After picking up my city card, I started to make my way off to explore the city so that I could experience what Amsterdam had to offer at night time. As the concierge had said, it was best to check out Chinatown and the Red Light District at night. If you were to go during the day then it would look like any other neighborhood within the city but at night, the area comes to life. And it comes to life with things you typically would not see anywhere else. I started walking toward the Red Light District and eventually found myself right in the center of it all. When you’re wandering through this area, you will definitely know because there are red lanterns that turn on to mark the adult shops.
I’m sure that you’re well aware of the reputation that Amsterdam has. It’s definitely an adult playground in terms of what the city has to offer and what can be experienced there. The rules there are significantly different that the States and wandering through these districts at night definitely provided a very interesting perspective.
I didn’t quite realize where I was at first until I was walking by a storefront with red lanterns and a giant glass window with scantily clad women. I have to admit that I was caught off guard at first. I knew that I would eventually end up somewhere that I would be seeing that, people had told me that I would see that when I walked around at night but I guess I just didn’t realize what I would be seeing until I actually saw it. After stumbling upon two or three of these locations, I eventually stopped noticing them and started noticing the tourists and their reactions to these places. It’s actually really interesting. If there had been a coffee shop next to one of these places where I could have sat and just enjoyed people watching, that would have been a perfect evening. The reactions of the people as they walk by ranged from being completely oblivious to being very interested in what was going on. It was actually quite entertaining to watch people react because some people definitely didn’t know what they were getting themselves into by walking through that district.
Other than the adult shops, both districts are full of life and things to see. I would definitely recommend checking this area out if you’re looking for a night life excursion. There are plenty of ‘cafes’ or ‘coffee shops’ which are usually packed with people and smoke. I personally didn’t go into these shops because I didn’t want my clothes to smell like smoke, especially since I was traveling in a backpack and I didn’t have enough time to do laundry. But I did walk by and from what I could see, they were all packed with people. Some of them have great little tables on the outside that look out onto the canal and let you do some people watching while enjoying drinks and other items. Along with that, there are restaurants and little touristy shops to check out throughout the evening.
I eventually got tired of wandering and started to find my way back to my hotel.