10 Historic Canal Towns to Visit That Aren’t Venice

Venice might be the most famous town to feature picturesque waterways, but beautiful canals can be found all over the globe

Annecy is known as the Venice of Savoie, a region in France. (© Simon Harris/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis)
smithsonianmag.com

Copenhagen, Denmark

Like St. Petersburg, Copenhagen sits on the edge of the Baltic Sea, and like St. Petersburg, Copenhagen is dotted by beautiful canals. Copenhagen's most famous canal district, perhaps, is the Nyhavn, the area of town that connects Copenhagen's old city center with the sea. Dug in the 1670s, the Nyhavn was once known for its salty, seafaring clientele, as sailors coming into Copenhagen would frequent the area looking for alcohol and prostitutes—Copenhagen's equivalent of a red light district. The famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen also lived in the Nyhavn for almost two decades—he wrote his famous story "The Princess and the Pea" in his apartment at No. 20 Nyhavn. Today, the area is known for its beautiful, colored row houses and historic wooden ships.

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