amsterdam at night

We are 2 ladies in our mid-sixties and will be spending about 36 hours in Amsterdam between two flights at the end of our Mediterranean cruise in October of this year. We will stay at a hotel near Schipol Airport and would like to spend some time exploring a little bit of the older part of Amsterdam. The hotel has a free shuttle to the airport where we can catch the train to the Centraal station in the city. MY ACTUAL QUESTION IS : would it be relatively save for us to stay in the city until after dark,before we return to our hotel ? Or should we rather make it back in daylight ?? What would be the best way to spend the ONE day that we have...? We are not really history freaks and would rather get the feeling of everyday life in the city....?

Posted by Sarah
Chicago (formerly St. Louis), IL, USA
1311 posts

Hi Helena. I'm a 31-year-old woman and have been to Amsterdam 3 times, once by myself. I never felt unsafe at night in the city. The only place I can think of that might feel a little sketchy after dark would be the red-light district. If you want to see it, go during the day. Cameras are not permitted in this area, even on the street (unless the law has changed). If you want a feel for the city, take a walk along the canals. If you like Chinese food, check out Chinatown for lunch or dinner. You can explore Vondelpark on foot or rent bikes. The Oude Kirk (Old Church) is on the border of the red-light district and features contemporary art shows. There's Damrak, a big touristy street but it's still something to see; it leads to Dam Square, also touristy and home to Madame Toussaud's and the royal palace. One part of Amsterdam I liked is called the Begijnhof. It's a former medieval walled quarter which was home to the Beguines, a Christian lay religious order. Visitors can enter but can't go too far into it because private citizens live there today.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1333 posts

hi, im a guy and travel solo so you can take this as you wish. Im also not a big linebacker, but am older and im my early 50s. but in all of my travels thru Europe so far, ive never felt worried about traveling by myself or walking around at night. I do however practice COMMON SENSE!. like dont walk thru dark alleys or in dark unlit areas. Ive been thru the Red Light District (RLD) at night and there were sooo many people, it was fine. As RS says in his book if you care to read it, he says to tag along on one of the many tours going thru there. You can miss them! THeres a former RLD worker that gives tours of the RLD too. if you dont want to go thru the RLD, then the street had alot of people around and on them. The Leidseplein was lively if you care to see that. they had a band playing there too. I stayed near Vondel park, but didnt make it through it, but i would see it first in the daytime. I got "lost" walking around Amsterdam and accidently walked around from one side - near china town and then back. i didnt mean to,but it just happened. just remember, if you dont feel comfortable being with your friend, just stick around the crowds. with regards to what to do, google or pickup a book on Amsterdam and start reading whats to do/see in Amsterdam. what floats my boat wont necessarily float yours. . i could list some things to do, but you may not like or find boooooring. happy trails

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

Amsterdam is a Wonderful city day and night and I think you two ladies will have a terrific time. Be cautious, just like at home and you will be fine. I took my daughters(13+14) to the Red Light District during the day (I wanted them to see all of the city) and we walked all over the rest of the city till quite late. If you're up for it, you can take a bicycle tour of the city, or just take your time and walk. I would suggest taking a canal ride. It's a fun tour with a very different perspective of the city. Sitting in a café in Leidesplein people watching, strolling through Vondel Park, taking the tram (streetcar) and wandering the streets will give you a good feel for Amsterdam.

Posted by Helena
Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA
12 posts

Dear Sarah, Ray and Sylvia, I cannot thank you enough for your friendly abd informative replies....I feel so much better about exploring Amsterdam on our own. I will surely post a review when we return and tell you all what we were able to fit into our one day in Amsterdam... Thanx again