Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights

Truth be told, if your boyfriend tells you that he wants to go to Amsterdam with his mates to visit Museums you probably wouldn’t believe him.

After all, Amsterdam has an international fame for being the world’s most tolerant city where weed consumption and other vices are within everyone’s reach for an unforgettable night. 

But beyond the party and seediness of the Red Light District, you will be pleased to know that Amsterdam is one of the finest artistic and architectural hubs of all of Europe.

Are you ready to embark with me on a journey to find the best top things to see and do in the good old A’dam? 

Flowers and boats at Amsterdam
Flowers and boats at Amsterdam

Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights #01: Gaze at the beautiful architecture of this unique city

The canal houses of Amsterdam have the distinct feature of being tall, slim and well built just like the Dutch people.

Today, you can visit some of them (Anne Frank’s House being the most famous one of them all). My favorite one by far is the one housing the museum of Our Lord in the Attic, which is in fact a secret Catholic Church that was used to worship the Lord in the 17th century.

Who knew that attics could be so interesting, right?

The colorful Tulips of Amsterdam
The colorful Tulips of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights #02: Burn a few calories and ride a bicycle to explore the Netherlands 

In Amsterdam, cyclists are the queens and kings of the city and there are special lanes everywhere for those who love to explore the city’s many parks (check out Amsterdam’s best parks here) this way. 

If you’re a pedestrian, however, always look both sides before crossing the road and don’t make the mistake of walking in a bicycle lane or you risk being run over (which almost happened to me more than once I must say). 

Ready to burn some calories, my friends? Start pedaling now!

The charm of Amsterdam
The charm of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights #03: Be amazed at the artwork of the one and only Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh is the Netherlands’ favourite Post-Impressionist son and in Amsterdam you can enjoy some of his artworks at the Van Gogh Museum.

As a creative mind, I always felt a deep connection with the eccentric Dutch genius although I must say that cutting off ears is a little bit too extreme for my taste. By the way, did you know that there’s a Spanish music group named “La Oreja de Van Gogh” (literally, “Van Gogh’s Ear”) ?

Download some of their songs and enjoy your visit to the Van Gogh Museum my friends!

Starry Sky by Van Gogh
Starry Sky by Van Gogh

Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights #04: Give in and indulge in a little vice

Come on, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? Resisting the temptation of the many vices that Amsterdam has to offer is a difficult feat and the world will never judge you if you decide to take part in them (alright, maybe your wife will judge you but that’s it). 

While I will neither confirm nor deny my involvement in the habit of smoking weed in the A‘dam, I can definitely recommend you to pay a visit to the coffee house where Quentin Tarantino wrote the screenplay of Pulp Fiction.

Its name it’s Betty Boop and it’s a short walk away from the main train station. Pretty cool, uh? 

The Flying Dutchman Coffee Shop
The Flying Dutchman Coffee Shop. Groningen, Netherlands

Amsterdam Beyond the Red Lights #05: Enjoy epic sunsets over the canals of the Old Town

Rumor has it that a sunny day in Amsterdam is even rarer than a sunny day in London but trust me when I say that a sunset over the Historical Old Town of the A’dam is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see in Europe.

Enjoy the sight of the last rays of red light of the sun and rest assured that the red lights of the houses in certain district will soon be turned on. Amsterdam is a city where temptation lurks in every corner and it’s up to you to draw the line.

Nevertheless, a visit to the Netherland’s most famous city is definitely a must and I hope that you have a very epic time in the good old ‘Dam.

The cannals of Amsterdam, Netherlands
The canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Where to Stay in Amsterdam, Netherlands

As you can imagine, Amsterdam is home to many party hostels and boutique hotels where everything goes. Amsterdam is also home to luxury and business hotels meant for those who want to have a more relaxing cultural experience in the A‘dam. 

During my most recent stay this past July, I had the pleasure of being hosted on the 20th floor of the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam. The views that you could get from the Old Town and the canals were beyond spectacular, especially during the night. 

Recently, the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam has launched a special luxury package in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Vincent Van Gogh’s death so be sure to check it out next time you’re visiting the A’dam.

For longer stays, consider booking a furnished apartment in Amsterdam beforehand on HousingAnywhere.

You can make a booking for this and more properties via our Affiliate Link of Wonders!

Same price for you and a small pocket money commission for this website of yours.

Sweet deal, uh?

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Taking a stroll alongside Amsterdam’s canals

When it comes to sightseeing, Amsterdam has many attractions but not all of them are particularly interesting (seriously, who travels around the world to visit wax statues or horror dungeons?) while others are just tacky exhibitions that might be considered as tourists traps.

Some of my recommendations for you to visit include the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the House of Anne Frank, the Amsterdam Museum and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Would you like to? What were some of your highlights and recommendations? Share your thoughts and let me know what you think! 

Until next time, my friends!!!

Amsterdam is famous for its weed selling "coffee shops" and its red light district, but there are so many more things to do than that. Alternative ideas for traveling the capital of the Netherlands via @journeywonders
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5 Responses

  1. heiderose Baku banco

    I really must smile………..44 years ago…being 16 years young, I travelled, for the first time, from the black-forest in germaniacy, to amsterdam…………having no place to stay….me and my buddies were walking thru the “red light district”, watching the women, in their windows……….suddenly a woman called me into her place….so I went in…..
    inside she realized that I am not a young good looking boy, but a girl…..
    so she did want to let me stay, without money, honey, hahaha,so I had to go out and walk on, with my buddies……….and no warm place for this night………..

  2. Stephen Garone

    Good choices. There’s also the Tropenmuseum (out of the heart of the city, but easily reached by tram), the heavily touristy Tulip Museum (which, actually, is very well-done and informative), and ANY church for gorgeous stained glass and organs.

  3. Anna

    Amsterdam is a beautiful city (especially on a sunny day) even just to walk around the canals! I agree on the wax statues and dungeons front! Besides Van Gogh museum I also like the Rijksmuseum! Oh and it is fun to attend Kings’ Day in April, where the whole city is an (orange) party scene!

  4. Adamgilcristt

    Amsterdam is the most amazing and famous city among other beautiful cities in the world. There are many things beyond the red lights in Amsterdam as shared in this post. This post is really helpful, thanks for sharing.