The Most Beautiful Canal in the World: A Breathtaking Waterway of Splendor

Choose the canal you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 18, 2024 05:21
Welcome to StrawPoll, where we celebrate the world's most stunning waterways in our latest ranking – "What is the most beautiful canal in the world?" Whether you're a seasoned traveler or an armchair explorer, our list of breathtaking canals is sure to inspire wanderlust and spark passionate debates. From the enchanting waterways of Venice to the vibrant floating markets of Bangkok, we've curated an exquisite collection of canals for you to vote for your favorite or even suggest a hidden gem we may have missed. So, dive into this mesmerizing world of aquatic avenues, and let your voice be heard as we uncover the ultimate haven where water and beauty converge. Cast your vote now and get ready to embark on a journey through the most captivating canals our planet has to offer!

What Is the Most Beautiful Canal in the World?

  1. 1
    Venice Canals, Italy
    Martin Falbisoner · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The Venice Canals are the most famous canals in the world, and for good reason. They are a beautiful network of waterways that wind through the city, lined with colorful buildings and stunning architecture.
    The Venice Canals in Italy are a network of picturesque waterways that crisscross the city of Venice. These canals are famous for their enchanting beauty, historic charm, and intricate architecture. The canals serve as the main transportation route in Venice, with gondolas and water taxis providing a unique way to explore the city. The stunning buildings and bridges that line the canals create a magical atmosphere that attracts millions of tourists each year.
    • Location: Venice, Italy
    • Total Length: Approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers)
    • Number of Canals: More than 150
    • Main Canal: The Grand Canal, stretching 2.4 miles (3.8 kilometers)
    • Bridge: The Rialto Bridge, a famous landmark connecting the city
  2. 2

    Suzhou Canals, China

    Ancient Chinese engineers
    The Suzhou Canals are known as the "Venice of the East" and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are lined with beautiful gardens and ancient buildings.
    The Suzhou Canals in China are a network of stunning waterways that wind through the historic city of Suzhou. These canals are renowned for their timeless beauty, intricate design, and cultural significance. The entire canal system covers around 1,000 miles in total length and consists of numerous connecting tributaries, lakes, and rivers.
    • Length: Approximately 1,000 miles
    • Location: Suzhou, China
    • Design: Intricate and aesthetically pleasing with elegant stone bridges, arched pagodas, and beautifully lined buildings
    • History: Dating back over 2,500 years
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Recognized in 1997 for its outstanding cultural value
  3. 3
    The Bruges Canals are a picturesque network of waterways that wind through the historic city center. They are lined with stunning medieval architecture and charming cafes.
    The Bruges Canals, located in the charming city of Bruges, Belgium, are often regarded as one of the most beautiful canals in the world. The canals form a picturesque network that winds through the historic city center, lined with stunning medieval architecture and enchanting cobblestone streets. The Bruges Canals have become iconic landmarks and a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors a wonderful way to explore the city and admire its timeless beauty.
    • Location: Bruges, Belgium
    • Length: About 7.5 kilometers
    • Number of Canals: Several interconnected canals
    • Historical Significance: UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000
    • Architecture: Medieval and Gothic styles
  4. 4

    Amsterdam Canals, Netherlands

    City of Amsterdam
    The Amsterdam Canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are famous for their beautiful architecture, historic bridges, and bustling atmosphere.
    The Amsterdam Canals in the Netherlands are a stunning network of waterways that weave through the historic city of Amsterdam. Known for their beauty and unique urban design, these canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They were created in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age to facilitate trade and transportation.
    • Length: More than 100 kilometers
    • Number of Canals: 165
    • Ring Canals: Four main concentric ring canals
    • Width: 10 to 100 meters
    • Bridges: Over 1,200 bridges
  5. 5
    The Canals of Annecy are a series of beautiful waterways that run through the historic city center. They are surrounded by beautiful alpine mountains and stunning medieval architecture.
    The Canals of Annecy in France are picturesque waterways that wind their way through the historic city of Annecy. Often referred to as the 'Venice of the Alps,' these canals add a unique charm to the already beautiful surroundings. The canals are interlaced with cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and quaint bridges, creating a delightful atmosphere for locals and tourists alike.
    • Location: Annecy, France
    • Length: 4 kilometers
    • Number of Canals: 3 main canals
    • Width: Varying widths from 4 to 12 meters
    • Depth: Ranges from 1.5 to 3 meters
  6. 6
    Giethoorn Canals, Netherlands
    Gouwenaar · CC0

    Giethoorn Canals, Netherlands

    Natural formation
    The Giethoorn Canals are a network of waterways that wind through a charming Dutch village. They are known for their rustic charm and beautiful scenery.
    The Giethoorn Canals, also known as the 'Venice of the Netherlands,' is a charming and picturesque canal system located in the village of Giethoorn in the Overijssel province of the Netherlands. It is renowned for its idyllic setting, with numerous bridges, thatched-roof farmhouses, and beautiful gardens lining the waterways.
    • Location: Giethoorn, Overijssel, Netherlands
    • Length: Approximately 7.5 kilometers
    • Number of Canals: Multiple interconnected canals
    • Bridges: Over 180 charming bridges
    • Architecture: Thatched-roof farmhouses and cottages
  7. 7
    Canal Grande, Venice, Italy
    Martin Falbisoner · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The Canal Grande is the main waterway in Venice and is lined with stunning buildings and beautiful bridges. It is a popular spot for gondola rides and is considered one of the most romantic canals in the world.
    The Canal Grande in Venice, Italy is a picturesque waterway that winds its way through the heart of the city. It is considered one of the most beautiful canals in the world, renowned for its stunning architecture, historic palaces, and romantic atmosphere. The canal stretches for about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles) and is shaped like an inverted 'S'. It connects the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station to the basin in San Marco, the main square of Venice. The Canal Grande is an iconic symbol of Venice and is a popular tourist attraction, often explored by gondolas or water taxis.
    • Length: 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles)
    • Shape: Inverted 'S'
    • Location: Venice, Italy
    • Connects: Santa Lucia railway station to San Marco
    • Architecture: Stunning historic palaces
  8. 8
    Canal Saint-Martin, Paris, France
    Coyau · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The Canal Saint-Martin is a beautiful waterway that runs through the heart of Paris. It is lined with beautiful buildings and charming cafes and is a popular spot for picnics and boat rides.
    Canal Saint-Martin is a stunning waterway in Paris, France, known for its picturesque charm and scenic surroundings. It was originally commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, with construction completed in 1825. The canal stretches for approximately 4.5 kilometers and is a major tourist attraction in the city. Its tranquil atmosphere, tree-lined banks, and charming bridges make it a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike.
    • Length: 4.5 kilometers
    • Construction Year: 1802-1825
    • Location: Paris, France
    • Landmarks: Bridges, tree-lined banks
    • Tourist Attraction: Yes
  9. 9
    Stockholm Canals, Sweden
    Esquilo · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Stockholm Canals, Sweden

    City of Stockholm
    The Stockholm Canals are a beautiful network of waterways that wind through the city. They are surrounded by stunning medieval architecture and are a popular spot for boat tours.
    The Stockholm Canals in Sweden are a stunning network of waterways that traverse through the heart of the city. They offer a picturesque and enchanting experience for both locals and visitors alike. The canals are a vital part of Stockholm's history, contributing to its unique charm and architectural beauty.
    • Length: 120 kilometers
    • Number of Islands: 14
    • Water Area: approx. 945 square kilometers
    • Depth: Up to 9 meters
    • Construction Period: 17th to early 20th century
  10. 10
    The Xochimilco Canals are a network of waterways that wind through the suburbs of Mexico City. They are lined with colorful boats and floating gardens and are a popular spot for picnics and parties.
    Xochimilco Canals, Mexico is a network of ancient canals located in the southern part of Mexico City. These canals, which have been in existence for over 1,000 years, are known for their vibrant floating gardens, colorful boats, and traditional trajineras that provide a unique and picturesque experience for visitors.
    • Length: 80 kilometers
    • Width: 10 meters
    • Depth: 2 meters
    • Total number of canals: over 180
    • Designated as: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Missing your favorite canal?


Ranking factors for beautiful canal

  1. Scenery
    The surroundings of the canal should be visually appealing, and the area should have a unique charm or natural beauty that makes it stand out.
  2. Architecture
    The presence of architecturally significant buildings, bridges, and other structures along the canal can enhance its beauty.
  3. Historical significance
    A canal with a rich history can add a layer of depth and meaning to its beauty.
  4. Cultural Importance
    The canal's role in local culture, traditions, or festivals can make it feel more special and contribute to its overall beauty.
  5. Water clarity and cleanliness
    An attractive canal should have clean, clear, and healthy water, free of pollution or debris.
  6. Landscaping and maintenance
    The vegetation along the canal should be well cared for, and the area should be clean and well-maintained.
  7. Lighting
    The canal should be well-lit at night, not only for safety but also to enhance its beauty in the evening hours.
  8. Accessibility and walkability
    A beautiful canal should be easy to access and explore, with paths and walkways that allow people to enjoy its scenery.
  9. Width and depth
    The proportions of the canal should feel balanced and visually pleasing, with neither an overly wide nor an overly narrow channel.
  10. Local atmosphere
    The canal should offer a sense of atmosphere and experience, whether through food, shopping, or people-watching, that adds to its overall appeal.
  11. Seasonal changes
    A canal that is beautiful throughout the year, whether it showcases colorful foliage in the fall, ice in the winter, or flowers in the spring and summer, has added appeal.
  12. Popularity and recognition
    A canal that is internationally recognized or widely regarded as beautiful can add to its status and prestige.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful canal in the world. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or canal is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 182 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each canal once every 24 hours. The rank of each canal is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful canal in the world

Canals have been a vital part of transportation and trade for centuries, and many of them have become iconic landmarks in their respective cities. From Venice's Grand Canal to Amsterdam's Canal Ring, the world is full of beautiful waterways that have captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike. These canals offer a unique perspective of the city from the water, allowing visitors to take in the stunning architecture and picturesque scenery. Whether it's a romantic gondola ride in Venice or a bike ride along the canals in Copenhagen, there's no denying the charm and beauty of these waterways. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the most beautiful canals in the world and what makes them so special.

Share this article