Anywhere you go in the city center, you’ll encounter water. Amsterdam has countless canals. The Herengracht and the Keizersgracht are two exquisitely beautiful canals that surround the city center like a belt. As in the past, these canals are still the city’s most exclusive and expensive residential areas. In the 17th century, only the wealthiest merchants could afford to settle here, and their gabled houses were a direct reflection of their business success—ideally wider and more impressive than the neighboring house.