Posted on: Januar 18, 2021
The video at the bottom of this article shows the current situation in Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is in lockdown due to the ongoing corona crisis.
This also means that almost everything in the Red Light District is closed. Normally, this is one of the most visited area in the Netherlands with 3.1 million visitors per year. But now, in the beginning of 2021 during the corona lockdown, it’s deserted. Window brothels, cafes, hotels, restaurants, shops, churches, museums, sex shows and other venues are all temporarily closed.
The video at the bottom of this piece was shot in January 2021 in the center of Amsterdam; the middle of the Red Light District. The video starts on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – the famous canal in the Red Light District. Immediately it is visible how few people are out on the street. There are also no prostitutes in the windows, as they are currently not allowed to work by the Dutch government.
At 1:01, the video below, continues via Oudekennissteeg to the Oude Kerk and Oudezijds Voorburgwal. There are no tourists to be seen here either. Some companies in Amsterdam are still open. Just for takeaway though. For example FEBO – the largest snack bar in the Netherlands. And coffee bars hope to sell something to the locals.
Chinatown in Amsterdam – located on the Zeedijk – also has a hard time with the tourists staying away. The restaurants may only offer their products via take-out.
The coffeeshops in Amsterdam are also not allowed to receive customers inside. Customers can only quickly buy cannabis via takeaway. It’s not permitted for clients to sit inside. Unlike restaurants, Dutch coffeeshops customers cannot order cannabis online because this has never been legal in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has currently 164 coffeeshops from which 14 coffeeshops are located in the Red Light District. These, and other coffeeshops in the center, are having a hard time now that tourists are not visiting Amsterdam.
At 5:14, in the video below, you can see closed window brothels which are normally used by transgender and female sex workers. But with the current measures of the corona lockdown that is not allowed. It is likely that some window prostitutes will offer their services online, illegally.
In the video below it can also be seen that all sex shows in Amsterdam are currently closed. Erotic establishments like Casa Rosso, The Hospital Bar, Moulin Rouge, The Banana Bar and La Vie en Proost are all temporarily closed.
Empty streets and empty alleys in Amsterdam. And that while Amsterdam normally receives more than 18 million tourists a year, of which 3.1 million tourists visit the Red Light District. Pre-corona, in 2019, 1 in 9 jobs in Amsterdam were in tourism. (source 1) + (source 2)
The video below ends by showing the Warmoesstraat – a main street in the Red Light District – and Dam Square. Normally these are busy places, but during the current corona lockdown now only an empty Amsterdam can be seen.
Follow the latest news and measures regarding corona on the website of the Dutch government: https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19
Posted on: Oktober 20, 2020
The Netherlands distinguishes hard drugs and soft drugs. This is done in the Dutch Opium Act. The sale of soft drugs in Amsterdam coffeeshops is tolerated in the Netherlands under strict conditions.
Because soft drugs (cannabis and magic truffles) are less harmful to health than hard drugs (XTC, cocaine, etc), different rules apply in the Netherlands. Amsterdam coffeeshops can sell cannabis – weed and hash – under strict conditions to locals and tourists. Coffeeshops are businesses where weed and hashish may be offered for sale. They will not prosecuted for this. This is the essence of the Dutch tolerance policy (Dutch: gedogen beleid).
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service also does not prosecute persons if they possess small amounts of soft drugs. It is about this:
The Bulldog is one of the first cannabis shops in the Netherlands.
For the sale of weed and hash, Amsterdam coffeeshops must adhere to rules and laws (the tolerance criteria). A coffeeshop must follow these 9 cannabis laws:
Coffeeshop Rusland is Amsterdam’s second oldest cannabis store.
The sale of soft drugs remains a criminal offence in the Netherlands. Do Amsterdam coffeeshop owners not adhere to the conditions? Then they can be prosecuted and the mayor can (temporarily) close the coffeeshop. Municipalities can impose additional requirements on a coffeeshop to prevent inconvenience. For example, adjusted opening hours or a greater distance from schools.
The cultivation of cannabis plants is prohibited in the Netherlands. With a maximum of 5 plants for personal use, the Dutch police will only confiscate the plants. The police can prosecute the grower if there are more than 5 plants.
Coffeeshop Grey Area is known as one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam.
Is the police prosecuting the grower? Then the police will prepare an official report for the criminal prosecution by the Public Prosecution Service.
Hemp growers can lose their rented house. Did they illegally tap electricity? Then an additional assessment follows from an energy company. In tackling cannabis cultivation, the Dutch police works together with housing cooperatives, the tax authorities and energy companies, among others.
Source: Government of the Netherlands
Posted on: September 23, 2020
If you go to Amsterdam without knowing the attractions and fun activities, you might get bored. It would be a shame if you missed the city highlights and you don’t want to end up in tourist traps or boring cafes.
The solution? Check out this list with five things to do in Amsterdam and impress your fellow travellers with these original and educational activities.
There is a lot to do in ‘De Wallen‘. Also for those who want to learn something. There are currently five museums in Amsterdam Red Light District. At these museums you can learn more about cannabis, prostitution, the Red Light District, religion, erotica and… watches.
Located on the famous street in the Red Light District one can find Amsterdam’s cannabis museum. It was founded in 1985 by one of Holland’s most important cannabis pioneers: Ben Dronkers – who’s also the CEO of Sensi Seeds. He was one of the first to become commercially involved with cannabis in Amsterdam from the 1970s onwards.
Did you know that at one time in Europe 80% of all clothing was made out of cannabis hemp? And did you know that it is illegal to grow cannabis commercially in the Netherlands? Just two fun facts you learn at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.
Visitors to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum can expect to find world’s largest collection of artefacts relating to the history of cannabis, its cultivation and its uses over the centuries. The cannabis collection is located on the ground floor where one can get an audio tour in six different languages. This museum in Amsterdam Red Light District is not too big and a visit takes about 30 to 45 minutes.
Google: 3,715 reviews | 4,3 out of 5 stars.
TripAdvisor: 729 reviews | 4 out of 5 stars.
✦ Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM
✦ Price: 6 euro
Do you want to know what it is like to stand in the windows? Do you want to learn how prostitutes become successful? Or do you want to see what a brothel looks like from the inside? Then visit this Museum of Prostitution in Amsterdam, named Red Light Secrets. Here you can learn more about legal sex work in the Netherlands.
Inside you can also read 10 ways how sex workers become successful. We listed three of them:
Red Light Secrets used to be a building with real window brothels, but the city of Amsterdam bought it from a sex entrepreneur during Project 1012. The municipality wanted more variety in the Red Light District, so since 2014 the Museum of Prostitution has been around. Visit it and get educated about one of the oldest professions in the world.
Google: 15,576 reviews | 4,2 out of 5 stars.
TripAdvisor: 2,339 reviews | 4 out of 5 stars.
✦ Hours: 10 AM – 12 PM
✦ Price: 12,50 euro
Inside Ons Lieve Heer op Solder.
One of the best hidden gems in Amsterdam is this secret church, located at number 40 on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal in the Red Light District. Our Lord in the Attic is one of the oldest museums in Amsterdam. The second oldest to be exact, only the Rijksmuseum is older. It was established in 1888, its attic served as a Catholic church for two centuries. A hidden church in which Catholics could worship covertly when it was forbidden to do so in public.
This church within a 17th-century Dutch house has been beautifully preserved. It offers an authentic glimpse into a house of a rich man during the affluent Dutch Golden Age. Here you can learn more about the history of Amsterdam and religion in Holland.
Our Lord In The Attic is also one of the highlights in the Amsterdam Audio Tours app. It offers stories of 22 experts, including the director of this museum and Russell Shorto – writer and historian, about the Red Light District. For just 5 euro you can learn everything about Amsterdam’s most fascinating area.
Google: 2,089 reviews | 4,7 out of 5 stars.
TripAdvisor: 3,373 reviews | 4,5 out of 5 stars.
✦ Hours: 10 PM – 6 PM
✦ Price: 12,50 euro
The Erotic Museum in Amsterdam is located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal and portrays the history of eroticism and sex through the ages. This is one of those museums in Amsterdam where you can take perfect photos for your Instagram account. It is a kind of Instagram museum as it offers numerous erotic art objects that will impress your followers.
Google: 2,120 reviews | 3,6 out of 5 stars.
TripAdvisor: 454 reviews | 2,5 out of 5 stars.
✦ Hours: 11 AM – 12 PM
✦ Price: 7 euro
Watch enthusiasts can indulge themselves at the Watchmaker Museum which is surrounded by window brothels, a 5d Porn Cinema, a daycare and the Old Church. The Watchmaker Museum in Amsterdam is brand-new as it opened its doors in August 2020.
The owner – Ralph Jansen (53) – has decorated the four floors with amazing, rare watches in all shapes and sizes. Jansen has been browsing auctions for a few years in search of watches with the best stories.
‘I’m fascinated about the passion of watchmakers. They spend so much time creating something that you don’t think is possible at all. Yet they make it. Bizarre!’
The Watchmaker Museum is not only interesting for watch enthusiasts: here everyone can learn more about watches in an accessible way. For example, on the ground floor there is a collection with the first automatic watches. Three floors up people can see a watch that can play music from the Backstreet Boys. There is a collection of watches worn by astronauts, as well as a wall dedicated to watches from famous films such as The Da Vinci Code, Back to the Future, Knight Rider and Pulp Fiction. This new museum in Amsterdam also has unique spy watches, erotic watches, steam punk watches, special features watches and many others.
“Every watch in the museum has something special. It’s about the story behind it. ” You can get the best experience with a tour of the obvious connoisseur and enthusiast Ralph Jansen.
Google: 6 reviews | 5 out of 5 stars.
TripAdvisor: 2 reviews | 5 out of 5 stars.
✦ Hours: 10 AM – 7 PM
✦ Price: 10 euro
Posted on: September 17, 2020
How much do you know about Amsterdam? Are you a true connoisseur or do you think you could come across as an Amsterdam expert by just guessing the right answers? Put your knowledge to the test by answering these 15 Amsterdam quiz facts. Whether it is about the coffeeshops in Amsterdam, its history, legal sex work in Holland or other unique Dutch facts, we reckon you might learn some things about Holland’s capital you had no idea about before. Let’s get down to it, answer these Amsterdam quiz facts and see if you’re an Amsterdam-expert.
Tipp: Play these Amsterdam Quiz Facts with friends, your partner or colleagues. It’s more fun with others!
Grab a pen and a piece of paper, or write your answers in a note-taking app on your phone. The answers can be found the bottom of this page. Don’t peak, play honest and check these after answering the quiz questions yourself.
A. Amsterdam has 164 coffeeshops.
B. The Red Light District has no inhabitants.
C. Rembrandt van Rijn got married in the Rijksmuseum.
D. Dutch people pay bicycle tax.
A. Holland is the smallest country in the world.
B. The minimum age to use cannabis in Holland is 16.
C. A cycling license in mandatory in Amsterdam.
D. Amsterdam’s oldest canal is in the Red Light District.
A. The Royal Palace is Amsterdam’s oldest building.
B. In 2019, 11% of all jobs were in tourism.
C. Amsterdam has 2 windmills.
D. Vincent Van Gogh designed Amsterdam’s Central Station.
B. Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
D. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal.
C. Hertog Jan.
A. Amsterdam’s oldest house is a gay club.
B. The Dutch use more cannabis than alcohol.
C. The Red Light District is closed on Sunday’s.
D. Amsterdam has 120 window brothels.
A. In Amsterdam, it’s not allowed to hold your phone while cycling.
B. The mayor of Amsterdam is a woman.
C. Smoking tobacco in cannabis shops is not allowed.
D. The richest Dutch person is a man.
A. Amsterdam’s oldest non-religious building is The Waag.
B. World’s first gay marriage took place in Rotterdam.
C. In the Netherlands, maternity care is not provided at home.
D. Blue tulips can only be grown in the Netherlands.
A. Sex work is a tax-free profession in the Netherlands.
B. Amsterdam used to have a legal cocaine factory.
C. 69% of the Dutch smoke cannabis monthly.
D. Feyenoord is Amsterdam’s football club.
A. The Netherlands has 10 provinces.
B. The Seine is a river in Amsterdam.
C. STD-testing in the Netherlands is free for homosexuals and sex workers.
D. Amsterdam’s smallest park is in the Red Light District.
A. The Dutch prime-minister is a woman.
B. Albert Cuyp is a market in Amsterdam.
C. The Red Light District is also known as De Wallen.
D. The wife of Rembrandt van Rijn was buried in De Oude Kerk.
A. Washington Diplomats.
B. FC Barcelona.
A. Something that Dutch people say when they are scared.
B. A statue in the Vondelpark.
C. A hidden church in the Red Light District.
D. The Dutch national anthem.
A. In the Netherlands you can have a maximum of 7 cannabis plants per household.
B. The Vecht is one of the three rivers in Amsterdam.
C. Mellow Yellow was Amsterdam’s first coffeeshop.
D. Amsterdam has 1.7 million inhabitants.
That was the last one of these Amsterdam quiz facts. Do you think you did well? How many questions do you think you answered correctly? 8 out of 15? 10 out of 15?
Here are the right quiz answers!
1 = A
The exact number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam is currently 164. There used to be way more. In the 1990’s there were more than 400 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. (source)
2 = D
Amsterdam’s oldest canal is the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. It’s from 1385. (source)
3 = B
In 2019, pre-corona, 11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in the tourism sector. (source)
4 = D
The Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal is located in the city centre, but not in the Red Light District. (source)
5 = D
Leffe is not a Dutch beer. (source)
6 = A
Believe it or not but Amsterdam’s oldest house is nowadays a gay club. It’s located in the Red Light District and dates back to 1485. (source)
7 = D
The richest Dutch person is a woman. It’s the daughter of Freddy Heineken and business-owner of world’s second largest beer-brewer. (source)
8 = A
Amsterdam’s second oldest building is The Waag which stands on the Nieuwmarkt. (source)
9 = B
From 1900 to the early 1960’s there used to be a real cocaine factory in Amsterdam, intended for medical use. (source)
10 = C
Sex workers and homosexuals can be tested for free on STD’s in the Netherlands.
11 = A
The prime-minister of the Netherlands is Mark Rutte. (source)
12 = D
Feyenoord was the last football club were Johan Cruijff played. He decided to play for Feyenoord because its revival Ajax did not offer him a contract. (source)
13 = D
Apples are the most eaten fruits among the Dutch. It’s healthy, tasty and easy to take with you. (source)
14 = C
15 = C
In 1972 Amsterdam’s first coffeeshop was founded: Mellow Yellow (source)
Add up all your correct answers of this quiz to see how many questions you answered correctly. And? What’s your score of this quiz?
Please share the Amsterdam Quiz Facts with your friends and find who knows more about Amsterdam. Hit the sharing buttons below!
Posted on: Juli 16, 2020
Right in the center of the Dutch capital you will find a beautiful square that has several important historical highlights, which you must see. For example the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk and the National Monument. Furthermore, Dam Square is surrounded by beautiful buildings of typical Dutch architecture. All of these highlights are fantastic to watch – especially when the sun is out. And what is nicer to see these cultural highlights from a terrace while enjoying a nice drink? This list includes five good bars in Amsterdam Dam Square where this is all possible. Five places in a prime location, in the middle of the city and all easily accessible by taxi, public transport and on foot.
Amsterdam’s Dam Square with the Royal Dutch Palace and New Church in the back.
Undoubtedly there are cheaper options in the city, but these good bars in Amsterdam Dam Square do offer the following benefits.
This list starts with number five and ends with what we think is the best bar in Amsterdam Dam Square.
A typical Dutch brown bar.
This bar has a relatively small terrace overlooking Dam Square and it is also not too big from the inside. Nevertheless, this pub always exudes vibrancy, partly due to the beautiful wooden bar. “Gezelligheid” is what we would say in Dutch. Inside it has that old-fashioned look, but with modern amenities – including neat toilets. Also a good place for a first or last drink in town.
Wanna order a beer in Dutch? Just say these four magic words: ‘Mag ik een biertje?’
Do you rather want to taste real Dutch gin? Visit the Wijnand Fockink bar around the corner
Google: 181 reviews – 3.8 out of 5 stars | TripAdvisor: 87 reviews – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) and its cafe on Dam Square.
As the name suggests, this is more of a cafe than a bar. Located on a fantastic location, next to the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – one of the oldest buildings in the city – with a friendly atmosphere. Most people who visit this place come here for lunch supplemented with a drink. You won’t find many tipsy people here. You can sit here both inside and outside on a terrace where you can enjoy people-watching. Dutch tourists regularly come here to visit an exhibition (such as the World Press Photo) in the Nieuwe Kerk. Order coffee with Dutch apple pie or a delicious pancake here. Mind the opening hours which are between 8:30 AM and 6 PM.
Google: 221 reviews – 3.7 out of 5 stars | TripAdvisor: 260 reviews – 3.5 out of 5 stars | Facebook: 41 reviews 4.0 out of 5.
“If we can enhance your Dam Square experience in any way, kindly let us know“
That is written on the awnings of this place (originally from 1927), located on the corner of Dam Square and Damstraat. This shows that they find high service very important here. For more than 30 years, Cafe Zwart (Cafe Black) is owned by one of the best catering entrepreneurs in the Netherlands – Won Yip – who also owns other good bars in Amsterdam Dam Square.
The terrace (with heaters) is relatively small, but it has the right, lively atmosphere. At Cafe Zwart they also have very modern and clean toilets which can be used for free. Cafe Zwart is also a great spot for people-watching! See how fast Amsterdammers ride through the city on their bicycles. Or listen to all the different languages you can hear from the terrace. There is always something special to see here! One side faces ‘De Dam’ and one side faces the busy Damstraat.
Amsterdam’s beautiful Damstraat.
Cafe Zwart is a good place to enjoy a good glass of beer or wine after a busy day. It’s is nice spot to celebrate that you are in the most beautiful city in the world. Perhaps this bar is not much visited by Amsterdammers, but there are always many cheerful Dutch and foreign tourists. Here they serve all kinds of European beer such as Bavaria, Palm, La Trappe, Guiness, and whatnot. But you can also go here for wines, cocktails, whiskey, shots and soda. Take into account that the prices are higher here than elsewhere in the city because of the fantastic prime-location.
Google: 380 reviews – 3.4 out of 5 stars | TripAdvisor: 291 reviews – 3.0 out of 5 stars | Facebook: 64 reviews – 4.2 out of 5.
The Euro Pub is located on the corner of Dam Square and Warmoesstraat (which is part of the Rotlichtviertel). It has a larger terrace than Cafe Zwart and a good view of the rear part of the square and the monument on Dam Square. The Euro Pub is located on the corner of Dam Square and Warmoesstraat. It has a slightly larger terrace than Cafe Zwart and a good view of the rear part of the square and the National Monument. This is also a pub where sports matches are broadcasted. It is often visited by foreign tourists and football fans. This pub is often used as a meeting place to start a nice day in Amsterdam. Inside is a round bar, where visitors can stand around. Downstairs you can find clean and modern toilets, just like at Cafe Zwart.
Google: 488 reviews – 3.7 out 5 stars | TripAdvisor: 238 reviews – 3.0 out of 5 stars | Facebook: 11 reviews – 4.0 out of 5.
The big terrace of Majestic offers sun and shade.
If you want to drink or eat something on Dam Square, this is the best place to go. Why? First of all, Majestic has the biggest terrace and the best view of all bars on Dam Square. Moreover, inside restaurant Majestic you will find a beautiful bar, lots of space, a luxurious interior and an extensive menu. Again, this is not the cheapest place in Amsterdam but certainly one of the better catering establishments that offers a fantastic view of the central, historical point of the capital.
From here you can see Dam Square perfectly.
In general, the crowd at Majestic is a bit neater compared to most of the bars in Amsterdam Dam square. The people who come here love quality and are willing to pay for that. Especially with good weather it’s really nice to sit on the terrace here. It has spots with shade and sun.
Google: 772 reviews – 3.6 out of 5 stars | TripAdvisor: 935 reviews – 3.5 out 5 stars | Facebook: 213 reviews – 4.2 out of 5.
Fun To Do In Amsterdam
TIP: First take a walking tour in Amsterdam, get informed about Holland’s capital and the Dutch culture and then go to one of these good bars in Amsterdam Dam Square.
Currently, it’s recommended to make a reservation at all these bars in Amsterdam Dam Square due to the Dutch corona-measures. Have you been to one of these places? Let the world know how it was by posting your review below.
Posted on: Juni 16, 2020
Latest Amsterdam Red Light District update: From 1 July 2020, sex workers will be allowed to work in the Netherlands again. That was announced by the Prime Minister Rutte on 23 June 2020. That means that all sex shows in Amsterdam, all window brothels, strip clubs, private houses and all other erotically related companies can open again.
This Amsterdam Red Light District update shows the current situation in the most famous area of the Netherlands. Normally 3.1 million people visit the Red Light District every year (source). The Red Light District relies on tourism, from Dutch and foreign people. The tourism sector in Amsterdam offers 69.424 jobs (source) and its good for the national economy. Normally, 1 out 9 jobs in Amsterdam are in tourism. Amsterdam has about 18 million visitors per year who they spent 6.3 billion euros, creating about 2.7 billion euros in added value. (Dutch resource)
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 2 June 2020. A few tourists enter the city.
But since the corona crisis – mid-March 2020 – it has been pretty quiet in Amsterdam. Also in the Red Light District. It’s very special to see! After all, it hardly happens that the heart of Amsterdam isn’t so lively. Many companies performed maintenance during the corona crisis. Café and restaurant owners have had their business repainted so that it looks brand-new when tourists return.
Amsterdam, 29 april 2020. Maintenance at Cafe The Old Sailor.
Since June 1, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and museums in the Netherlands are open again. Many entrepreneurs couldn’t wait to restart their business. They’re very happy that they are allowed to do business again. There are already some people sitting on the terraces, some restaurants have visitors and Amsterdam is slowly becoming more lively again. But there are also many empty companies and entrepreneurs who look around and wonder if they see tourists.
Amsterdam, Warmoesstraat. Two employees get ready for business.
Currently, all restaurants, bars and cafes in the Netherlands may not have more than 30 people inside. Including staff. Restaurants often also require reservations and the staff should ask their guests specific questions. They are asked whether they are healthy and whether they come from 1 household. These measures makes it difficult for some entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District, 8 June 2020. Coffeeshop The Bulldog is emptier than usual.
Coffeeshops in Amsterdam were open most of the time during the corona crisis. Mainly only for take-away, but nowadays customers can also sit inside and outside on the terraces.
Amsterdam Red Light District, 12 June 2020. We hosted a tour again!
Guided tours in Amsterdam und Red Light District tours are allowed and can be booked again. In Amsterdam’s city centre guided tours can not have more than 15 persons (excluding guide) in a tour. Across the country and therefore also during the tours, it is recommended to keep 1.5 meters apart. People may decide themselves to wear a face mask. This is not mandatory though. Face masks are currently only mandatory in public transport.
The street markets in Amsterdam are also open. Including the Albert Cuyp market, the flower market and the market on the Nieuwmarkt.
Amsterdam, Oudekerksplein, 2 June 2020. Two tourists in love in front of the church.
The Oude Kerk Amsterdam (Old Church) in the middle of the Red Light District is also open again.
The people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District want the visitors to return so that they can earn some money again. And, of course, they also miss the vibrancy! They miss the “gezelligheid“. It can be noted that people hope that the situation will improve quickly and that measures can be reduced. The working people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District no longer want support from the government, but simply want to earn money. They want the visitors to come back.
All sex related companies in the Netherlands have to stay closed until 1 September 2020. That includes sex shows, (window) brothels, escort companies, private houses, lap dance bars, etcetera. Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 288 windows, dozens of sex shows (like Casa Rosso, 5D Porn Cinema, Peep Show, Moulin Rouge, etc) that are all closed at the moment.
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 12 June 2020. Closed window brothels.
Sex workers in the Netherlands feel very disadvantaged. They may only start working again from 1 September 2020. The Dutch government foresees major risks in these sex-related professions, which is why it has been decided that sex workers may not work yet. The sex workers disagree with this decision and believe that they can work safely. They think it is unfair that other contact professions (such as hairdressers and masseurs) are allowed to work, but they are not. They also indicate that they are used to dealing with risks and that they always take measures to deal with this.
Sex worker campaign: Working at home? I can not work anywhere. Sex workers have the right on equal treatment and support during the crisis! Stop the stigma.
25% of all sex workers in Amsterdam worked illegally during the corona-crisis. Others switch their way of working and started working through internet – via webcam sex for example. A campaign has been launched in Amsterdam Red Light District, in which sex workers are asking for the same rights as others and to be allowed to start earlier than 1 September 2020.
Furthermore, all sports clubs in the Netherlands may open again on July 1, 2020.
Amsterdam, Nieuwmarkt. When the sun is out, terraces are filled.
The number of visitors in Amsterdam strongly depends on the day. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the quietest, with Wednesday always being the quietest day of the week. And Thursday through Sunday is a bit busier, with Saturdays and Sundays being the busiest days of the week. Many Dutch tourists visit the capital during the weekends. Last weekend it was also a bit busier in Amsterdam. Many locals and German tourists enjoyed the beautiful weather.
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Posted on: Mai 29, 2020
When visiting a city it is important to know what you really have to see. After all, you don’t want to miss the highlights and have a bad travel experience, do you? It’s even more annoying when your friends have seen something special in Amsterdam that you have missed. We have the solution! Here is an overview with 15x must see in Amsterdam Red Light District.
First of all, some basic information: De Wallen – the Dutch name for the Amsterdam’s Red Light District – is the oldest and most fascinating part of Holland’s capital. And, it’s one of the three prostitution areas in the capital. The other two are located on the Ruysdaelkade and the Singel and the Spuistraat.
The Dutch liberal and open-minded culture can be seen everywhere in the Red Light District. Only here you can see a church that’s surrounded by window brothels with sex workers, cannabis shops, residential houses and a 5d porn cinema with a daycare next door.
This list contains 15 must see in Amsterdam Red Light District items that everyone will like. Whether you’re into architecture, art, Dutch culture, history, religion, food or (erotic) entertainment. There’s really something for everyone. It’s not without reason that more than 4000 people from different parts of society live in this part of town.
There are only two places in the world where there are statues for sex workers and one of them is in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District – just next to The Old Church. The Dutch are quite tolerant and open-minded. Just two reasons why you can find this sex worker statue here, right in the old city centre.
During our Amsterdam Red Light District Tours our local guides tell more about this wonderful statue.
On one of the oldest streets in the capital you can find the oldest house. Funny thing is is that this house was only discovered to be the oldest house back in 2010. The old house with a wooden skeleton dates back to 1485 but stands hidden behind a facade dating back to 1800. Before this discovery the wooden house at the Begijnhof was considered to be the oldest house in Amsterdam. The funny thing is that Amsterdam’s oldest house is currently functioning as a gay-club named Dirty Dicks. During our Amsterdam Red Light District tour we’ll pass by this house!
Amsterdam has its very own little Chinatown. It was first established in the year 1911 and is the oldest Chinese neighbourhood on European soil. Since the year 2000 the area has had a Fo Guang Shan He Hua Tempel which is the largest Chinese style religious building in Europe. You can visit this temple for free!
Besides this highlight this is the place you want to be for asian food. All types of Asian restaurants can be found in this area including Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Malaysian food.
Food lovers pay attention. This is the most iconic snack-bar in the Netherlands. Walk on in and pull a deep fried snack from the automatique. Try out local delicacies like the kroket – a breaded deep fried cow or veal meat ragout which is super crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.
Or try the Frikandel, a minced meat deep fried snack that can be covered in a sauce of your liking. Tip: try it with mayonaise, curry and unions.
The CEO of the FEBO chain talks about this typical Dutch food in our app Amsterdam Audio Tours.
Ever wondered what a brothel looks like from the inside? The Red Light Secrets museum is actually a repurposed former brothel. Inside you get to see the many different luxurious rooms. You even get the option to sit in a Red Light District window brothel. Try and find out if any of the passer-byes are interested in your flirting-skills.
A hidden church museum right in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This church is located in the attic of a completely restored 17th century canal house. This little hidden church is a great symbol of tolerance in Amsterdam. Back in those days celebrating mass was forbidden, but in the case of hidden churches they were tolerated. This museum is a must for those who’d like to see the inside of an old canal house and learn about world famous Dutch tolerance. You can find more information or buy your tickets via the link below:BUY TICKETS >
The 15th century former city gate still stands beautifully at the center of the Nieuwmarkt Square. The building has had many different functions throughout its life. These include being a guild house, a museum, a fire station an anatomical theatre, and currently it’s The Waag Restaurant. Rembrandt even made one of his art works here. The famous painting by Rembrandt called “The anatomical lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulip” shows an anatomical dissection taking place inside The Waag.
The first 5d Porn Cinema in the world! This truly unique experience is a must for those who want to have a laugh. Inside the theatre you take a seat in moving chairs as a 3d porn movie is projected on the screen. The movie is about someone who visits the Red Light District for the first time. A plethora of other effects including wind, foam and water are then added in sync to the pictures on screen. This is a fun ride that you can only experience Amsterdam.BUY TICKETS >
Amsterdam’s oldest building the Old Church stands proudly between the window brothels and coffeeshops. This church dates back to the founding of Amsterdam. The first records of the church come from the year 1213. A lot has happened since then and the church has undergone numerous reconstructions and a switch from Catholicism to protestantism. The wooden ceiling, which is the largest of its type in Europe, is made from Estonian oak and dates back to 1390. Very special!
Learn more about Holland, the Dutch culture and history during the Amsterdam History Tour.
The Red Light District is home to the narrowest alley in Amsterdam. At its narrowest point this alley is just 1 meter wide. Besides being very narrow it also has nine window brothels so this is quite an intimate experience. During our Red Light District tours we’ll walk through this and many other alleys!
The logo of Casa Rosso Amsterdam.
A visit to the Red Light District isn’t complete without visiting one of the 10 sex shows in Amsterdam. We’d advice you to go to Casa Rosso. This is the most famous erotic theatre in Amsterdam with the long reputation. Open since 1968 this amazing theatre offers seating for up to 184 persons. Expect live couple sex on stage, stripteases, banana shows and some audience interaction! For details and reservations click on the button below.BUY TICKETS >
De Wallen is filled with street art from graffiti to actual bronze items. This bronze plaque was placed secretly at night on the street of the Oudekerksplein. After noise complaints from the neighbourhood from people stepping on the plaque it was removed by the municipality. The secret artist came forward and a deal was struck with the municipality. The plaque was placed at another spot and the artist remains anonymous.
We made a great app that offers a Red Light District audio tour with 22 experts who share their expertise about Amsterdam. This piece of street art is one of the 30 highlights. The app contains almost two hour of audio with beautiful picture and cost just 5 euro. You can list to it at home or in De Wallen. Do you want to learn more about Amsterdam?YES, I WANT THE APP!
Amsterdam has 164 coffeeshops. The first one was founded in 1972. Back in the 1990’s there used be over 400 coffeeshops in the Dutch capital. What happened with them? What are the drug laws in Amsterdam? Can you smoke outside on the streets? Why is it illegal for producers to grow cannabis in the Netherlands?During our informative Amsterdam Drugs Tour we’ll walk through a large part of the Red Light District area and our local guides tell everything about Dutch coffeeshops.
We asked more than 200 frequent coffeeshop visitors which coffeeshop they think is the best coffeeshop in town. This resulted into a list of 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Are you curious which received the most votes?YES, SHOW ME! >
The first shop in the world completely dedicated to condoms. The idea came to the owners at the start of outbreak of the HIV-Aids epidemic in the 1980’s. They were of the opinion that the public needed a store with professional staff that could give advice on condoms. At the time you could already buy condoms at pharmacy but there were too few option, hardly any choice or any good information. Thus the Condomerie was born and it is a featured highlight on our Red Light District tour.
Theodoor van Boven is the founder of the Condomerie and one of the 22 experts in the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.GET THE APP >
The best must see in Amsterdam Red Light District is of course a window brothel, or 288 window brothels if you’re lucky enough to find them all. Amsterdam and prostitution are inextricably linked. Prostitution has been legal in the Dutch capital since 1811 and prostitution has always taken place in De Wallen area. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see this. Learn more about this unique part of the Netherlands during a Red Light District with a licensed guide or with the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.
We created a Red Light District map with all 288 window brothels. It also contains 10 great bars, hotels and coffeeshops. Do you want to see it?YES, SHOW ME THE MAP!
Posted on: Mai 19, 2020
This useful list contains 10 cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. It shows hotels in adjacent neighbourhoods, like Rembrandt Square, Raadhuisstraat, Amstel, etc. All hotel and hostel prices are based on a reservation for a single person (from May 6 to May 9 in 2021). The prices will most likely be the same for other dates too.
The Oudezijds Voorburgwal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
This is the view from the Amsterdam House Hotel – listed at number 10.
Another great advantage of one of the cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District is that public transport is within easy reach. Tipp: use www.9292.nl/en for all information about public transport in the Netherlands. This is what all Dutch people use. It is free, available in English and always up to date!
Interested in one of these cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District? Just click the green buttons below to visit the website of the accommodation.
The most expensive on the list of cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. This beautiful hotel is situated in a monumental building and is located close to several entertainment areas such as Rembrandt Square, the Reguliersdwarsstraat and the Amsterdam Flower Market. It’s also one of the better cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. The hotel offers a great view over the amazing Amstel River. All the rooms have a private bathroom and tea/coffee making appliances. A large separate seating area is also provided. Most of the rooms have views over the canal.
97,- euro per night | 291,- euro for three night stay.MORE INFO >
This hotel is located at the Rembrandt Square entertainment area which is just a 10 minute walk away from the Red Light District. The area has many cafes, a coffeeshop, a club, restaurants and the Albert Heijn supermarket is also around the corner. This is where the locals get their groceries. The hotel offers free WiFi. The rooms in the Rembrandt Square Hotel have shared bathrooms. Coffee and tea facilities are available in the hotel lounge area. Another advantage of this hotel is that it’s just a 2 minute walk away from the Amsterdam Flower Market.
94,- euro per night | 283,- euro for three night stay.MORE INFO >
This bead and breakfast is located close to Amsterdam’s Museum Square that hosts among others the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The Red Light District can easily be reached via public transport or a 20 minute walk. The rooms at Dina Perla Lodges all have fully equipped kitchens. The bathroom is shared with other rooms. There’s free WiFi and a fitness area too.
91,- euro per night | 273,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
A beautiful hotel located in a monumental building. Situated at an ideal location close to the Anne Frank House, Westerkerk, Nine Streets, Dam Square and near the Red Light District. All rooms have a private bathroom and have a flat-screen TV. At Hotel La Belle Vue you either get a room with a balcony or garden view. The tram stops in front of the hotel. This hotel near Amsterdam Red Light District does not offer free WiFi.
87,- euro per night | 260,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Hotel Hortus is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam close to the botanical gardens and Artis Zoo. Other attractions can easily be reached via public transport. The rooms are non-smoking and can provide accommodation for up to 6 people. Rooms have their own TV and safe. Bathrooms are shared and located in the hallway. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
80,- euro per night | 239,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Budget Hotel Tourist Inn is one of the cheapest hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. This hotel is centrally located close to the Anne Frank House and Dam Square. The Red Light District is just a 10 minute walk away. All rooms in Budget Hotel Tourist Inn have private bathrooms, a TV and air-conditioning. A daily continental breakfast in included in the price. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
77,- euro per night | 232,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
This is one of the most cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District. It’s the latest designer hotel in town, but this one offers an affordable price! The hotel is located next to the Oosterpark – a beautiful park which is not yet discovered by tourists. For visiting the main attractions you will have to use public transport. All rooms come with airconditioning and a private bathroom with shower. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
73,- euro per night | 220,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
The first hostel on the list is Ecomama. This hostel is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam city centre and within walking distance of the Red Light District and Dam Square. The hostel has a bar, a shared lounge area, a garden and the WiFi is free. The hostel also has an open kitchen, a great way to get to know your fellow travellers.
49,- euro per night | 147,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
This hostel is situated in a former laboratory in Amsterdam North, dating back to the 1920’s. Many of the original features of the time remain. Central station and the Red Light District are a short (free) ferry trip and walk away (around 10 minute). The hostel has many lounge areas, its own café and even a library. Prepare your own food in the shared kitchen. Free WiFi is available throughout the building.
48,- euro per night | 144,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
You can stay here from 34 euro per night! This accommodation is located on the Kerkstraat which is only a 17 minute walk away from Amsterdam’s Red Light District. It’s recommended for young travellers who like to meet other people who don’t want to spend too much on an accommodation but still like to have a centrally located stay. This modern budget hostel is situated nearby Amsterdam Leidse Square. Both Museum Square and Rembrandt Square are within easy walking distance. Hans Brinker gives you the option of a private room or a shared dormitory. All the rooms at Hans Brinker have a private bathroom und a safe. WiFi is available throughout the building.
34,- euro per night | 102,- euro for a three night stay.MORE INFO >
Do you know other cheap hotels near Amsterdam Red Light District? Please drop them in the comment section below.
Posted on: Mai 3, 2020
Before the corona-crisis, 11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in tourism and catering. That’s 1 out 9 people.
35.458 people worked in the catering-industry. 12.108 people worked in hostel/hotels. 9.802 people worked in culture and recreation. 4.758 people worked in travel organisations and agency’s. (source: Data Amsterdam )
Normally, Amsterdam attracts 18 million visitors per year of which 3.1 million people visit the Red Light District area. They spend an average of 242 euros. This provides Amsterdam 6.3 million euros. Tourism accounted for about 4.5 % of the Amsterdam economy. (source)
Restaurant In de Waag Amsterdam is a catering company located in the second oldest building in the city, on the New Market Square (Nieuwmarkt) – next to the Red Light District and just few minutes away from Central Station. It’s the building where Rembrandt made his famous painting the Anatomic Lesson and even before that, it was used as a city gate.
Normally restaurant in de Waag Amsterdam receives many locals and tourists who enjoy a drink, a ‘bitterbal‘ or dinner. Inside or outside on the sunny terrace. But also this company is hit hard by the corona crisis. The Dutch have to stay indoors as much as possible and tourists now stay away. Dutch entrepreneurs are struggling and do everything they can to avoid bankruptcy.
For six weeks now, restaurants in Amsterdam have been closed due to the corona crisis, and quite a few have switched to a take-away concept. Restaurant In de Waag on the Nieuwmarkt goes one step further and invented something creative: people can cycle through our restaurant to pick up their meal.
‘It is the old city gate of Amsterdam. People used to go here in the city in this way. So we go back to our roots and try to make it fun in this way, ‘explains Priscilla Den Ouden – managing director of restaurant in De Waag Amsterdam.
A bicycle path has been created on the floor of the restaurant, which customers can use to cycle through the restaurant. A pedestrian crossing has even been constructed so that staff of the restaurant can cross safely. In the Waag, the staff is ready with the order, so that it can be taken immediately.
The entrepreneur of the restaurant still has many questions: There is government support, but is it enough? Are we going to get through that period? What will happen next if the guests are allowed to eat inside again? Will tourists come again?
With the Bike Through, the Priscilla Den Ouden hopes for some extra turnover. ‘You want to show your passion as an entrepreneur, you want to show that you are there. That we will not be forgotten. ” (source)
De Waag and Nieuwmarkt are two highlights during our Red Light District tours.
Posted on: Mai 1, 2020
After years of profitable tourism, Amsterdam’s Red Light District and its window brothels are now deserted. Is the silence a foreshadowing of an uncertain future for this centuries old vibrant area? Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf asked Cor van Dijk, the chairman of the entrepreneurs who are represented in the business association Burgwallen and also Managing Director of the Otten Group, that, among other things, runs the sex theatre Casa Rosso in Amsterdam.
Cor van Dijk – chairman of Amsterdam’s Red Light District business association.
11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in the tourism and catering-industry, before the corona-crisis. That is 1 out 9 people. Almost 70.000 jobs.
In recent years there have been some complaints in Amsterdam about the crowds of tourists, especially in the Red Light District, that is now different. Many Amsterdam residents who depend on tourism hope for a quick return of visitors, says van Dijk. Since January 1 2020, he represents, in addition to the entrepreneurs who are located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, the entrepreneurs located on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudekerksplein.
How are things now in the empty Red Light District of Amsterdam?
Cor van Dijk: It really is a ghost town. I speak with window brothel operators. They are anxiously waiting for things to be allowed open again.
Amsterdam’s city centre is hit extra hard because tourists and visitors are no longer there. Locals are hardly ever found there anyway.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is an entertainment area where people also live. We find this very important for the neighborhood. We did not see the local residents before, but now we do speak to them. 90% of the residents in the Red Light District live here to their great satisfaction and never complain.
How will the Red Light District blossom again?
I’m afraid that a vaccine will not be available soon. But hopefully there will soon be a means by which people who become infected will not all end up in the intensive care anymore. When that happens, I think much of the fear will go away. We’re all huddled up together at the moment. I think that if people are allowed to travel and fly again, life will get going again here. But it won’t immediately be full, I suspect.
Are entrepreneurs already under water?
Yes, window brothel operators in particular! They are about to go bankrupt. These are the large window brothel operators with dozens of windows. They do not receive government support. It depends on how long it’s going to take, otherwise it will be really bleak here. The moment the window brothel industry disappears; you pull out the heart from Amsterdam’s Red Light District area. Maybe even from the city itself.
You have to wonder if the other functions around here still have a right to exist. Think of the theaters, restaurants, sex shops, you name it. Many tour guides and tour companies in Amsterdam are also seriously affected. There are also entrepreneurs who do have some “fat on their bones”, but they won’t last for years. If I look at our own company, the Otten Group, the reserves will run out in a few months.
What else do you hear?
I hear from entrepreneurs that (approximately 25% of all) Amsterdam sex workers now work from home. The demand for paid sex might have remained unchanged, but of course the supply is no longer there. I think that an alternative is now being sought.
1.5 meters distance inside window brothels, is that possible? Sex workers with facemasks seem rather clumsy to me, in this “contact profession”. Some people also claim that it could take a long time before the municipality of Amsterdam and Dutch government consider it responsible to allow paid sex again.
The sex work industry is not my industry, but I would find it strange if sex workers are treated differently than other contact professions, such as the masseurs. In any case, this crisis should not be used as an improper means of achieving long held city planning desires. In retrospect, the criticism on project 1012 was that criminal law was used to get city planning matters done. It would be inappropriate if that happens again.
The vacancies that would arise in Amsterdam Red Light District area in the future as a result of bankruptcies can be used by the municipality to “redesign” the area, right?
I don’t know if that’s the idea of the City of Amsterdam. Earlier there was talk about an alternative sex location outside this neighborhood (the so-called sex hotel), but that was mainly intended for the currently unlicensed industry. The second thing investigated was the costs that would arise if the window brothels were dropped. They are huge. I don’t think Mayor Halsema wants to get rid of the window brothels either. When I showed the mayor around Amsterdam’s Red Light District, just after she took office, she indicated that she thinks the prostitution industry with the window brothels serve a very important function. I don’t think she’ll use this crisis to clean things up.
The “Latin-American” corner.
What should happen next in Amsterdam when the economy restarts?
I think you should try to make things as easy as possible for small businesses. Any rules that stand in the way of that should be relaxed. Especially for the period that people need to survive. I am thinking, for example, of the terrace policy. Maybe you should increase the opening of other stores. It is difficult to explain to guests that the shops in the Red Light District are closed at 10:00 pm, while they can still buy things 200 meters away at Amsterdam’s Central Station.
How will things go at the Casa Rosso Erotic Theatre?
This week we measured how many customers we can have in the new ‘1.5 meter society’. We came to 47 people. When they’re couples, they can sit next to each other, we came to a maximum of 58 visitors in the theatre hall. Normally it can accommodate 184 people. We always had a continuous show, but we have to change that. Then, for example, you would have a show every hour, you have to make arrangements about when people can go to the toilet. We probably can’t serve drinks either. I don’t know if that is financially attractive. Perhaps the cost is greater than the income. That is also what I hear from the hospitality industry: for about seventy percent of the hospitality industry, the “1.5 meter society” isn’t profitable. Also not for window brothels.
Support Casa Rosso Amsterdam by pre-ordering tickets below:BUY TICKETS >
Also Amsterdam’s Casa Rosso Theatre is closed during the corona-crisis.
When do you expect the first stream of visitors?
I’m betting on June 2020. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I think I should stay positive. It may first only be Dutch and European tourists. I think the tourists from other parts of the world will wait a while. We already spotted the first German tourists last weekend. They came here to take pictures.
Are you not afraid of the end of Amsterdam’s Red Light District?
I think this neighbourhood will always keep its appeal, as long as those functions remain: sex workers who will hopefully be able to get back to work in the window brothels and things around them. Then I think the old glory will return again. The Red Light District in Amsterdam is on many people’s wish-list to visit.
And that without mass tourism and its accompanying problems?
It was often only about the inappropriate behaviour that people were annoyed with: groups of drunk people who did not know how to behave. The moment that you start to enforce this properly, I think that this nuisance will also be limited. We can all come up with new rules, but every rule that we come up with and that is then not enforced confirms the prejudice about Amsterdam – also in the future – that everything is possible and allowed.
Posted on: April 22, 2020
(Last updated: 26 November 2020)
From red-lit window brothels to iconic Dutch canals, every day we post great Amsterdam Red Light District images on our Instagram-account. We dived into its insights and analysed which images got most likes in 2020. Here are the best 10 photos that you have to see because they can be inspirational for your next trip to Amsterdam.
With more than 510 likes this is the absolute number in the top 10 Amsterdam Red Light District images. This shows the Old Church Square, Amsterdam’s oldest building, window brothels and a crooked lamppost. This is the middle of the Red Light District and also the oldest part of town.
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Hit like if you’ve been here. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #dutch #igersholland #europa #europe #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdam🇳🇱 #eurotrip #dewallen #nederland #thisisholland #church #travel #travelgram #traveler #travelphotography #travellovers #amsterdam🇳🇱 #tourguide #tourism #mokum
This is perhaps the most famous cannabis shop in the world. Maybe because it’s one of the oldest. The Bulldog has nine businesses in Amsterdam but this was the very first one.
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Coffeeshops in Amsterdam may only sell cannabis through takeaways. These corona-measures where implemented by the Dutch government on Tuesday. Customers are not allowed to sit inside anymore. Coffeeshop The Bulldog blocked its entrance with a bench and a bouncer. They offer their products via the side of the building. This photo shows the staff members waiting for customers. More info at the news section on our website. #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #weed #corona #cannabis #weedporn #cannabiscommunity #cannabisculture #cannabisindustry #weedlife #thebulldogamsterdam #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #nederland #mokum #020inbeeld #news #nieuws #igersamsterdam #dutch #amsterdam🇳🇱 #cannabisgrow #travel #travelphotography #art #painting #amsterdamweed
Number three in the list of top 10 Amsterdam Red Light District Images is this one. In this picture we explained a part of Holland’s drug law. Do you want to learn more about drugs? Join the Amsterdam Drugs Tour with a licensed tour guide and get an answer on all your drug related questions.
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In 1976 the Opium law was changed in the Netherlands. For then on out there’s been a distinction in the Dutch drug law between soft and hard drugs. This also started the policy of tolerance when it comes to coffeeshops (=cannabis shops). Toleration regarding soft drugs means that the sale of soft drugs in coffee shops is a criminal offence but that the Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute coffee shops for this offence. Neither does the Public Prosecution Service prosecute members of the public for possession of small quantities of soft drugs. These quantities are defined as follows: 1) no more than 5 grams of cannabis (marijuana or hash). 2) no more than 5 cannabis plants. During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour (this Saturday) we explain everything about drugs, Dutch culture and Amsterdam’s history. Check out our website for more details and reservations. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #tour #holland #netherlands #weed #cannabis #drugs #travel #europetravel #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #cannabisculture #weedporn #weedstagram420 #cannabissociety #travelphotography #nederland #amsterdam🇳🇱 #traveltheworld #tripadvisor #lonelyplanet #weedlife #dutch #streets #amsterdamcoffeeshop #damsquare #rijksmuseum #art #cannabiscures
Did you know that the owner of The Bulldog was born and raised in the Red Light District? He came from a poor family and grew up in an area with prostitutes and pimps. When he was young, the leader of Amsterdam’s Salvation Army guided him and put him on the right path. Thanks to her, he has now become such a successful businessman. An entrepreneur and self-made man who is now in the Dutch Fortune 500 at number 254.
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Because the sale or purchase of large quantities of cannabis is still illegal in the Netherlands, coffeeshops (=cannabis stores) are forced into the underworld to get their supplies. What that means is tens of thousands of euros in cash, trade with shady dealers and there’s always the risk that criminals will take your newly-bought stock of weed from you after you just paid for it. These are the risks coffeeshop owners have to deal with to get some produce to their customers. Shop owners are forced to purchase every other day because they aren’t allowed to have large stocks. If they don’t do this they run the risk of not having any stock for some time. Transaction are always done in cash. 50.000 euro per transaction isn’t out of the ordinary. With these kinds of amounts it’s no surprise that so called ripdeals happen. Shop owners don’t always know exactly where the weed comes from. Some prefer buying from 10 smaller home growers than 2 bad types that can deliver a lot. No matter what you are forced to have to deal with organized crime. Coffeeshop owners would of course rather not. No tax is paid on cannabis in Dutch coffeeshops, while the yearly revenue off all coffeeshops is 1 billion euro. Learn more about these kind of things during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour (this Saturday). Visit our site for details and reservation. #cannabis #weed #amsterdam #holland #dutch #netherlands #cannabiscommunity #amsterdamcity #amsterdamweed #joint #drugs #travel #coffeeshop #amsterdamcoffeeshop #weedporn #cannabissociety #travelblogger #tours #coffeeshops #amsterdamlife #amsterdam🇳🇱 #redlightdistrict #igersholland #thisisholland #cannabiscures #nederland #tripadvisor #bulldog #europetravel #amsterdamshots
This is also one of the most popular Amsterdam Red Light District images. Most likely because it shows the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – the famous street – with a news update on the corona-crisis in Amsterdam.
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Due to Corona virus, all bars, museums, restaurants, attractions, window brothels and, sex) shows in the Netherlands are closed until April 6, 2020. Cannabis shops are only open for takeaways. Prostitutes dare not work. Locals stay inside and tourists stay away. The result is empty streets in the Red Light District. If this all is over, please come back to Amsterdam – the most beautiful city on earth. #corona #nofilter #holland #netherlands #europa #europe #travel #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #nederland #thenetherlands #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelguide #europetravel #travelcommunity #dutch #thisisholland #amsterdam🇳🇱 #thenetherlands🇳🇱 #city #reizen #tours #trees #citylife #nofilterneeded
This erotic theatre has been around for more than 50 years. Also this company had to close its doors due to the safety measures for the corona-virus. Luckily Casa Rosso Amsterdam will re-open in the future. Did you know we also offer online tickets for this sex show? Buy tickets on our website and get to see real erotic performances. They even show a couple having sex on stage!
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Take care of yourselves and each other. From Amsterdam with love. #redlightdistrict #netherlands #holland #corona #covi̇d19 #amsterdamcanals #nederland #netherlands🇳🇱 #netherland #igersholland #mokum #thisisholland #casarosso #city #citylife #cityscape #earth #world #europe #europa #redlightdistrictamsterdam #reizen #travel #travelphotography #traveltheworld #tours #health #tour #lonelyplanet #canals
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What a beautiful place!!! 😍 #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #europa #dewallen #dutch #iamsterdam #travel #nofilterneeded #traveltheworld #europetravel #amsterdamcity #amsterdamlife #amsterdam🇳🇱 #Nederland #020inbeeld #amsterdamcanals #travelguide #thenetherlands #netherlands🇳🇱 #photooftheday #streets #traveller #travelphotography #traveladdict #canals #citylife #city
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Normally this is the liveliest part of the Netherlands. #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #corona #holland #travelban #streets #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #nederland #dewallen #redlightdistrictamsterdam #travelblogger #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #Europe #europa #redlight #amsterdamstreets #igersholland #thisisholland #dutch #mokum #020inbeeld #amsterdamcanals #news #klm #schiphol #amsterdamworld #amsterdamview #netherlands🇳🇱
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The Oudezijds Achterburgwal is one of the best spots in the Red Light District ❌❌❌ #amsterdam #netherlands #holland #europe #travel #europetravel #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #travelblogger #travelgram #traveltheworld #traveling #dutch #redlightdistrict #tours #damsquare #heinekenexperience #klm #thenetherlands #travelguide #eurotrip #amsterdamweed #citylife #cityphotography #lonelyplanet #tripadvisor #heineken #nederland #amsterdamcanals
The window brothels in Amsterdam have been closed since half March 2020. They will stay closed August 31, 2020. The next day they may be opened again. Sex workers had a really hard time and they hope that people will visit Amsterdam again soon.
IMAGES ON INSTAGRAM >
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All window brothels in the Netherlands are closed. Some sex workers are working from home despite all health risks. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #europa #europe #sexwork #dewallen #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #eurotrip #red #thisisholland #citylife #cityphotography #streets #mokum #sexworkers #travel #corona #covid #travelblogger #traveling #travelguide #alley #nederland
Posted on: April 15, 2020
Prostitution is known as one of the oldest professions in the world. There’s much to learn about this fasinating occupation which has always been around and which will never disappear. This article contains 20 books on the history of prostitution. This selection is wide ranging and should have something of interest to anyone who’s interested in prostitution and sexuality throughout the ages.
Dr. Kate Lister – university lecturer, researcher on history of sex work and owner of the well known Whores Or Yore Twitter account – provides the reader with a thoroughly entertaining and well-referenced historical tour of 2500 years of sexual practices, body parts and sex in general. A witty and well written book! Recommended for anyone interested in the subject of sex.
Kate Lister also shares her knowledge on sex work during our Amsterdam Audio Tours. This app contains interesting stories from 22 experts, photos, GPS and a virtual guide. This audio tour can also be listened from home as an audiobook.
Subjects: Prostitution, history, drugs, Dutch culture, Amsterdam, De Wallen, sexuality, etc. It offers almost 2 hours of audio and cost just 5 euro.YES, I WANT THAT APP! >
The title has it: Playing the whore is an expression used to indicate that sex workers play a certain role. They need to be some kind of actors/ actresses. This used to be a frequently said Dutch saying: ‘de hoer spelen’. Translated: Playing the whore.
This is a book on how policies that are being advocated by police and many anti-prostitution feminists have the opposite of their intended effects. For those who are well read on this subject the book doesn’t offer much new information. It does however function as a great concise summary. It has a lot of good references for further reading.
A book for those who think prostitution is easy money, and those who actually do the work and are looking for advice. This self-help book for sex workers and erotic entertainers was written by Lola Davina, a former stripper, escort and porn actress. She provides the reader with solid advice on how to deal with the unique emotional toll that comes with sex work. One of those books on the history of prostitution that is timeless.
Number four in this list of books on the history of prostitution is this entertaining and provocative read. It offers a very concise and interesting perspective on gender roles and sexuality from the distant past right up until the modern age. Conventional wisdoms are challenged and the standard theories adhered to by most experts are shown to have serious flaws.
Writer Elizabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist, has been investigating and involved in the fight against AIDS for 14 years. This is one of those books on the history of prostitution where the writer lays out how rotten the state of the current research field is and how reluctant the government is to grant funds for vital HIV prevention to those who are in need of it most: prostitutes, junkies and gay men. The is a no holds barred read and will make you rethink all that you know on the subject of the AIDS-virus.
In this book Nina Kushner presents a perplexing look into elite prostitution in Paris in the 18th century. The book is based on a wealth of documentation as the Parisian police in those days surveilled many of the prostitutes and their clientele. This is beautifully written and highly readable scholarly work. One of the better books on the history of prostitution.
And now some great books on the history of prostitution in the Netherlands and its capital which got city rights in the year 1275. In this harbour-city, prostitution has always been around. Illegal & hidden. And, legal & out in the open.
Written by Mariska Majoor, ex-prostitute, founder of the Prostitution Information Center and Amsterdam’s most famous sex worker activist. This woman was even knighted by the royal Dutch family. Mariska is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable prostitution experts in the country. She has been active in this industry for more than 30 years.
This book is not just a handbook for sex workers. It also provides great insights for those who want to educate themselves on one of the oldest professions in the world and it explains more about Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
This unique book by Marcus Segretto originally started off as a blog detailing his adventures on Amsterdam’s Red Light District, from a customer perspective. He wanted to provide an alternative view to the prevailing attitudes against prostitution. His blog about his visits to the sex workers in Amsterdam was a big hit with more than a million unique visitors. Fans of the blog encouraged him to publish his blog in book form, which he did. Many books have been written about prostitution, but very few that describe the experiences and thoughts of the clients. Therefor this one is one of the must have books on the history of prostitution.
Prostitution has never been a socially accepted profession but the past decade world’s oldest profession has been under renewed attacks from both Christian and Feminist interest groups. Legalising Prostitution offers a great overview of the current field. The author, Weitzer, writes from an American perspective and uses findings from European countries like the Netherlands and Germany to provide the reader with alternatives to current American practises when it comes to prostitution. What results in the in end is a handy overview of “best practices”.
The United States has a long history with (illegal) sex work, which is why this list also contains five top books on the history of prostitution in America.
Prostitution is probably the most interesting aspect of the American west story. This book will give you a perspective on those women for hire during the American west days. Besides learning about why these woman turned to prostitution you’ll also learn about the business side of their work including competition, location and marketing.
Writer Elizabeth Alice Clement presents a detailed and fascinating examination on both sexual and moral shifts that happened in New York in the first 50 years of the 20th century. An entertaining and enlightening read despite it being an academic book.
This book by Alexa Albert provides a great independent study of the sex work industry in Nevada, United States. Based on a lengthy six year study this books on the history of prostitution gives an honest look beyond the fantasy that the sex industry project outwardly. It presents the human reality behind that veil.
Lora Shaner takes you on a deep dive into to life inside a Nevada brothel. It’s a great study on all the characters of those working in, and visiting the brothel. Recommended for anybody who want to get an impression of daily life inside a legal Nevada brothel. For less than 5 dollars this is one of the cheapest books on the history of prostitution.
The murder of a youthful prostitute in New York, 1836 set off a shockwave throughout the nation. The story would be recorded in history as the first case of journalistic death and sex sensationalism. A practice that we’re all too familiar with today. Besides being an investigative piece this books on the history of prostitution also delves into that specific era and the rapidly changing culture of the period. For a super exciting, non-fiction book this is a real page-turner.
Long before America was discovered, prostitution took place in Ancient Greece. That is why there is 1 book that should not be missing in this list.
This is one of those books on the history of prostitution that offers a look at sex work from ancient Mesopotamia to the period of early Christianity. In those days, like to today, prostiutes were socially marginal. But they connected with a lot of aspect of daily life. Some led a life of luxury with famous poets and politicians. Others did not. A must read books on the history of prostitution, specifically for those interested in the history of women and classical antiquity.
This work by Henry Mayhew was the first 19th-century London sociological study and the first piece of oral history. For this work Mayhew traversed 100’s of miles of 1840-1850 London streets collecting statements from the city’s poor and forgotten. The stories that they told showed a part of London that was almost unheard to the higher classes. This book is an extract of the original work and is centred around crime; vagrants, prostitutes, pickpockets and rag pickers.
In addition, three fantastic books that explain the history of sex. They are not necessarily books on the history of prostitution, but since prostitution is inextricably linked to sex, these three top items contribute to get a better understanding of sex work.
Writer Eric Berkowitz presents a 4000 year historical look at how principally western society has been attempting to curb sexuality by law.
This is one of those books on the history of prostitution that perfectly illustrates that every age has well-intentioned policy makers who have warped ideas about what types of sexual behaviours should be punished. With more than 94 ratings it gets 4 out of 5 stars and is therefor recommended to read.
The only graphic book (comic book) in this top 20 books on the history of prostitution. The comics are really amusing, making this book a great option for those who are a little more visually oriented. In this book sexologist Phillip Brenot gives an exhoustive commentary on sex using history, sociology, anthropology and psychology.
In this work world renowned intellectual Michel Foucault (1926 – 1984) explores why we constantly talk about and analyse sex. Furthermore it presents the history of sexuality and lays down arguments against the theories of sexual repression.
In this 304 follow up work to The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction, Foucault analyses the ancient Greeks and how they perceived sexuality. A quote from this book: ‘In Athens, certain laws protected free children from adults who at least for a time did not have the right to go into schools; from slaves, who incurred the death penalty if they tried corrupting them; and from their father or tutors who were punished if they prostituted them…
Bonus material in this top 20 books on the history of prostitution is this one. In this third and final book on The History of Sexuality, Foucault looks into the period of the Golden Age in Rome. In it he shows a subtle yet conclusive breach from the Classical Greek interpretation of sexual pleasure. He presents how distrust of pleasure and anxieties on sexuality appeared and the ramification of this cultural change. This in entire collection of books on the history of prostitution by Foucault should be owned by anyone interested in the subject of sexuality.
Prostitutes working from home is a concern for the municipality of Amsterdam now that erotic venues are closed due to the coronavirus. Mayor Halsema is investigating whether erotic sites can be blocked.
50-year-old Marloes has been a prostitute for 25 years in various clubs in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. She is not registered at the Chamber of Commerce as a freelancer and cannot claim special assistance from the Dutch government. “I fall outside any scheme,” says Marloes (her working name). “But I also have my fixed costs. Money is written from my account every month, for example for my car, which I pay monthly. I have children who have to eat and send money to my family abroad.”
Amsterdam’s most narrow alley with nine window brothels.
Her income has drastically decreased since all erotic venues in the Netherlands had to be closed. She estimates she earns about 25% of her normal income and now has to invite customers to her home. Her children, who are already studying, know what work she has.
She doesn’t advertise, she says. “I have a regular customer base. Those customers approach me. The need for prostitutes is greater than the fear. That’s what you’re human for. Of course, she’s also afraid of contracting the coronavirus, she says. “I first let my customers take a shower at my home. Then it is clean on the outside. I make sure there is no saliva contact: no kissing and always safe.
A lot of customers are also afraid themselves.”
Window brothels in De Wallen.
She currently has about eight customers a week. A number of appointments are also in her agenda for next week. “In the beginning, when the coronavirus had just arrived, it was a lot quieter. When Prime Minister Rutte had been on television, I only had one customer. People were very shocked.”
Others prostitutes also work from home now, she says. “I know more prostitutes who work from home or rent a place somewhere or work as an escort and also go to customers myself.” She doesn’t see that as dangerous. “My limits and requirements, like showering are made clear from the start. I make it a fun game: I do not stand aside, it’s showering together. You try to make it fun. At home it’s already straightforward.”
Amsterdam has approximately 4,000 to 7,000 prostitutes. “The largest group is at home. It is estimated that about 25% is working from home,”says Heleen Driessen, confidential counsellor for Prostitution and Health Center P&G292.
“The sex workers still need money. For rent or for their family. A Bulgarian prostitute recently said: “I just have to send money to my family, because they really have nothing.” She now works from home.
Mayor Femke Halsema announced in a committee of the city council on Thursday that she is investigating whether erotic sites can be blocked, due to the risk of infection for prostitutes. Sites like Kinky, SexJobs and Planet Romeo are still online with their ads. Halsema tempered expectations; such a blockage would not be simple.
The inside of a window brothel from MyRedLight.
Male escort Lyle Muns (26) of MyRedLight does not work himself, but he does see a group that continues to work.
“They are prostitutes who are not registered at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce and are undocumented. These are people who are in financial distress if they do not work, because they cannot claim the special assistance.”
He is concerned about the risks. “If they continue to work, there is a risk of infection. In addition, prostitutes who normally work in clubs or behind the windows are used to safety. The brothel operator is nearby and comes immediately when the panic button in the room is pressed. That safety disappears.” But it is also a question of supply and demand. Lyle Muns: “It works both ways. There are also customers who want to meet. ”
Posted on: März 26, 2020
After fourteen years of discussion with critics, judges, banks and the municipality, the new Asian theme hotel MAI Amsterdam on Geldersekade has finally opened its doors. A new hotel on one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam.
Founder Arjen Van den Hof on Amsterdam’s newest hotel addition: ‘The story of the building and the neighborhood play an important role in my interest in a possible new project. In this project, the rich (cultural) history and development of Chinatown in Amsterdam’s Red Light District turned out to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration. From the beginning I was flooded with ideas. With Hotel Mai Amsterdam I would like to create a place where travellers and locals come together and enjoy design, art and hospitality – a place to Meet Asia In Amsterdam.’
Each hotel room is enriched with a work of art created by fashion designer and artist Claes Iversen. He made an Asian-inspired series of paintings especially for Mai Amsterdam. Iversen artistically edited his homemade photos of Chinese architecture with paint and other originally chosen materials. In addition, flower paintings, made in combination of paint and embroidery, are a common work in this series.
The 81-room hotel MAI Amsterdam has been open since Chinese New Year – 25 January, 2020 – fourteen years after the first plans. Long years, with a crisis, banks that first became enthusiastic and then reluctant and – when there was money again – contractors who were too busy. And there was the objection, as with other recent new Hotels in Amsterdam, among others: more crowds, nuisance, mess. “On the last day that an objection could be lodged, someone still objected to Hotel Mai Amsterdam,” owner Kin-Ping Dun says in the lobby. The individual properties have long been in his family, which also owns the Asian Shop Dun Yong. “The warehouse contained items for the Asian Shop and our wholesaler, as well as all kinds of art objects that my parents had collected. In the other part, we created a Chinese shopping center at the end of 2001. But that never delivered that what we had hoped for.”
When the Chinese wholesaler moved to Sloterdijk, a future as a hotel was the most obvious one. According to Kin-Ping, there were hardly any alternatives. “The layout of the buildings did not comply with the building rules for permanent residence. Then you would have had to demolish almost everything and build new structures, right in the middle of the Red Light District. When the government was still a strong advocate of new hotels, the municipality, district, Stadsherstel and NV Zeedijk all strongly agreed.
This was not the case for everyone in the area, which is why it’s an objection. The resistance to Hotel Mai Amsterdam did not seem defensible to the family. Since the designs date from 2006, they never fell under the hotel stop that the city council later announced in its attempts to curb the tourist crowds. The judge ruled otherwise. “We had a permit for 83 rooms, but there was a typo in a hotel list of the municipality; there were 63 rooms. The court found that so important that they immediately destroyed the entire project. We had nothing left at all.”
“It hurt because the building had been empty for so long. What we earned at the Asian Shop disappeared into this project. It couldn’t have lasted much longer. We are not a project developer who has all kinds of funds to deal with that.” He understands the concerns. “We’ve been a part of this neighbourhood for so long that I really see what the objections are. We promised not to sell the hotel anytime soon and knew very early on that we would partner with Vondel Hotels for the operation. We went to their Hotel De Hallen with a bus full of local residents, to show what kind of hotel group that is. That did help. But you don’t convince people who don’t want to believe it.”
In the end they had to take it up to the Board of State level to dismantle the consequences of the typing error. The family made more promises, laid down in the permits. The hotel has a separate restaurant, MAI Kitchen, with its own entrance on the Zeedijk. That entrance is not for Hotel Mai Amsterdam guests. “That was the agreement with Stadsherstel; no trunks on the Zeedijk. ” Another deal concerns the Elleboogsteeg between Zeedijk and Geldersekade, which separates the hotel buildings. This alley was closed for years, now it opens again. “That is a wish of the city district; not our idea. We would have preferred to have made it part of the hotel, covered. But that went too far for the district. Understandable, because it is public space.
That meant that we had to go over it with a glass passage, which was quite difficult. ”Kin-Ping is satisfied with the final result. “It has not become a hotel with red lanterns. It is a look that I do not know, but that feels very good. Arjen van den Hof, had a lot of contact with my parents. Much of the art that now stands here comes from our store. I see some images still exactly in place in the racks, under fluorescent light.”
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Posted on: März 20, 2020
One of Holland’s most known sex worker expert – Mariska Majoor – shares her secrets and expertise about one of the oldest professions in the world during this exclusive interview. We frequently speak to experts in order to provide the best information, on our website and during our tours.
Mariska has been a sex worker herself. She founded the Prostitution Information Center, was the initiator and chairman of the Dutch union for sex workers and she even received a royal honour for her decades of commitment to sex workers and the Red Light District.
So Mariska, you started working as a sex worker when you were 16 years old…
Mariska: Long, long time ago.
The Red Light District of Amsterdam.
Nowadays the minimum age to become a sex worker is 21 here in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. What do you think of this?
I do think 16 is too young. I agree with people who always told me that. I see two sides of it. People say that you’re an adult when you turn 18. From then on you can drink alcohol in the Netherlands or buy cannabis. A lot is allowed from that age, but you may not offer sexual services.
I was always against raising the minimum age to 21 because of all that. But nowadays I think it’s better. when you are 21 years old, you are more confident and more capable of making decisions. Especially about complicated stuff like sex work. But working at a younger age should never be criminalised. That’s asking for trouble.
You were a sex worker for 4 years. Could you explain the positive sides of being a sex worker? What did you like so much about the job?
Statue for sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
It’s not really about positive or negative. I mean it’s a job, sex work is work. We all have to work to make a living, create an income. Not everybody is always happy with the work that they do. I wasn’t a sex worker because I enjoyed it a lot, I was a sex worker because it came on my path. I didn’t really care and was okay with being a sex worker. But the most important reason why I did it was because I needed money, just like anyone else.
I think it’s not fair, the discussion about sex work is not an easy one. It’s not fair to talk about sex work as a positive thing or a negative thing. I think it’s time that people start looking at it as work. it is a way to have an income. It has positive and negative sides just like anything else in life.
For some people sex work is great. I mean if you enjoy sex as a game where you don’t mind doing it with different people. If that’s your hobby, then it’s definitely a great way to make a living! But I think that for most sex workers it is just a way of making money.
You know many sex workers personally and also met many abroad. What do you think they like most about the job?
The most important thing is money. That goes for everybody. But besides money, it’s absolutely freedom. The freedom to make your own choices.
Playing with people in a sexual way and sexuality in general. Those are the things that make the job more interesting. That makes life interesting. But those are not on the top of the list.
Is it also like being strong, feeling powerful?
You feel powerful but that is not because of the work that you do. Let me give you an example. For my most recent book-project called “united under a red umbrella“, I visited some countries with my daughter where people are poor. My daughter and I created this book together and we met a lot of sex workers.
Mariska and her daughter Robin.
Some of them did not make a concise choice to do this. It came on their path just like it came on mine many years ago. A lot of sex workers do not have the most easy circumstances. But the fact that they are able to make some money and to feed their children – and in many cases also the rest of their family – that is making them powerful.
So I’ve met a lot of people who felt more powerful since they started working as a sex worker. But I find it difficult to say that sex work makes you feel powerful because that is just too easy.
So you think that many sex workers do this job because they can change their future and have a better life?
It depends on the country. In The Netherlands the circumstances are different as in Nigeria, India or the Dominican Republic. The countries that we visited for our book. I mean in the Dominican Republic we spoke to transgender sex workers who were kicked out of school at a very young age. They were kicked out of their homes at a very young age. All because they are transgender and thus not accepted in society. Sex work was the only option available to them. So their main problem is being a transgender and not being accepted because of that. They started to work as sex workers with the sole purpose of creating an income. Is it their first choice? No. They’d rather do something else, sex work is a way to survive.
But at the same time some of them started a sex workers organisation, helping each-other and talking to politicians about their situation. So there is absolutely an empowerment aspect to sex work. But I find it hard to explain, I hope you know what I mean. You know in the Netherlands our circumstances are so different. The Netherlands is not a poor country, so the stories of the sex workers here in Amsterdam’s Red Light District are different. We have less issues with corrupt police officers than abroad.
Sex work is legal in the Netherlands, society is a bit different. The Dutch are more tolerant about complicated issues such as sexuality and prostitution. So here it’s easier to stand up for yourself. We also have issues with stigma about sex work. But in the Netherlands people don’t throw stones at you or throw you in jail, when you’re a sex worker. They don’t kick you out as easily as they do in other countries.
You also think that this is why foreign women come here for sex work because the situation is better here? So they can create a better future for themselves?
Most foreign sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District specifically come from Eastern European countries, Africa and Latin America. But sex workers from Africa or Latin America cannot come to the Netherlands as easily as before. But yes, they come here to make a better future for themselves and sometimes for the rest of the family too. And you cannot blame them. I would do the same thing. Legally or illegal, we all want a better future for ourselves and for our children. If you can’t find that in your own country you try to find it in another country.
In 1994 you founded the Prostitution Information Center (PIC). Did you also have many foreign women coming to your place with questions on how to become a sex worker? Is that correct and if so how did you help them?
In 1994 when I opened PIC, there was juste one other organisation for sex workers. Especially in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, PIC was the first and still the only place that everyone can visit and ask questions about sex work. So it was quite a special place then. I still think it’s still a special place today but especially in the 1990’s it was unique. Also for sex workers themselves and those who wanted to start working or quit working.
Or customers, tourists and people who wanted to start a brothel. It was before the internet. if someone wants to become a sex worker nowadays, he or she can just search on Google. One can find information on how to organise things, where to find a brothel or how to rent a room for example. It’s quite easy to find information about that. But in the beginning of the 1990’s it wasn’t that easy, so I had a lot of new sex workers that came to PIC for information.
You also gave courses to help potential sex workers. What were the things that you told them and which you considered important?
You must understand that I was quite young when I started PIC. I was like 23, was a smart-ass and I was doing crazy stuff. Putting male sex workers behind the windows and all that. Stuff that I enjoyed. Doing at least 1 or 2 big projects a year and made a party out of that. Like a school for sex workers was one of those crazy ideas. Not crazy in a sense that you shouldn’t take it seriously. But I thought it was great to start with history lessons or to learn how to put on a condom with your mouth. We organised role playing with a fake customer who’s one of my friends. He was a pantomime actor that played a drunk or aggressive customer and then we’d all practise on how to deal with guys like that. It was a lot of fun, really a lot of fun. But at the same time I took it very seriously because when you start to do something like sex work you have to realise a couple of things in order to not get in trouble with your own sexuality. With different things in your life like family, friends and relationships because those are the things that make the work complicated.
Sex work itself is about sex, that’s easy. We all know how to do that. What makes it difficult is how do you talk about this with your parents or what do you tell your children? Do you keep it a secret or not? First of all you have to make that choice and then you have to live with that choice. I mean at the moment that you decide that you keep it a secret you live a double life.
Living a double life isn’t easy. Those are things I still think people have to realise when they make a decision to do this profession. Some people can make that choice but there are also many people who don’t have that choice. In many countries they don’t have the option to make a conscious choice. When it’s a matter of life and death you cannot dwell on making conscious choices. You just have to make money.
How old were you when you told your parents that you were a sex worker?
Before I came to the Red Light District in Amsterdam I worked in a private sex house. And before that I worked in a strip club in Amsterdam. I was 15 back then. In that period of my life I was often stoned or drunk, or both (laughs). In those circumstances you do crazy things. At the moment that I decided to work in a strip club, I called my parents to very happily say that I finally found a job which was the most stupid thing to do.
Amsterdam, Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
I come from a very catholic family, so my parents did not appreciate it that I was working in the sex industry. They don’t see it as a common job. It was a foolish move of me. My parents were not happy with that at all. It was a big thing in the family. I did it anyway and broke off contact with them.
Later I started to do real sex work. My parents told me years later that in the time that I worked in the private sex house, there were rumours in the family, that I was working in a private house but my parents didn’t believe it. They found out later.
I was sick one day around a year after I had started doing sex work from using too much drugs. I used speed at the time. I called my parents if I could please come home for a while because I was very ill and needed rest. I had bronchitis. In the time that I was recovering at my parents house, the owner of the brothel called my parents if I was feeling better. He called a couple of times. One day, my mother one day asked about why that guy is always calling.
I was so fed up with lying all the time that I just told her. My mother was very upset and I had to leave the house. She kept it a secret from my father for a while because she was afraid that he would completely lose his mind. She was right.
This is the problem for most sex workers. Being afraid of what the family might think of you.
But they found out very early, around the age of 17?
Yes, and after that I told them that I would stop and never do it again. Then I moved to Amsterdam. I started working in the Red Light District and after that in a private sex house again. My parents found out about that years later when I started the Prostitution Information Center. That was actually the time that I became more open about it, but that was easy.
But why didn’t you tell it right away? What was the reason not to tell them about it again?
Because they were very upset. We human beings don’t want to upset our parents too much. There was also a time when I tried to improve the relation with my parents again. It was bad for a couple of years. I thought that it was easier to deal with my parents keeping sex work as a secret from them than the confrontation and the fight, the worries from them about this. You know I spoke to so many people about this; sex workers or people that want to start working as a sex worker that had to deal with this. Do you tell your parents or your other relatives and friends about this or not? And sometimes I think it’s easier to be open about things instead of living with this huge secret. And other times it’s better to keep it a secret when you deal with people that can simply not accept this and cannot deal with this. You know, people that are very religious or very scared of this type of work. There are people who will never understand. In those cases it’s better to keep it a secret, and to keep the contact good between you and your parents or whoever they are. Better than making them worried, feeling sad or frustrated or whatever.
So you were raised as a catholic?
My parents tried (laughs).
Do you think that your religious upbringing influenced you in making you decide to become a sex worker?
No, I was always curious. Curious and a bit of a bad girl when I was younger.
Yeah that’s a nice word! But also a thinker… I was raised in a small Dutch town and I found that quite boring so I kind of escaped from that. I think.
So you were looking for excitement and then you moved to Amsterdam?
First to Hilversum, because that was also quite exciting in the 80’s. Big drugs scene, coffeeshops. That’s why I skipped a lot of school. I was 12 when I started smoking joints, so it started a bit with that. The boys were more interesting than school. Sex was interesting for me as-well so I started experimenting a bit with that. And you meet people in a certain scene. You know you feel attracted to certain people and certain places where you go out as a teenager. And then things come on your path. That’s the same with everybody. The things that come on your path attract you or they don’t. All the excitement that came on my path I took it with both hands.
Did you finish high school?
No, I only did 1,5 years high school and then I dropped out and never went back.
Do you regret that?
Yes and no. I always felt a bit underdeveloped but at the same time I’m streetwise. I know a lot of people that are very highly educated but they haven’t done half of what I did or what I still do. Of course miss things, absolutely.
Right now I’m very interested in writing. I did write a couple of books but those weren’t big works of literature. I like writing, but what I miss (because of my short time at school) is word knowledge. That’s the reason why I sometimes say to myself: “You stupid fool! That is your lack of education.” But besides that, I do think schooling is important, I’m a mother and my daughter had to finish school. I always give myself as an example and bagged her to finish high school at a bit higher level than myself.
Did your daughter finish school? She’s now how old?
Yes, she did! She’s 22 now.
And is she studying now?
She did a year and a half on the photo academy and at the moment she’s working in the hospitality industry at a grand cafe. And she’s like her mother she wants to start her own business. And I’m very supportive in that, I think she’s the type for it!
How did sex work change since you first got involved with it?
As I mentioned before, sex work is sex work, it never changes. A blowjob is still a blow job! (laughs). I mean what you do in a room, the actual work. The way you deal with a client, all that is still the same. What has changed is all those things around it. Policies have changed and the way things look have changed a bit. In the time that I worked here in the windows there was still carpet on the wall and it was still dark and old with cockroaches.
Outside the brothel?
Yes, and nowadays the walls inside the brothel windows are covered in tiles, no carpet anymore, because it has to be hygienic, easy to clean. Policy wise a lot of things have changed.
Do you think it has become saver?
Not necessarily, we always had an interesting system here in the Netherlands. We had the so called policy of tolerance. I think sex work in The Netherlands was unsafe before they started that. But this policy of tolerance was something that almost grew naturally in say the last 50 years. Even before that for centuries Amsterdam had brothels and also in other big cities of the Netherlands. Sex work is only unsafe when its happening in the streets, in dark alleys or parts of the woods. Or parts of the city where there is nobody to watch you which is the case in many countries. In the last year that we did this book project I’ve been to places in Rumania, Hungary and France. Really dangerous places where you have to stand in the dark or you have to step into the car with a guy and you don’t know where he’s taking you. That’s dangerous. In The Netherlands this is not really the case. In the time that I worked we had officially illegal but tolerated brothels. Those places were pretty safe. The police was always around in the Red Light District and responding to the alarmbuttons that we already had at that time. We had our boyfriends, pimps, brothel owners or girls next door that would help out as well. It’s still the same these days but now it’s formally legal. In practice it is not all that different.
And in the time that you worked here in the windows, was it also mandatory for sex workers to register at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce?
Nooo way! It was a lot easier in my time to work, you didn’t even have to show your passport. With the more responsible ones yes, but not all establishments. I wasn’t 18 when I started to work. In the time that I started to work here in the Red Light District I had vice police coming to my door once and I gave the name of one of my friends who wasn’t working on that day, and she had just turned 18, and the police told me to bring my passport next time. I of course said yes and that I would do that. But I never saw them again.
You just said that you started working in a strip club when you were 15. I guess the minimum age wasn’t 15 right?
No way, I wasn’t allowed to work there.
What was the minimum age back then?
It was 18. But that strip club was a bad place. In the back it was possible to have sex for money which ‘officially’ wasn’t allowed. And I left the place at the moment that the owner told me I was capable of doing that as well. That it was time for me to start doing that too. And then I ran away screaming; “I will never do that!” (laughs) but a couple of months later I started doing it. For a good reason! I needed money to buy a dog! (laughs.)
You bought a dog?
Yes, with the money I earned from two customers. A German shepherd, big love of my life.
You said you didn’t like sex work that much, but did you also have nice customers?
Oh absolutely! Like I mentioned before I was always interested in sex. Sex for me it was a nice game to play. It was not necessarily a thing that I only wanted to do with people who I’d have a relationship with or was in love with. And that’s what I always try to explain to people.
You can do sex work if you can separate sex and love from each other. I don’t say that all people should deal with sexuality this way, it’s your own choice. But if you can make this separation being a sex worker isn’t that a difficult thing to do and it can also be pleasant of course. But if it’s your work you cannot be too critical with who you let in as a customer. You have to create an income so you also work with people you don’t necessarily feel something for or you feel an attraction towards.
Of course you can make choices in this. If somebody is too aggressive for example, I don’t like aggression. I don’t like the macho type you know, the pumped up big guys so I would refuse a guy like that. I had no problem with working with older men, I was very young, but having customers of 60, 70 even 80, no problem. But it had nothing to do with my own pleasure. Just business. And sometimes you had somebody that you did feel attracted to or that was just a nice guy, that’s possible too. But for me one of the great things about that work, and especially the way I did it in the windows, that I prefer over working in clubs and private houses, is that you were completely independent. And it’s so easy to make choices you know, to refuse a guy or to set your own prices and to make your own business decisions. What you do with a customer and what you don’t do with someone, which is a lot harder to do in the clubs.
And did you enjoy the flirting in the windows?
That’s a great thing, one of the greatest things of being a window worker. The whole flirting game is fantastic. It’s still nice to do, but I don’t feel as confident anymore about my body and myself as when I was younger. But if I’d still have this fantastic body I think I would still stand in the window for fun. I did workshops for a couple of years on window prostitution and that was one of the greatest things for me to do. People had no idea, they walk around in the district and see the girls in the windows and they think o my god they are standing there for the whole world to look at, but that’s the fun! People have to understand that that’s the fun.
So one of the positive things about being a window sex worker is the flirting, the game, the excitement?
Yeah, as long as this is something that you choose to do, of course. I don’t want to burn my hands on percentages, I leave that stuff up to other people, that’s not my thing anymore. But I know for sure, I can guarantee, that most of the people that work in the windows in the Red Light District choose this profession themselves. It can sometimes be a very boring job but overall standing in the window is fun. It’s about flirting. You know when you stand there you have such a good look on the street and you can easily see already from a distance who’s a potential customer and who’s only walking around and only having a look. So you focus on the people who you think might be a customer. That’s the one you focus on, the rest disappear. And then playing the game with that person is half of the job. You make them come to the window, you negotiate at the door about the prices, times and things that he wants to do. That’s also fun.
There are many people that can’t believe that the women standing in windows are standing there on their own free will. What do you think of that?
That’s a very tiring and frustrating thing. I mean, where to begin. People are very judgemental. They create an opinion usually based on two thing: what they hear the most in the media for example, and how they personally feel about the subject. Prostitution is about sex and sex is a complicated topic for people, still. We don’t live in the Middle Ages anymore but people still find it hard to believe that you can have sex for fun and sex for money. They cannot see themselves doing this so they project that onto others. It makes me very angry. I can get very pissed off when I see people doing that, project their own ideas and opinions on people around them. Even worse is when they don’t believe the actual people that they speak about. So when I say I work as a sex worker and I enjoy it they don’t believe it because they can’t see themselves doing it. I always find that difficult to deal with.
At the same time I understand where it’s coming from. Human trafficking, forced labour, all that is an issue in the whole world. But the mistake that people make is that they focus a lot on prostitution in this whilst human trafficking and forced labour are happening in many sectors of the economy. But when it’s about sex it’s worse for people somehow. I think that’s not fair and people analyse this the wrong way. They exaggerate a lot too. They also use it a lot as an excuse to simply discourage sex work in general. Worldwide there’s a huge lobby against prostitution that is coming from Christians and feminists that are against sex work. They join hands these days, they’ve found each-other in this battle against prostitution. Using human trafficking as an excuse whilst they both have different reasons to fight against prostitution. Christian morals and feminist ideas, they both see sex work as a morally wrong thing that should not exist. I don’t like the way they fight against it. I think it’s very unfair, they refuse to listen to sex workers. They refuse to use the words sex work. They think sex can never be work and that they should fight against it and totally ignore the voice of sex workers worldwide on this, they only want to speak about human trafficking because that’s how they view sex work. To be able to understand where I’m coming from, where my activism is coming from, you have to start separating human trafficking from sex work. They are not the same but two completely different subjects.
Some people find the Red Light District outdated and feel that it no longer belongs to this time. What do you think of this position?
I think there’s only one group who can decide that and that is the sex industry itself. If it’s really true that the age of window prostitution is over, it’s up to the window sex workers to decide that. If they no longer want to stand in a window they will leave. They’ll stop renting the windows and then we could say that. But this isn’t really the case at the moment. There are still a lot of people interested in window prostitution. Because it’s a legal profession in the Netherlands they deserve the right to work in a window brothel. It’s a legal way of making a living.
The fact that you see a lot of empty window brothels during the daytime is used in this discussion, but that’s not really fair because what’s been happening in Amsterdam’s Red Light District in the last couple of years is that window sex work is being discouraged, and because of tourism. Tourists are making photographs of the sex workers and the Project 1012 gentrification project for the area, those scared away a lot of the sex workers. There are a few things happening at the moment.
I believe that we do not have empty window brothels during the day because of less interest in prostitution.
Some people find window prostitution disrespectful. What do you think of that?
A mistake! Window prostitution is not disrespectful but the way that people act towards window prostitutes is sometimes disrespectful. Again, in the whole discussion about the future of window prostitution in the Red Light District I think people approach it from the wrong perspective. They speek about closing down the windows to protect the women because people aren’t always respectful towards them. Then I think, hello guys! This is a strange approach. If you think that you have to protect sex workers from people that are disrespectful then don’t take away their work places and educate people that work around the Red Light District.
I hate it too, when I see people having a big mouth towards the sex workers in the windows or see people taking pictures without asking them. But then someone should talk to those people instead of telling the sex workers to leave because people are being disrespectful towards them. That’s stupid!
Have you heard of the four scenarios that the mayor of Amsterdam created? One of them is to close the curtains of window brothels and make the sex workers work behind the curtains so that the people on the streets don’t see them anymore. I find this scenario quite strange.
The mayor wants to do something good for sex workers. The mayor wants people to have more respect for the sex workers. She proposed a scenario that sex workers won’t be longer visible from the streets. I am against the closure of windows, but I appreciate that the mayor pays attention to the human rights of sex workers.
I think it’s more important to inform visitors of Amsterdam’s Red Light District how to behave towards sex workers in the windows.
Nowadays it’s mandatory for tour guides to inform their guests that it’s not allowed to take pictures of sex workers. Do you think that tour guides should be around in the Red Light District to inform tourists?
I think that tour guides have a very important role to play in educating the visitors of Amsterdam’s Red Light District! People who join Red Light District tours have no idea or completely wrong ideas about sex work. But after doing a Red Light District tour with a good guide someones opinion can really be changed. This has benefits for sex workers because they get more respect in the end. That’s why I always gave tours myself and I think the same reason applies to all tour guides. They really have an important role to play.
Tourists should be told not to film or photograph the sex workers. One must behave. Don’t stare. Be respectful to the sex workers. Don’t look at them like a monkey in the zoo. That is not the way to do it.
I think it would be good idea to experiment a little bit more in the Red Light District. Sex workers need choices on where and how to work. Some don’t care, even with being photographed. But most do care.
In certain countries like Sweden it’s legal to be a sex worker but illegal to visit a sex worker. What do you think of the Nordic model approach to prostitution?
Mariska: A big mistake. A very big mistake! I’ve seen in countries like France what that is doing, the harm that it’s doing to sex workers. It’s such a stupid idea and proof for me that the people who come up with these ideas are not interested in sex workers safety or rights. Governments and countries that are in favour of this model simply do this to discourage prostitution with the hope of banning it completely from their countries. They say that they’re doing it for the sex workers but I don’t believe them at all. It’s very clear what this law is actually doing to sex workers. It’s forcing them to work in very dangerous circumstances. It discourages sex work in a way but in practice sex workers continue with their job legally. It will only make them more protective of their customers so more willing to work in circumstances that protect their customers. Those places are often the streets, the woods, illegal brothels or home based prostitution. Where there is no control or help if anything goes wrong. What I also see happening is that the good customer, the well paying customer gets afraid to visit a sex worker. You lose the good guys as customers. The people that don’t care will continue to go and those are usually the customers that are higher risk, and have less money.
Would you like to see sex work being decriminalised all over the world?
Decriminalising sex work is number one! I also want sex work to be more seen as a normal job by society in general. In the Netherlands for instance I think a lot people do not realise how -not- tolerant they are. Perhaps more tolerant than in other countries, but what’s interesting in the Netherlands is that people are tolerant towards prostitution as long it’s not to close to them.
We noticed that with this campaign that we did with posters stating “Sex work = work.” A lot of people said; “Oh yes, it’s work it is what some people choose, that is fine by me.” But if you ask them: imagine that your own daughter, cousin or mother chooses becomes a sex worker, then people suddenly get scared.
So from a distance it’s fine. Just the same with Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Dutch people come to get entertained in the area but in their own hometown if someone wants to open a brothel next door, then people say ‘no way’!
Sex workers campaigning in Amsterdam.
Do you think that sex work should be discussed at schools (in the Netherlands)?
This topic should definitely be discussed in high school. You don’t have to start early. I don’t like groups of young school children in the ages of 9, 10 and 11 walking around the Red Light District area.
But in high school you can absolutely explain sex work. And one can explain it in combination with other things, like sexuality or poverty for instance.
What are you doing nowadays?
Mariska: I launched my own website: MyAmsterdamStories.com which is like hobby and a learning process. I like writing but I’m not good, but want to be good! So for me it’s like practising. So I write short stories about Amsterdam. About Tamara, a window prostitute in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, which is based on my own experiences. I write a little bit about the Red Light District but also about the woods. Every weekend I’m at the Veluwe in the Dutch woods.
I write a little bit about things that I see in the Netherlands. The birds, the trees, being homeless in Amsterdam, etc. I was homeless myself for a short while when I was younger, so I feel attracted to that part of life as well. So I visit homeless organisations to speak to people for inspiration and I want to write little pieces about that subject.
For next year, I plan the write a book about being homeless in Amsterdam. Writing is a hobby, I would really love for people to follow me on Instagram and MyAmsterdamStories.com. Please read my short stories and let me know what you think. I would like develop as a writer.
I also have another website where I offer real Amsterdam cookies. Artisan freshly baked butter cookies with lemon zest and vanilla for an affordable price. And, the logo of Amsterdam is part of the cookie too. A part of the profit even goes to the homeless in Amsterdam.
Mariska’s daughter at the printing house.
In addition, I also made a Dutch book about the Amsterdam Red Light District, which will be released on May 6, 2020. It is called ‘De Wallen, toekomst van ons verleden’. Translated: The Red Light District, future of our part.
Mariska Majoor is one of the 22 experts who are part of our app Amsterdam Audio Tours. It offers very interesting stories of the Red Light District which you can listen to in the area, or from home as a podcast. In this app, police officers, prostitutes, historians, sexologists, local entrepreneurs, drug consultants, residents, sociologists share their expertise.GET THE APP >
Posted on: März 17, 2020
The normally lively streets of Amsterdam are deserted due to the measures against the corona virus. We experienced this during a bicycle tour at 11 am through Amsterdam. These three videos is what Amsterdam in corona crisis looks like.
The video above was recorded on March 17, 2020. It shows New Market Square (Nieuwmarkt), China Town and Zeedijk street and several streets within the Red Light District area. This is what the city centre of Amsterdam in corona crisis looks like. Numerous events have been postponed and bars, restaurants, daycare & schools are closed until April 6, 2020. Also all erotic venues (like Casa Rosso, 5D Porn Cinema & Club Bon Ton) and window brothels are closed too. Most sex workers are afraid to work during the corona crisis.
On March 26, 2020, Amsterdam Red Light District Tours published the following statement: I think I’ll visit Amsterdam within 6 months. In other words: I’ think I’ll visit Amsterdam before September 2020. This poll reached as many as 8,416 people and a total of 956 people voted. The response rate was therefore 11.35%. 58% of the respondents were positive and answered yes on the statement I think I’ll visit Amsterdam with 6 months.
Prime Minister Rutte on 16 March 2020 during his national speech. (ANP)
Everyone with minor health problems is strongly advised to stay at home. Dutch Prime Minister Rutte repeated it again on Tuesday evening in his speech: ‘these are unprecedented measures for the Netherlands in peace time. Prime Minister Rutte is no longer afraid to say that citizens should “follow” the directions “to avoid groups, bars, restaurants, etc.” “For the sake of people who are more vulnerable.”
Yet the prime minister also marked the limits of the policy he wants to pursue. He absolutely does not want a total lockdown of the Netherlands, such as Spain does. “Such a rigorous approach may seem attractive at first sight, but experts point out that it certainly wouldn’t be a matter of days or weeks.” In fact, that could take “longer” than “one year”.
Closing the country could cause greater damage to the Netherlands. Without mentioning that, he appeals to the economic and socially disruptive consequences that would occur. “The Netherlands is an open country and as long as there is no vaccine, the coronavirus will continue to spread through the world like a wave and not skip our country.” (source)
The residents of Amsterdam take Rutte’s advice to heart, as witnessed by the two videos this article. It shows Amsterdam in corona crisis. Far fewer people on the streets. Some describe it as ‘dead’ or ‘extremely quiet’.
Cannabis shop The Bulldog blocked entrance and only sells via take-away.
Last Sunday all coffee shops in the Netherlands were also told to close their doors within hours. This then lead to masses of people who quickly visited the coffee shops (Dutch term for cannabis stores) to stock themselves. Once the coffee shops closed, many illegal street dealers took over the drug market. Therefore, the Dutch government decided to reopen coffee shops, but only for take-aways.
The video below also shows coffeeshop The Old Church II and coffeeshops Smokey’s on Rembrandt Square.
The video above starts at Rokin street and continues at Munt Square, Amstel, Rembrandt Square and Utrechtsestraat.
The video above was recored on 18 March 2020 in the middle of the Red Light District. It shows empty window brothels and closed shops.
Most Dutch people and tourists avoid the streets in Holland’s capital, for now.
Posted on: März 16, 2020
Dutch coffee shops (local name for cannabis stores) are allowed to open their doors again to offer cannabis (weed & hashish) at collection points during the Corona-crisis. The Dutch government has decided that the same rules will apply to coffee shops in the Netherlands as to the Dutch take-away restaurants. They are allowed to provide customers with food and drinks, as long as they do not put them at a table.
Dutch source: Dutch Coffeeshops May Offer Cannabis Again
A lot of people visited the Dutch coffeeshops since yesterday afternoon, when they were told that coffeeshops in the Netherlands had to close their doors at 6 pm. There were long lines of people who soon wanted to buy hash or weed during the Corona crisis.
Ook de locale dealertjes zien hun kans schoon voor wat #Marketing. Ze delen kaartjes uit. Vast een adres van thuisbezorgd voor een lekkere maaltijd.
____________________________#coffeeshop #coffeeshops #Coronavirusnl #corona #COVIDー19 #COVID19NL #drugs #joint #hamsteren pic.twitter.com/PzCT6gaWKr
— Vincent (@v_baartmans) March 15, 2020
Street dealers share business cards to cannabis shop visitors.
The video above was recorded on March 15th and shows two illegal street dealers sharing business cards to customers of coffeeshops in Amsterdam.
Mayors in the Netherlands already urged the Dutch government today that the coffee shops should be allowed to open their counters again. They feared that the illegal drug street trade would flourish again due to the forced closure. So they hear their call.
Customers of takeaways and coffeeshops are advised to avoid crowds. Also, the purchased items may not be consumed on the spot.
The Dutch government is still looking into the possibility of allowing restaurants that do not currently have a take-away function to open such a facility. This way they can still earn something during the corona crisis.
Dutch sources of this article: Coffee Shops Open Again For Cannabis Takeout und Dutch Government Re-Open Coffeeshops During Corona Crisis
Posted on: Februar 22, 2020
Wanna do something fun and learn more about Dutch culture, Amsterdam’s history, legal prostitution & legal drugs? Check out this useful list with five fun things to do in Amsterdam.
A few of the 292 window brothels in ‘De Wallen’.
For those who want to learn about legal sex work in the famous ‘Wallen’ area this tour is a must-do! The Red Light District represents the liberal and open-minded Dutch culture. In this neighbourhood residents live just next to window brothels and cannabis stores. Only here one can see a church that is surrounded by window prostitutes. And there is even a daycare literally next to window brothels.
Learn how the legal sex trade works in Holland, where the sex workers come from, hear about the safety measures, what they earn and how they are fighting the Municipal government to keep their working places. Highlights during this Amsterdam Red Light District tour include; world’s first condom shop, Chinatown, the Old Church, Nieuwmarkt, windows, Buddhistic Temple, coffeeshops and much more!
These Amsterdam Red Light District Tours are hosted by tour guides who have an official permit of the Municipality of Amsterdam. They are all locals and know the Red Light District as their backyard. We even have a tour guide who’s married to a window prostitute!
Also read: Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban still allows tours in the area.
Chinatown in the Red Light District.
Duration: 1,5 hours
Price: from 37,50 euro per person
Burn: 419 calories
After the tour there are many other fun things to do in the Red Light District:
Coffeeshop The Bulldog 90 in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Did you know that Amsterdam has 164 ‘coffeeshops‘? Did you know that just 7.4% of the Dutch adults uses cannabis once a month? And did you know that in Netherlands it is not legal to produce cannabis commercially? Only a small insight into what we are going to teach you during our tour
Drugs are a big part of Holland’s international image but why is this? How does the Netherlands actually deal with legal and illegal drugs? The Amsterdam Drugs Tour offers the best insights of the Dutch approach to drugs and what makes it so different from almost all other countries in the world. Hear when and how drugs first appeared and what the societal reaction was to it in the Netherlands.
Get informed about hashish, weed, tobacco, XTC, cocaine, alcohol, magic truffles, laughing gas and whatnot. See the highlights scattered throughout Amsterdam’s historic city center together with an expert guide. Always wanted to know more about drugs? Book the Amsterdam Drugs Tour!
The main street of the Red Light District.
Duration: 1,5 hours
Price: from 19,50 euro per person
Burn: 431 calories
The Prinsengracht – a highlight of the Amsterdam History Tour.
Learn how the Dutch turned a tiny swampy village into the centre of world trade. The story of Amsterdam is one of the most interesting historical stories in the world. Modernity started in Holland’s capital. But how and why did it happen here in Amsterdam and elsewhere? During this tour you’ll get all the answers whilst exploring Amsterdam’s medieval centre and the UNESCO World Heritage canal ring. Hear what makes Amsterdam’s story so unique in world history. Highlights of this Amsterdam History Tour include: city’s oldest building, the Royal Palace, Magna Plaza, the Anne Frank House, the Wester Church, house boats, the canals, LGBT-monument, and much more.
Shopping centre Magna Plaza.
Duration: 110 minutes
Price: 19,50 euro per person
Burn: 431 calories
At the strip-pole during the Amsterdam Brothel Tour.
Get a peak behind the curtains with this Amsterdam Brothel Tour. If you’ve always wanted to visit a brothel and learn more about sex work, this is the experience for you. A sex worker guide will show you around Amsterdam’s newest and most exclusive brothel. During the tour you get to ask her any question you might be interested; what are the working hours? How much do they earn? What is their most bizarre experience? You name it. It’s located almost next to the Heineken experience so you could easily combine a visit to both.
The stripclub area of this brothel in Amsterdam.
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: 20 euro per person
Burn: 118 calories
Explore the Red Light District with 22 experts in your pocket.
With this new Amsterdam Audio Tour you can discover the Red Light District on your schedule, at your pass. Navigate the so called ‘Wallen’ area with the help of GPS, virtual tour guide Sophie and 22 experts that you’ll ‘meet’ along the way.
One of the main benefits of this app is that you can now get a guided tour whenever you want, with whoever you want. Walk alongside the best narrators and hear all the interesting stories that are part of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Had enough? Just press pause and pick up after having a rest in one the many great cafes in the area.
The experts in Amsterdam Audio Tour: local police officers, a Romanian prostitute, historians, entrepreneurs, residents, drug consultants, sociologists, sex-historians, a male sex worker, the Fokkens twins, the Salvation Army, a smart shop owner and many others.
The CEO of FEBO Amsterdam is one of the 22 experts.
Duration: 110 minutes
Price: 5,- per person
Burn: 431 calories
Posted on: Februar 21, 2020
A tense body and stress in the body causes pain and fatigue. A good massage can solve this! This overview contains ten companies that offer a sex massage in Amsterdam for ultimate relaxation and a rested body.
All kinds of sex massage in Amsterdam are possible for you to enjoy. Think of a body 2 body massage, Thai massage, sensual massage, 4 hands massage, Nuru massage, oil massage, Tantra massage, erotic massage, etcetera.
All the best sex massage in Amsterdam services in this list work with escorts. If you want to know more about this, read these free & useful tips on how to use the services of escorts in Amsterdam. Below we give you 10 options for sex massages in Amsterdam including great tips for the best experience.
A good and simple tip for those new to this massage experience is to take a shower in advance. Do this in your hotel, accommodation or at home. A shower beforehand will make you feel fresh and clean, but more importantly: it ensures that no “dirt” is massaged into your skin. In addition, make sure you have a freshly made bed and fresh towels. Your escort always likes to freshen up before she leaves. With these tips in mind the experience will be most pleasant for you and the masseuse.
Get fully relaxed by a professional erotic masseuse. Desire Escorts offers more than 40 female masseuses. After the massage you can top off the experience with some extraordinary sex with one of these amazing women. Desire Escorts offers this option to its clients. If you don’t like oils all over your body, this is a very good massage option for you. We recommend using their service of at least 2 hours. This way you can take your time and enjoy your company in peace. Click on the link below to see all the women, possibilities, prizes and reservations.VISIT WEBSITE >
If you’re looking for an erotic Asian massage then we would recommend this Thai Massage Amsterdam. For those who are unfamiliar with an erotic Thai Massage; during a session the masseuse uses gentle pressure and stretching techniques so that your whole body gets relaxed. The Thai massage technique is originally actually from India.VISIT WEBSITE >
If you’re staying in Holland’s second biggest city Rotterdam, the women at Escorts In Rotterdam are probably your best option. This company offers erotic massages with an added option for a happy ending. During an erotic massage the masseuse focuses on your erogenous zones with the sole purpose of relaxing and arousing you. If you’d like they also offer a happy end to relieve all that built op pressure.VISIT WEBSITE >
Looking for some sensual relaxation and release between flights near Amsterdam Airport? Escorts In Schiphol has great massage services! Enjoy an erotic massage from an experienced and gorgeous escort. This professional company offers more than just the basics.VISIT WEBSITE >
Contact Escort Angels for a high quality Nuru massage. Nuru is an erotic massage technique originally from Japan. Translated Nuru means slippery/ smooth. You might have an idea where this is going; during a Nuru massage one or more masseuse rub their body against yours. This happens after you and the masseuse are both covered with and odourless and tasteless massage oil. More details are described on the website of Escort Angels.VISIT WEBSITE >
At Escort Amsterdam they offer full Body 2 Body massages. Your entire body is massaged, with time the escort will just move a little bit further until her entire body rubs against yours. If you ask nicely you might even get that special happy treatment with her hands.VISIT WEBSITE >
The female masseuses at Amsterdam Feinste offer you the best sensual and tantra massages (loving touch with full attention and presence). You can give them a call at any time, night or day. This company is known for the gorgeous women that they employ. Don’t miss out!VISIT WEBSITE >
If you find it hard to pick just one masseuse and prefer two, Passion Escorts offers you the 4 hands option. Experience two different massage techniques simultaneously. One woman will massage away all the tension from your muscles whilst the other takes special care of the more intimate parts of your body. Guaranteed relaxation!VISIT WEBSITE >
Another great service for those staying in or close to Rotterdam. This massage company in the Netherlands offers it all: body 2 body, tantric, Thai, Nuru, you name it! Contact them easily and discreetly via the chat option on their website. Experience a massage that is completely tailored to your personal needs and desires.VISIT WEBSITE >
Last but not least this company near Amsterdam Airport knows how to provide every massage option that you can imagine. They offer their services 24/7 so you have no excuse not to get one of their heavenly massage escorts delivered to your hotel room’s front door. Prices start at 150,- euro per hour. Look at their website for further details.VISIT WEBSITE >
Posted on: Februar 14, 2020
Yes, it will still be possible to go on a tour in Amsterdam Red Light District from April, 1st 2020. And yes, you can still join our educational Red Light District tours. However a few things will change in Amsterdam city centre from April 1st, this year. There’s no complete Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban. Just some things will change. It is as follow:
With an exemption/license from the City of Amsterdam (which our guides have) it will still be possible to give guided tours for groups up to 15 participants in Amsterdam’s city district – also in the Red Light District. This used to be 20. From the 1st of April 2020, guided tours will not be permitted to walk on streets with window brothels. However there are many other streets in the area which don’t contain windows brothels and where people can still be educated about the area. One can still be educated about legal prostitution, the Red Light District, Amsterdam and Dutch culture. On these streets it’s still allowed: Warmoesstraat, Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt, Oudezijds Kolk, Beursplein, Geldersekade, Papenburgsteeg, Oudebrugsteeg & Nieuwebrugsteeg.
And, there are a few other exceptions…
The last local law (mentioned above) was implemented on 1 January 2020. Since then, Dutch and foreign tourists need to pay entertainment tax when being part of a city tour in Amsterdam.
The Oudezijds Achterburgwal is the famous street of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District area – a.k.a. De Wallen – has many streets where there are no window brothels. For example the Warmoesstraat, the Zeedijk street, Nieuwmarkt, the Geldersekade, Beursplein, Stormsteeg, Kloveniersburgwal, Beursstraat, Oudezijds Kolk. This is where guided tours can still go after the 1st of April 2020. A map of Amsterdam Red Light District with approved and restricted streets is shown below.
Tours can still go here, on the Geldersekade, in the Red Light District.
When the “Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban” will be introduced on April 1st, 2020 it will still be possible to do tours on the streets mentioned above. One can still be educated by licensed guides about the Red Light District, Dutch culture, Amsterdam’s history and also about legal sex work. There are a lot of ambiguities about sex work. Many visitors want to learn more about this. An Amsterdam Red Light District tour with a licensed & knowledgeable guide provides a better insight into this old, mysterious profession and ‘De Wallen’ itself. Teachers and instructors are not part of the new “Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban” and can still provide guided tours throughout the area (including the streets with window brothels). In that case it concerns people who usually do not get paid for the tour.
The map below displays Amsterdam’s Red Light District with the streets where tours can and can not be hosted from 1 April 2020:
Green = allowed to host tours. Red = not allowed to host tours.
From April, 1st 2020 it will also be allowed to escort groups in Amsterdam’s Red Light District from one location to the other. For example from a touring car stop to a museum, restaurant, attraction or hotel. Or from Dam Square, through the Red Light District, to Casa Rosso for example. In that case, the host have to be able to show a reservation for the location that the group is going to.
The definition of escorting was described by the City of Amsterdam as follow: It means that the group is walking directly from A to B without standing still or the host is telling about the surroundings. Hosts do not need a license/exemption (from the City of Amsterdam) for escorting groups. They must be able to show the reservation of the destination. This escorting-policy only applies within the city centre of Amsterdam, including the Red Light District.
After 1 April 2020, it will still be possible to guide tours in Amsterdam’s Chinatown – also located in the Red Light District.
The temple above is situated on the Zeedijk. A street in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.
So, the new Amsterdam Red Light District Tour ban is not an actual/complete ban. The new policy made by the Municipality of Amsterdam just changed a few things in the exciting local laws that are stated in the exemption system (locally known as an ‘ontheffingsstelsel’)
In addition to the two ways mentioned above to go on a tour, it is also possible to get a tour with an app.
With the app Amsterdam Audio Tours you can discover the Red Light District on your schedule, at your pass. Navigate the so called ‘Wallen’ area with the help of GPS, virtual tour guide Sophie and 22 experts that you’ll ‘meet’ along the way. One of the main benefits of this app is that you can now get a guided tour whenever you want, with whoever you want. Walk alongside the best narrators and hear all the interesting stories that are part of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Had enough? Just press pause and pick up after having a rest in one the many great cafes in the area.
The experts in Amsterdam Audio Tour: local police officers, a Romanian prostitute, historians, entrepreneurs, residents, drug consultants, sociologists, sex-historians, a male sex worker, the Fokkens twins, the Salvation Army, a smart shop owner and many others. You can listen to the audio tour in the Red Light District or just at home as a podcast.
Amsterdam Audio Tours – stories that take you places.GET THE APP >
The City of Amsterdam will implement these laws because:
The municipality can not ban groups of people in Amsterdam. However, they can ban or restrict groups of people which are part of a tour, hosted by a guide. That’s why they came up with these new local laws.
In 2018, the municipality of Amsterdam commissioned a study by the Strabo research agency. Through surveys, Strabo questioned 203 respondents (residents, entrepreneurs & sex workers) about the Red Light District and tours in the area. 14 of these respondents worked in the sex industry, of which only 10 sex workers. Amsterdam’s Red Light District area (De Burgwallen Oude-Zijde) counts currently 4.295 residents, 292 window brothels and an estimated 350 sex workers (who work in day and night shifts). In other words: 2.85% of all prostitutes participated in this study.
There is strong doubt about the reliability and correctness of Strabo’s research. During a study with surveys it is essential that the sample size is correct. When the total population size of sex workers is 350, and when the confidence level should be 95%, then the sample size must be at least 184 sex workers. But only 10 sex workers participated in Strabo’s research. Almost 18 times too little.
Nevertheless, despite its low respondents, this study was still decisive for the policy of the Red Light District. The Amsterdam Red Light District tour ban is based on this rapport with associated surveys of just 10 sex workers.
In the same year of the study (2018) the co-owner of this research agency (Strabo) wrote publicly in Dutch newspaper Parool that he is against prostitution. He wrote: “Also prohibit prostitution in the Red Light District…Close the coffeeshops. Also reduce sex in the Red Light District.” (source)
Over the years the municipality of Amsterdam introduced new local laws. It all started with Project 1012 – named after the zipcode of the Red Light District.
In 2007, the City of Amsterdam decided to decrease Amsterdam’s Red Light District (Wallen) by closing window brothels and coffeeshops. A gentrification-plan (called Project 1012) led by former alderman Lodewijk Asscher, ensured that 112 window brothels were bought with tax money from brothel operators, and eventually closed down.
The municipality ensured that the Red Light District became much smaller, by decreasing the windows brothels in the area from 404 to a total number of 292 windows. The spread of people also deteriorated. The largest Dutch daily morning newspaper De Telegraaf claimed that Project 1012 costed 108 million euros (source). One window brothel owner (Charles Geerts) received 25 million euro tax money for selling his 18 properties with 70 window brothels to the City of Amsterdam (source). In other words: 357.142,86 euro per window brothel.
After that, most of these windows were changed into art-galleries, fashion shops, waffle-stores, pop-up-shops and whatnot. The local government wanted more variety.
However, most visitors in Amsterdam Red Light District are not interested in the products of these new shops, so it seemed. These relatively unpopular companies can continue to exist despite the fact that they make little profit because they have low rental costs. Cooperatives, which are partly funded by the (local) government, ensure these low rental costs.
There used to be several window brothels in the building where The Upcycle Store (shown in the picture above) is located at the moment.
When Project 1012 was launched, the number of visitors in Amsterdam already increasing. In 2006 Amsterdam had 11 million visitors. In 2013, the company IAmsterdam was founded. This is the marketing company of the city. Since 2013 the city started to promote itself considerably through this organization. The city wanted to get more tourists. This organization also placed the letters Iamsterdam on the Museum Square, in front of the Rijksmuseum.
In 2018 Amsterdam had 18 million visitors. Partly due to the activities of the marketing company of Amsterdam. In other words: Within 11 years tourism in Amsterdam increased by 64%. Project 1012 ensured that the number of coffee shops and window brothels in the Red Light District decreased considerably during that period.
Conclusion: more visitors came to a smaller area. This was one of the main reasons why nuisance in the area was more noticeable.
Since 2016, the municipality of Amsterdam has been talking with guides, tour organisations, a few sex workers and residents about tours. In 2016, the municipality of Amsterdam started discussions with stakeholders about guided tours in the Red Light District. In 2017, this resulted in making agreements in the form of a Red Light District Covenant Covenant.
In 2017, the Red Light District Tours Covenant with accompanying guidelines was drawn up in consultation with tour operators, the local police, representatives of sex workers, other stakeholders and residents. More than 50 parties signed the covenant. We liked this Dutch approach and we were one of the first to sign the convenant to improve things in the Red Light District together with others.
The local parties agreed in the covenant an evaluation would be carried out six months after signing. This showed that the vast majority of the covenant partners and parties who had heard of the covenant adhered to the agreements. However, some of the 4.295 local residents still experienced some inconvenience from groups in this neighbourhood that receive more than 3.1 million visitors annually. Therefore a reason to adopt stricter policies. This was partly because some large parties did not participate in the covenant.
Since April 1, 2018, there has been an exemption policy in the Red Light District and is for guides not allowed to give a tour in the Red Light District without exemption1. Various conditions are attached to the exemption, such as a maximum group size of twenty people. The conditions are largely the same as the agreements made in the covenant and written on the back of the exemptions – which the guides must carry.
At the beginning of 2019, due to the large crowds in the Red Light District, it became suddenly forbidden to give guided tours in the exemption area (2018) after 7 pm after 1 April 2019 after 7 pm. This applied only for tour groups with 5 attendees or more. Red Light District tours with a maximum of 4 attendees may still go through the area after 7 pm because these small groups are not part of the exemption system.
On Thursday, February 13, 2020, the municipality of Amsterdam sent an email to all touroperators and guides (in their database) containing the final decision and the associated details regarding the so-called new Amsterdam Red Light District Tour ban. In this email (with attachments) it stated that the maximum allowed number of participants in guided tours in the city centre will be decreased from 15. And it showed that guided tours within and around the Red Light District area are still allowed on certain streets.
The city of Amsterdam also indicated that tours in the Red Light District are still permitted on certain streets in the area, such as Warmoesstraat, Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt, Oudezijds Kolk, Beursplein, Geldersekade, Papenburgsteeg, Oudebrugsteeg & Nieuwebrugsteeg. All these streets are located in the Red Light District.
PROUD – interest group for sex workers: “We are against the prohibition of group tours in the Red Light District. We name three arguments:
Prostitution Information Center asked the city council to reconsider the new local law, to allow tours by professional organisations, to change the local legislation to be able to enforce certain behaviour and consult the stakeholders in the area by conducting proper & thorough research. (Source)
The chairman of Business Association Amsterdam Red Light District.
Business Association Amsterdam’s Red Light District: “The nuisance in the Red Light District is not caused by organised informative tours, but by unaccompanied groups. Drunk bachelor parties for example. It is very disappointing that the municipality of Amsterdam is not using a policy to improve the Red Light District. They could actually use good guides to inform people about the etiquette in the Red Light District.”
Tim – guide: It’s a loss for Amsterdam the lessons of freedom that can be taught in the unique, old part of town.
Henri Struylaart – member of the Dutch Guide Organization: Local guides are ambassadors for Amsterdam. Not being able to show guests around in Amsterdam’s unique area and to tell about local habits, is a big loss for the city.
Yes, From April 1st, 2020 it will still be possible to get a Red Light District tour with a maximum of 15 persons via certain streets. Also, when a host is able to show a reservation for a group for an attraction (or a hotel) in the area, then he/she can still escort the group to the destination within Amsterdam’s Red Light District.BOOK A TOUR >
Posted on: Januar 26, 2020
We offer a brand-new, super interesting and exciting walking tour through Amsterdam’s historic center. A unique tour that tells everything about all drugs (in the Netherlands). A tour that is more than ‘just’ an Amsterdam weed tour. During our new Amsterdam Drugs Tour we cover cannabis and its culture but our local guides also delve deep into all other legal and illegal drugs that have shaped the Dutch history and culture. Including drugs like magic truffles, XTC, cocaine, alcohol, amphetamines, laughing gas, etcetera.
Did you know that Amsterdam used to have a legal cocaine factory? Did you know that addiction-care is fully reimbursed in the Netherlands? And did you know that here people can get their illegal drugs tested legally on the content and quality?
Smartshops offer magic truffles, drug test kits, laughing gas, etc.
The Dutch are known to be very liberal und openminded. Especially Amsterdammers. A good example is the liberal policy on drugs in the Netherlands. To really understand the drug policies of the Netherlands you need to know about a lot more than just cannabis. During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour we explain all kinds of drugs, the history of drugs, the effects, the legal & illegal trade, availability, the war or drugs, smuggling, coffeeshops and much more.
This is a fun and very interesting way to get a better understanding of the Dutch culture, Amsterdam and its drug policy.
Good to know: These kind of Space Cakes will not make you high because it only contains CBD and no THC.
Up until the late 1950’s the Netherlands was considered to be one of the best behaved countries of the world. That all changed with the Dutch cultural revolution which started right here in Amsterdam at a spot that we visit during the Amsterdam Drugs Tour. Our local guides show how every cultural change since then was accompanied with a different drug that specifically sooted the cultural mood of that time. And how this resulted into the first cannabis store (aka coffeeshop) in Amsterdam in the year 1972.
Did you know that producing cannabis is illegal in the Netherlands? Here it’s tolerated to buy and sell cannabis but growing it for commercial purposes is illegal. This is due a religious political party (CDA) and former president of France (Jacques Chirac). Do you want to know why? Join our interesting Amsterdam Drugs Tour.
In the Red Light District it is not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets.
The number of coffeeshops (= cannabis shops) in Amsterdam has drastically decreased. In 1993 there were more than 400 coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Amsterdam currently has 164 coffeeshops. (source)
In 2017, 7.2% of all Dutch adults had used cannabis in that year. In 2017, 79.5% of all Dutch adults had drunk alcohol in that year. (Source: Nationale Drugs Monitor)
Of course weed and coffeeshops will be discussed during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour. We’ll answer questions like; why is cannabis not completely legalised in the Netherlands? How does owning a coffeeshop work in practice? And what effect has decriminalisation had on Dutch society? During this tour we’ll also discuss how Chinese Triad gangs ended up in Amsterdam and started a heroin epidemic in the 1980’s unmatched in size and scope in Dutch history.
Dutch weed in front of coffeeshop Jolly Joker in the Red Light District.
In 1976 the Opium law was changed in the Netherlands. For then on out there’s been a distinction in the Dutch laws between soft drugs and hard drugs. This also started the policy of tolerance when it comes to coffeeshops. Toleration regarding soft drugs means that the sale of soft drugs in coffee shops is a criminal offence but that the Public Prosecution Service does not prosecute coffee shops for this offence. Neither does the Public Prosecution Service prosecute members of the public for possession of small quantities of soft drugs. These quantities are defined as follows:
Another smartshop in Amsterdam
Highlights include: the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The Dutch East India Company headquarters, world’s very first corporation. Amsterdam’s second oldest coffeeshop (the first one got closed down). Amsterdam’s China Town, The Zeedijk street und Spui Square. We’ll walk past many other coffeeshops, smartshops, canals, Nieuwmarkt and much more…
During the Amsterdam Drugs Tour we’ll also show you a memorial of one of the most notorious drug addicted musicians, who actually died in Amsterdam. At another stop we’ll explain how the Dutch government was one of the top drug dealers in Asia and how that strange situation came about. We’ll explain how cocaine has been part of the Netherlands, since the founding of the Dutch Cocaine Factory. We’ll also share the latest trends in Amsterdam’s drug scene. Our local guides also tell more about the so called ‘Mocro Maffia’. We share insights in the (financial) drug trade in the Netherlands. And we explain how harm-reduction und addiction care works here.
Are you thinking about taking an Amsterdam weed tour? Join our Amsterdam Drugs Tour! Our local experienced guides will teach you everything there is to know about drugs and Amsterdam. Legal drugs like weed, hash and magic truffles will be discussed but also illegal substances plus drug history, fun facts, statistics, law enforcement, money laundering and drug trends.
Get a better understanding of drugs, the liberal Dutch culture and Holland’s capital with this interesting, fun & exciting tour.MORE INFO >
Posted on: Januar 24, 2020
(Last updated: 26 November 2020)
Are you considering taking Magic Truffles, but still have a lot of unanswered questions? Or are you just curious? Very good, you have come to the right place!
During our walking tours in Amsterdam we often get drug related questions, including questions about Magic Truffles. This is why we made a useful list with frequently asked questions about Magic Truffels. We went to all smart shops in Amsterdam and asked questions to the real experts. All answers can be found below!
Sclerotia, also called Magical Truffles or philosopher’s stones, are a hallucinogenic product of mother nature. Sclerotia influence your consciousness, so that you start experiencing yourself and the world around you more intensively. Many users find this experience beneficial and very valuable.
Yes, Magic Truffles are legal in the Netherlands! Magic Truffles are mostly offered in so called smart shops (not in coffeeshops). Here one can be informed and advised about this drug. Employees of smart shops often give tips on where and how these truffles can be used.
The use of drugs, alcohol or medication is never without risk. It’s good to inform yourself about the effects and risks of a substance.
Up until 2008 magic mushrooms were also legal in the Netherlands. The risks of magic mushrooms were considered acceptable and the harm reduction approach (through information) became the main focus of the Dutch government policy. This all changed when an under aged French girl (17 year old) jumped from the NEMO Science museum back in 2008. She had taken magic mushrooms.
Drug expert August de Loor finds it difficult to say anything about the case. “We don’t know the exact situation of this case. When someone has suicide plans, the use of stimulants is always dangerous. Is this also said if alcohol is involved?” (source)
Just about all the magic mushrooms that grew in the Netherlands were banned after that incident, but in the end the Dutch government did not ban Magic Truffles.
Yes, you can get pretty high from these Magic Truffles. This legal drug alters your perception. Colours seem more vivid. Textures and patterns can come to life. Kaleidoscopic structures can even appear before your eyes – especially in the twilight or with eyes closed. Other characteristics include floods of laughter, intense joy and satisfaction.
The main difference between Magic Mushrooms and Magic Truffles is that magic truffles grow below ground. This is also the main reason why the truffles are still legal in the Netherlands. You see, when the Dutch government banned Magic Mushrooms they simply forgot to put the magic truffle called the Philosopher’s Stone on the list. This truffle, not a mushroom, grows underground. You can still buy these truffles at smartshops in Amsterdam and the effects are pretty much the same.
The price for 10 grams of truffles (the maximum amount for a beginner) is between 10 to 15 Euro in Amsterdam.
Yes, there’s a change you get a so called “bad trip” or actually get physically sick from using truffles. The most common negative side of these truffles is having a bad trip. In the worst case scenario this involves unpleasant physical symptoms like getting chills, nausea, vomiting and even headaches.
TIP: If you think you’re having a bad trip, always try to remember that this is the result of the truffles that you’ve taken. The sensations will pass. You may have repeated ideas come to you in a continues loop, especially in the first 1,5 hour. These compulsive thought patterns can be easier to break through if you drink some fruit juice (vitamin C helps) or an energy drink, by eating something, or by taking a little walk.
It’s advised to only eat these types of truffles on an empty stomach. It’s not recommended to combine it with anything else. The reason for this is that these hallucinogenic drugs can be difficult to digest, so this can give an easy feeling on the stomach. This can be bothersome at the start of the trip. To reduce the chance of nausea it’s advised to chew them to small bits and on an empty stomach.
These hallucinogenic drugs also effect your tastebuds. To enhance your experience try these during a trip: Passion fruit, Blueberries, Ice cream, Nutella, Tofu & Sashimi.
Yes, it’s a natural product so this drug can go bad. When you buy the truffles via a Dutch smart shop the truffles normally last around one month. After that the effect that produce gradually fades over time.
The short answer is no. The long answer is; the psilocybine in the truffles causes an overflow of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. The increase in serotonin gives you a euphoric feeling and energy, so you probably won’t be able to sleep.
It takes around 4 – 6 hours before the effects of a magic truffle trip to wear off. The trip itself comes in waves and will slowly decrease in intensity with time.
Did you know that an average of 3.3% of all Dutch adults ever took magic mushrooms (480.000 people) and just an average of 0.4% last year? And did you know that 2.1% of all Dutch adults took Magic Truffles ever in their life. (Source)
Learn more about these psychedelic truffles and all other (legal & illegal) drugs during our Amsterdam Drugs Tour. This super interesting & exciting tour shows the best drug highlights in Holland’s capital while learning everything about drugs. One of the highlights is visiting a smart shop – where legal magic truffles are offered among others.AMSTERDAM DRUGS TOUR >
Posted on: Januar 15, 2020
This list shows our 10 best Amsterdam Red Light District photos containing most likes on Instagram in 2019.
With 438 likes this is the picture that got most likes on our Instagram account. Here’s number one:
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Did you know that just 7.2% of the Dutch uses cannabis occasionally? #amsterdam #netherlands #holland #europe #weed #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #amsterdamlife #amsterdamcanals #joint #cannabisculture #cannabiscures #cannabissociety #dutch #nederland #thenetherlands #igersholland #europa #weedporn #weedlife
With 399 likes just is the 2nd best Amsterdam Red Light District photo.
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We took this picture on the main street of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. #holland #netherlands #europe #amsterdamcanals #europa #dewallen #redlightdistrict #mokum #020inbeeld #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamcity #amsterdam #travel #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #schiphol #damsquare #rijksmuseum #nature #citytrip #thenetherlands #nederland #travelphotography #lonelyplanet
At number three, this Red Light District photo has almost the same number of likes as the number of window brothels in Amsterdam.
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Did you know that Amsterdam has 385 window brothels? #holland #netherlands #europe #redlightdistrict #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #redlightdistrictamsterdam #lonelyplanet #travel #schiphol #damsquare #rijksmuseum #thisisholland #igersholland #thenetherlands #dewallen #amsterdamcity #amsterdam🇳🇱 #travelgram #traveleurope #amsterdam
There so many reasons to visit Amsterdam’s Red Light District and this photo shows just that. It has 355 likes.
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Another reason to visit the Red Light District. 😎🥂 #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #dewallen #beer🍻 #thenetherlands #europa #holiday #travel #redlightdistrictamsterdam #eurotrip #citytrip #schiphol #dutch #klm #klmcityhopper #iamsterdam #thisisholland #holanda #igersholland #reizen #travelblogger #travelphotography #heineken #amsterdamlife
At number five, this picture shows the main street of ‘De Wallen’ and has currently 341 likes.
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Greetz from Amsterdam’s Red Light District. #tonight #windowprostitution #nofilter #holland #netherlands #europe #earthporn #amsterdam #igersholland #dewallen #mokum # #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #europa #travel #tours #lonelyplanet #travelphotography #streets #dutch #nightpixels #citytrip #schiphol #thisisholland #amsterdamworld #nederland #reizen #sexwork
This coffeeshop can be found in every Amsterdam travel guide and has become a world famous brand. This photo has 324 likes.
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Coffeeshop The Bulldog is one of the highlights of our Offbeat Red Light District Tour with a local guide, because it’s one of the oldest and most successful cannabis shops in the world. Our local experts explain how the Dutch cannabis system works by explaining the laws, the history, the statistics, the pro’s and cons, etc. Very interesting! Join our tours (today) at 3, 5, 7 or 9 pm. Visit our website (link in bio) for more information and reservations. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #cannabis #tours #travel #holland #netherlands #cannabiscommunity #cannabis_cuties #cannabis #cannabisculture #weed #marijuana #amsterdamweed #amsterdamcity #dutch #thenetherlands #igersamsterdam #travelblogger #damsquare #amsterdamworld #travelguide #art #painting #dewallen #netherlands🇳🇱 #klm #schiphol #travelers
This post actually contains five Amsterdam Red Light District photos, shows the most narrow alley in town and has 322 likes. Just two less than the previous photo.
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This is Amsterdam’s narrowest alley which has 9 window brothels and is located in the Red Light District. Let our local guides show you this unique alley during our walking tours in Amsterdam’s most fascinated area. #amsterdam #holland #netherlands #europe #iamsterdam #redlightdistrict #redlightdistrictamsterdam #dewallen #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamworld #mokum #ajax #amsterdamshots #alley #streets #amsterdamcanals #igersholland #thenetherlands #amsterdamlife #travel #citytrip #netherlands #dutch #thisisholland #red #igersamsterdam
Did you know that one of our tour guides is married to a window brothel prostitute? He’s Dutch and she is Romanian. They met each other in a window brothel in the Red Light District of Amsterdam and fell in love. That was more than 8 years ago. She still works in the window and he’s okay with that. He’d love explain everything there is to know about legal prostitution in Amsterdam and what it’s like to have a relationship with a sex worker. Contact us if you want to have a Red Light District tour from him.
This photo in Amsterdam Red Light District shows the oldest canal in town and has 322 likes.
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Today at 4 and 7 pm, our tours will be hosted by the husband of a window prostitute. 7 years ago, they met each other in a window brothel and fell in love. Just like the movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere! Our local guide like to explain you everything about legal sex work, what’s like to have a relationship with a prostitute, what they talk about when she gets home, safety measures, taxes and everything you need to know about Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Go to our site (link in bio) and join this super interesting tour. #amsterdam #redlightdistrict #tour #holland #netherlands #nederland #dewallen #redlightdistrictamsterdam #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #amsterdamcity #020inbeeld #mokum #travel #damsquare #lonelyplanet #thisisholland #igersholland #schiphol #amsterdamcanals #dutch #thenetherlands #amsterdam🇳🇱 #amsterdamworld #sexwork #rijksmuseum #reizen #travelphotography
With 321 likes this is one of those Amsterdam Red Light District photos that perfectly shows liberalism in the Netherlands and open-mindedness of the Dutch.
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Holland is one of the most liberal countries in the world and Dutch people are very open-minded. You will experience this during your trip to Amsterdam or through our posts on Instagram. #travel #europe #netherlands #holland #redlightdistrict #amsterdam #iamsterdam #amsterdamlife #amsterdamworld #eurotrip #igersamsterdam #streets #travelphotography #travelblogger #traveling #travelholic #travelguide #travelgram #020inbeeld #holanda #thenetherlands #redlightdistrictamsterdam #travellers #amsterdam🇳🇱 #travelbag #lonelyplanet #nederland
Another example of liberalism. Where else in the world do you find religion literally in opposite of prostitution? Where else do you see an old church next to window brothels? Only in Amsterdam’s Red Light District! This photo has currently 314 likes.
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On the left: Amsterdam’s oldest building; a church. On the right: World’s oldest profession; prostitution. #redlightdistrict #holland #netherlands #europe #europa #travel #travelblogger #amsterdamcanals #eurotrip #lonelyplanet #iamsterdam #igersamsterdam #schiphol #rijksmuseum #igersholland #thenetherlands #traveleurope #amsterdamcity #amsterdamworld #travelgram #travelguide #traveladdict #dutch #amsterdam #amsterdamshots #europetravel #annefrankhouse