Jul 19 2009


Published by at 9:04 pm under Special,Travel Destinations

Red Light District is one of the oldest areas in Amsterdam, Holland. Its specificity is that it gets crowded  immediately it is getting dark, making the fluorescent red lights  visible. Although it is still considered by many an infamous part of Amsterdam, the history of this district draws from the 14th century when the sailors coming to this city needed female company. One can find there, besides the girls with attractive underwear offering sexual services, thematic museums, coffee shops, restaurants, bars.

In order to reach this area much easier, you just have to go by foot for aproximately 10 minutes from the Central Station.

Amsterdam Red Light District Girls
Amsterdam Red Light District Girls
There is a two-side Red District in Amsterdam. During day, this area is more a business zone, whereas when the evening comes, this area turns into a brothel. During the evening, a walk along the buildings where the girls are inviting you in, the canals, the fuss made by the tourists, the newly redone streets, because they tend to sink offer a special landscape of the night life in this district for the viewer.

Amsterdam Red Light District
Amsterdam Red Light District

Red Light Girls
Red Light Girls

Red Light District Amsterdam
Red Light District Amsterdam

At night, women passing by are more and more rare as there are almost only men hoping for a possible intimate ‘encounter’ with one of the women. As these girls are regarded, they can be placed along a scale, whose extremes can be qualified as ‘very beautiful’ and ‘disgusting’. Their nationalities are diverse, for instance, Asian, Europan, Black or Latin. Lately, the ones making no legal profit there, such as the owners of the sex shops, had to close the doors. The government nowadays licensed the prostitutes and made them pay taxes like anyone else.

Red Light District
Red Light District
This also facilitates them the access to medical care. At about 3 to 4 AM, the area is a little bit dangerous as there is nobody left around but the cameras all over and the policemen guarding will most probably save you from a possible unpleasant incident. Amsterdam is also famous for the pornographic industry it promotes. You can find there a diverse range of kinky items like toys, real size electric blow up dolls, DVD’s and magazines, for both boys and girls. Unlike other stores, the Amsterdam sex shops do not set a boundary between straight or gay sex. Most of them have private viewing cabins so you can watch a bit before you buy.

Red Light District Holland
Red Light District Holland

Red Lights District
Red Lights District

Some rules you should obey in Red Light District, not to spoil your trip.

1. Do not take photos of the windows hosting a girl – it is strictly prohibited and any attempt will be immediately punished.

2. Do not be tempted to buy drugs or anything else from the dealers, this might become ‘very’ illegal.

3. Visiting Red Light District should be among the last sightseeings in Amsterdam and Holland, or you may have a wrong opinion in the end concerning this town.

4. Beware of the pick-pocketers, because it is a very crowded area.

5. Going in a group or at least accompanied will disengage you of any undesired attention.

Here are some useful books/videos related to Red Light District and Amsterdam:
Adventures In Europe Volume 4 “The Red Lights of Europe”The Rough Guide to Amsterdam (Rough Guide Amsterdam)Lonely Planet Amsterdam (City Travel Guide)Secret Amsterdam: Local Guides by Local People


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5 responses so far


  1. Arihanton 26 Aug 2009 at 10:13 pm

    How did you took these pics if you aren’t allowed.

  2. Lauraon 30 Aug 2009 at 6:24 am

    I did not take the pictures. A friend of mine did. :D

  3. Dickon 06 Jun 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Nice post!
    By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

  4. Laurenon 17 Nov 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Ummm… why do you think you aren’t allowed to take pictures?
    Maybe these women don’t want it broadcasted on the internet that they are prostitutes. Oh wait. They’re there. So we can do whatever we want with their image and bodies. It’s part of the job, right?
    I feel gross.

  5. Bobon 03 Apr 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t blame them for not wanting their photos taken really!

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