Amsterdam’s Red Light District
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is so much more than its name might suggest.
Sure, there are lingerie clad vixens peering out of full length windows, beckoning passing gents in with a wiggle and a wink. There are sex shops, sex shows and rooms to rent by the hour. Come evening the streets will be crawling (literally) with drunken stag parties singing, hollering and staggering. Hen parties draped in sequins, feathers and tight t-shirts with their nicknames on the back will be just as drunk, just as loud and wobbly.
But in the clear, crisp light of morning it is a different world.
It’s where you’ll find some of the most staggering architecture in Amsterdam, lots of history, great views and even better cafés to enjoy them from.
If you can drag yourself out of your warm hotel bed one morning, I thoroughly recommend a pre-breakfast wander.
It’s a great time to get those happy-tourist-snaps without the crowds, too!
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Follow the canals and take in some of the beautiful houses along the way.
Be sure to nose into alleyways and pop down back streets, you never know where you’ll find the best view.
Like this one we stumbled into…
Find it here.
Wander along the shopping streets, enjoy having them all to yourself.
Perks of the early bird!
If you get hungry, I know a great little place.
Hidden away on a cobbled square at the end of this winding alley.
Nothing fancy, just a sweet spot for a fresh croissant and a cup of coffee.
The aptly named Quartier Putaine sits between a brothel and a church.
Which I must say, even at breakfast time makes for some of the best people watching you can possibly imagine.
Grab a couple of pastries and ask for a dollop of their famous raspberry jam, not too sweet, just a little tart.
Which suits its location!
If you fancy something a bit stronger or for whatever reason the novelty of trying drugs without breaking the law appeals, you can check out one of Amsterdam’s other sort of “Coffeeshops”.
Look for “coffeeshop” rather than “coffee shop” or “café”. They won’t advertise marijuana as doing so is illegal but they’ll sell it inside (go figure).
Use your nose, they’re hard to miss.
Be sure to take your camera or phone along with you on your travels, Amsterdam is quite uniquely beautiful.
The canals widen the streets, allowing light to pour in and the breeze to whistle through. The houses gleam with their huge windows, quite unlike anything we have in London.
And you’ll want to take a few happy-snaps to send home to mum.
Amsterdam’s Flower Market is also well worth a visit, you’ll find it on your walk back to town.
Bouquets are plentiful and cheap if you’re staying a while and fancy sprucing up your room.
Alternatively you can buy bulbs and all sorts of nicknacks to take home.
All in all not a bad morning’s exploring!
We made it back to the hotel before the world even crawled out of bed and celebrated with a second, heartier breakfast on the terrace.
What are adventures for, if not second breakfasts?
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