We had planning on joining a free walking tour, but that didn’t end up happening. Instead, we decided to explore the city.
Our hotel had a selection of ‘mini-tickets’ that have various discounts or free gifts from different places if you present them, so we took quite a few.
Our first stop was Kattenkabinet, a museum of sorts, decorated with cat things; posters, ornaments, and of course two real cats. Very cute. I would recommend it for cat lovers, otherwise you may not enjoy it. I bought a tshirt and a couple of trinkets from the shop. If you have your mini-ticket you can get free postcards from here.
From there, we went to the Torture Museum; a lot of the reviews say it’s not worth going, as there isn’t much to see. It was interesting enough, with displays of old medieval torture devices and some explanations, but it wasn’t very big and probably not worth €8.
Rembrandt house was very crowded, entry costs €12.50, but you can get an audioguide for free. It has been redecorated to how it probably was when Rembrandt lived there, based on sketches he made. I got a magnifier from the mini-ticket.
We walked around the red light district for awhile; visiting the erotica museum, the prostitution museum and the hemp museum. They were all interesting – the prostitution museum was especially eye-opening about the realities faced by sex workers.
I found the red light district to be a lot tamer than how it was described to me. The girls in the windows are clothed, in bras and underwear, and sit or stand and wave at you. I’d say your views on it would depend entirely on your level of conservatism; being from New Zealand, I’m not conservative at all.
It was a good day with lots of walking. I was happy to not be under time constraints, especially since it was a good half hour back to the hotel. Amsterdam is a lot bigger than it looked on TripAdvisor maps.