If you want to visit the Red Light District on your third day, morning is the best time. Most of its weird folk have crashed for the day and there's an air almost of innocence to the place, which occupies one of the oldest parts of town. Only the middle segment of this itinerary goes through the Red Light District; the rest is a picture of purity — or as much purity as a smudgy city like Amsterdam ever aspires to.
Start: Metro and trams 4, 9, or 14 to Waterlooplein.
The flea market here was once a fixture of the old Jodenbuurt (Jewish Quarter). Not much of the Jewish community survived the war, and neither did much of their neighborhood. There's still a flea market on the square, though, and plenty of grungy stuff to buy.
2. Museum Het Rembrandthuis
Rembrandt painted some of the world's finest art, and put on airs and graces at this house — before bankruptcy spoiled the party and he had to leave. Be sure to view his etchings and drawings.
Sint-Antoniesbreestraat curves around to this lively old market square which, partly because its only public transportation link is a Metro station, seems like a place apart from the rest of this old part of town.
4. In de Waag
Housed in a centuries-old fortified city gate and weigh house, this cafe-restaurant combines a medieval setting with sharp modern cuisine.
5. Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum
The hash museum goes far out of its way, or maybe just far out, to demonstrate that hemp has all manner of useful applications besides being tamped into little pipes. Yeah, right. Look for David Teniers's painting of long-ago hemp-puffing peasants.
6. Oude Kerk
It's somehow symbolic of Amsterdam — a once-Catholic place of pilgrimage turned sober Calvinist — that its Old Church should sit smack in the middle of what's now the Red Light District. Surrounding the church are neat little homes once occupied by pious women. Today, many are still occupied by women, who might well be pious, if not exactly virtuous.
7. Centraal Station
Everyone ends up here sooner or later. The architecturally noteworthy station, a great place for people-watching, is the focal point of the city's public transportation by train, tram, bus, Metro, taxi, water-taxi, ferry, and canal bus. Stroll to the rear of the station for fine harbor views.
8. Grand Café-Restaurant 1e Klas
Surprising as it might seem, the station restaurant at Platform 2B is a decent place to grab a bite, whether or not you're catching a train.
9. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ/Bimhuis
Just east of Centraal Station, the waterfront redevelopment zone acquired one of its shiniest works of modern architecture when the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ concert hall for contemporary music (and the attached Bimhuis jazz club) opened to thunderous applause in 2005, even though both operations had previously occupied grungy premises that seemed to fit better with the city's rep.
10. Harbor Ferry Ride
Free ferries shuttle back and forth across Het IJ waterway from the Waterplein West dock behind Centraal Station. They make for a good way of viewing the city's old harbor. Along its shores, residential, commercial, and cultural properties are surging up in waves of redevelopment.
Taking the free ferry across Het IJ to IJplein in Amsterdam-Noord puts you within easy walking or bicycling distance of this breezy restaurant.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.