12 Most Beautiful Canal Cities in the World

We all see movies shot in Europe. It looks splendid. The cobbled towns and the marvelous architecture are what make them beautiful. But, when it comes to romantic movies, a canal city is always in the background. The first time, I saw a Canal city was in the movie “Fault in our stars”, shot in the beautiful canal city of Amsterdam.

With small boats and travelers cycling, Amsterdam as a canal city is one of the most visited ones in Europe. I thought it was the only canal city in the world, but then Venice popped up like a canal city popular for romantic holidays. Other than the conventional ones in Europe, there are many other offbeat and beautiful canal cities in the world. Some are remote and away from the touristy ghetto.

So, we curated the list of best canal cities in the world:

Best canal cities in the world

Here is a curated list of the most beautiful canal cities in the world

1. Venice, Italy

Venice Italy

This thriving city in Italy was the hub during the age of the Renaissance. Venice is situated amidst the 118 islands and divided by the canals. The city of Venice is connected band bound by bridges. Therefore, there more than 400-footbridges and 170 canals are in Venice. The canals and gondola ride is what makes Venice, one of the most romantic canal cities in the world. Venice daily is visited by 1000 tourists. There are hardly any cars in the city as most people travel by Gondolas. It is through these gondola rides one can go to the beautiful cafes and stop at the ancient museums of art in Venice.

2. Birmingham, UK


This canal city of UK was dug to support the carriage of goods during the industrial revolution. Today, Birmingham has become one of the most popular hubs in the UK for clubs and bars, and definitely, the rock artist Ozzy Ozbourne. Unfortunately, Birmingham has just only 100 navigable canals left. The city looks beautiful and scenic if you go for the canal cruise during sunrise or sunset.

3. Allepey, Kerala, India

allepey kerala

Kerala is called “God’s own country” in India. It is known for its natural green beauty. Allepey is the most beautiful canal city in India. Staying in the boathouses in the backwaters of Allepey is in the bucket list of many travelers in India. It is also a sought after romantic destination. While you stay in the boathouses at the backwaters, enjoy sumptuous fish curry of Kerala, and Kathakali folk dance.

4. Stockholm, Sweden

stockholm sweden

Built of 14 islands and situated at the Lake Malaren, the capital city of Sweden is one of the offbeat canal cities in the world. The canal city of Stockholm is also an archipelago which connects the country to the Baltic Sea. It is one of the greenest cities in the world. You can enjoy the Scandinavian environment at the canal side beaches or just simply go for a boating ride to see the beautiful city in its all its glory. The canals of Stockholm are ideal for swimming or fishing some salmon. It also becomes an ice-skating park when the temperature drops.

5. Giethoorn, Netherlands


This is one of the remote canal cities in the world. To be precise, Giethoorn is a beautiful canal village located at the  Overijssel province of Netherlands. This canal village is connected by footbridges and is often referred to as the “Venice of The Netherlands”. The canal village is quaint and quite with its whisper boats in the canals which does not create noises. You can only either cycle or sail around the village as it is a car free zone. It is one of dreamy and leisure places in the Netherlands where you can enjoy some beer while canal cruising.

6. Bruges, Belgium

bruges belgium

Bruges was built in the medieval ages. This canal city of Belgium strongly fortified. The best way to tour Bruges is by canal cruising. Bruges has beautiful narrow lanes and cobbled streets. You can enjoy some waffles and chocolates. The city is called Venice of the north. The architecture of the city strongly has the touch medieval style. When one is there, the Groeninge Art Museum must be a stop to view some beautiful art.

7. Cape Coral, Florida

cape coral florida

Florida is known for rap and the eternal sunshine and flamingoes. Cape Coral’s canal route was dug in 1970. Today it is a major source for irrigation and flood protection. Most city dwellers have their own bots where they sunbathe or go for fishing. Cape Coral is a beautiful gulf coast city.

8. Bangkok, Thailand

bangkok thailand

Bangkok is known as debauchery and party, but it is also a beautiful canal city in Thailand. The history of the canals goes back to the 18 the century as it was dug to protect the city from invasion. Today, it is one of the ways of transportation. Tourist sail through the canals, which are called KKlongs, to visit the heritage places and shopping hubs. There also beautiful floral and merchant markets located near the canals. These floating markets are crucial for Bangkok’s commerce.

9. Can Tho, Vietnam

can tho vietnam

Located in Mekong Delta, Can Tho is one of the largest canal city of Vietnam. T has a large network of waterways and canals. Can Tho is popular for fishing and paddy culture as it is located near the Hau river? Can Tho is also known for is beautiful floating markets near the canals. You can hire a merchant boat to visit these markets and buy the exotic locally produced Vietnamese goods. The largest market is the Cai Rang market and here you can dive into the culinary and cultural heritage of Vietnam.

10. Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China

suzhou jiangsu province

The action movies of the oriental land of China mostly shows villages situated beside a canal. Well, remember Kung Fu Panda. Suzhou is one of the quaint canal cities in China which is connected by stone bridges. The canal is one of the largest manmade waterways built in ancient China. Suzhou is known for its clear water and beautiful gardens surrounding the canals. Canal cities are meant for a lazy and lethargic vacation. It is a beautiful experience to sail around and tour a city. Some of these cities are becoming highly commercialized while the rest have not been
tarnished by tourists and remain intact as a hidden gem.

11. Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg canal city in the world

Hamburg is a major port city in northern Germany which is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. Hamburg has more bridges inside its city compared to any other city in the world and has more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined.

12. Amiens, France

Amiens is a beautiful city in northern France. It is the capital of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France. There are on the edge of town man-made canals that provides a useful function as waterways for the ‘hortillonages’. Hortillonages also known as floating gardens, are a fascinating and scenically beautiful aspect of Amiens.

Read more, Best Swimming Holes in the World

These are the best and most beautiful canal cities in the world that you must visit if you are a nature lover. These cities have their won history and use of these canals.