Nieuwezijde and the Dam
Historically this region of the city was known as Nieuwezijde (New Side) and was part of the original settlement of Amsterdam together with the Oudzijde (Old Side) where the Red Light District and Nieuwmarkt is located. This region is separated by the Single Canal on the east and the Oudezijds Voorburgwal Canal along the west side.
Central Amsterdam and the Dam are home to important historical sites such as the Nieuwekerk (New Church), Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace), the Allard Pierson Museum (archeological museum), the Amsterdam Museum and the gorgeous Begijnhof. The Nieuwzijde or Centrum is also home to some major shopping locations such as the Kalverstraat, De Bijenkorf, and Magna Plaza. Finally, you can stroll through the famous flower market and buy yourself some tulip bulbs to take home.
If you arrive into Amsterdam by train you’re likely to be one of the approximately 200,000 passengers that pass through the magnificent Central Station every day. All public transport finds its way here and it’s a great starting point for any walking tour of the city. From the hectic Stationsplein you can literally walk in any direction. South a bit and then East will take you on to Warmoesstraat; a busy tourist street with lots of nightlife, restaurants and coffee shops and is the gate way to the infamous red light district.
If you go west you can head towards the start of the canal rings and the Jordaan but most people will first follow the crowds and head south along the Damrak to the Dam Square and then on to Munttoren (Mint Tower) via the Kalverstraat, Spuistraat or Rokin. The Munttoren marks the most southern point of the Nieuwe Zijde and from here you also have a few options. You could head in the direction of Rembrandtplein, Leidseplein or back up towards the Red Light District and Nieuwmarkt.