Wandering around the Jewish Quarter will give you an insight into the centuries-long history of the Jewish community of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

The Western Canal Belt is one of the most scenic parts of Amsterdam, it is where the web of historic canals is most tranquil. Various attractions are found here, from tiny shops and cafes to churches, museums and galleries. Take this tour and see the best sites of the Western Canal Belt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Amsterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Amsterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Churches Walking Tour

Churches Walking Tour

Amsterdam's numerous churches are an unique example of architectural diversity. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in the architectural and historic aspects, Amsterdam will not disappoint. Take this tour to visit the most important religious sites in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Amsterdam without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Amsterdam, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
New Side (Dam Square) Walking Tour

New Side (Dam Square) Walking Tour

This walking tour takes you to and around New Side (Dam Square) in the historic center of Amsterdam whose notable buildings and frequent events make it one of the most popular and important locations in the city, much as the whole of the Netherlands. The tour's highlights include the Centraal Station, the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, and the National Monument.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km

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