Also known as De Wallen (literally, the walls). The name comes from the area’s location in the oldest part of town, in the narrow alleys between the old town walls or burgwallen. The location of the wall can be traced along the neighbourhood’s canals such as the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. The red light district has existed here since the 14th century.
No-one seems to know just how many red light district windows there are in Amsterdam - estimates range from 150 to 450. For more, see this DutchNews.nl story
The area is currently undergoing a controversial and major clean-up - the council is buying up brothels and turning the buildings into something else and is withdrawing operating licences from people with allegedly dodgy connections.
Rob van Hulst, is an ex soapie who has set himself up as a red light district tour guide. Some of his suggestions include finger bites - an interesting translation of hapjes -
www.robvanhulst.nl (various languages)