Going on a short trip to Amsterdam? Our list of several streets and neighborhoods will help you decide which places to visit in the Dutch capital.

Amsterdam is at the same time everything you expected and a total surprise. Visit our favorite streets and neighborhoods to see the best that the city has to offer. All places were selected from the Amsterdam guide, momondo places (currently available in English)

De Westelijke Eilanden

“Islands”, located in the western part of the canals and nowadays connected, have the atmosphere of an archipelago. Prinseneiland, Realeneiland and Bickerseiland create an extraordinary oasis that will steal everyone’s heart. Although they are separated from busy Haarlemmerdijk only by tracks, you will feel like you are in a remote village at the end of the world.

Since you are here, be sure to drop by the cozy cafe ‘t Blaauwhooft, the popular local bar next door. The whole area is crossed by canals, which makes it a fairy-tale place for ice skating in winter. A lot of “islanders” live on boats, the others occupy amazing 16th-century warehouses, formerly used as tobacco and wine warehouses. Take a walk and let the magic take over.

Where: De Westelijke Eilanden
Nearest station: Haarlemmerplein

De wallen

You’ve probably heard about this place more than once – the red light district is one of the most famous parts of Amsterdam. The 14th-century labyrinth of alleys and canals has been providing adults with entertainment since the days when sailors wandered the narrow streets. The entire district is lit up by countless, red lit ‘peeskamers’ – rooms with prostitutes posing in the windows.

If it sounds weird and profaned – that’s how it is. But it’s totally safe here, and traditional pubs are worth visiting. Since the entry of Project 1012 – the city’s initiative to organize and promote this area – Wallen proudly presents its participation in the latest initiatives. Look for galleries, studios and exhibitions in the excellent Oude Kerk (Old Church) and fashionable cafes like Quartier Putain and Mata Hari.

Where: De Wallen
Nearest station: Dam

De dam

Dam will probably be the first thing you’ll see when you arrive in the city. The square was originally a real dam on the Amstel River, and the main thoroughfares – rather unattractive streets of Rokin and Damrak – part of the river that flows towards Lake IJ. The Memorial to National Remembrance, erected in honor of the victims of World War II, became a hippie center in the colorful seventies – children were not disturbed by the strange shape of the flowers.

Every year, on May 4, National Remembrance Day is celebrated. You will also find the Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk, Madame Tussauds wax office and an incredible amount of hungry pigeons and live statues. Take a walk along the narrow “avenue of the theater”, which is actually called Nes, and enjoy the energy of this area.

Where: De Dam
Nearest station: Dam

De Nieuwmarkt

Charisma? The centrally located Nieuwmarkt square easily overshadows the Dam. The historical heart of the city beats in its center at Waag, which is one of the oldest, non-religious buildings in the city. By the way – criminals were executed here.

At the Saturday market, traders will feed you with organic cheese, and cozy pubs will invite you for a lazy afternoon with a beer. In addition, you’ll find pubs serving the best curries in town next to fish shops. And on New Year’s Eve the whole sky will light up with fireworks. This is also where the annual Aprilfeesten takes place, changing the square and surrounding area into a week-long music market. This is real Amsterdam!

Where: De Nieuwmarkt
Nearest station: Nieuwmarkt

De Nieuwe Hoogstraat

De Nieuwe Hoogstraat perfectly summarizes the entire historical city center. This short shopping street, leading from Damstraat to the romantic Zuiderkerkhof located at the back of the Nieuwmarkt, instantly reveals all Amsterdam’s banalities as well as all the elegance of the city.

It’s really hard to miss her. It is located in the oldest and one of the busiest parts of the city, where cycling and madness reign supreme. You will find headshops (tobacco accessories stores) with incense floating in the air, shoe stores with clogs at exhibitions, wooden toys, art books, city sneakers, and even a store specializing in kites. An express dose of Amsterdam’s versatility.

Where: De Nieuwe Hoogstraat
Nearest station: Nieuwmarkt