Red Light District (De Wallen) - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Red Light District (De Wallen)

Red Light District (De Wallen)

A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a stroll around the notorious Red Light District. The atmosphere can be chaotic, with throngs of tourists jostling for space alongside city slickers, pimps and drug dealers. The prostitutes of De Wallen are part of a legal and regulated industry that includes compulsory health checks and taxable income. Prostitution is by no means the only attraction of the area. The district's architecture comprises a scenic mix that dates back to the Middle Ages. Areas to explore include Waterlooplein, Zeedijk and Nieuwmarkt Square. Waterlooplein is the location of the modern City Hall and Muziek Theatre. The square was created in 1880 from two canals that were filled and then allocated to Jewish traders who used to ply their wares on its pavements. Nieuwmarkt Square was also once home to a thriving Jewish community, mainly Portuguese Jews who had fled from persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. The cultural diversity of this area extends to Zeedijk Street, which is often referred to as Chinatown. The street runs from the Saint Olof Chapel to De Waag, and is lined with many excellent bars, restaurants and cafes.

Information & Facts

Dutch is the official language. English is widely spoken. Fries (as well as Dutch) is spoken by the people of Friesland province.

Single European currency, or Euro (EUR), is the official currency of the Netherlands, and is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. To avoid additional charges take travellers cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars. Foreign currency or travellers cheques can be changed at banks, post offices or bureaux de change (usually indicated by the letters GWK). Banks are closed on weekends but bureaux de change are open. ATMs are widely distributed and most are open 24 hours a day.

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