I was in Amsterdam during a long weekend in November 2014 with my best friend. As it was winter, the nights were stretched, and the air was increasingly cold. The trip is saved in my memory as various snapshots during our late strolls - full of vibrant lights, waterways and surprises.

A night out in Amsterdam is synonymous with the Red Light District - but there's so much more to the city than that! Sure, we went there. I saw ladies dancing in glass boxes next to a kebab shop (what surprised me was the number of eateries within the area haha), and we also dipped inside a coffee shop. It was an eye opening experience, to say the least. But I figured, might as well check out the funky areas while you're still young and less easily shocked at weird sights haha ceyy.*

The District aside - there's something about the city that comes alive past sunset. The way the buildings glow in reflection of canal waters, the way bicycle paths and tram lanes make gleaming lines on the road, the way neon lights flicker amidst smoke. It was a sensory experience to take in the city's beauty and darkness. We strolled to our heart's whim, taking cobbled lanes that look much different from their daylight versions, hopping on and off trams, enjoying views and munching on the famous frites. 

At one point Fish and I just hung out at Dam Square, and watch people walking by. We had one of those long, late night conversations you have with people who have known you for years - going back through our failures, laughing at certain memories, and both worrying about our future. Fish had just graduated, and I was just starting, so it was a point in our lives when we were both at crossroads. I'm pretty sure these conversations happens in mamak stalls at home too, but there was something about the transit and foreign part of Amsterdam that made it feel more independent and surreal. 

During our strolls, we made our way through the city center, Neu Markt, as well as Hard Rock Cafe near Leidsplein. There are plenty of shops open til late (unlike UK, boo), artsy boutiques serving funky coffees, and some clubs if you like to party. The last trams are around midnight, so for a safe bet, try to get to your hotel around 11pm. 

Enjoying my frites heh heh.

The Red Light District. You're not allowed to take photos here (I guess to protect the privacy of the workers and customers). But I managed to click some before I remembered that fact. 

In front of one of the most famous coffee shops in Amsterdam (This was actually the year I turned 22, so the shirt's a bit awal hehe) . If you don't know it already, the 'Coffee Shops' in Amsterdam is where people go to hang out and smoke. If you're the experimental type I suggest try the 'space brownies'.

*PSA: The ladies in the district are often victims of human trafficking, who were plucked from third world countries with promises of a dance career in Europe. You can read more about it here


  1. Why can't take picture at Red Light District?

    1. I believe it's to protect the privacy of the workers and customers in the area :)