Red Light District Hotels Amsterdam
Guide to Red Light District Hotels AmsterdamOne of the oldest parts of the city, The Red Light District (known locally as De Wallen) is much more than the stuff of tourist brochures. With Warmoerstraat on the west side, and Zeedijk on the east side, the area in between is home to sex shops, coffee shops, and of course, abundant glittering red lights.
The area is currently undergoing a facelift to make it somewhat more palatable to locals and tourists alike. Though it is rumored to be sleazy and dangerous, it is so full of police that really it is not the den of crime it is often made out to be: Caution should be exercised nonetheless.
Ever since the first sailors came in to port in Amsterdam sex workers have plied their trade in this historic location. One need not stray far to find women of every size, shape, and age. Too often though, the other points of cultural value are neglected in introductions to this area. Numbering amongst the best of the rest are hidden churches, the former headquarters of the Dutch East India company, and a vibrant- if compact- China town.
Even locals aren't crazy enough to cycle through here. Pedestrians rule the streets; best thing to do is walk. If you are determined to find other means of navigating the area try a bike taxi. If you don't feel comfortable walking in the area after dark, consider taking one of the walking tours that go through the area every night.
Most of the hotels in the Red Light District cater to a lower budget. However, the SAS Raddisson is not far away, nor is the Excelsior. Many of the hostels in the Red Light itself are quite palatable but prior research goes a long way. This is one area where it doesn't hurt to spend a few extra euro per night for a little comfort.
Zeedijk, a lovely, old street is a great fusion of Dutch and Chinese shopping. Finely crafted furniture, artifacts and collectibles from the East are easily available from many stores on this street. Even if you have no intention of buying anything it is a lovely street to poke around. Warmoerstraat, and indeed most of the district, is lined with adult stores with shelves packed with mind boggling paraphernalia and toys. Venture up closer to the University of Amsterdam on Kloveniersburgwal for some nice book stores. Damstraat and Oude Hoogstraat have some curious stores that are worth a few hours' inspection. Fans of photo books, designer Buddhas, second hand records, and ornate hats will not be disappointed.
Index of hotels near Red Light District