There are many cities around the world that seem to be floating on water, such as Venice and Italy, because of all the canals that run through them. The streets are replaced by waterways and there are more boats than cars.
These are some of the best water-based cities on the planet.
1. Venice, Italy
Venice is filled with water fountains, canals, bridges, gondolas, museums, filigreed churches, palazzos, public squares, and some wonderful architecture. It’s probably the most famous and popular of all the floating cities and for good reason. However, the city is being threatened by the rising tide levels so you may want to visit it sooner rather than later.
2. Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
Brunei’s largest city features a neighborhood that’s basically held together by about 20 miles of wooden foot bridges. These bridges connect to a total of 42 smaller villages which contain thousands of stilt structures such as homes, hospitals, firehouses, mosques, gas stations, police stations, schools, and shops. All of the buildings come with modern conveniences including air conditioning, internet access, and indoor plumbing. People in this region have been living just above the water for about 1,300 years now.
3. Hong Kong, China
If you head to Hong Kong’s Aberdeen Harbour, you’ll find thousands of boats known as junks. Back in the 1960s it was estimated that about 100,000 people lived on these boats, but these days only about 6,000 remain. Many of the boats are still used, but just for fishing instead of living on. They provide an awesome colourful sight and there are numerous restaurant boats in the harbour where you can enjoy some excellent fresh seafood.
4. Amsterdam, Holland
Back in the late 1500s Amsterdam was pretty crowded and there wasn’t much room to house the population and expand local businesses. They solved the problem by draining the area’s swamps to create a series of canals that went around in circles. It was an amazing and complex engineering feat that changed the face of the city forever. Houses, and other structures were erected in the dry areas and Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful locations in the world today. It’s estimated that there are just over 60 miles of canals flowing through the Dutch city.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is known for its floating markets which travel on the water on small, flat-bottomed boats. Each boat tries to attract customers and it’s quite a sight to see. Some of the boats sell fresh produce and/or clothes while others are actually floating restaurants. You’ll also find some homes in the area that are built on stilts over the river. Bangkok used to have many more canals, but a lot of them were paved over during the past 100 years because of health reasons.
6. St. Petersburg, Russia
The roots of St. Petersburg can be traced back to 1703 when a czar came upon the Neva River anddeclared it was so beautiful that a city should be built there. Today the city features numerous canals and some beautiful architecture and huge stone palaces.
7. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Fort Lauderdale is home to about 300 miles of canals which reach from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Everglades. They can be explored by sightseeing cruises and water taxis. You can also check them out on your own by kayak or canoe or try out one of the many gondolas.
8. Gold Coast City, Australia
Gold Coast is filled with artificial islands and canals that were created from Queensland swamps. The area is about eight times bigger than Venice. The newest canals opened up in 2007 with more still being dug out today. The Gold Coast is popular kayaking, dinner cruises, and high-speed jet boats. The area is also famous for its beaches and surfing.
9. Suzhou, China
This city’s canals flow past pagoda-roofed homes and weeping willows. The town itself dates back about 2,500 years and is very rich historically. There are two major canal streets that run through the city center. Pingjiang Road is 800 years old and Shantang Road is 1,200 years old. Suzhou is known for silk production, classical gardens, and a leaning tower erected in 961 called the Yunyan Pagoda.