Amsterdam: the twilight zone
Amsterdam is certainly a place from another planet!
Since you arrive to the Central Station you soon realize that something is different, the buildings, the water-channels, the sounds of street performances and the simple diversity of people. Amsterdam is the capital of backpacking, as thought it's history receiving with no prejudices travelers, idealists and artists.
The tram, the bicycles, the waves of people walking in the city center (specially from Friday to Sunday), the crowd gather around Dam Square, right in front of the Royal Palace, 5m walking from Central Station. The infamous Red Light District right around the corner...
By the channel you will find the street with the biggest metamorphose in the world. From day to night, it just totally changes. At day time, ducks peacefully go down the canal, you walk next to coffeshop terraces on the “Psicadelic” Bulldog and maybe you can get a “zoute haring”(a traditional Dutch snack, that consists of an uncooked herring. Very popular among the Dutch, so if you are around one don't be sacred to try it out!
At night the Red Light District becomes a game of literally red lights, and flashing windows with girls inviting men and women passing by for a 15m “party”inside their rooms. And don't think it's a dangerous little alley, many people go around the streets in an kind of outdoor Theme Park for grown ups.
Dutch Police keeps their job done and are always around the area and always ready to help! You shouldn't get any problems (I never did!), only the “nasty” ones..but that's up to you... But usually it's not advise to go alone more late than 02a.m. At that hour you should be at Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square) full with nightclubs and bars, very popular among young generations.