Amsterdam’s Frozen Canals: Ice-Skating on Keizers- & Prinsengracht in Winter 2018
Our best photos and video of Amsterdam’s frozen canals with ice-skaters on the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. – Our home city Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Stunning old buildings along the canals, biker friendly for locals and tourists and, especially during really cold winter days, a winter wonderland for photographers and ice skaters. Ice skaters? Yes, you read correctly. The Netherlands is a country full of rivers, canals, lakes, and any other kind of waterways. Traditionally, the best way to use them during the cold winters in the past was to go on skates and sleighs using the ice as a street.
You might have heard of the Olympic Games 2018 in South Korea, where the Dutch ice speed skaters coming from all over the Netherlands outperformed the whole international competition. Well, we just can confirm the love of being on the ice of the Dutch people. Right after the ice seemed to be thick enough in Amsterdam, the first brave Dutch ice skaters carved their ways over the frozen Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. And now enjoy a couple of men‘s photo story of a perfect Winter day in Amsterdam walking on the frozen Grachten of the Dutch capital!
Amsterdam Winter 2018: Frozen Keizers- & Prinsengracht
Are frozen canals in Holland so unusual? Well, in the last couple of years, it has been a rare occurrence that it was cold enough for a couple of consecutive days. The last cold period was in winter 2012/2013 when it was cold enough for the canals to freeze again. And everyone was super happy about it! Same happened now again with the last week’s cold winter episode. Especially Karl couldn’t believe it, as it was the first time for him to see the Dutch capital in Winter with frozen canals. Although the ice was only thick enough on some parts of the Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht here in Amsterdam, we took some first, careful steps on the ice to get the chance for stunning pictures and videos of Amsterdam Frozen Grachten in March 2018.
Video of Amsterdam’s frozen Canals in March 2018
Can you imagine how beautiful Amsterdam looks like when it is covered in snow? Well, the last two times this rare occurrence happened in Amsterdam, we took the chance to wander around the city to see a totally different, quiet and calm side of Amsterdam. All the bikes were covered in snow and the entire traffic come to a standstill. Enjoy our photos of a white Amsterdam and the video of Karl biking through the snow last December!
Walking on the Ice of Keizersgracht
We started our tour at the Westerkerk in Amsterdam walking in a southern direction towards the famous Leidsegracht known for being a photogenic hot spot in the Dutch capital. On our way, we passed by the so-called “De 9 Straatjes”, a quiet and picturesque Grachten neighborhood with many smaller Cafés and shops. The small streets are connected with several smaller bridges. Ideal spots for photographers and tourists to take some beautiful photos of the Grachten, in summer and winter. Here along the bridges of the Keizersgracht, we met already the first people on the ice. But, to be honest, it really did not look thick enough to be safe frozen surface. We continued our walk reaching the Leidsegracht, one of our favorite spots of Amsterdam where we could oversee the frozen part of the Keizersgracht. What we did not know, the Leidsegracht was still open for boat traffic. Now it was time for us, to take our first steps on the frozen waters of the Keizersgracht:
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The Dutch capital is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. By legalizing the same-sex marriage as the first country in the world already in 2001, the Netherlands and its capital offer a diverse LGBTQ+ friendly cultural program throughout the whole year. The highlight of the Summer is undoubtedly the (Gay) Pride Amsterdam with its colorful canal parade. In winter, the biggest Dutch LGBTQ+ film festival “Roze Filmdagen” is screening gay, lesbian and queer movies from all over the world, already for over two decades now. Enjoy our Amsterdam seen through a couple of men’s eyes!
Ice Skaters on the frozen Prinsengracht
Next stop on our tour was the Prinsengracht, also known for being the “hosting canal” of the (Gay) Pride Amsterdam. Around the building of the “Stichting Artemis”, the ice seemed to be thicker here although fewer people were on the frozen surface. Time for a kiss in the winter sun on the ice of a Dutch frozen canal. Stunning. Btw, special thanks to our good friend Sarah for taking some of our favorite shots of the day! We walked further along the Prinsengracht heading towards the bridge called Berensluis. In between all the houseboats and House-Boat Hotel, dozens of spectators, ice skaters and tourists venture to take a selfie on the ice. Having the Westertoren as a backdrop, the view towards the Westerkerk was simply priceless. A perfect last view of the frozen Grachten on our photo winter tour on Amsterdam’s frozen canals.
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Amsterdam Frozen Canals in March 2018
It was a fantastic experience to walk on the canals of Amsterdam where we used to explore the Dutch capital by rental canal boat. If you are planning to go on the ice of a frozen canal in Amsterdam, be adviced, that it is always a dangerous adventure. In fact, several newspapers reported accidents with people breaking through the ice. To give the ice enough time and rest to grow, the water authority of Amsterdam, Waternet, started closing canals for boots several days ago. Unfortunately, the freezing cold winter period is supposed to be over already. The weather channels forecast temperature above the freezing point for the next days. Keep your fingers crossed for the next time where we can walk on Dutch ice. Hopefully, it will not take 5 years again…
Karl & Daan