What is the Amsterdam Red Light district and how does it work?
We’re aware that there’s quite a bit of mystery on this specific part of Amsterdam, so let us explain you a bit more and answer some of the most frequently asked questions. The Amsterdam Red Light District is not an attraction. It doesn’t have an entrance or an exit, but it’s simply a small neighboorhood. It basically consists of two canals and some connecting alleys. In the area, you’ll find a lot of 18+ entertainment, sex shows, sex shops and brothels in the form of windows. Apart from that, you’ll find a lot of restaurants, bars and hotels. The area draws lots of visitors who are curious to experience the neighbourhood first hand. Now, go let‘s go through some of the most common questions about the area.
- Does the Red Light District have opening hours?
No, the area is always freely accessible as it’s just a neighbourhood on public roads. It does not close at a certain time. However, if you’re looking to use the services of a sex worker, you’re best off being there before 4:00 am when the windows start closing. The women that work there, work independently so can stop whenever they like.
- How to order/make use of a sex workers’ service?
If you want to make use of a sex workers’ service, simply walk up to the window to indicate that you’re interested. They will open the door for you, so you can discuss your wishes. Treat the person behind the window with respect, like you’d like to be treated. Remember; the workers have the right to refuse clients, don’t take this personal, maybe you simply look like a relative. If you agree on the kind of service and the price, you’ll be let in. You must pay cash up front, so make sure you have the right amount on you.
- What are the prices at the Red Light District?
There’s no such thing as an entrance fee, as the area is publicly accessible. The sex workers are free to set their own prices, based on the clients wishes. However, to give you an indication; in most brothels, the tariffs start at €50,- for a short (10-15 minutes), basic service. If you have specific wishes or need more time you’ll most often be charged extra. Do keep in mind, that this information is purely indicative and that the sex workers can set their own rules and tariffs.
- What street is the Red Light District on?
The heart of the area is formed by two streets, or canals: Oude Zijdsvoorburgwal and Oude Zijdsachterburgwal. The connecting alleys and surrounding streets are officially part of the Red Light District as well.
- Is the Red Light District safe to visit (at night)?
Yes, the area is safe both day and night time. The only real threat in the area is pickpocketing. Due to the area being crowded with tourists and a lot of distraction, the area is very popular among pickpockets.
- What are the rules of the Red Light District? Is there an age restriction?
First of all, be respectful to the neighbourhood and the people living and working there. Below, you’ll find a full list of do’s and don’ts. About the age restriction; there’s no age restriction for the area itself as it’s publically accessible. However, we feel that you should question yourself whether it’s really necessary to take minors to window area; the Red Light District and sex workers are already under a lot of pressure of growing tourism. The workers are there to make money and it doesn’t really help to have families staring at their customers, if you go for educational purposes, visit the Prostitution Information Center or Red Light Secrets museum of prostitution. For the shows, shops and brothels, of course, an age restriction of 18 years and over applies.
|Be respectful to the sex workers.||Do not take pictures of the sex workers|
|Leave valuables that you don’t need in your hotel.||Do not drink alcohol out on the streets, it’s prohibited.|
|Behave, do not Shout, sing, or in any other way be of public nuisance. There are people living in the area.||Do not litter the streets, nor the canals.|
|Visit at least one coffeeshops in the area.||Do not tap on the windows. You’re not at the zoo and even there you’re not supposed to.|
|Ignore street dealers. You never know what you are buying. Best case scenario, it’s a painkiller or salt, but it can also be something more harmful!||Do not stand too long in front of the windows, unless you have the intention of going in. You don’t want people staring at you while you are doing your job either|