Red Light District for Tourists

The Historic Centre of Amsterdam spills over with museums, cafes, coffeeshops, stylish gables and facades. Humpback bridges span the leafy canals lined with a hotchpotch of buildings. Sex shops and porn theatres rub shoulder with museums and fashion boutiques. Be sure to come early evening. As the sun sets strings with thousands of twinkling lights transform the canals and bridges into an enchanting cityscape. The Red Light District, the Wallen in Dutch, is a favourite spot with touritsts. If you have not been to the Red Light District you haven’t been to Amsterdam.

Oudezijds Achterburgwal, Amsterdam

Museums in the Red Light District

Amble along Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Oudezijds Voorburgwal – two canals that run parallel. Make sure you stop at Cannabis College (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 124). This is the best place to learn everything about marihuana you’ve always wanted to know but never dared to ask. Want to see how cannabis grows? Visit their grow room.

If this is not exciting enough visit the Erotic Museum (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 54) five floors chock-a-block with erotic art. The higher you climb the less conventional the museum gets. Take a look behind the scenes of the world’s oldest profession and experience sitting ‘in the window’ at Museum of Prostitution (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60).


After exploring the wonders of Oudezijds Achterburgwal you may downshift a bit in coffeeshop Green Place at Kloveniersburgwal 4 just round the corner from Oudezijds Achterburgwal. It is low-key and popular with the locals. Sit down in front of the window or on the outside terrace in summer for the true Amsterdam feeling. The bustling square in front of you is Nieuwmarkt. Do a bit of people watching with or without mind-enhancing substances.

photo credit Marianne Crone

Oudezijds Achterburgwal