The city’s oldest building, Oude Kerk, has played an important role in Amsterdammers’ daily life since the 13th 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.
In spite of its less-than-savoury reputation both at home and abroad, there’s a lot more to the Amsterdam Red Light District than just sex, coffeeshops and legions of worse-for-wear tourists. After all, De Wallen is the oldest part of the Dutch capital, and that means it’s littered with marvellous sights like the Oude Kerk and the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, among the country’s most treasured places of worship.
And even if history and churches aren’t your thing, the area’s also home to an array of trendy contemporary attractions – many much less crowded than you’d expect in such a central location. These include several world-class museums, attractions, forward-thinking art galleries and even an old-school game arcade with a bar. Ready to explore? Our pick of the best things to do in the Red Light District should keep you busy.
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