The Uptown Hostel

Hot Spots at the Red Light District

Of course the touristy stuff like erotic theatre ‘Casa Rosso’ and the ‘De Bananenbar’ are fun to visit.. But we, Amsterdam people, do have a slightly different view on the Red Light District. There is so much more to this place than the eye meets. Don’t worry though, we are happy to share our hot spots with you!

Cafe 't aepjenStart your adventure at the famous Zeedijk, close to Central Station. At house number 1 you will find a charming bar within the oldest remaining overhanging wooden house in the city that dates from 1551, Café ‘In 't Aepjen’ ('In the monkeys'). A little further on, on your right, night café ‘San Fransisco’ will appear. A good late night café to hang out when all else is already closed. Hungry? Go to Thai restaurant or snackbar ‘The Bird’ (left and right side of the street) or have a meal at the famous Chinese restaurant Nam Kee a little further on.

LateiA great, friendly designer bar is ‘LIME’, just after the Taiwanese ‘Fo Kuang Sham’ temple (both on right side). For a great lunch, visit ‘Latei’. Everything in this little shop is for sale; from the sofas you sit on to the nice, all natural home-made cakes. At the end of the Zeedijk you’ll find a great square; ‘the Nieuwmarkt’. More will be said about this spot in a next eZine, when the weather permits us to sit outside without our toes freezing off!

During these colder days go for a wander through the Molensteeg with its many red lights. You’ll cross 2 canals. The 1st is the ‘Oudezijds Achterburgwal’ with those famous ‘Casa Rossa’ & ‘De Bananenbar’. Go on, just have a look if you can’t resist! The next, bigger canal is the ‘Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal’. There are loads of café’s and red light-windows there as well. Both canals in itself are a pretty sight too. It’s very nice to walk around and you’ll find yourself in awe over those ancient, odd buildings leaning at impossible angles and overlooking tree-enshrouded canals. No bird sounds here, but if you’re real quiet you can hear music from all the pubs, cafes and coffeeshops almost every hour of the day. At the end of the Molensteeg, you will come across the oldest gothic ‘Oude Kerk’ (Old Church). Nowadays it’s an epic centre of cultural events, exhibitions and concerts (from the 24th of April till the 18th of June: ‘WORD PRESS PHOTO 2006’).

One of the little alleys around the church is the ‘Enge Kerksteeg’. At number 3 you can find the Prostitution Information Center (PIC). They can tell you all about the do’s and don’ts of red-light-lady-visits.