Five good reasons to visit Herengracht
The Herengracht was the place to be for rich people in the seventeenth century. Wealthy merchants and weighty regents owned grand canal houses on Herengracht. The literal translation of Herengracht is ‘gentlemen’s canal’, referring to the gentlemen who lived there.
Here are five good reasons why Herengracht is worth a visit. We are sure real ‘Amsterdammers’ (citizens of Amsterdam) can come up with several other good reasons, but we want to keep our list quite short!
1. Canal for the rich & famous
The rich and famous of the seventeenth century owned houses on Herengracht. Dutch merchants who worked for the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: VOC) made a lot of money. They were more than willing to show this. The so-called ‘Gouden Bocht’ (English: Golden Bend) is the most prestigious part of Herengracht, featuring double-wide mansions and houses with pretty facades.
2. World’s biggest bag museum
The museum of Bags and Purses (Dutch: Tassenmuseum Hendrikje) is fully devoted to historic handbags, suitcases and purses. The museum owns the world’s largest collection, with some items dating back to the sixteenth century. The museum started as a private collection. It quickly grew to as many as 4,000 items today.
3. Herengracht = museumcanal
There are no less than five musea located on Herengracht. We advise you to visit het Grachtenhuis (Herengracht 386). This modern museum shows you the history of the Amsterdam Canal District. It only takes 40 minutes to experience 400 years Amsterdam Canal District. You will learn more about the most famous canal houses in Amsterdam. The museum opened in 2011, after the Amsterdam Canal District was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
4. 423 monuments = 423 reasons to visit
Along Herengracht, 423 buildings are marked as national heritage sites. Most of them were built during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century. We could give you a more complete list of buildings worth visiting, but it’s too difficult to choose. Let’s pick one that really stands out: Herengracht 170. This building (House Bartolotti) was built in 1622 and is very famous in Amsterdam.
5. Let’s cruise the canals together
After your visit to museum het Grachtenhuis, join the others by getting on board of a Canal Cruiser. The Canal Bus takes you to stunning sights in the city: from Leidseplein to the city hall and from Dam Square to Artis Zoo. Apart from Herengracht, there are 15 others places where you can board a Canal Bus.