The city’s oldest building, Oude Kerk, has played an important role in Amsterdammers’ daily lives since the thirteenth century. Built by Catholics then ransacked by Calvinists during the Reformation, the church has experienced more than its fair share of turbulent history over the years. Nowadays, it also serves as a cultural centre and regularly hosts site-specific exhibitions from international artists. Watch your step as you enter: there are around 2,500 gravestones scattered across the church’s floor.
Believe it or not, there is much more to the Amsterdam Red Light District than just sex, coffeeshops and legions of inebriated tourists. Sure, all that exists here, but did you know that this is the oldest part of the Dutch capital? Not only that, but De Wallen (the local name for the main bit of the RLD) is full of fabulous sights and attractions, including the country’s most treasured place of worship. If that sounds like a strange juxtaposition, well, you’re not wrong.
The Red Light District is full of history, but there are plenty of contemporary attractions here too. This is Amsterdam, after all, the museums tend to be world-class, and the galleries aren’t afraid to push the envelope. Ready to explore the world beyond the headlines? Our pick of the best things to do in Amsterdam’s Red Light District should keep you busy.