Before bikes dominated the Netherlands landscapes, boats were the primary mode of transport. The canals allowed merchants to move goods around city centers, which helped build the Dutch economy in later years. Nowadays, these canals are loved by tourists and locals alike. You can get a boat ride on the canals of Amsterdam. These boat rides for locals allow you to eat, drink and see the sights. There are also canal-based events, like Amsterdam Pride, which take place along the canal. Its a strong part of their culture and their daily social life.
Though Amsterdam immediately springs to mind when you think of canals, Jordaan is the neighborhood if you want to admire the canal life. Based in the city center, the district was originally a poor area, becoming a home to refugees coming from France, Spain and England in the 17th century. This changed in the 1970s when the buildings were demolished and replaced by big blocks of city flats. However, they were careful to protect the districts character and history. You can also find houseboats that live on the water, as this is tradition in the Netherlands and specifically in Amsterdam.