The Red Light District in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a special city with absolutely unique atmosphere attracting lots of visitors yearly. Its tolerance to light drugs and prostitution made it a popular destination among tourists from all over the world. The government’s policy probably is "Allow it so you can control and regulate it”.

The authorities were smart enough to realize that it was impossible to enforce the law in the area of what is called now the Red Light District. So an unofficial policy of tolerating this business was adopted. As long as the women worked inside they could do their business, they made potential customers aware of their presence through a small opening between the curtains. As the years went by the curtains opened more and more. The lights inside the rooms are red because women look at their best then - and because historically red lights have always been used to show potential customers where the action is. In the year 2000 prostitution was legalized. The main objective of this law is to prevent forced prostitution and exploitation of women. 

The Red Light District is located in the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam, covering several blocks south of the church Oude Kerk and crossed by several canals. The red light district is a network of alleys containing a little less than three hundred tiny one-room cabins rented by female prostitutes who offer their services from behind a window or glass door. The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana.

Those of you, wanting to experience the adult Amsterdam, should of course visit it. The best time to visit is after dark, when the red lights create a special atmosphere. The girls stand behind red glass doors, dressed in fancy underwear, trying to attract the attention of passers-by. When men see a girl they like, they knock on her door, she opens it and they shortly negotiate on the price and other stuff. If they agree, the man enters, and the door and curtain close.

Things you need to know before experiencing adult Amsterdam:

  • Why do Some Amsterdam Prostitutes Have Blue Lights Outside Instead of Red?

To indicate they aren't really women. They are transgenders or any other type of homo sapiens. 

  • No Cameras

The Amsterdam prostitutes or their pimps will verbally abuse you if they see a camera, or even throw you or your camera in a canal.   

  • Watch Out for Pickpockets!

Even though the Amsterdam Red Light District is generally a safe place, there may be pickpockets, so keep an eye on your things.

 A recent municipal investigation showed that more than half of the clients are foreigners (tourists, business travelers etc). Most are between 25 and 45 and they're from all walks of life. Each year, around 200,000 men visit a window prostitute in Amsterdam - this does not include clubs, home prostitution, escorts etc.