The Amsterdam red light district is probably the most famous of all in the whole world but what exactly lies within this tiny and mysterious area?

Actually, this part of town contains some beautiful architecture and some of the most picturesque scenes in Amsterdam. Nearly all tourists who visit The Netherlands make a visit to the Amsterdam red light district and most find the experience incredibly fascinating.

The single biggest major landmark here is De Oude Kerk which translates as “The Old Church”. This is not merely the oldest church in Amsterdam but is also the oldest building in Amsterdam. It dates from the 13th century and has seen fire damage and subsequent restoration but remains a beautiful building – not only are its exterior gothic features a joy to behold, but the interior also houses an impressive large organ. Rembrandt’s first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, is also buried here.

Here in the Amsterdam red light district, prostitution has been legalised resulting in a safe environment for all – witness families and tourists alike wandering around enjoying the sights and sounds, and busy locals cutting through the numerous alleyways as short cuts en route to their final destination.

Speaking of alleyways, the Amsterdam red light district contains the smallest alley in the whole of Holland. Located right in the heart of the district, tourists are often bemused when first walking down Trompettersteeg – at its narrowest point, persons travelling in opposing directions must turn sideways in order to pass!

Canals dominate this part of town and the main drag is along a canal named Oudezijd Achterburgwal which, in my opinion, is one of the prettiest canals in Amsterdam. Come here at night and take a few pictures of your loved ones from one of the bridges – the red lights and reflections from the water make for a pretty picture.

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