Amsterdam, which is also known as the Venice of the North, is one of the most exciting cities in the Netherlands. Known for its freedom of expression and way of life, it is one of the safest cities in the world with a minimal crime rate, and hence, the risk of violent assault is pretty much absent here. Unsurprisingly, the De Dam (as the folks refer to Amsterdam) is one of the top spots in the bucket list of every traveler.
Amsterdam offers a broad spectrum of attractions for sightseeing as well as recreational purposes. One of the bizarre things about Amsterdam is soft drugs like cannabis in all its forms and trip truffles are legal here under the condition of so-called personal use. However, hard drugs and hallucinogenic mushrooms are forbidden in other parts of the Netherlands. Regardless, Amsterdam is a place to enjoy and explore, and has something for people of all age groups.
Amsterdam Bike Tours
You cannot go to Amsterdam and skip a bike tour, for which the city is famous for. The Netherlands is an excellent country to cycle in because of the well-marked bike paths and very few hills. Luckily, you can avail bikes for rent here; there are many bike tour rentals in Amsterdam offering tours in the city and the surrounding countryside. You can go for either guided Amsterdam city tour or roam the city by yourself.
Amsterdam Canal Cruise
A day in Amsterdam is not complete without a relaxing cruise through the picturesque canals of the city. In fact, the best way to enjoy the charisma of the waters and a way to appreciate the urban canal ring and other waterways is to take an Amsterdam canal tour. There are various kinds of cruises like:
- Candlelight Cruise – This is preferably for a romantic couple to spend quality time together. Along with that, you can avail the luxury of unlimited free drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Dutch cheese, and many other delicacies to spice up the night.
- The Amsterdam Burger Cruise – This cruise is the best choice for families and group of friends. As the name suggests, it includes a complete meal with a Black Angus beef burger and unlimited free drinks.
- Hop on Hop off Cruise – You can customize your sightseeing experience in this Amsterdam canal tour. You can hop off when you see some interesting spots and hop in once you are ready for the next destination.
- The Dinner Cruise – This is a unique cruise where you can gaze at the stars and enjoy the dinner prepared by the award-winning chef Frans Kelders.
The Red Light Streets in Amsterdam
There are many red light districts in Amsterdam, where prostitution is legal and the De Wallen is the largest and best-known red-light district here. Yet unlike other red light streets, the area is absolutely cool and full of culture. Although known for the sex shops and prostitutes, the red light district has a lot more to offer to the tourists. You can find many art galleries, museums, and colorful street shops in the red light district, which are surely worth a visit when you tour Amsterdam.
In Amsterdam, prostitution behind the window is legal. Here the girls will sit behind the window glass, with curtains closed and will peek outside to approach to customers. Note that the Amsterdam council has closed around 2000 windows, as many girls are doing this forcefully either for a boyfriend or human trafficker. Later, the council put forward certain rules and etiquettes that the business in this area has to follow. That has made the red light streets a safer and secure place to explore the culture of Amsterdam.
Golden Rules of the Red Light District
- Respect the prostitutes – Do not gawk at women working in the windows and treat them with respect.
- Don’t get grabby – If you are going down to red light district to hire a prostitute, you are not allowed to grab them. Note that they are constantly sizing you up while they are merchandising behind the windows.
- Safe sex – You need not worry about any safety issues as all the prostitutes in the red light area are bound to do their medical checkup regularly. Yet you can ask them if you want.
- No pictures – You are not allowed to take pictures in the red light district even though the architecture and the lights look cool. Moreover, if they find you clicking pictures, they will douse you with a hose.
- Be ready to spend at least 50 Euros – Prices in red light districts are around 50 Euros per 15 minutes.