A guide to Amsterdam’s Red light Area

The brand new Red light Section within the Amsterdam was awash with blazes out-of fluorescent and endless vice. © Olena Z / Shutterstock

Amsterdam’s notorious Red-light Area try a carnival off vice, having skimpily-clothed industrial sex pros inside brothel screen, raucous taverns, haze-filled ‘coffeeshops’, strip reveals and attention-boggling galleries. It is not for everyone.

If you opt to suit your interest that have a wander around the bedroom, maintain your wits about yourself to discover aside having pickpockets. First of all, just remember that , discover even more toward Red-light Region than simply their salaciousness – plus to that multifaceted area compared to Red light Section.

The brand new Red-light District – a great warren regarding medieval alleyways making-up the inner-urban area town locally also known as De- Wallen – simply the southern area of off Centraal Route, into and you can inside the parallel fluorescent-illuminated rivers Oudezijds Voorburgwal and you will Oudezijds Achterburgwal; Warmoesstraat hosts the latest district’s fundamental gay step.

Red light Region history

A major trade harbour given that Old generated Amsterdam good magnet towards the ‘world’s earliest community.’ Around the 1300s, female holding reddish lanterns (employing flattering white) came across mariners near the port, and you may taverns, nightclubs and risque recreation venues flooded for the area. However, sex really works wasn’t court until 1810, and you can brothels weren’t legalised until 2000 escort Neuchatel.

Transform continue: since the 2007, urban area officials took strategies to clean in the area by the reducing the quantity of yellow-light windows as a way to clean out pimps, peoples traffickers and cash launderers (all of which are illegal). Enterprise 1012, called into the area’s postal password, encourages styles studios, free galleries, cafes or any other imaginative businesses to set up right here. During the 2013, the council boosted the minimal decades to possess sex gurus away from 18 in order to 21 and you can produced necessary red-colored-white screen closure era anywhere between 6am and you will 8am. In 2020 tourist to Amsterdam won’t have the ability to need a trip off De- Wallen. It’s an assess made to handle overtourism, but sex workers have come out against the bundle.

Sex functions

Regardless of the alter, more than 290 red-colored-illuminated screen brothels are, therefore the business builds in the €650 billion a-year, depending on the Main Agency out-of Analytics (yes, commercial sex workers spend taxation).

Ground-no for yellow-light window is actually, ironically adequate, Amsterdam’s eldest strengthening, the 14th-century Oude Kerk (Dated Chapel). Close its entry, look down to see the ‘golden torso’ sidewalk plaque out-of a beneficial hand groping a breasts. To the Oudekerksplein try Belle, a bronze sculpture out-of a great sex personnel on the inscription ‘Respect sex pros throughout the world’. Merely close, the brand new Prostitution Information Heart try an excellent fount of data both for sex gurus and you may visitors, and you will operates academic 90 time Red light Area taking walks trips double per week. Nevertheless they offer notice-led trips having €step three within their shop.

  • Do not pic or film sex specialists regarding the screen – regarding esteem, and to end getting the digital camera flung within the a canal because of the their enforcers. Certainly.
  • Toward De Pijp neighbourhood’s western edging with each other Ruysdaelkade, discover an extra, faster region having a remove off reddish-light window (without having the stag people and drunken crowds).


Launched for the 2014, brothel-turned-sex really works museum Red light Gifts gives you an after-the-scenes glance and you will insight into the newest occupation. You can visit slavery showcases and other eyebrow-elevating displays at Red-light District’s Sensual Art gallery otherwise, for lots more lewd showcases, direct northwest on Sexmuseum Amsterdam, anywhere between Centraal Channel and you can Dam square.

Know what you previously wished to understand hash, marijuana and you may hemp during the eponymous Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum.


Coffeeshops (ie cannabis cafes) exists throughout the town (and country), although Red light Area keeps a really higher concentration. Greenhouse and you can Baba are two of the area’s hottest. Marijuana isn’t officially court on the Netherlands nevertheless the possession and get out of 5g out-of ‘soft drugs’ (ie cannabis, hashish, room cakes and you will truffles) is extensively tolerated and users won’t be prosecuted for this number.

One particular powerful marijuana types consist of fifteen% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), new energetic substance that will get anyone high (one thing over 15% is categorized given that a hard medication and that illegal). Should you choose take part, always exercise alerting; even many normal cigarette smokers are unable to stomach your regional equipment. This new Red light District’s Marijuana College or university provides reams of data.

  • Drinking alcohol and you can tobacco smoking (if or not mixed with marijuana or by itself) for the coffeeshops try illegal.
  • Usually do not inquire about difficult (illegal) medicines.
  • Never buy medication of any sort in the pub – deaths is also and you may create exists.

Drinking and dining

Plus most of the seedy dive bars and you can loud taverns you would expect, the area is served by some great jenever (Dutch gin) sampling properties, pleasant bruin cafes (historic Dutch bars), and you can a separate brewery, Brouwerij de Prael. Processed foods – along with local areas frites (fries, always slathered in the mayonnaise), pancakes, and you can FEBO stores dispensing strong-fried food out-of automat windows – proliferates. Zeedijk, towards the district’s eastern border, is the center off Amsterdam’s Chinatown, with places to eat aplenty.


Condomerie Het Gulden Vlies offers condoms in any possible dimensions, colour, taste and design (horned devils, marijuana simply leaves, Delftware ceramic tiles. ).