The beautiful ‘Venice’ is not the only canal city in the world; in fact, there are almost dozens of the cities in the world which have their own intricate network of canals, just like ‘Venice’. Although, the romantic ‘Venice’ always tops the charts of the tourist’s favorite canal city, these lesser known canal cities have their own charm & culture, which is no way less significant than their Italian counterpart. The fact that these cities are underrated makes them less clogged with tourists & hence more serene & secluded while casting an equal, if not more, magic as that of Venice.
If you are looking for romantic places to spend your next vacation, here we have a list of the ‘World’s Top 10 Magnificent Canal Cities Other Than Venice’.
- Burges, Belgium:
If there is a city that can possibly rival the charm of ‘Venice’, it must be this Belgian city. Classical Gothic styled buildings which flank the canals that form a moat around the old town before flowing into the ocean, paint this picturesque city in colors of vintage medieval towns. Although, cruising through the canals while enjoying the eternal beauty of the surrounding adorable gabled houses is the most irresistible activity to do, tourists can also rent bicycles or simply roam alongside the centuries-old boulevards experiencing the time-bound beauty of this charming city. A belfry, the Groeninge Museum, Church of Our Lady: Groene Rei & souvenir shops make up the most recognizable landmarks of this exquisite Western European city.
- Annecy, France:
Romance is closely knit with the French cities & the canal city of ‘Annecy’ is no exception! Watching the green-blue waters of the canals that glitters in the sunshine, while sipping exotic Savoie wine & savoring delicious French fish dishes at the eateries flanking the canals is an experience that can never be explained in words! The charm of this city will make you fall in love with the classy French culture. The Palais de I’Isle, the place that has served as a residence, a jail, a courthouse in the past & currently serving as a museum, is the most prominent landmark of this city.
- Suzhou, China:
China’s ‘Jiangsu Province’ based ‘Suzhou’ town is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the eastern China. Located at an hour distance from the Chinese megacity- Shanghai, ‘Suzhou’ & its neighboring small towns, which also have their own networks of waterways, serve as an effective stress buster. Suzhou’s meticulously maintained traditional gardens & stone bridges from the Ming dynasty, which arch over the canals, improve town’s aesthetic wealth while, the classical Chinese buildings bordering the canals as well as cobbled lanes lets you to have a stroll through the ancient China! Suzhou’s old temples, opera houses & old lanes those now feature several restaurants, cafes & shops make it China’s one of the most popular tourist destinations.
- Bangkok, Thailand:
If tranquility & privacy are what you think of a canal city, then this bustling Thai capital will certainly change your thinking! This vibrant, crowded city is all about bright lights, flashing signs & workaholic citizens! The canals or ‘Khlong’ as they call it in local dialect, create a perfect grid of waterways & serve as an excellent alternative to escape from the unending traffic jams on the narrow Bangkok roads. The khlongs are flanked with the restaurants serving phenomenal Thai street food & modest housings showing off traditional Thai lifestyle. Bangkok’s downtown neighborhood called Thonburi, features canals flooded with innumerable gondolas selling a bevy of articles. Magnificent traditional Thai temples & lush greenery will always accompany you as you roam around this thriving Asian city in the local water taxies!
- El Gouna, Egypt
Humongous Pyramids are something that sprung up in our mind the moment we hear the word- ‘Egypt’! However, apart from those imposing monuments, this ancient country also has something special up its sleeves to allure the tourists! Egypt’s ‘El Gouna’ canal city that dazzles amidst the stark backdrop of arid desert, casts a magical spell by its spectacular appearance. Established during the nineties, ‘El Gouna’ caters towards the tourism encouragement & houses myriad colorful, luxurious beach resorts & private villas. The canals, branched off the Red sea, connect the islands conveniently while providing the artificial beachfront right at the doorsteps of resorts those borders the canal.
- Stockholm, Sweden:
Having settled on a number of islands, this Swedish capital is a popular tourist destination in the Europe. The canals are the most convenient ways of transport & a better water taxi service helps set up a suitable travel itinerary to explore the popular attractions of the city. Tour companies in ‘Stockholm’ also offer a range of themed boat tours to visit some of the renowned places situated right on the banks of canals. Apart from that, soaking up in the soothing Scandinavian sun along the canal-side beaches is something that is hard to resist when you make a trip to this beautiful city!
- Cape Coral, USA:
Often regarded as ‘Waterfront Wonderland’, this Florida-based picturesque city of ‘Cape Coral’ flourishes around an intricate network of canals that flows over 400 miles creating a dazzling landscape. The city was designed in the late 50s & early 60s & currently houses nearly 150,000 residents. The fact that the city is a result of a planned layout makes it stand apart from the line of canal cities!!
- Tiger, Argentina:
An awe-inspiring Argentine town looks as stuck in the timeline! The town of ‘Tiger’ is located 20 miles northeast of the Buenos Aires in the delta of the Parana River. The town actually consists of a group of islets separated by a multitude of canals bordered by camp-style resorts, vacation homes & veteran buildings of canoe clubs. A part of the town is a fishing village while the rest of the portion is dedicated to be an eco-tourism hotspot of the nation. Cruising through the canals, which vastly vary in sizes, is an amazing experience as you get an opportunity to navigate through both a modern city as well as an immaculate nature at the same time!
- Aleppy, India:
Mesmerizing canal town of ‘Aleppy’ is a part of the world famous ‘Kerala Backwaters’ that stretch for more than 900 miles. The town is located in the South Indian state of Kerala, which is often nicknamed as the ‘God’s own county’ for its phenomenal beauty. Several natural rivers, a bountiful of lagoons & a vast network of man-made canals constitute the ‘waterworld’ of this land while pristine tropical forests & rice paddies that flourishes along the canals painting this laid-back town with all possible hues of green, takes its beauty & charm to a new level!
Classic wooden houseboats present in the canals not only make arrangements for romantic accommodation but also take you to the gentle ride through the ‘Backwaters’. Serene Atmosphere, untamed nature, plenty of sunshine & amiable locals make you forget the chaos of routine life & feel like roaming around in the heaven. No doubt, why Aleppy is among the first choices of Indian honeymooners!!!
- St. Petersburg, Russia:
Built along the River Neva, ‘St. Petersburg’ is the grandest city of ‘Russia’. An intricately woven web of canals divides the river flow into a several strands which connect all the vital parts of this epitome of Russian cities. Water transport is the best option available to explore spectacular cathedrals & mansions that flaunts the brilliance of traditional Russian architecture. Peter the Great’s legendary summer palace- Peterhof is the climax of the city’s top attractions while the State Hermitage Museum is also worth visiting!