Red Light District

Red Light District, Amsterdam Overview

Amsterdam's red light district is the oldest part of the city, and is wholly responsible for the notorious reputation of the city world over. The district is lined with sex shops, containing all sorts of sex toys you can think of or might ever come to need.

Drug use is abundant in the area, and so are prostitutes. The red light district sees a number of window shoppers, who despite not needing to buy anything, are simply attracted out of curiosity. However, the area also has a number of hip bars and restaurants, including strip clubs. Steps have been taken, however, to control these activities in the region, with an effort to reduce the number of prostitutes and restrict drug use. The infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam has been subject to many efforts by the legislators to shut it down, however, the place still thrives and attracts various tourists and interested customers to it's sex shops and bars.

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How to Reach the Red Light District

LightRail: 9

Metro: 51, 53, 54

Train: Sprinter, Intercity Direct

Bus: 18, 22, 170, 172

History of the Red Light District

In the 16th century, this district was made in order to promote entertainment and nightlife culture in the city of Amsterdam. Since Amsterdam was one of the most harbour points of Europe, it mostly catered to the travellers and visitors passing through this city who made a visit here for recreation and enjoyment purposes. With its gaining popularity, several shops, bars and performance areas began setting up here. After prostittution became legal, several sex workers came here from Asian countries for work. Brothels were legalised in the year of 2000, and after that amsterdam saw several establishments in the Red Light district. In 2013, the minimum age for a sex worker increased from 18 to 21 and established compulsory closing hours from 6 am to 8 am.

Tips While Visiting the Red Light District

  1. Watch out for pickpockets as they are quite prevalent in this area.
  2. Minors are not allowed most of the bars/ clubs here.
  3. Photography is Strictly Prohibited, hence it is advised not to take photos through windows or glasses.
  4. Beware of the drug dealers and do not fall into any schemes.

Things to Do at the Red Light District

1. Museums

A museum called Red Light Secrets opened up to give behind the scenes and inside stories of the sex workers in the area. Other museums that go by the name of Erotic Museum and Sexmuseum Amsterdam are also famous for their unique way of showcasing a very reserved issue.

2. Coffeeshops

Coffee shops and cafes in De Wallen are also people’s favourite as some shops have been serving beverages from hundreds of years. Some of the must-try ones are Bulldog Energy, Coffeeshop Central and Voyagers Coffeeshop.

3. Strip Clubs and Bars

With entry only allowed to adults, it is one of the busiest places during the night in the city. Nightlife of Amsterdam survives on these strip clubs and bars where people come for a drink and enjoy shows and performances.

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