When you think of Amsterdam, you think of the Red Light District. There is no neighbourhood in Amsterdam more famous than the Wallen, which is how the neighbourhood is called in the Netherlands. During the Red Light District Tour, which will last two hours, you will learn everything there is to know about Amsterdam’s oldest neighbourhood, where the oldest profession in the world is the central topic.
How it all started
Back in the day, sailors who came straight from the port into the city were looking for some fun, or maybe a little bit of love. This is how the hooker neighbourhood developed in the 14th century in Amsterdam. Since the city wasn’t much more than a few streets and canals back then, protected by walls made from earth, the neighbourhood quickly started being called the Wallen. The English name for this neighbourhood, the Red Light District, owes its name to the red lights that shine behind the ladies’ windows.
World famous neighbourhood
The Red Light District has been attracting visitors from all over the world for centuries. Cafes, coffee shops, sex theatres, and brothels, all different kinds of hedonistic pleasure can be found here. Unfortunately, the sex industry has a dark side as well. Your guide will tell you all about the human trafficking and other types of criminal activity that go on here. You will also learn about what the city council is doing to deal with part of society.
Small alleyways and the Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Your guide and you will cycle through the Red Light District’s small streets and narrow alleyways. And you will come face to face with the oldest existing building in the city: the 14th century Oude Kerk. Many visitors can’t believe their eyes when they see it. Because really, where else can you find a church, a kindergarten, coffee shops, and brothels right next to each other?
Chinatown and the Nieuwmarkt
Once you cycle on the Zeedijk, you will be met with countless smells that will make you feel like you’re in the Far East. Peking ducks are on display behind the restaurant windows… Welcome to China Town! Over a century ago, the first Chinese moved here, and it remains one of the most lively parts of the city today. From the Zeedijk, you get to the Nieuwmarkt in a split second. It’s a beautiful and cosy square filled with monumental buildings, cafes, and the castle-like monument De Waag. The tour ends after two hours in exactly the same spot where it began: in the A-Bike store on the Dam.