Posted on: November 15, 2019
This article contains the Amsterdam prostitution menu. What’s for sale, where to get it, what does are the prices and how about the local laws? This article offers all the information you need. Amsterdam’s famous window brothels will be discussed together with more exclusive options like private brothels and escort services.
First off, as a new visitor to Amsterdam you might be wondering if prostitution is actually legal? Yes, in the Netherlands prostitution is a legal and regulated profession. Brothels, escorts, homeworkers, window prostitution, etc… it’s all legal! As long as the rules and obligations are adhered to.
So what does the Amsterdam prostitution menu looks like? Below you’ll find a very useful overview divided into three parts, each part dedicated to their own unique experience and accompanying prices. Please note that this Amsterdam prostitution menu shows what is generally offered. It is wise to discuss everything with the sex worker beforehand and to make clear agreements about the services and additional prices. You can always ask respectfully, if she (or he) is up for the thing you’re looking for.
Amsterdam’s window brothels can be considered as the most accessible form of prostitution. Amsterdam has three Red Light District area’s and around 360 window brothels. The biggest and most famous Red Light District of the Netherlands is locally known as De Wallen. Most tourists talk about this area as Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This is also where we host our tours with local guides. The area has currently 292 window brothels and approximately 300 prostitutes who work during the day or night shifts.
Most prostitutes are from Eastern Europe, but there’s also a big group of sex workers who are from Latin-America. Just a few are actually Dutch. Foreign prostitutes work here because in the Netherlands they can work safely. Window brothels in Amsterdam can be rented by the prostitutes during the day or the night. So usually there are different sex workers between 10 am & 6 pm than from 7 pm till 5 am.
The window brothels are set up for a relatively short visit. Generally customers pay 50 to 80 euro for around 15 to 20 minutes of sex. But if you want, you can also stay longer (30 to 60 minutes). Obviously this cost more. The sex workers in the window brothels differ in the services that they offer and everything can be negotiated. As long as it is done respectfully.
The starting rate for every negotiation is usually around 40 – 50 euro. It’s good to know that the window brothels in Amsterdam are quite small. They’re just small rooms with a plastic or leather bed, a washing table, a chair and toilet in the back. It’s nothing fancy like a “normal” brothel. This is also why prices are lower at the window brothels compared to brothels like Club LV or Club BonTon that are mentioned below. All window brothels are clean though.
The prostitutes who work in the window brothels of Amsterdam accept only cash money. No credit- or debit card payments. The Red Light District has many ATM’S.
The sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District only do safe sex. So with a condom. They only accept their own condoms, which they often buy at the Condomerie – world’s first condom shop – located in De Wallen area.
In the Netherlands it is not mandatory for sex workers to be tested on sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s). Prostitutes are regularly tested on a voluntary basis. They can be tested for free and anonymously by professionals. For example at the Geneeskundige en Gezondheidsdienst Amsterdam (GGD) or at P&G292. In general, the health of the sex workers is good. Prostitutes in the Netherlands know the risks of their profession and take it into account through safe sex and regular STD tests.
Starting rate: 50 – 70 euro for 15 – 20 minutes.
What’s on the “menu”: Oral sex | Sex | Erotic massage | Hand-job | For anything else, ask at the door.
Club BonTon is one of the newest erotic venues in Amsterdam. It’s a stripclub and a brothel. The great thing about this chique club is that you can enjoy the atmosphere of a beautiful strip-club and when you see a lady that you really like, you can take her upstairs and have some more fun together in a private room. Not all the girls inside offer these extra services though.
Rates: Entrance: 50,- euro | Lapdance: 20,- euro | Private room: 350,- euro
What’s on BonTon’ Amsterdam prostitution menu? In the club: Lapdance | Upstairs: Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Sex Toys
Club LV has been Amsterdam’s most exclusive brothel for over 14 years now. Enjoy a delicious cocktails, champagnes or nice wines in the bar area and let yourself be seduced by one of the 12 ladies that are always present. Pick the one you like most and take her upstairs to one of the 8 luxury private rooms equipped with large bathtubs and master beds.
Rates: Entrance: 75,- euro | Private room: 350,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys
One of the advantages of escorts is that you can experience them from the comfort of your own hotel room or take them on an adventure through Amsterdam, to a restaurant or a club for instance. Most escort services in Amsterdam work with a flat hourly rate. This flat rate includes the standard services like regular and oral sex (with protection). The other services that are advertised fall outside of the flat rate and cost extra. These extra services are not guaranteed beforehand and can only be negotiated when the lady has arrived at your place. The lady decides what extras she’s up for and will set the prices then and there.
Below you’ll find an overview of 5 escort agencies in Amsterdam. Included are the services that they generally offer (this may vary depending on the individual lady) and rates. Follow the links to see the individual ladies and their services.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Amsterdam Prostitution Menu: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | S&M role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Clubbing
EscortAmsterdam.com has almost 40 professional sex workers, most of whom live in the city. This escort agency wants to offer as much diversity and realism as possible, so that it becomes easy for men to find the right lady. This company distinguishes itself through a simple & safe ordering process, 24/7 accessibility, very serious discreetness and the best escort service in Amsterdam. All their escorts are licensed professionals who know how to provide for someone’s sexual & nonsexual desires. The ladies are displayed on with pictures, additional information and services on the site of this agency. Escort Amsterdam can be contacted via phone, the live-chat or the booking form on their website.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: Sex | Erotic massages | Tantra | Oral sex | Threesomes | Stripteases | S&M | Golden showers | French 69
Staying in a hotel in Amsterdam? Hotel Escort Amsterdam it the company for you. It has been serving clients at many hotels for quite a long time. An added bonus is that the ladies always show up in normal clothing. They know how to discreetly get to your hotel room. A massage, regular- and oral sex are all included in the flat rate.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Desire escort Schiphol and Escorts in Schiphol are both good options for those who are staying in a hotel close to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Holland’s main airport). The services of these specific companies are useful for layovers or a short visit to Amsterdam. With these companies you can expect gorgeous, experienced and friendly escorts. They maintain a minimum age of 21.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Perfect Escorts Amsterdam has just perfect ladies. This company operates 7 days a week. Like all other escort companies in Amsterdam their workers get regular medical checkups and they all practise safe sex with a condom. Your health and the health of the ladies is a top priority. Tip: a lot of the ladies at this company are specialised in erotic massages.
Flat hourly rate: 150,- euro
Services: French Kissing | Striptease | Sex | Oral sex | Erotic massage | French (69) | Golden shower | Trio with male | Trio with female | SM role-play, Dominant or submissive | Foot fetish | Toys | Overnight stay | Drinks | Diner | Club
Posted on: November 6, 2019
For the first time since 1800, prostitutes are being criminalized again in the Netherlands, at least if it’s up to this Dutch cabinet. Under the banner of “protection”, the prostitution law Netherlands is a new attempt to introduce a national register of sex workers, now through a permit requirement.
For such a permit, the sex worker must be at least 21 years old, be allowed to work here under the Aliens Act, and must undergo a ‘self-reliance test’: a conversation with an official who determines whether she (or he) is ‘self-reliant’ enough to be involved (allowed) in prostitution work. If the sex worker is found to be too light or there are suspicions of coercion, the permit will be refused. The argument is that by forcing sex workers to register there would be “more insight” into the prostitution industry and that this is necessary to prevent human trafficking.
Force doesn’t work without sanctions. A fine of more than 20 thousand euros can be imposed on sex workers without a permit. Clients of “unlicensed” sex workers risk one year in prison. Moreover, under the title “pimp prohibition”, the work and private relationships of “unlicensed” sex workers are criminalised. Examples include bookkeepers and drivers (maximum 2 years in prison). For clarity, this has nothing to do with coercion, violence or deception, but only with sex workers who refuse to submit to forced registration. Coercion, violence, exploitation and deception have long been punishable; whether it’s forcing someone against his or her will to prostitute or forcing someone to donate money or to work under un-free circumstances. This bill doesn’t change anything and adds nothing. The use of the word “pimp” in the bill is therefore primarily false rhetoric and framing the debate.
It seems that this bill is more focused on combating prostitution than on combating coercion and violence. That would also be consistent with the beliefs of Mr Segers and his ChristenUnie (Christian political party) colleagues. The major driving force behind this new bill. The problem is that anti-prostitution laws tend to promote coercion and violence. If the government were really concerned with combating abuses, there’s a growing body of research that shows that any form of criminalization has negative effects on the safety, health and rights of sex workers. This is the reason why Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch argue for complete decriminalisation of sex work as the only way to guarantee the human rights of sex workers. This includes protection against coercion, violence and exploitation, the exact opposite of this bill.
This isn’t the first attempt at introducing a national registration obligation for sex workers. The last one died in the Senate, among other things, because the registration obligation itself creates a new “illegal” circuit. A considerable group of sex workers will not want to or cannot register. They do not want to, because they want to protect their privacy because of the stigma in view of possible other work, family, children and the possibility of ever being able to change work.
There is a great fear that data will become public and confidence in data protection and the government is small. Consider the student who pays for her studies with sex work, but who may later become a judge or politician. Once registered as a prostitute, it will hang over her head for the rest of her life. Or those unable to register, because they are under 21, do not have the correct papers or do not pass the “self-reliance test”.
This group will include the most vulnerable sex workers: young and non-European sex workers. They too become punishable, at the expense of their access to and accessibility of healthcare and assistance. And when they are confronted with coercion and violence, they will no longer be able to go to the police safely. They themselves would be breaking the law. Until now, emergency workers could promise victims that, whatever they were told, they themselves are not punishable. That is no longer possible in the future.
It also seems to be a misunderstanding that human trafficking is primarily about saving “innocent” girls, which means non-sex workers. But sex workers are also victims of human trafficking. They have the same right to protection against violence as non-sex workers. If there is anything that needs to be combated from a feminist and human rights point of view, It’s the idea that women’s protection worthiness depends on their sexual purity.
Finally, consider sex workers as partners in tackling abuses rather than as mischievous children or “controllable objects” by police, state, and operators. Or even worse, as “enemies” who have no eye for the victims. Sex workers are mature people, they are the first to have an interest in a clean sector. They know their sector like no other, including policy makers. Sex workers are not the problem, they are part of the solution.
What do you think of this new proposed prostitution law in the Netherlands? Let the world know by posting your comment below.
The newly proposed Dutch prostitution regulation marginalises sex workers and can increase the chance of human trafficking, writes Rik Viergever in the Dutch newspaper NRC. Rik Viergever obtained his PhD on “care after human trafficking” and was a project manager at CoMensha. Since this year he has been a director at the non-profit brothel My Red Light in Ansterdan’s Red Light District.
There are many different types of prostitution in the Netherlands: escorts, window workers, home workers, solicitors, workers in private homes, bdsm mistresses, cam workers, strippers and much more. Sex workers are made up of both foreign and Dutch women, men and trans-persons. Among Dutch students, 6 percent have “sex-worked” and 27 percent have sometimes considered it. One in four men in the Netherlands has paid for sex and 5 percent have done so last year.
Last week the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security presented a new law on Dutch prostitution regulation for consultation, everyone can respond. This law proposes – broadly speaking – two measures. The first is that every sex worker in the Netherlands must have a permit to work and is entered in a national register. The idea is that as a result, overseers can more easily find sex workers and in permit interview they can check whether they really want to do this work.
At first glance, this seems like a good idea. But Dutch authorities are already able to find sex workers: they can visit anyone who works in a brothel and all other sex workers need to advertise to get customers. The police and municipalities scan those advertisements and they’re getting better at it. Various municipalities and police departments, for example, use a so-called web crawler: a software program that browses through the Internet methodically. They have achieved successes in tackling human trafficking and unlicensed sex work using this method.
When it comes to sex workers, it seems unlikely that a victim will say in one conversation that they are being forced or exploited. The police and the judiciary sometimes spend years building a case, precisely because victims are so scared or have other reasons not to mention the abuse they are undergoing. A permit therefore does not mean that the risk of abuses disappears.
At the same time, a licensing obligation has disadvantages that are guaranteed. I know from practice that many sex workers do not want to be registered. They fear that information will leak out and that they will experience problems when people discover their profession. That fear is real. Sex workers are still stigmatized and the profession remains a taboo. For example, I regularly hear about sex workers who have been evicted from their homes because of their profession, even by government housing associations. When you are a sex worker, It’s also more difficult to buy a house, open a bank account or take out insurance. So it’s guaranteed that sex workers will start working illegally as a result of the new Dutch prostitution regulation. This is of course very worrying as there’s evidence that abuses occur more often when sex workers work illegally.
In addition, these sex workers will contact the police less or not at all in case of abuse, all the more because of the fines (up to 20,500 euros!) that will be imposed on work without a permit. For the same reasons, health workers are concerned that fewer sex workers will be tested or seek help because of the proposed Dutch prostitution regulation. Municipalities that have tried to introduce a permit requirement in recent years have been criticized by the Dutch Data Protection Authority because of these very reasons.
The second major measure in the Dutch prostitution regulation is that there will be uniform national rules for sex businesses. This is basically a good idea. But one of those rules is that brothel holders lose their license when there’s a sex worker at that company who’s a victim of human trafficking. This sounds good of course, were it not for it that the sex business acquires an interest not to report suspicions of human trafficking (anymore). Instead, they will send a potential victim away. This puts the victims out of sight of the police and social workers. Moreover, human trafficking is often hidden. Often it takes place behind the front door, where a victim is forced or exploited by her partner. You cannot expect from a sex company that they can always signal that.
In terms of approach, the new prostitution regulation is similar to the current sex work policy in many municipalities. The emphasis is on combating human trafficking. This focus is due to official embedding: the development of sex work policy is usually done by departments that deal with safety, rather than what you would expect, social affairs and employment. The new prostitution regulation is also written at the Ministry of Justice and Security. Contradictory enough, a focus on safety usually marginalizes sex workers, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to human trafficking.
The right approach is reversed: allow as many sex companies as the market demands and create a sector that is as transparent as possible. Do not register sex workers but make it as easy as possible for them to seek help. Work together with sex companies in tackling abuses. Ensure that these have the potential to properly identify human trafficking, for example by training employees. Do not punish when there is human trafficking or other abuse, but when companies fail to report it. This approach has been successful for years in identifying domestic violence and child abuse. There are good reasons to believe that this also applies to human trafficking.
Finally, much is still needed to make sex work a good, emancipated and safe sector in the Netherlands. As mentioned earlier, banks, insurers and payment services regularly refuse sex workers. In addition, there is hardly any money for good projects and research in the sex work sector, the sex worker trade union (PROUD) is grossly under-funded, and sex businesses are completely banned in a quarter of the municipalities (the ‘zero option’) while legally speaking this is not allowed. The new Dutch prostitution regulation does not solve these problems and will even allow the zero option.
This is my main criticism of the new prostitution regulation: it takes the wrong starting point. The law is largely about preventing and combating abuses. This is very important. Human trafficking, for example, is a terrible crime. But the prevention of abuse should not be the basis for a labor sector law. That basis should be: the creation of a good, emancipated and – yes, also – safe labor sector. Such an approach starts with ensuring a good legal and social position of the workers. There is so much to do to get the sex work sector up to that level. And this law works against that goal.
Posted on: October 18, 2019
Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema is taking the next step in the debate about the future of the Red Light District of Amsterdam (locally known as ‘De Wallen’). She will investigate the relocation of prostitution to other parts of the city, including the neighborhoods where those new workplaces can be found. A prostitution hotel outside the Red Light District of Amsterdam is one of the options, she said during the council debate yesterday on Thursday 17th October 2019. At the request of the city council, Halsema also wants to investigate whether sex workers can be given the opportunity to attract customers online or receive them at home, which is not yet permitted.
Mayor Halsema uses this to pick out the points that can count on a majority in a further divided city council. The debate is slowly shifting in the direction in which Amsterdammers have to take into account that new workplaces will also be created for prostitutes outside the 3 area’s in the city with window brothels, which are: The Red Light District of Amsterdam (De Wallen), the Singel area and the Ruysdaelkade street. Few political parties object to this. The party Forum voor Democratie (Forum for Democracy) is against the relocation, but in favor of strict enforcement, closure of window brothels in case of violation and then no new window brothel in return.
The number of window brothels in Amsterdam are currently +- 365. The Red Light District (De Wallen) counts 292 windows, the Singel area has 37 windows and the Ruysdaelkade also has 35. De Wallen used to have more window brothels before the start of gentrification-plan Project 1012 that changed window brothels into art-galleries, waffle stores, recycle stores, record shops, etc. 112 window brothels were closed in De Wallen since 2007, which costed 108 million euros in tax money. On 26th of June 2018, Amsterdam’s Court of Audit came with hard conclusions after analyzing Project 1012: “Gentrification-plan in Red Light District of Amsterdam failed”.
There is disagreement about whether this relocation will subsequently lead to fewer windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. The Socialist Party (SP) and Labour Party (PvdA) want to sacrifice part of the window brothels for this. The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Christian Union (CU) and Party of the Elderly (PvdO) even want all windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District to close.
Green left (GL), Bij1 and Democrats66 (D66), on the other hand, want the window brothels to remain open and that, added together, there should be more workplaces in Amsterdam. Mayor Halsema leaves this in the middle for the time being. “I first want to work out this scenario better.”
Red Light United, an union for window prostitutes in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, surveyed 170 of the approximately 375 sex workers in that area. The survey concluded that 90% of the 170 prostitutes want to say in the Red Light District. They see nothing in moving windows from Amsterdam’s Red Light District to other parts of the city. They want to stay where they are. Their website states: “Sex workers Amsterdam’s Red Light District: It’s not too crowded and we don’t want to move away!” “Over 93% of the sex workers are against plans of relocating prostitution to another part of the city, and prefers to keep working behind the windows.”
Yesterday Red Light United tweeted: “Sex workers in the Red Light District want more windows in the Red Light District! We do not want to advertise online with or without curtains closed or work somewhere else. Provide more windows in the Red Light District and also more workplaces elsewhere in the city for other sex workers. Everyone wins!” (translated from Dutch into English)
On the 10th of July 2019, PROUD tweeted: “If you cannot change the behavior of tourists, you cannot simply move sex workers. We are not toys you can play with and move around simply because you are not pleased. We are legal independent business owners and you must work WITH us, not around us.”
The expectation is that some residents will resist a new brothel or prostitution hotel in their neighborhood. Amsterdam’s mayor is also investigating the financial consequences, saying that closing window brothels in the Red Light District of Amsterdam can cause hundreds of millions of plan damage.
The mayor ‘narrows’ the discussion that she started by formulating four scenarios: closing all window brothels in the Red Light District, expanding the number of window brothels in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, moving part of the window brothels to another location in Amsterdam, or close all curtains.
A majority of the council, consisting of GL, D66, PvdA and Bij1, want sex workers to be able to recruit their customers via internet. That should be possible at the new workplaces in Amsterdam, but also in the Red Light District, if prostitutes want to close their curtains, for example, to stay out of sight of tourists. Some sex workers in Amsterdam no need to advertise their services online, partly due to privacy reasons.
The call for more enforcement in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is loud. Many stakeholders agree to this. The crowds is one of the reasons to intervene in window prostitution, in addition to combat human trafficking and safeguarding the human rights of prostitutes. Dutch Union for Sex Workers stated in an open letter to Amsterdam’s mayor: “we will tell you that good enforcers and tourist guides are important factors in combating nuisance”
According to the council of Amsterdam, it is not the sex workers who are to blame for the crowds, but a number of political groups note that the Red Light District is an international tourist attraction. More enforcers must ensure that tourists behave better, is mostly said by the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Forum for Democracy. According to mayor Halsema, the nuisance in Amsterdam’s Red Light District cannot be resolved with enforcement alone.
Posted on: October 15, 2019
Looking for really exciting things to do in Amsterdam? Check out this list with 10 best sex shows in Amsterdam. Where to find male & female strippers, the Moulin Rouge, the Peep Show, the pink elephant or even world’s first 5D Porn Cinema? Read it here…
BonTon is without a doubt the best strip club in Amsterdam! It’s brand-new and was opened in april 2019 – just next to the Heineken Experience. It has a super sexy, luxurious design which was made by Casper Reinders – one of the most succesful hospitality entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. BonTon is a chique club with beautiful ladies inside who give the best sex shows in Amsterdam. Here, both men as women can have an unforgettable, exciting night out. This place has a great variety of delicious cocktails and the best champagnes at the bar, including Dom Pérignon and other Moët & Chandon’s. For those who want to get a little further than just stripping and tipping, Club BonTon offers bedrooms on the top floors. Not all the ladies provide those extra services though, but some do.
TIP: Before or after your visit to Club BonTon, go one of the bars or restaurants around the corner – on the Marie Heinekenplein. This square is filled with other great places too!
GOOD TO KNOW: During the daytime (when there are no customers), this place offers the Amsterdam Brothel Tour hosted by real prostitutes.
The last peep show in Amsterdam! This place is is owned by the same person – Jan Otten – who owns Casa Rosso, the Banana bar, the Hospital Bar and the Erotic Museum. All located on the main street of the Red Light District. Rumors about its closing have been circulating for many years but you can still visit, so don’t miss out! For 2,- euro you get a front seat to the action: live stripteases and couple who have sex with each other. All can be viewed from the comfort of a small private booth that can cater 1 or 2 persons. Another historic feature of this place are the video booths. Travel back to a time when there was no internet and people used these booths to watch a porn video. These days you can still select from 400 videos. The Peep Show works on a pay per minute basis so be sure to bring some coins or change inside.
This place is Amsterdam’s most famous live sex show theatre experience. Casa Rosso was established over 50 years ago and has ever since been a main feature of the Red Light District area. The shows inside run in a continuous loop of around 60 – 90 minutes. In that time slot you can expect 9 professional acts, 4 of which are couple sex. For 16 years, a couple have been working together who gets paid to have sex with each other. You can see how he eats her pussy and how they do all positions, like missionary, to the beat of the the music. At Casa Rosso you can also see how a woman smokes a cigar with her vagina and a mistress who “punishes” a volunteer .Once you enter you can stay inside till closing time but you’d be seeing the same performances every 60 – 90 minutes.
Whilst inside expect some amazing, high skilled sexual performances combined with a bit of comedy. Important to know: there’s only limited seating available, so (especially in June, July, September and December) you’ll often have to wait in line.
This isn’t really one of those typical sex shows in Amsterdam. This is the first 5D sex show ever! Strap yourself in and prepare for a bumpy and sexy ride. In world’s first 5D Porn Cinema all your senses will be triggered. Inside the theatre an X-rated 3D film is displayed. To make the experience 5D, other effects are added like moving seats, water, wind, lights and bubbles. All the effects sync to what’s happening on screen. The short 3D film takes place in and around the Red Light District area and lasts around 10 minutes. This is a must-see. A funny experience, especially together with a group of friends.
Sex shows in Moulin Rouge are comparable to those in Casa Rosso. Moulin Rouge is a more cozy theatre. Expect a roster of seductive artists performing beautiful shows. All the theatre seats are positioned close to the stage so prepare for an immersive experience. An occasional male strip tease is also thrown in for the ladies. Other show types include: female stripteases, live couple sex, writing shows, banana shows, vibrator shows, ribbon shows, etc. One of our tour guides visited Moulin Rouge together with two female customers from our tour. Read here how it went down:
Spoiler Alert: the theme of the Bananenbar is the tropical fruit called the banana. Besides all the beautiful women the banana takes center stage, as a prop, held onto by the performer without using her hands. At the entrance of the Bananenbar you can choose between two areas: the regular strip club (banana club) area or the classic bananabar area. Choose the classic Banana bar area if you want to take a bite of a banana whilst its still inserted in a vagina. Interesting times! Besides bananas the female performers also use their vaginas to sign postcards and do some other unimaginable feats.
Something just for the ladies! Amsterdam’s newest erotic addition is this place that offers the perfect girls night out. It’s of one the first sex shows in Amsterdam specifically for women!
It offers muscular, handsome strippers and professional entertainers who give the best erotic shows in town – just for women. This place looks really cool from the inside and the atmosphere inside is amazing! Women go crazy during the men’s performances. The visitors can also get a personal striptease on stage or at their seat among the other guests. The waiters here serve delicious drinks in a stylish and sizzling setting. This male strip show in Amsterdam starts at 22:30 pm and last till 00:30 am. Then the party continues a hip club in the city centre. For those who are looking for a complete night out experience, this organization also offer a dinner option beforehand and a free afterparty entrance to Amsterdam’s most trendy club afterwards. More pictures can be found here.
The Hospital Bar in Amsterdam is a place where strippers work as nurses. It’s the newest of all sex shows in the Red Light District. The Hospital bar is an exciting lap dance bar with a modern, spacious and relaxed atmosphere. It’s not mandatory to get a lap dance here however it’s frowned upon if you don’t order any drinks inside.
It must be said that Club LV is a sex club but men can also get very good sex shows here. This is one of Amsterdam’s most exclusive sex clubs and has been serving clients for more than 14 years. This is why we think it deserves a spot on this 10 sex shows in Amsterdam list. Club LV is really something for men who want to get intimate with the sex workers inside. At the bar area one can talk to any of the 12 ladies who are present. When you find one that you like simply head back to one of the 8 luxury private rooms for some intimacy. Club LV is located in the eastern part of Amsterdam, on Middenweg 144, close to the Oosterpark.
This strip club in Amsterdam is situated well hidden at the end of an alley of the Red Light District. Just next to the game cafe Ton Ton Club and at lays apposite to the Trompettersteeg; Amsterdam’s narrowest alleyway filled with window brothels. This is a low-end strip club but due to its location you might want to go here when in the neighbourhood. Be warned though; the strippers here will try to sell you some really expensive drinks. If you’re together with female friends we’d advice you to skip this place.
Have you been to one of these sex shows in Amsterdam? Let the world know how it was by leaving a reply below.
Posted on: September 19, 2019
This is a selection of the best Amsterdam Red Light District Airbnb options. Some accommodations are located smack in the middle of the area, others at the outer edges, all in the city centre of Amsterdam. You’ll definitely find a place that suits your requirements.
This airbnb is situated in a canal house from 1685. The apartment is located at Oudezijds Voorburgwal which is right in the heart of the Red Light District and the oldest part of Amsterdam. The entire apartment was recently renovated and has super fast internet. There is no TV, so visitors are advised to bring their own iPad or laptop.
A romantic studio located on the 4th floor of a National Monument. Situated in the heart of the Red Light District, the perfect spot for a city trip. During sunny days experience the beautiful view from the large, private roof terrace.
This Amsterdam Red Light District Airbnb room has a great canal view and is located on the first floor in a completely renovated canal house which dates back to the 1930’s. It’s located just a 5 minute walk away from Amsterdam’s Central Station. The private bathroom is directly accessible from the room. The room also has free WIFI and free coffee & tea facilities.
A unique 2 bedroom Amsterdam Red Light District Airbnb apartment in a Dutch heritage building located right at the entrance of the area. Completely renovated whilst maintaining its original features which date back to 1686. The apartment also has a private balcony overlooking the oldest church in Amsterdam, ideal for smoking too.
This stylish Airbnb apartment is located in the historic center of Amsterdam, close to the Red Light District and Nieuwmarkt.
Stay in a classic Amsterdam house in a quiet little street. There’s an outdoor terrace where you can relax and enjoy your breakfast or a delicious Dutch beer.
Top two floor canal side apartment inside a beautiful historic canal house. Great view over the famous Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The apartment comes with provisions in the kitchen; refreshment for after your flight which include: fresh milk, biscuits, tea & coffee.
This super cute studio is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s old city center at the Warmoesstraat. The studio has its own little kitchenette and private bathroom and was renovated back in April 2018.
This hotel/ bed and breakfast is located in the Red Light District in a historic building with a view of the canal. From there everything is just a few steps away from you; great bars, restaurants, Amsterdam Central Station and Dam Square. The room rent includes breakfast, free WiFi, cable and satellite tv.
This private Amsterdam Red Light District Airbnb room consists of a bright room, a quiet bedroom and a quite small bathroom. The room is located on Nieuwmarkt (New Market) which hosts a daily small food market with cheese, vegetables and juice stalls. It’s also one of the sunniest squares in Amsterdam, perfect for sun lovers! The area is lively with shops, cafes and restaurants. All the popular tourist attractions are within walking distance.
A little quiet haven in the midst of the buzz. This private room is only a 5 minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station. The room is located on the ground floor which is very convenient because you won’t have to drag your luggage up the stairs. In and out without any hassle! The Red Light District and Chinatown (with its many Asian restaurants) are around the corner.
This Amsterdam Red Light District Airbnb room is described as “a cosy cove” and is situated right in the heart of Amsterdam. Despite the surrounding hustle and bustle in the area, the room provides a quiet space to kickback and relax. A water cooker and microwave are available but unfortunately here is NO kitchen. Something to keep in mind.
Located just around the corner of the Old Church right in the middle of the Red Light District area. It’s brand new in a totally renovated building. From Central Station is it just a 5 min walk. The living room comes with a fully equipped kitchen, a sofa and dinner table. The bathroom has a tub and shower.
This quiet room is situated on the the first floor at the rear side of a four floor apartment in a renovated canal house. The canal house dates back to the 1930’s. The room is located in the old town centre of Amsterdam, only a 5 minutes walk from Amsterdam Central Station. The room features a quality king size bed and free WiFi.
A wonderful new apartment that’s located right in the middle of the Red Light District area. The building is totally renovated and stands right next to the famous Old Church, Amsterdam’s oldest building – where Rembrandt got married. The room comes with a nice shared living room and a fully equipped kitchen.
This wonderful studio is just around the corner of the Old Church and right in the middle of the world famous Red Light District area. It’s a brand new and completely renovated building. The room comes with free coffee and tea!
Lovely place in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The ideal start of your trip through Amsterdam, you can do almost everything by foot from here.
This cosy guest suite is located on the 1st floor in a Dutch national monument house which was constructed more than 100 years ago. The room is comfortable, spacious and has its own bathroom and shower.
Very bright, spacious canal side apartment with an awesome view overlooking the beautiful center of Amsterdam. The apartment is fully furnished and has just been renovated. Its located in the heart of the red light district and has a large, sunny balcony.
A classic Amsterdam house that’s situated just a stone’s throw away from Central Station and just few meters from Dam Square. This bright apartment is in the middle of the city center, the epicentre of Amsterdam. It comes equipped with all the amenities that you’d except from a luxury apartment.
Two cozy studio’s inside one apartment in Amsterdam’s most vibrant area: Red Light District. Perfect for two couples traveling together on a city trip, because you will both have your own space. The apartment comes with free Wi-Fi.
This clean, bright and nicely decorated apartment is located in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The apartment sports large windows with a beautiful view of the canal. The location itself is quiet and private, away from the city bustle. The apartment has a fully equipped open kitchen and dishwasher.
Very bright and spacious house which was newly renovated. The apartment offers a large living room with a sofa and is equipped with a tv with Netflix. The kitchen is open with a cooking island and there’s also a diner table with comfortable chairs.
A unique canal front, ground floor apartment of 160 m² (~1722ft²) in the heart of Amsterdam, with the soul of the past and the comfort and luxury of today. This apartment was completely renovated in 2018. The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen and free 500mbps Wi-Fi. Did we mention that all the bedrooms come with their own Sonos sound system?
The apartment offers an unbelievable view of the Damrak in front of Amsterdam’s central station. Great view of Amsterdam’s old harbour.
This bed & breakfast is situated in a former salt warehouse dating back to the 18th century. The room is spacious and is located on the 2nd floor of a spacious loft. The shared living comes with large kitchen and a long table where a delicious Dutch breakfast can be served in the morning for a little extra. This bed & breakfast is furnished with antique furniture and lots of small decorative antiques. A unique place to stay at.!
Renting out your Amsterdam property through Airbnb for a short period of time can fall under three Airbnb In Amsterdam Rules categories:
If you’re the main occupant of a home and occasionally rent out your entire home or apartment, the municipality of Amsterdam considers this a vacation rental. From the 1st of January, 2019 you can only rent out entire homes in Amsterdam for a maximum of 30 nights per year.
The city’s rules for bed & breakfasts only apply if you are the main occupant of a house and rent out a room in your house. There’s no night limit in Amsterdam for advertisements registered as a bed & breakfast on Airbnb. Bed & breakfast providers can rent out all year round.
Contact the municipality of Amsterdam or a qualified legal adviser to find out which specific rules apply to your situation.
Are you more a hotel kind of person? Check out our Amsterdam Red Light District Hotel Top 10 over here.
Posted on: September 6, 2019
Brothel operators from 200 of the 330 Amsterdam Red Light District windows, “at least 250” sex workers who rent the windows and their sympathisers have written a new future option for the area. It’s an alternative to the four options that mayor Femke Halsema has presented to the city council.
The initiative is headed by Jan Broers, who is a window brothel operator himself and spokesperson for interest group Wallen Ondernemers Prostitutie (WOP). (Red Light District Prostitution Entrepreneurs) The brothel owners have written down a plan in which the number of brothels in the area remains the same. A ‘prostitution hotel’ in a suburb of the city should offer space for sex workers who want to independently welcome their clients there. Furthermore, Amsterdam must introduce a mandatory license for sex workers. This way they become “full contract parties” who are themselves responsible for compliance with rules.
Amsterdam must act harder against window operators who cooperate with human trafficking and other abuses. Honest brothel operators should no longer suffer from the bad ones in the industry. The architects of this fifth option also ask the municipality of Amsterdam to cancel the further expropriation of window brothels.
Mayor Halsema outlined four options for the future of the Red Light District two months ago. She extensively discussed these with all stakeholders such as residents, entrepreneurs and sex workers. Now it’s up to Amsterdam’s city council to choose. In one of the options, “the curtains will close” and the sex workers can no longer promote themselves in the street view. Brothel rooms will remain the same. The most far-reaching option stipulates that all sex work will disappear from Amsterdam’s Red Light District and an alternative area will be selected elsewhere in the city. A moderate variant of the option requires a reduction in the number of window brothels in the city center by moving a part of those to other areas in the city.
In the fourth scenario; there will be more brothel rooms in the Red Light District, but without windows. For the time being, sex workers want more brothel rooms. A small group of local residents want all the window brothels to disappear. “Mayor Halsema asked us in one of the meetings about her 4 options that we shouldn’t just attack, but come up with a fifth option if we don’t agree with any of her proposals,” says Broers. “Well, we did that.” Halsema received the alternative plan yesterday.
Window brothel operators also recognise that government interventions are necessary. Curbing the current uncontrollable bustle of tourists through the area is a priority. Obviously they don’t want the number of window brothels to be reduced even further than in recent years done by the city council during the gentrification-plan called Project 1012. Brothel operators asking for stricter control of their business and more rules for sex workers is something most people didn’t expect. Broers: “If the municipality tackles operators who cooperate with abuses, we, as honest hard working entrepreneurs, will finally be rid of the nonsensical image that we help oppress women.”
The authors of ‘the fifth option’ also ask the municipality to include rules on so called ‘homeworkers’. Homeworkers are often undeclared sex workers who work in their own apartment/house. New rules must be included in the General Local Regulation, according to the brothel operators. The municipality can then also take action against undeclared workers. Those who do adhere to the rules will no longer be bothered by this unfair construct. The brothel operators want more enforcement to keep the crowds under control.
The sale of laughing gas must be prohibited too. Jan Broers: “That makes you crazy”. (The street sale of laughing gas has become has become a major nuisance in the city.)
Posted on: August 27, 2019
Amsterdam Red Light District History
Inhabitants in Amsterdam Red Light District
Companies in Amsterdam Red Light District
Windows Amsterdam’s Red Light District
Amsterdam Red Light District Map Windows
Amsterdam Red Light District Visitors
Pedestrian Friendly Streets In Red Light District
Amsterdam Red Light District Tour Ban
The Red Light District of Amsterdam is the oldest part of the city. The area is called De Wallen in Dutch. The official district name is Burgwallen Oude Zijde. The word ‘Wallen’ comes from the canals that cross section Amsterdam Red Light District; the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. A ‘burgwal’ means ‘defensive wall’ with a canal in front, but now the name is used for the canals itself, which were dug as a defense for the city.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District, De Oude Kerk and the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.
The oldest building in Amsterdam is The Old Church – Oude Kerk in Dutch – and is located in the middle of the Red Light District, on the Oudekerksplein. This church dates back to the year 1306. In the app Amsterdam Audio Tours, Herman Vuijsje – famous Dutch sociologist – says this about the church: “The Old Church is not only the oldest church in Amsterdam, but also the largest and the lightest. Because of the weak soil the building was constructed as light as possible, it ‘floats’ in the swampy peat; with the many tall lancet windows and extensive use of wood this can be taken both literally and figuratively. Centuries ago, Amsterdammers used the Old Church as a market hall, but also as a place where nets were mended and sails repaired. The peat carriers used it as a shortcut, and they even hired young boys as dog beaters. Their job was to keep the dogs out of the church. And the prostitutes.”
Prostitution has always took place in this oldest part of Amsterdam – De Wallen/ Red Light District. One reason for this is that Amsterdam’s activities (bars, taverns/hotels, shops, companies, etc) always took place in this specific area. In other words, most men were in this part of the city.
Amsterdam Red Light District, 1905. Prostitutes waiting for men.
Another reason is that prostitution has always been here is because Amsterdam’s port used to be located where central station is currently located, just next to the Red Light District. Sailors arrived there by boat, walked to “de Wallen”, and spent their first money on booze and women.
Today, the Old Church is surrounded by 26 window brothels with sex workers who literally stand in opposite of the church. The rest of the area counts 266 window brothels, meaning that the Red Light District of Amsterdam has 292 window brothels in total.
One of the main streets in the Red Light District is called the Warmoesstraat. Warmoes is an old, forgotten vegetable, and it is hard to imagine, but in in the Middle Ages, the market gardens that provided the small city with fresh vegetables, were located alongside this street. The Warmoesstraat is the oldest street of Amsterdam. It also marks the Western border of the Red Light District, and it runs all the way from Central Station to the Dam Square.
At the end of the Middle Ages (late 15th century), Amsterdam was the main religious destination of north-western Europe, and from the 16th century onwards it has been an important place of commerce, but it has always attracted tourists as well. The Warmoesstraat would be one of the first things people saw if they entered the city through the Olofspoort.
The oldest house in Amsterdam is also located in the Red Light District. On Warmoesstraat 90. This house dates back to 1485. Nowadays the house is used as a dance club for men only.
The first condom shop of the world is also situated on the Warmoesstraat. The popular shop was founded in April 1987 with the goal to improve sex education and to decrease STD’s and teen pregnancy in the Netherlands. In our app Amsterdam Audio Tours the owner – Theodoor van Boven – tells more about his special store and the importance of early sex education.
The Red Light District is a residential area. The number of inhabitants in this district – Burgwallen Oude Zijde – increased by 215 inhabitants (that is 5%): from 4.090 in 2013 to 4.305 in 2018. Amsterdam has a total of 868.000 inhabitants and just 0.5% live in the Red Light District.
Burgwallen Oude Zijde district has a total area of 40 hectares, 35 of which are land and 6 water (100 hectares is 1 km2). The average density of addresses is 7.589 addresses per km2. In total there are 3.090 households in Amsterdam Red Light District.
The population of Amsterdam Red Light District consists of 2.395 men (55.6%) and 1.920 women (44.4%).
The Red Light District counts 235 children, including toddlers, who live here. With 5.4%, they form the smallest group of residents in this area. Most people who live in “De Wallen” district are between the age of 25 and 45. The age distribution of Amsterdam Red Light District is as follows:
The average income per year for the residents of Amsterdam’s Red Light District is 33.600 euro. With that average income this district is ranked number 35 on highest income per area out of all the 97 neighborhoods in Amsterdam. This is shown in the graph below.
The average housing price in Amsterdam’s Red Light District was 400.000 euro in 2018. The prices have increased with 65% since 2014 in this area. Some of the factors that have caused this are the increasing demand for housing and gentrification-plan Project 1012.
Some houses in the Amsterdam Red Light District cost a lot of money, like these ones:
A 1.6 million house on the main street of Amsterdam Red Light District.
The historical canal-house above is located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – next to an erotic shop, a casino and the Bananenbar. The inside surface of this house is 253 square meters and it has 7 different rooms. It cost almost 1.7 million euros.
The apartment above is situated in one of the alleys of Amsterdam Red Light District. It has 201 square meters of space and cost 1.1 million euros.
This area counts a total of 1.945 business locations. 640 companies (32.9%) are in catering and trading, 460 (23.6%) in culture recreation and related services, 440 (22.6%) in business services, 180 (9.2%) in transport information and communication and 170 (8.7%) in financial services and real estate.
There are 1.945 businesses in Amsterdam Red Light District. (Source)
Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, but not decriminalized. Dr. Kate Lister – Sex Work Expert and owner of the popular Whores of Yore Twitter account: “Legalizing sex work means the sex trade is still subject to very tight legal restrictions, such as where one can work. Decriminalisation removes all legal restrictions around sex work and means sex workers are afforded the same rights and protections as all other workers. Decriminalisation affords those in the sex industry the dignity and respect they deserve. It recognises sex work is a choice for many, and creates opportunities to reach and support those who suffer abuse and/or coercion”. (source)
Sex workers in the Netherlands would like to have sex work decriminalized.
Amsterdam Red Light District, Dollebegijnensteeg with 14 window brothels.
Amsterdam has three Red Light District area’s. De Wallen is the biggest and most famous Red Light District in the whole country and most likely in the world. There are currently 292 window brothels in De Wallen area. The other two Red Light District area’s are called the Ruysdaelkade and the Singel area. Amsterdam has 365 window brothels in total.
The window brothels are managed by the male or female brothel operators. They rent the windows to the sex workers and are partly responsible for their safety. They also arrange the cleaning and hygiene in the window brothels. Brothel operators in Amsterdam have several windows which they rent during the daytime and nighttime.
Window brothels are small rooms – usually located on the ground floor – which contain a bed, a restroom and a washing table.
Amsterdam Red Light District, Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
Window brothels in Amsterdam are usually rented two times a day. For a day-shift and a night shift. During the day the rent of a window brothel varies between 80 and 110 euros. At night, the window brothels fluctuates between 130 and 200 euros. In other words; the average rent for a window brothel in Amsterdam is 140 euros. At night, between 6 pm and 6 am, the rent is higher because most sex workers like to work then due to the fact that at night they have more customers. The rent needs to be paid upfront to the brothel operator, before the start of a shift, meaning that sex workers usually need to get a few (2 -4) clients to get break-even.
The map below shows the total number of windows in Amsterdam Red Light District, including the ones that were closed/bought by the City of Amsterdam, as result of Project 1012. The maps demonstrates that the number of window brothels decreased over the last years and that the Red Light District became smaller.
The windows marked with number 4 on the Oudekerksplein, next to the Oude Kerk, turned into a cafe called Quartier Putain. The two windows marked with 22 turned into a online radio station. The three window brothels marked with 21, on the Sint Annenstraat, turned into a recycle store. The two windows marked with number 5, in the Trompettersteeg, turned into a chocolate store.
All eight windows brothels in the Goldenbergsteeg have been unused and empty since the closure.
In 2007, the Municipality of Amsterdam started a locally well known gentrification-plan called Project 1012. Within a couple of years, the municipality bought 112 window brothels with tax money from brothel owners and closed them. Some of these former window brothels are still closed, but most of them were changed into chocolate stores, barber shops, art galeries, fashion shops, cafes, lunchrooms and whatnot.
The new tenants of the former window brothels can start a business here and pay low rent to subsided organizations that are funded by the government. Because of the low rent, the new entrepreneurs can do business here for a long time, even though they receive few customers and have low turnover.
Amsterdam Red Light District, Oudekerksplein. A.K.A. The Spanish Corner.
Part of Project 1012 was also the closure and displacements of several coffeeshops (Dutch term for cannabis cafes). Coffeeshop Old Church was one of those shops that was located next to the Old Church on the Oudekerksplein.
Project 1012 changed Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The area has become considerably smaller and offers now things for a wider audience. In other words: more variety in a smaller area. The largest Dutch daily morning newspaper De Telegraaf claimed that Project 1012 costed 108 million euros. One window brothel owner (Charles Geerts) received 25 million euro tax money for selling his 70 window brothels to the City of Amsterdam. The official Amsterdam Audit Office analyzed Project 1012 and concluded that the project failed.
Former Amsterdam Alderman Lodewijk Asscher (Labour Party) in the Red Light District.
“Asscher’s (former alderman in Amsterdam and responsible for Project 1012) gut feeling that everything was wrong in the Red Light District can be right, says De Ridder (Director of the Amsterdam Court of Audit), but Project 1012 has never been able to point it out.” (source)
“The director of the Amsterdam Court of Audit would like to mention some of the successes of Project 1012 – the public space has improved, housing values have risen even faster than in adjacent boroughs – and he disputes that municipal officials have not done their best.” (source)
Amsterdam’s marketing company – formerly known as IAmsterdam, now as Amsterdam & Partners – is partly funded by the local government and was founded in 2013. While, Project 1012 was full in progress and changing the Red Light District, Amsterdam’s marketing company was enormously promoting the city to tourists. Since then, more people visit Amsterdam and more people visit a smaller Red Light District.
Amsterdam gets 18 million visitors per year, almost half of these visitors come from the Netherlands itself (source). The Red Light District gets 3.1 million people (17% of total) visitors yearly. The Red Light District of Amsterdam is the second most popular activity in the Netherlands. Only De Efteling – an amusement park – gets more visitors, namely more than 5.3 million per year. Below, the top 13 attractions in the Netherlands. (The Red Light District is not included in this research, partly because Amsterdam Red Light District is an area which can be visited to free, just like the Zaanse Schans – which is included in the list below.)
Top 13 attractions in the Netherlands. (source)
Knowing that Amsterdam Red Light District was visited by 3.1 million people in 2017. It should be second on the list above.
With 14.675 visitors, the busiest day of the year in Amsterdam Red Light District was on Saturday 9 September 2017. This is according to research conducted by the business association Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
Their research measured the WiFi signal from the mobile phones of visitors on the main street of the Red Light District. Within this system, visitors who passed by several times a day are excluded. They were considered a resident or an employee within the area.
The least visited days in Amsterdam Red Light District were in November and February – during the low season – as shown in the graph above.
This research commissioned by the Dutch Environment Defense shows that from the 20 biggest municipalities in the Netherlands, pedestrians have most space in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. In this area, 60% of all space is designated for pedestrians making it the highest scoring neighbourhood in the Netherlands.
The reasons why pedestrian have so much space in the Red Light District is this: A lot of streets in this area can not be reached by car and many alley’s in this area are for pedestrians only. For example; The Old Church Square (Dutch: Oudekerksplein), Trompettersteeg, Molensteeg, Bethlemesteeg, etc. Cyclists and moped-riders can be fined if they ride here. Also, the Warmoesstraat – one of the main streets – can only be reached by vehicles who are in the possession of a transmitter than lowers an automatic metal pole. For example: the police, ambulances, fire brigade and some transportation companies. This measure creates more space for pedestrians an cyclists.
Amsterdam Red Light District during the day time.
Providers of guided tours in Amsterdam’s Red Light District have to deal with strict rules. Since April 1st 2018, every person who wants to host a tour in the Red Light District needs an official exemption/license from the municipality of Amsterdam. In Dutch this license is called “Stadsdeel Centrum Ontheffing. Aanbieden van diensten: ‘Rondleiding op de Wallen”. If a guide gives a tour to five people or more, he/she needs a license from the City of Amsterdam. This applies to all guided tours in this area, and also for teachers or persons who want to host one tour per year. Tours with more than 20 participants are no longer allowed since April 2018. With these new rules, the municipality wants to combat nuisance in the Red Light District.
During the tour the guide needs to follow these rules:
If these rules are violated, the guide may be fined 190 euros or 950 euros for companies. In the event of repeated violations, the tour license may be withdrawn temporarily or permanently. This license is made available for inspection upon first demand by police officers.
Since April 2018, every person – also guides who do tours here once a year – needs an exemption from the City of Amsterdam. More than 1600 exemptions have been granted to guides. Only 12 fines were issued to guides who did not follow the new rules (above). That’s 0.75% of the total number of guides. 6 of them were for guides from a pub crawl provider, the so-called drinking tours, who did not follow the rules. Knowing this, it can be concluded that 99.25% of all guides follow the new rules. (source)
This tour license is mandatory for the whole Red Light District + Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt. The official area is bounded by the Dam Square – Warmoesstraat – Zeedijk – Nieuwmarkt – Kloveniersburgwal – Oude Hoogstraat – Oude doelenstraat – Damstraat – Dam Square.
The grey strips in the image below show the part of Amsterdam where tour guides need this license to operate their tours. The area where tour guides need a license and where measures are in force, including Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt:
The red dots are the spots where tour groups are not allowed to stand still.
On 22 August 2019 the City of Amsterdam informed all exemption-holders with the following:
Tour guide exemptions will be extended until 1 April 2020. The current exemption is valid until 1 January 2020. This means guides ordinarily would have to request a new exemption valid from 1 January 2020. But measures are being prepared that will be effective as of 1 April 2020. Therefore, the current exemption of tour guides will be officially prolongated until 1 April 2020. This means guides do not have to request an exemption for the period between 1 January 2020 and 1 April 2020.
The College of Mayor and Alderpersons has decided to take new measures. These measures are now being drawn up. The Amsterdam College and the City Council are still to approve the new plans. This will probably take place in March 2020.
Posted on: July 3, 2019
Sex workers want to stay in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, says interest group Red Light United run by sex workers. Sex workers see nothing in moving window brothels from the Red Light District to other parts of Amsterdam. They want to stay where they are.
This is the conclusion of a study done by Red Light United, a new interest group formed by window prostitutes in the Red Light District. Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 292 window brothels and approximately 375 sex workers. Red Light United surveyed 170 of them and concluded that at least 90% of the 170 sex workers want to work in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. As far as they are concerned, there should be more window brothels in the Red Light District, instead of less. Red Light United publishes these results in response to the four scenarios that Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema presented today to improve the “unacceptable” situation in the Red Light District.
Sex workers like to have more window brothels in the Red Light District.
The mobile numbers of brothel operators are shown on the windows.
Proud, another Dutch sex work organisation, is very skeptical about the mayor’s debate about the future of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. “No way in hell!”, thought Foxxy, who’s a sex worker herself, when she read the mayor’s plans. “Sex workers are people and they are entitled to a workplace! Relocating those workplaces is not an option because then the customers will not know where to find the sex workers. Will Halsema also organise bus-trips for them to the western port section in Amsterdam?”
According to Foxxy, sex workers who stand behind the windows in Amsterdam’s Red Light District have consciously opted for this form of sex work. “We believe that it should remain as it is, on top of that the municipality should make it completely legal for sex workers to work more easily from home.” Entrepreneurs and brothel-operators in the Red Light District also opt for more window brothels instead of less.
Amsterdam’s most narrow alley has currently nine window brothels.
“I’m not so much in favour of extra windows brothels, but about the spreading out of visitors that results from this,” says Masten Stavast of Agapi, a company that rents out a few dozen window brothels in the Red Light District. “Currently, it’s all happening in an area that’s too small.”
Cor van Dijk is chairman of a the Red Light District entrepreneurs association.
Cor van Dijk, chairman of the Red Light District entrepreneurs association called ‘Ondernemersvereniging Oudezijds Achterburgwal‘, agrees. “Many window brothels have been removed because of a gentrification program called Project 1012; the previous Red Light District-approach of the local government to change the neighborhood. Those were precisely the window brothels in the alleys, where customers still had a certain anonymity,” he says. “If more windows brothels are added, that will spread the number of people over the entire area and decreases pressure points in certain alleys. We do not think there have been more tourists in the Red Light District during the recent years, but the City of Amsterdam just compressed the same number of people into a smaller area.”
Mother and daughter walk around in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
The sex workers indicate in research done by Red Light United that they earn less. According to them, that’s not because of mass tourism, but because of the type of public walking around the Red Light District: backpackers and families with children. Brothel-operator Stavast is not interested in closed curtains in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, with which the sex workers disappear from the sight of tourists. “That is not the intention. On the contrary, the ladies earn from tourists who pass by.
A man negotiates at a window brothel on a Friday night in Amsterdam.
According to the chairman of the entrepreneurs association, relocating window brothels to other parts of Amsterdam is not a good option. “The Red Light District and sex work belong to each other.” According to him, the concentration of sex work in the Red Light District has one great advantage in that there is a lot of social. This increases the safety of sex workers. “No better control than social control!”
(This article was translated from the Amsterdam based daily-newspaper Het Parool)
Posted on: June 19, 2019
If you further criminalise prostitution, you force the women out of sight from government. Decriminalizing prostitution does the opposite. In this translated article from Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant Tom Kroon talks about the signs between voluntary and forced prostitution and how he as a customer deals with this issue. “As a customer you can do little against exploitation, but you can pay attention and use common sense.”
Who: Tom Kroon (54), graphic designer and regular customer at Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The problem: How do you prevent yourself from visiting a prostitute who does forced sex work? The solution: See sex workers as conversational partners, ask how things are going and watch their eyes. Then you know enough with common sense.
As a child I lived in the Spuistraat in Amsterdam, around the corner from a number of window brothels. Even then I was curious what would happen if I went inside. But I postponed it for a long time. Fifteen years ago, I was just divorced, I still wanted to try. “That first time was at the Red Light District in Amsterdam. She looked at me with a strict and at the same time friendly look. I found her beautiful: slim, brown hair, nice bathing suit. I swirled, just walked around. Once inside I kept on talking because I was nervous. My twenty minutes were up before I knew it. But she reassured me. “We just start again. You can undress,” she said. I did that well. Then you stand naked against someone who you don’t know at all, who then also undresses. That alone is exciting.
“After that I never stopped. Some people buy a new BMW every three years, I do this. I did try dating again, but then I had to do everything again while I wanted to stay free. Even now that I live in Bergen op Zoom, I still regularly take the train to Amsterdam.”
“Behind the windows you can see if it’s a nice girl before you step inside. At the same time she can also see me before she opens. That has always attracted me, but a lot has changed in the Red Light District in the last ten years. The windows that are still there are much less occupied and many window brothels have been closed. I find it less lively and less safe now. The women used to sit window to window and watch each other. Now there are islands.”
“Further criminalising prostitution, as the youth Christian movement Exxpose wants with a citizens’ initiative, makes no sense (Exxpose is a Christian organization that’s against decriminalizing prostitution and in favor of the Nordic Prostitution Model). Not only do you force the women out of sight of the government, but customers like myself will no longer visit sex workers either. Then, only the people who know their way in the criminal circuit are left.”
“As a customer you can do little against exploitation, but you can pay attention and use common sense. I always talk with the sex workers, show interest and ask how things are going. Then you also hear where you should and shouldn’t be, who has a pimp and who doesn’t. And I look at their eyes. I’ve sometimes experienced that I was not paying attention and met someone with dead eyes. I then left the brothel without giving a reason.”
“If you want to protect prostitutes against human trafficking and exploitation, then you need more good neighbourhood police-officers who are known in the area. But since the police cutbacks, there isn’t even a police office in the Red Light District anymore. Every day there are different supervisors. They are often not even police officers, but enforcers who are just there to make their hours. You don’t easily build a relationship of trust in that situation, you won’t tell a stranger if something is wrong.”
Posted on: June 18, 2019
When you come to a city like Amsterdam, the first thing that will hit you is just how many possibilities exist in a city like this. You are surrounded by opportunity: the main challenge you have is working out what kind of opportunities you would like to tap into and enjoy. When this is your mindset, you need to work out what you want to do. So, for example, are you in Amsterdam to have fun? Then why not look at hiring escorts in Amsterdam?
In a city like Amsterdam, the main thing that brings so many people here is the range of choice. Few cities in the world are quite as open-minded or as liberally built as Amsterdam is. Take hiring a hotel escort in Amsterdam, or meeting an escort in a restaurant. It’s all legal here! This is why there are so many companies for escorts in Amsterdam: there’s a lot demand! While choice is always good, it does make choosing an escort tough. With so much variety, you might wonder what you should be doing. For example, how do you book an escort service in Amsterdam? Where to find an escort that you’re looking for? This is why we made this list!
So, the next thing you need to get is just what kind of escort you intend to hire in the first place. This means hiring from the right escort agency. What makes an Amsterdam escort service the ‘right’ service for you? What’s important when you’re looking for escorts in Amsterdam?
The cost of hiring an escort in our country is entirely down to the escorts themselves. In the Netherlands, sex workers determine their own rates. You have to then decide if the fee being asked for is agreeable and affordable for you. If it is, then you just need to follow the instructions provided to get your rendez-vous set-up just the way that you would like it. However, before you do any of that, you need to find a good agency to hire from. But where do you start?
We listed the 10 top companies for book escorts in Amsterdam. All with their own specialities. Check it out:
The first place we’d like to recommend is Desire Escorts. Many choose to check out this particular escort site as it has such a rich and varied selection of escorts for you to pick from. When you want to hire a companion for the day, she should be fun and exciting. Well, Desire Escorts pride themselves on being a company that makes hiring fun, excitable escorts a much easier experience than it might have been in the past.
If you are interested in making sure you can hire someone who is going to be up your alley, check out Desire. Their interesting blend of escorts from up and down the Netherlands ensures that you get a lot of different choices. Other escort agencies can be a bit bereft of choice, but we view the quality on offer at Desire Escorts to be as good as the quality itself.
If you are serious about getting a high quality escort experience, then, you should find that Desire Escorts offer just what you need. There is a reason so many women work here. This company treats the ladies and their clients right, leading to excellent overall ratings & experiences.SHOW ESCORTS >
This is without a doubt one of the best companies with the in Amsterdam. They say that the best things in life explain themselves simply and professionally. Well, if you want to get an escort agency that does just that, you could do a lot worse than Escort Amsterdam. By taking out much of the work involves in being with an escort, they ensure that you can spend more time having fun and less time worrying about how the fun is being had.
With a comprehensive collection of girls to pick from, too, Escort Amsterdam is a fine place to start any kind of journey. The rich variety of sex workers to pick from is a good starting point, as is the sheer variety and simplicity involved in the service. Simply tell them what you are looking for, and they can help you to find the perfect girl to help you do that – as well as the ideal way to make sure the evening goes exactly as you had planned in your head.
Part of the reason so many people choose this escort agency, is the availability. The women here are active and busy: this means that despite having busy schedules, getting fitted-in by your favourite is pretty easy!SHOW ESCORTS >
When you book an escort, it’s not always just to hire someone to have a roll around with in bed. Sometimes, you need someone who can step in and make your life a bit easier. You need someone to take with you to a fancy meeting, business dinner or cooperate event. Then we’d recommend High Class Escorts Amsterdam!
Some of the most beautiful women in the Netherlands are working for this company. This ensures that you can easily pick up someone for the evening who is sexy, stylish, exciting, and perfectly suitable for you to bring to some kind of formal event. When you call High Class Escorts Amsterdam, they can easily hook you up with a special date for the evening who can spend all night making sure you have something to look forward to. When the business-meeting is done, this is when you and your date can truly enjoy the night.SHOW ESCORTS >
When you feel stressed, you just need a helping hand! And what better pair of hands to rely upon than the help of those at Erotic Massage Amsterdam?
As masters of pleasure and of making sure you can enjoy a truly tremendous time, EMA makes sure you can spend more time moaning in pleasure than in frustration. A tremendous experience, an erotic massage often leaves you with a tingle that you cannot get on your own. It allows you to relieve some of that stress in a big way, whilst making sure you can spend some time with a truly stunning escort who knows just how to tick your boxes and push your buttons.SHOW ESCORTS >
When you want to hire someone with a bit of extra class and charm to them, you might not be sure about hiring from an escort agency. After all, aren’t all escorts party animals who might not be suitable for a more formal event? Not at all. This is a common fallacy that is not based in truth whatsoever, and it’s not a train of thought we recommend following. What we do recommend you follow, though, are the options open to you over at Escort Amsterdam Finest.
Quality always counts in the bedroom – especially when meeting up with someone who you do not know so well. That’s why so many look to this site: they want the finest, and they make sure that you can get the finest. By taking out the stress in finding someone who wants to have a good time, they make sure you can just pick and then arrive in good time, ready to have some luscious fun along the way.SHOW ESCORTS >
Passion Escorts is the perfect choice for those who enjoy a bit more commitment to having fun in the bedroom. Escort agencies such as Passion Escorts make it easy to find someone who is a bit more ‘you’ – someone who fits in with what you want to do. This is an agency with many women who are really proud of what they do, and who love spending time with their clients. This means that you can hire an escort knowing full-well that they have the interest to spend some time with you: they love the job.
The ladies at this company are making sure that you can feel like you have been suitably rewarded by spending time with them. That’s one of the main reasons why it’s recommended to meet an escort in Amsterdam via Passion: you’ll be sure to have your expectations met in kind.SHOW ESCORTS >
When you intend to spend some time in a city like Amsterdam, one problem you probably have is filling up your schedule. Doing so can be tough: a city that has so much to do can be tough to work out. That is why, we recommend using the Escorts in Amsterdam service. Put simply, they take out the question of what you should do, and replace it with another question entirely. Instead, you will be asking yourself who would you like to meet. It will make sure you can spend the time you have in the city with special people who know how to flick your switches, tick your boxes, and press the right buttons.SHOW ESCORTS >
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is a perfect place to meet someone in private. Amid the hustle and bustle of an airport, booking a nice woman at Escorts in Schiphol helps you to enjoy the cloak of anonymity. Now, you can both meet-up, head off to somewhere a touch more private, and just have some fun. It’s one of the main reasons why escorts in Schiphol tend to use this service: it keeps them near to one of the highest traffic points in all of major Europe. This allows you to make that as soon as you arrive, you have something – or someone – to look forward to.SHOW ESCORTS >
Of course, you might be on the lookout for something a bit more romantic, a touch more sensual. Whether you intend to meet a hotel escort in Amsterdam, or you want to go for the classic ‘girlfriend experience’, you will find that this is a city that very much lives up to its reputation. As a fun place to spend your time and an excellent location to enjoy spending time with a sexy lady, Sensual Escorts is a fine escort agency to work with and through.
It’s all about enjoying yourself with an escort, something that many of us find hard to understand at first. You might feel nervous, but the friendly and sensual nature of the girls here will make sure that you can just settle in and relax. So, for a more sensual sexual experience that still ensures a quality evening had by all, be sure to take a look at the talent on-offer with Sensual Escorts in Amsterdam.SHOW ESCORTS >
Last but definitely not least, for those who have hit the end of the evening and want to make sure a good evening in Amsterdam can end perfectly, we’d recommend Escort Angels Amsterdam. Why? Because this company works with amazing girls who will be happy to see you, and very happy to spend a bit of personal time with you. When you get into the bedroom with one of these girls, you’ll soon see why they are available all-night: they sure love to party!
This is the ideal choice for those who have turned up to Amsterdam looking for a good time. When the night is drawing to a close, you may wish to bring in someone who can make sure you have the perfect end to the evening. Why not use one of the many escorts that they have access to on this site to make sure you can hire someone who is good for you? Compatibility is easily handled when you first turn up. If they have agreed to your proposal, then you can be sure that she is very much up for whatever you have planned to start – and finish – the evening with!SHOW ESCORTS >
Posted on: June 10, 2019
On the Stadhouderskade in Holland’s capital, behind two black-lacquered doors, there is a new high-end stripclub: BonTon. This is the newest stripclub in Amsterdam and it’s definitely not a faded titty-bar where worn-out strippers who spin endlessly around a sticky pole. Rather the opposite! A chic, dark speakeasy, with red velvet sofas, dark walls and an elegant bar for cocktails. The golden strip-poles shine in atmospheric light, as if they want to say: put mainly twenty euros in the ladies’ underwear, but keep those loose coins in your pocket. Good to know: you have to be at least 18 to ring the bell and enter.
BonTon is the new, exciting adventure of sisters Lotte and Myrthe Graanboom. Lotte was already the owner of sex club LV on the Middenweg in Amsterdam-East and is now taking a softer road with a little family reinforcement. Lotte: “People don’t come to BonTon for sex, but for a drink with entertainment.” Myrthe: “And those are acrobatic shows, sometimes literally with fireworks.”
Still, the temperature can rise, during a lap dance for example. A public square in the bar, or upstairs in one of the private rooms (€ 150 for half an hour). Is there nothing sexual there? What if a man suddenly behaves rather boldly after five glasses of champagne? Myrthe: “The ladies who work for us are tough, you know. They show it immediately if they don’t want something.”
Sex is allowed at BonTon though. But since the recent opening men are mainly coming just for the strippers. At BonTon they prefer that too. BonTon opened its doors at the end of April 2019. The club has strip posts and various private rooms with beds and XL baths.
There is also a room with a large shower for Japanese Nuru massages. The room can also be reserved for private occasions. Alone or with small groups. It is a beautiful, neat stripclub with a nice atmosphere where both men and women can experience an exciting and unforgettable evening. This new stripclub in Amsterdam is located next to the Heineken Brewery on the Stadhouderskade.
Entrance: 50 euro
Champagnes: from 50 euro up to 2.500 euro
Lapdance: >20 euro
Private room: 350 euro
BonTon is open Thursday’s through Saturday’s from 9:00 pm till 5:00 am. The minimum age is 18 years for men and 21 for women. That is regulated by Dutch law. In case of doubt you must be able to show your ID. This stripclub in Amsterdam expects its visitors to adopt a tolerant and positive attitude in respect of various ethnic groups, gender, religion and cultures present. Treat the ladies with respect.
BonTon is located at an easy to reach location next to the famous Heineken Brewery, on the Stadhouderskade.
Address: Stadhouderskade 64 | 1072 AD | Amsterdam
UberX price: from Amsterdam Central Station to BonTon: € 9 – 12.
UberBLACK price: from Amsterdam Central Station to BonTon: € 16 – 20.
From Amsterdam Central Station take line 52 in the direction of Metro Station Zuid. Exit at Vijzelgracht Station. From there it’s a 5 minute walk.
From Amsterdam Central Station: tram: 2, 4, 12 or 24.
– For line 2 and 12 exit at stop “Amsterdam Rijksmuseum”. Then it’s a 9 minute walk.
– For line 4 and exit at “Amsterdam Frederiksplein”. Then it’s an 11 minute walk.
– For line 24 exit at stop “Amsterdam Marie Heinekenplein”. Then it’s a 4 minute walk.
Between 1:00 am and 5:00 am there is a special night bus in Amsterdam that can take you from, or back to Amsterdam’s Central Station. From Amsterdam Central Station take line 284 in the direction of Amstelveen Bus Station. Get off at stop “Ferdinand Bolstraat”. Then it’s a 3 minute walk.
Posted on: March 29, 2019
The sex cinema returns to the Amsterdam Red Light District. A 5D porn cinema opens on the Oudekerksplein (Old Church Square) on 30 March 2019, where ‘sex cinema’ Venus used to be. This is word’s first 5D porn cinema. Tomorrow it will officially open its doors for the public. It’s located next to an active protestant church, an online radio station, the Prostitution Information Centre, residential houses, a bunch of window brothels and several bars.
It means a comeback of a dying phenomenon. Venus, which opened its doors as the first sex cinema in Amsterdam in the 1970s, closed ten years ago. The rise of the internet, where sex and porn are available without restrictions and anonymity, made sex cinemas superfluous. Moreover, they no longer matched the clean-up plans, also known as Project 1012, that the municipality of Amsterdam had in mind to turn the Red Light District into an area that has more to offer than sex.
Kim Holland (in the middle) – Holland’s most famous porn-actress opens 5D porn cinema. Source.
The new 5D porn cinema is a new initiative of Red Light District entrepreneurs. Kim Holland, a Dutch porn-actress and producer, has made a short film that will be shown six times per hour. “It has taken a lot of effort,” she says. “A 5D movie is new to us.” She expects the new 5D porn cinema to be able to compete with the internet. “It’s new, exciting, interactive, and the first porn movie in the world in 5D!”
In addition to the three-dimensional images, five-dimensional films also offer moving chairs and special effects such as smoke and water. What this looks like during a porn-movie is left to your imagination, but according to Kim Holland all senses are stimulated.
The new 5D porn cinema in Amsterdam opens at a time when the municipality is trying to reduce the entertainment content in the Red Light District. The municipality of Amsterdam had to grant a permit to these entrepreneurs, says Alderman Udo Kock, because a sex cinema fits within the destination of the building. However, according to Kim Holland, the new cinema is a special case. “People can go here on their own.”
During our Red Light District tours we pass by world’s first 5D porn cinema as well, which is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s old centre.
Tickets are sold for 12,50 euro (14 $ or £ 11). We are the only one that offers e-tickets with a skip-line addition.
Posted on: March 27, 2019
By January 1, 2020, they should be gone from the Amsterdam Red Light District: groups of tourists, shuffling through Amsterdam’s old historical centre during “rush hour”. The executive board of the municipality of Amsterdam considers it “not respectful towards the sex workers”. Alderman Udo Kock thinks it “no longer fits in 2019 to see sex workers as a tourist attraction”. In addition, neighborhood residents, sex workers and entrepreneurs in particular, experience a great deal of nuisance from drunken and disrespectful tourists. The measures must also help against the pressure on the Red Light District. The tourist ban in Amsterdam at this time only applies to guided tours.
Elard Tissot from Patot sees a different side to the story. His company has been organizing group tours through the Red Light District since 2014. “I think the Red Light District should remain a tourist attraction, surely everyone should be able to see this neighborhood?” The tourists give him dozens of questions about sex workers, the neighborhood and how brothels can exist alongside daycare centers. “They are surprised about how things are done here, that this is possible. It’s important that tourists keep hearing about this.”says Tissot van Patot.
He acknowledges that there is nuisance in the neighbourhood, but he finds that tour groups do not cause this. He believes that the nuisance is caused by pub-crawls and lacking surveillance. Regardless of whose fault the nuisance is, according to Tissot van Patot it would be a shame if the history of the Red Light District could no longer be told.
Tissot van Patot has always had an interest in this neighborhood, which he believes is the historic center of the city. “I was curious about the history of the neighborhood, what kind of people live and work there.” He thoroughly researched that story and now tells the thousands of tourists who walk through the Red Light District area every year.
“It ‘s not that they are all looking at the sex workers with mouths open, but they are interested in the background of the neighborhood and have a lot of respect for the Red Light District and its sex workers,” says Tissot van Patot. “They also want to know everything about the sex workers: for example, about the security, where they come from and especially how it’s possible that this neighborhood can exist and how this can be legal here.”
According to Tissot van Patot, the Red Light District is part of the city of Amsterdam. “The people of Amsterdam see this as a normal neighborhood, this is where Amsterdam originated.” According to the guide, the Red Light District shows a large part of Dutch liberal culture. “This is probably the only place in the world where prostitution is next to faith, where brothels can be found next to daycare centers. This is unique in the world.” And the tourists need to keep hearing about that special story.
It has been restless in the Red Light District of Amsterdam for some time. For example, local residents, guides and civil servants signed a covenant in 2017. “A gentlemen’s agreement,” Tissot van Patot calls it. “We shook hands and agreed that we would handle the situation in the Red Light District properly”.
First convenant-signatories: City of Amsterdam (incl: Kajsa Ollongren & Boudewijn Oranje), residents, guides and tour operators.
Not everyone adhered to to it, according to Tissot van Patot. This was followed by an exemption with municipal agreements: a permit, introduced on 1st of April 2018. You are currently not allowed to walk around with more than twenty participants. No standing still in certain alleys. Show respect for the sex workers and no taking pictures for example. Nowadays there are 1600 permit-holders, of which 12 (0.75%) received a fine for breaking the new rules that are part of this permit/exemption. From those 12, 6 were hosts of pub-crawls. (source: https://www.amsterdam.nl/bestuur-organisatie/college/wethouder/udo-kock/persberichten/amsterdam-gaat-0/)
According to the municipality of Amsterdam, these rules also weren’t adequate enough. It was decided that there should simply be no more group tours in the Red Light District and they will implement the tourist ban in Amsterdam for tour groups starting on the first of January, 2020.
This interview was originally posted at the Dutch Metro newspaper.
Posted on: March 15, 2019
Ecstasy is the most popular entertainment drug among young adults. Alcohol and tobacco cause the most deaths from substance use. These are key takeaways from the Dutch National Drug Monitor 2018. The annual report of the National Drug Monitor (NDM) contains trends, figures and facts about the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Various things stand out about drug use in the Netherlands in the report. We’ve took the most interesting facts and put them in this article. The full report on drug use in the Netherlands can de read here (Dutch, PDF).
In 2017, 960.000 adults in the Netherlands had used cannabis in the previous year, the same number as in 2015 and 2016. That is around 7,2 percent of the total Dutch population aged 18 and older. Among young adults aged between 18-24, 2017 usage is the highest at around 25 percent.
The average level of THC in Dutch weed remained at the same level in 2018 as in 2017, seen over several years however, an increase can be observed. The most bought (popular) Dutch weed measured an increase from an average of 13,5 percent THC content in 2013 to an average of 16,8 percent in 2018; for weed that was purchased as the “strongest option”, the increase was on average from 15,3 percent in 2014 to 19,5 percent in 2018.
The highest THC content was measured in imported hashish (on average 23,5 percent), more than in previous years (14,9 percent in 2014). In contrast to Dutch weed, imported hashish also contains significant amounts of Cannabidiol (CBD), 8,5 Percent in 2018.
The average price of one gram of the most popular Dutch weed (€ 10,09) did not differ from 2017 (€ 10,10) in 2018, but has risen since 2006; this also applies to the price per gram of the “strongest” weed.
The increase in the percentage of ecstasy users between 2009 and 2015 appears to have stopped in 2016 and 2017. Nevertheless, the Netherlands remains a leader in Europe, followed at a distance by the United Kingdom (England and Wales). Use is highest among highly educated, young adults between 20-24 and in (very) urban areas. Ecstasy is still the most important party drug in the Netherlands. The percentage of students aged 12-16 who have experience with ecstasy decreased between 2015 and 2017.
In 2017, synthetic drugs were generally of high dose and not or less often mixed with other substances. In 2017, an ecstasy pill contained an average of 167 mg MDMA, again more than in previous years. Even nine out of ten pills had a high dose (> 106 mg MDMA).
The average percentage of cocaine in cocaine powders increased from 49 percent in 2011 to 68 percent in 2017. The price remains stable; since 2008 it has been an average of around 51 euros per gram. The content of amphetamine in speed powders is stable at an average of 42 percent.
Ketamine appears to gaining in popularity. The number ketamine samples that were submitted to the DIMS in 2017 increased. Since 2009 the proportion of registered drug incidents on first aid that involves ketamine has also risen sharply: from 2,9 percent in 2009 to 8,2 percent in 2017. The percentage of last-year users is many times higher among frequent partygoers than in general adult population, although the drug is not really a ‘typical’ party drug.
The use of the anesthetic agent GHB is relatively rare nationally and in the general Dutch population. In 2017, 0,4 percent of adults (around 50,000 people) had used GHB in the past year; that is less than ecstasy (2,7 percent), cocaine (1,8 percent), and amphetamine (1,4 percent). However, the number of health incidents with GHB is relatively high and often of serious nature.
The number of smokers in The Netherlands is declining. The decrease is smaller among people with a low level of education than among people with a medium or high level of education. The number of excessive drinkers stayed stable. In contrast to smoking, it’s precisely the higher educated who drink more frequently (9,9 percent of adults) compared to people with a low level of education (8,7 percent). There are an estimated 1,800 deaths due to alcohol consumption. These are largely attributable to strokes, cancer, diseases of the digestive organs and mental disorders. The estimate takes into account the protective effect of light alcohol consumption on some diseases and mortality. For smoking, the estimated total related number of deaths is 19,500.
Posted on: January 2, 2019
This article about our new audio tour app was taken and translated from Amsterdam’s local neighbourhood paper “d’Oude Binnenstad“. A paper made by locals.
You often hear it; complaints from locals about tours in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Tour groups that block the street. But there is a different way. Just recently an Amsterdam tour app was released that offers visitors a (private) tour in the Red Light District with a virtual guide and 22 experts who give their explanations about the neighbourhood, without street congestion.
Elard Tissot van Patot is the founder of Amsterdam Red Light District Tour. He studied economics, worked at Tours & Tickets and Groupon. In the meantime he developed an informative comparison website AmsterdamRedLightDistrictTour.com back in 2011. The site pulled in 3000 unique visitors each month. When he was looking for a new challenge his girlfriend advised him to do more with that website and gave him the idea to specialize in personalized tours.
“It feels like your walking through the neighborhood with a friend”
“It feels like your walking through the neighborhood with a friend”. This is the credit that Tissot van Patot got during a broadcast of Fox News. That was a turning point for the company that he started in 2014. The number of website visitors increased ever since to the current number of 70.000 unique visitors per month.
Later on, the idea came up to mind to create a virtual Red Light District tour. ‘I discussed the idea with my father in a café, and he told me to finally right down the ideas that I had in my head.’ Tissot van Patot lays a couple of scribbled bear mats on the table. ‘This is the first concept idea’, he says. ‘Neighborhood stories; flexible; exciting / unique; no big groups; never get lost,” he reads out loud. On another mat, under the heading What do I need?; ‘stories, technology; routes / maps / photos; payment system; sharing ‘. It was the start of the recently launched Red Light District Amsterdam Tour App.
Tissot from Patot did the research himself and wrote the script together with an employee. He was surprised by the enthusiastic reception for his idea. Storytellers worked pro bono. Although a number of companies are mentioned by name, there is no sponsorship or commission, he stresses. ‘And the Amsterdam tour App can also help with the reduction of the number of groups and improving the traffic flow in the Red Light District.’
With the English Amsterdam tour app you can get a tour of the Red Light District at any time, and as often as you’d like. During the audio tour, the listener walks with Sophie – a (virtual) local guide. Along the way, she introduces 22 experts, including historian Russell Shorto, Henny Tinga of the Salvation Army, city archaeologist Jerzy Gawronski, Martine and Louise Fokkens (a.k.a. The Old Hookers), a Romanian window prostitute and the founder of the Prostitution Information Center Mariska Majoor. Theodoor van Boven, owner of the Conomerie, and Jan Otten of the Casa Rosso also speak.
Tissot van Patot: ‘It’s about topics that are directly or indirectly linked to the Red Light District, Dutch culture and Amsterdam’s history. All the people that Sophie introduces along the way have a connection with the neighbourhood.’
The tour has 31 stops. The starting point is the Schreierstoren – the last fortification of the city walls that were erected in 1482. While many guides think that the tower owes its name to all the crying women who saw their husbands go to sea, our virtual guide Sophie tells us that ‘schreier’ means a sharp bend in the city wall and that the English researcher Henry Hudson in 1609, at that time in the service of the Dutch East India Company, left here to discover New Amsterdam, later New York.
Sophie provides the listener with historical information and ‘meets’ Patrick – a local policeman – at the Schreierstoren. He tells us that while we are in a safe neighborhood with more than fifty police cameras, we still have to watch out for pickpockets and street dealers. He also presses us to always stay on the sidewalk whilst listening to your headset. Then the tour goes crisscross through the oldest streets of the Red Light District.
The stories can also be read and you can continuously see where you are on the map. You don’t have to be afraid of getting lost and can interrupt the tour everywhere; you can also determine the route and order the stops yourself. At the Old Church Sophie meets sociologist and writer Herman Vuijsje, editor-in-chief of the most exhaustive book on Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
Vuijsje teaches the listener: “The Old Church is not only the largest church in Amsterdam, but also because of the limp subsoil, the church was constructed as lightly as possible, literally and figuratively with lots of high pointed windows and as much wood as possible. The building ‘floats’, as it were, on the boggy peat. The building therefore derives its beauty and airiness not from any architectural or theological viewpoint, but just practical considirations.
Useful information about soft drugs and hard drugs are also presented to the listener. Drug consultant August de Loor discusses drug policy and the importance of drug testing. De Loor advises, if desired, to purchase an easy-to-use drug testing kit at smart shops, that can clearly indicate what is in the drugs.
“Nowadays, whore is a loaded word, but in the past it was used for women who stepped outside the usual norms.”
In the heart of the Red Light District Sophie calls the British sex historian Dr. Kate Lister. She says: “According to anthropologists, there is no evidence that sex work is the oldest profession in the world.” And she continues: “Nowadays, whore is a loaded word, but in the past it was used for women who stepped outside the usual norms. That’s how Jeanne d’Arc was called a whore. The German word ‘horon’ means ‘someone who desires’. According to that explanation we are by definition all whores, because we all desire.” The close to two-hour tour ends at the Zeedijk with Diana van Laar of ‘t Mandje, the famous gay-café of Bet van Beeren.
Posted on: December 13, 2018
Amsterdam is using large banners in the Red Light District to inform tourists that drinking alcohol on the streets is not allowed. The banners are placed on – the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and the Oudezijds Achterburgwal – the most visited streets in the area, next to some bars. ‘0.0% zone’. ‘No alcohol in public space’, is written in English. ’95 euro fine.’ There has been a ban on alcohol in the Red Light District for a few years but alcohol is regularly consumed on the streets. The Amsterdam alcohol sign must ensure that enforcement becomes easier.
Mayor Halsema – Amsterdam’s first female mayor – is taking new measures to prevent nuisance in the Red Light District. Those who drink in the streets risk a fine of ninety-five euros. Most people do not know that there has been an alcohol ban for years in the Red Light District. ‘Enforcement officers have a very difficult task. They have to tell drunken people what they can and cannot do, while you do not see what is allowed and what isn’t allowed.’ This confusing situation should be clarified through the new measures taken by mayor Halsema.
“We hope that it will bring less violence’, says the mayor.” You see that it’s not allowed, so you do not have to have a discussion about it anymore.” In addition, there are talks with the police to get officers on the spot faster if people misbehave against enforcers.
According to a spokesperson for the municipality, residents of the Red Light District had complained a lot about public drinking in the streets. The banner is part of a package of measures that the municipality wants to take for the inhabitants. According to the spokesman, the banner will remain in place for a while. ‘It’s not something that will be solved in a day. The campaign will be conducted systematically.’
Posted on: December 8, 2018
Picture source: Elle.nl
Crispy, greasy, salty and with a good lick of mayonnaise: some Dutch fries once in a while is never a bad idea! But where can you find the tastiest and best fries in Amsterdam? Readers of Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool massively tipped its editors with their favorite Dutch fries.
Locals say: “The ‘Grandpa’ is peeling by hand everyday.” “Do not expect service or neat decoration, but very good fries.”
Eiburgh Snacks says: “At our snackbar, the eighty-year-old Jules from Belgium peels potatoes with a lot of attention and love, which we cut into our fries, and the potatoes are a bit smaller now, so there are a lot of small, crunchy pieces in between. Fries with meat stew are very popular, and the Belgians often find it better than at home.”
Address: Zuiderzeeweg 2
Opening times: daily 11:00-18:45
Coolest looking snack bar in Amsterdam: Eiburgh Snacks. Picture source: Yelp.nl.
Locals say: “Beautiful golden colour, with Belgian mayonnaise for the purists.” “Homemade, fantastically fried in clean oil.”
Snackbar Pont Neuf says: “My brother and I always say to our employees: you are as good as your last sold fries, so we keep our quality high. We are more of a fries specialist than a snack bar. We bake are own cut fries made from biological Agria potatoes in good quality vegetable oil. And we get a good response: we often hear that people grabbed the ferry just to buy our fries. I always say: regular customers say something about your quality; new customers say something about your growth.”
Address: Buiksloterweg 5
Opening times: daily 10:00-21:00
Pont Neuf is located across the IJ river behind Amsterdam Central Station. Picture source: Twitter.com.
Locals say: “Debbie makes great fries!” “Not those large weak Belgian fries, but those crispy fries.”
The Patat shop says: “Belgian fries? Those can’t be made with Dutch potatoes. We use “Bintjes” potatoes, those are just a little sweeter than Agria’s, I like them better, a little less dry. We cut them 10 mm, not too thick, not too thin, baked nice and crispy. We’ve been here for sixteen years, with a nice terrace with a view of the windmill, those are the added bonuses, and the love we put in of course!”
Address: Langsum 5
Opening times: daily 11:30-20:30
A wintery night at De Patatzaak / Molen van Sloten. Picture source: De Patatzaak.
Locals say: “Good, crispy fries.” “No-nonsense, the employees are down to earth.”
Snackbar The Smikkelhoekje says: “You can tell us whether you want your fries well done or not, we do not use special potatoes, even a dirty potato can be baked into something really tasteful, so it does not make a difference. Our “patatje oorlog” (war fries; fries with mayonnaise, satay sauce and shredded unions) are the most popular, we also use just ready-to-use satay sauce from Wijcko, which people absolutely love.”
Address: Meeuwenlaan 185
Opening times: Mon – Fri 11:00 – 21:00, Sat 13:00 – 20:00, Sun 13:00 – 23:00
A large terrace at Smikkelhoekje: picture source: Smikkelhoekje.nl.
Locals say: “A think-out-of-the-box fries joint.” “Delicious, original toppings” “Best fries in Amsterdam.” “Crispy and fresh.”
Freddy Fryday says: “Every two months our menu changes: then we have other toppings on our fries. they are a kind of kapsalon with pulled pork on it for instance, that’s our most sold type.” We also have ordinary fries with mayo of course. we bake all our fries in expensive oil.”
Address: Linnaeusstraat 36
Opening times: Mon and Tue 17:00-21:00, Wed and Thu 12:00-21:00, Fri and Sat 12:00-22:00, Sun 13:00-21:00
For some creative fries combination svisit Freddy Fryday. Picture source: Freddyfryday.nl.
Locals say: “Blessed fresh fries.” “Crispy and tasty inside, you can wake me up at night for them! Delicious!” “Some of the best fries in Amsterdam.”
Vleminckx says: “Our secret? Fresh every day, Freshly cut, freshly prepared, we do it with love. Popular is our patatje oorlog, but the Vleminckx house-sauce and our Belgian mayonnaise are also doing well. We bake real Belgian fries, which start at 16 millimetres, everything that is underneath is French fries.”
Address: Voetboogstraat 33
Opening times: Sun and Mon 12:00-19:00, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat 11:00-19:00, Thu 11:00-20:00
Expect a line because the Dutch fries from Vleminckx are quite popular. Picture source: Het Parool.
Locals say: “Baked in the skin, and the peanut sauce is top notch!” “You can moor with your boat close by.” “Homemade, busy and delicious, best fries in Amsterdam”
Zwagers says: “Quality, sustainability and pleasure come first with us, we use a fresh potatoes, delivered by the potato farmer from Amsterdam, and we find it important to use the entire product and try to waste as little as possible. In addition, we sell chicken sate and burgers, which come from the local butcher.”
Address: Bos en Lommerplantsoen 2
Opening times: daily 11:00-20:30
Easy access with your boat at Zwagers. Picture source: Amsterdam-athome.nl.
Locals say: “Nice to the very bottom of the bag.” “Crispy on the outside, soft inside.” “The big red stall can’t be missed.”
Vita’s Friet says: “We buy dirty potatoes and clean them ourselves. Yes, that is quite a bit of work but you get a lot in return. You taste the pure, Dutch potato. Cleaning goes on all day long. If you turn up at the market around 4:00 pm, you’ll still have fresh fries. How I prepare them? Pre-fry once, bake them once, otherwise the fries will be fat and dry. I often work with Agria’s, but currently with Frieslanders. It all depends on what the farmer has, but after all these years I know exactly which potato needs what.”
Opening times: daily 11:00-16:30
Vita’s brings fries to the people. Picture source: Het Parool.
Locals say: “This is what you do a cycle detour for.” “Sauce is served separately, so the fries remain crispy.” “Best fries in Amsterdam.”
Frietsteeg says: “It can get pretty busy here, especially on Friday, because that’s really “friesday”. But if we have the time we talk with our customers. In Amsterdam old-south there are mostly elderly people who are looking for some contact, so we make a chat. We once started with plastic fries containers, but that really started to bother us. That is why all our trays, small- and big bags are now made from biodegradable material, which feels much better.”
Address: Stadionkade 73
Opening times: daily 12:00-21:00
The award for best looking snackbar building goes to: Friesteeg. Picture source: Pom-magazine.nl.
Locals say: “Crispy, golden brown, lots of crunchy edges and they have a wide choice of sauces” “Delicious” “Worth a detour.” “Best fries in Amsterdam.”
Doardi says: “People can go here for fresh fries and a traditional ice cream. I’m originally icemaker, later I started adding baked fries. For both apply: the quality is in the good raw materials and much care in the preparation of course. The shop is located at the main walk to the Westerpark, you can just sit down at one of the picnic benches on our terrace or take something with you for in the park.”
Address: Van Limburg Stirumstraat 15
Opening times: Fri, Sat and Sun 12:00-21:30, Tue, Wed and Thurs 12:00-21:00
Posted on: December 6, 2018
Picture source: zoover.nl
Yes, there are many Amsterdam Christmas markets! So where should you be in December for mulled wine, ice-skating, last minute presents and some cozy Dutch atmosphere? We’ve made a list with the 10 best Amsterdam Christmas markets below:
The monthly Museum Market puts on an extra festive occasion on Sunday the 9th of December. On the market you’ll find over a hundred designers in the field of jewelry, art, fashion, photography and interior. Ideal if you you’re looking for a special Christmas souvenir. You can also go ice-skating here till February 3rd, 2019. Moreover, there’s a huge Christmas tree over here which makes it a great place to take a nice Christmas picture.
Sunday, December 9th (12:00 – 18:00) – one day duration
More info: http://www.museummarket.nl/thehottestdesginers-market-intown
Picture source: kerstmarktuitjes.nl
It’s also party time at sawmill The Otter. During this Christmas market you can take a steam mill lessons course and there is a living nativity scene. There’s also live music and a Christmas market with local entrepreneurs such as Vleesch (meat), Visch, Stadshout and Café Binnenvisser.
Saturday, December 15th (11:00 – 19:00) – one day duration
Location: Gillis van Ledenberchstraat 76
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1624239361208980/
Picture source: studeersnel.nl
Let’s be honest: the location alone is just perfect. Ruigoord is back with the annual Christmas market. With great food (from, among others, Hot Lightning, Tante Tofu and Dos Chicas), workshops, and activities such as potato beating, making earrings and doing tarot cards. And whilst you’re there: go and have a good time searching for treasure on the market. Who knows, you might come across a special gift!
Saturday, December 15th (12:00 – 18:00)
Sunday, December 16th (12:00 – 18:00) – two days in total
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/378752405995946/
There are two things certain in life: you have a Sissy-Boy market in the summer (Vondelpark) and one winter. This Christmas edition takes place at the Sissy office in Amsterdam North. Expect lots of Christmas balls, Christmas outfits, live music and hot chocolate with whipped cream. In other words: go ahead ad try to come home empty-handed.
Saturday, December 15th (10:00 – 17:00) – one day duration
Location: Aambeeldstraat 34
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1915822428533394/
Vintage at the Sissy-Boy Christmas market. Picture source: eengoedverhaal.nu
After last year’s success, a new Kesmarkt could of course not fail to come. This year Kesbeke director Oos organizes the Kesfeest, a cozy Christmas market in Bos & Lommer – an area in the western part of Amsterdam. Kesbeke is an Amsterdam family business whose main activity is the production of products such as dill pickles, Amsterdam onions and silver onions. The proceeds of the Kesmarkt will go to a charity located in Amsterdam West and is yet to be determined.
Saturday, December 15th (10:00 – 22:00) – one day duration
Location: Adolf van Nassaustraat 3
More info: https://www.kesbeke.nl/nieuws
Christmas, but a little different for a change? Then take the ferry to Amsterdam North’s NDSM area because there you can enjoy a Christmas market in Japanese style. This Christmas market is part of the Sushi Festival. Expect Japanese snacks, drinks, Santa Claus and … Pikachu.
Saturday, December 15th (12:00 – 21:00), 8 euros per ticket
Sunday, December 16th (12:00 – 21:00) – two days in total
Location: NDSM Plein 85
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/306462600154813/
Entrance to the Dappermarkt Christmas market. Picture source.
On the square between Mauritskade and Pieter Vlamingstraat you can go to a nostalgic Christmas market on Saturday the 15th of December. With drinks, food, music and a carousel for the little ones.
Saturday, December 15th (15:00 – 22:00) – one day duration
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2732295153662169/
Do you still need to score gifts? Then you are at the right place at the Amsterdam Christmas markets Funky Xmas on the Westergasterrein. For the eleventh year in a row, the Sunday Market organizes a fine market with many original stalls and gifts.
Sunday, December 16th (12:00 – 18:00) – one day duration
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/454223041651490/
It’s getting funky, at the Funky Xmas market! Picture source: vvv.nl
The brand new Amstelkwartier celebrates Christmas with a market full of sustainable and local products. Nice as a gift, or for yourself. With Bettinabakt pies, fresh and smoked fish from Jan Woord from Urk (a fishing village in the central Netherlands), herbal tea from Sean, bags and vintage from Karla Keet. There’s also fire, Koor (choir) aan the Amstel will sing under the heavenly stars and there will be mulled wine.
Thursday, December 20th (16:00 to 21:00) – one day duration
Location: Ouderkerkerdijk (at the white drawbridge)
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1501071390221720/
How do they celebrate Christmas in Scandinavia? Well, with baking bread and cookies, for example. You can do that during the Scandinavian Christmas market in the Muiderkerk. Creative people are will be at the right address anyway: you also make decorations for ‘jul’, the wheel of the time that turns the year to lighter days.
Friday the 7th December (12:00 – 19:00)
Saturday, December 8 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) – two days in total
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/scandinavische-kerstmarkt-amsterdam
Picture source: Amsterdam Light Festival
Besides the regular activities in Holland’s capital, such as taking a canal cruise, going to the best bars, visiting a real Amsterdam coffeeshop, and doing a Red Light District tour with a local guide, there’s also the Amsterdam Light Festival! Take a canal cruise and see the 30 different light artworks stretching over, or standing next to, Amsterdam’s historic canals. All the artworks are specially created for Amsterdam. We’ve also made a list of the 10 most unusual museums which should all be nice and warm inside.
Amsterdam in December. Picture source: Amsterdam Light Festival
The city is a lot less busy in December than in the warm summer months so if you don’t like crowds December is your month. Because it’s less busy hotel and Airbnb rates should also be lower. An added bonus is that you can experience this dazzling historic city with all the beautiful Christmas lights everywhere.
Yes, it’s quite cold in December! Bring warm clothing with you, including a warm jacket, gloves and some headgear. The average temperature in December is around 4 °C (39 °F).
Posted on: November 29, 2018
Ben Dronkers has for decades been one of the most prominent hemp activists and entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. So when we got the chance to interview him we were very excited! Read the full interview below:
Ben Dronkers: I was just 17 and I discovered it like most people; through some friends. The first joint that I smoked was in Rotterdam under a bridge and like many people I didn’t feel much of it. Nevertheless, I tried it again and then you feel the good vibes of it. There wasn’t a real big cannabis culture back in 1966. It started a bit in Amsterdam with a few clubs, the Paradiso for example and later on the Bulldog, Cosmos and a few other places, but not many. The first coffeeshop also came out a bit later. In Rotterdam there were no coffeeshops, those were mainly Amsterdam. So my friends and me, we would often go to Amsterdam to buy a piece of hash or weed and then we shared it when we came back to Rotterdam. We mostly bought hash back then because it was much better than the weed. The weed mainly came from Africa, Indonesia and Thailand. The hash came from Lebanon, Morocco, Afghanistan and other places, and was much better. Very good quality. In those days hash was more important than weed.
Ben Dronkers: That story actually started earlier because I started to travel the world a bit, you know, like hippies do, and discovered hash around the world. And because I was interested I also visited the farmers. When I saw the farmers grow their hash I also became interested in growing it myself. With a friend of mine in Rotterdam we started with just a few seeds to see what would happen. We had one plant under a heater and it worked! The quality wasn’t that good but it worked. For us it was a revelation, a wonder. In America you already had homegrown, but not in Europe. Not many people grew their own plants. For us it felt amazing that we could just put some seeds in the ground, give it water and grow your own weed. That made me travel the world more and I visited places like Lebanon and Morocco and later on I went many times to Pakistan and Afghanistan. From there I brought different varieties with me that I found along the way. I brought them back to Holland and together with a friend I started to grow them in a greenhouse. The police busted me quite a few times, also just for having some hash on me.
“then I realised that there was a loophole in the Dutch drug laws: It was legal to just grow seeds.”
Ben Dronkers: But then I realised that there was a loophole in the Dutch drug laws: It was legal to just grow seeds. I went to an expensive lawyer to ask if my thoughts were correct and he confirmed it to me. So then I started growing my own seeds and I started my own seed company: Sensi Seeds and around the same time I also started the Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum together with Ed Rosenthal. We were the first legal seed bank/ seed shop in the world and got customers from all over the world. Nobody had done it before and people started to write about it, including the American magazine High Times that brought me in connection to many people, people and knowledge. All the specialists from all over the world, writers and researchers, came over because our seed collection was a very special one. The first weed that we grew in the Netherlands I tried to sell in Amsterdam but nobody wanted it because it was too green. They called it spinach. But in fact it was so good that in a couple of years everybody was fond of it. Because the seeds were legal I kept growing for the seeds not weed.
Some of the items on display in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp museum in Amsterdam.
Ben Dronkers: We started with the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum a bit later than Sensi Seeds but around the same time period. We did it because, like you guys, we wanted to share the information about weed and hash to the tourists who came to Amsterdam for the coffeeshops. I had been collecting for quite some time by then, together with friends, but at first we also called it the Cannabis Info Museum back then. It was more about spreading information than having items on display. Whilst the museum was there, me and my friends kept on collecting items. Collecting is quite addictive if you like your collection. When you now see our collection in Amsterdam and the collection in our museum in Barcelona, it is amazing! I cannot believe it myself sometimes when I see it. Where did I get all that stuff? So in the beginning a lot of items were also from friends but with time I bought the items from them or gave them back.
Ben Dronkers: One of the most exiting moments for me was when I was in Afghanistan and it was still being occupied by the Soviet Union. We went into the mountains to find wild marihuana as I already had gotten the seeds from the farmers and was interested in getting wild strains. So we went into the mountains and we came over hilltop and then there was big Russian platoon right in front of us. And that was quite scary, as I had to dress like an Afghan because I couldn’t walk around looking like a tourist. It was a forbidden area for foreigners or strangers. That was really a bit scary because they started shooting at each other, a scary moment. But Afghanistan itself was also extraordinary with such a beautiful culture and people. It was amazing to see people walk around there with big bales made up out of super quality hash. And they were really friendly so they shared everything with you like the food, the house and of course the hash. It was, especially the people, very nice. I went there quite a few times and it was always nice.
“The Afghan people deserve so much better than the way they have it now.”
The Afghan people deserve so much better than the way they have it now. They have this beautiful hash if they could only export it on a fair trade deal. A farmer gets around 200 to 300 euros per kilo whilst in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam a kilo sells for around 16.000 euro per kilo (18,2279 in US dollars or 14,2622 in pound sterlings). The Afghan people should have the right to export that beautiful product that they have. The money could be used for good schools and good agricultural practices. It could help with the development of their country.
Ben Dronkers (in white) in Afghanistan. Picture source: cnnbs.nl
But at this time the drug prohibition appears to be coming to and end so I hope to see the day that it’s completely legalised and all these poor countries can have some financial benefit from it. But for us it’s the same thing. A lot of people smoke terrible stuff and there is no quality control. And it should be there like with any product that you buy in a grocery store. Normally weed and hash are actually quite safe but since the prohibition was implemented people started using insecticides and other bad production methods. Consumers should be protected and the product should have regular prices. What you see in Colorado, where it is legalised, the state government makes millions of dollars in tax revenue. That’s a good thing; it should be out of prohibition and legal.
Ben Dronkers together with Ed Rosenthal in a greenhouse filled with hemp. Picture source: weedworldmagazine.org
Ben Dronkers: The thing is the Netherlands is like an ostrich that puts its head in the sand. We had a big advantage in the Netherlands because it was semi-legal with the coffeeshops and the technological innovations for growing cannabis were quite high here. But they changed the law and made it more difficult to grow and more and more the organised crime took over production. And then the guys with “the green fingers”, the hippies, the young people who grew a couple of kilo’s in their attic, they all quit because they were too scared. The police also targeted them all the time instead of organised crime because that was a lot easier of course.
I think in a few years, when America completely legalises, the rest of the world will follow. I’m living in Malaysia right now and you can see medical marihuana in Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia getting legalised. It all starts with that. Because all the lies throughout the years that marihuana is a bad thing are being refuted by the medicinal properties that it has like in a product such as CBD oil. They can’t stop it anymore. The cat is out of the bag, as they say.
Ben Dronkers: You can say the Dutch government but when you drink a beer or wine they are also regulated. If you buy some food there are also food regulations. Should it get legalised like other products that are legal then there should be no restrictions. Marihuana is pure most of the time, it’s a herb, it’s a plant. It’s the same with your vegetables; there shouldn’t be heavy insecticides on it. But that is also the beauty of this plant is that you don’t need those to grow it. While tobacco and alcohol give a lot of societal damage marihuana doesn’t which is now extensively proven. In the Netherlands they even came up with a report that it isn’t bad and then the government falsified the report to keep it illegal. Nobody got punished for that. But if you sell a few grams of marihuana on the streets you go to jail.
It’s really stupid that it’s legally accepted that people can drink themselves to death with alcohol and smoke themselves to death with tobacco whilst marihuana is illegal and nobody has died from it. It’s prejudiced and discriminatory against a plant. If a religion tells you what you should eat or drink that’s your religion. But if a government tells you what you can and cannot eat and drink then you still have the self-determination of your own body, it should be up to you. I believe all drugs should be legalised and then the world will change. Because now, when you say heroin should be legalised people get really upset, but would you like to have some heroin? You don’t. But it’s the peer pressure and black markets that make new junkies.
Some of the items on display in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp museum in Amsterdam.
Ben Dronkers: That is one of the companies that I started after Sensi Seeds and the museum. We grow a lot of hemp with that company in the Netherlands and Rumania. And with that hemp we make CBD oil, fibers and wool. This plant is very diverse in its use cases. They say that there are 20 to 50.000 different products you can make from hemp. You can buy the CBD oil from Sensi Seeds but you can also find the seed oil, hemp seeds and protein. It’s one of the plants that contains omega 3 and 6. On the other hand we can see that the textile industry is entering the market, albeit slowly. They currently use a lot of cotton and that crop needs the most insecticides of all the plants in the world and requires a lot of water too. Hemp is the exact opposite, an amazing product.
“At HempFlax we make car products for the automotive industry. BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar even the Bugatti Veyron.”
At HempFlax we make car products for the automotive industry. BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar even the Bugatti Veyron all have our hemp fibers inside the dashboard and door panels. That saves a lot of plastic; soon you’ll find plastic bags on the market that will be totally degradable instead of the plastics that we use now. That’s amazing! And those are some of the things that hemp can do. People should inform themselves if they are interested in this subject. We also have a small shop in the Red Light District between the two museum buildings called the Hempstory. There we sell a lot of products that you can eat or wear or use for makeup.
Industrial hemp production. Picture source: dvhn.nl
Ben Dronkers: It’s very simple actually; in the last couple of hundred years, in between 400 or 500, we cut 80% percent of the forests in the world. We’ve used up all that wood, but hemp can do the same as a forest but what takes a forest 12 years hemp can do in 1 year. It can produce fibers and it can produce wood. You can even produce ethanol from it so you can drive cars on it. In our museum you can already see a motorbike completely made from hemp. In 1941, Henry Ford made a car completely of hemp and you can find this information in the museum. And that is the fun of the museum because people simply don’t know about this plant. They always think it’s a terrible thing but it’s a friend of humankind.
Can hemp safe the planet? Well if the CO2 output is important then you can see that, what you learn is school, plants take in the CO2 from the air and store it and then when you burn it is released again. But what we do now is use millions of years old oil and coal and only burn it releasing the CO2 into the air. Hemp would take it in and release it again. But if you store the hemp like in the car industry, in wood or hempcrete (concrete made from hemp), a very interesting development at the moment, they are actually building houses from this.
Hempcrete replacing concrete. Picture source: isohemp.com
Then you store the CO2 for many years. It’s a wonder plant, it’s amazing what this plant can do. It comes close to the tree of life as I always say. And people don’t believe it, they don’t know about it. When they come to the museum they’re flabbergasted by all the possibilities that this plant has!
“Colombus couldn’t have found America and Europe wouldn’t have had any colonies if it wasn’t for Hemp.”
When you look back at history, Colombus couldn’t have found America and Europe wouldn’t have had any colonies if it wasn’t for hemp. Wood and hemp made all those ships possible. The sails were hemp, the clothes were hemp, the food was hemp, the lights were powered by hemp oil. Back in the day, we had around 3000 windmills in the Netherlands and most of them were used for hemp and hemp oil. These are some of the reasons for why we started with HempFlax even though we lost money with it for 24 years.
2 replicas of the 3 ships that Columbus used to sail to America. Picture source: oswegocountytoday.com
But now it’s there and we have a factory in Romania and you’re now talking about 3000 hectares of hemp so it’s a real industrial company. It came from nothing because after the First World War the cotton, plastic and alcohol industry took it all over. And look what we got with all the plastic in the oceans. Can it save the world? It can help a lot. That quote was actually originally a phrase from Jack Herer, a good friend of mine who passed away. He wrote a very important book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes. He used to say hemp could save the world and then I would always say; come on, that is a bit too much Jack. But I really believe it now because as soon as the oceans have no more fish where do we get the proteins? The omega 3’s and omega 6? It’s in the hemp oil or seeds.
So what could we use to power our cars? We could use ethanol from hemp. Building construction, aluminium, cement and all that stuff are real big pollutants. In the Netherlands they have a large program for housing durability and they make insulation for the homes from glass fibre or rock fibre and they even use PUR-foam, and it’s so toxic. I say, and I really believe it, that this glass fibre isolation is the new asbestos. But HempFlax produces good quality isolation made from hemp. We sell it and our sales are getting better. It’s more expensive of course and the industries that are involved and the government don’t like it so they keep it down. That is really happening. And if people think that is a conspiracy theory, trust me, I’ve been working with hemp for 27 years and it was never easy, it’s still not easy!
The Dutch parliament building. Picture source.
Ben Dronkers: Lies and deceptions, with the story that the United Nations wouldn’t allow it. That’s what we heard for the last 20 years. At one time we had 27 persons in Dutch parliament who smoked weed and they wanted to legalise it with D66 (Dutch social liberal party). But then they say we can’t do that because of international treaties. But that isn’t true, because in the meantime Colorado does it, Uruguay does it, Portugal does it, so many countries are doing it now. It was bullshit then and it’s bullshit now. And now in the Netherlands they want to try what they call “the weed experiment” and it’s bullshit again. It’s unbelievable what they make up; they will again start to say that it’s bad and that you will get sick. No, cannabis, marihuana and CBD oil cure people. It’s a medicine. You go to a doctor in the Netherlands and that doctor can prescribe it legally, you can get it at the pharmacy and you can travel the world with it legally. The treaty of medicine is signed so it’s officially a medicine. They are liars, because when you ask how about alcohol and tobacco? They say “oh no, no we won’t talk about it now”. So it’s hypocritical, lies and deceit.
Historical advertisement in the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.
Ben Dronkers: Well I don’t think just for the Netherlands but it should be totally legal for the whole world. You should be free to grow it in your own garden, to grow your own medicine and you use it. And a lot of people do this now in the Netherlands. You’ve got 1000’nds of people who grown their own weed when you look at a website like Mediwiet. I don’t know how many people are medical users but you have this stuff and it’s expensive but when you buy some seeds and grow your own it’s bloody cheap, a very cheap medicine! What you also see in Colorado for example, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out, is that alcohol consumption is going down. So the alcohol industry doesn’t like that, that they are really losing money. And with the pharmaceutical industry a lot of people use 7, 8, 10, 20 different kinds of tablets from the pharmacy, bloody expensive! It’s a milk-machine!
“alcohol consumption is going down. So the alcohol industry doesn’t like that, that they are really losing money.”
Ben Dronkers in the high grass. Picture source: cnnbs.nl
And now people are using cannabis or CBD oil or THC cannabis as a medicine and they don’t need all this pharmaceutical stuff anymore and that is why those industries are the big funders of the anti propaganda. And they probably bribe the politicians with lobbying and all that shit to keep it illegal. In America alone it is estimated that it will cost them 15 billion in sales a year. I’m not sure if that is for Colorado alone or all the states. But if a company loses that kind of money they don’t like it so they better pay a couple millions here and there to keep it illegal. But like I said, the cat is out of the big, they can’t keep it illegal anymore. In the last 45 years that I’ve been fighting against prohibition I met high standard people like Harvard University professor Lester Grinspoon, who wrote even back in 1972 that it was a medicine and not harmful. The real researchers and the government knew about it, nevertheless they kept it forbidden. But what I see now is that they cannot hide it anymore and that the prohibition is coming to an end. As I say sometimes, as a politician you have to be both very stupid and totally uniformed, or corrupt.
Ben Dronkers: It’s like you state it. It will be an industry. It already is. In Canada one of the biggest companies is Canopy and they work together with Corona beer. Corona put nearly 4 billion dollars into it. Coca Cola was even interested into cannabis drinks. You see it in the stock market; in both Canada in America you can buy stocks now that are totally cannabis related, for consumption and medical. In Switzerland you can already buy cannabis cigarettes in the super markets and at gas stations. They are low in THC, only 1 percent and a bit high in CBD, but it’s there, in the supermarkets. Even in bags of just weed, in some countries they sell it like tea, but you can still smoke it. But in Switzerland it’s just the weed. So it’s already happening but it will take time, everything takes time. However, Hemp is even more important to me than cannabis because I think it can save the world, at a minimum it can save a lot. The sooner we can change from a plastic and oil industry to a sustainable industry the better. And that with only one plant that doesn’t need insecticides or pesticides for industrial farming. There aren’t many plants that don’t need those.
The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Barcelona. Picture source: everipedia.org
Ben Dronkers: Oh yes, there are also crooks in it of course, and some of them collected a lot of money but they don’t know what to do with it. Those people are more financial experts than agricultural experts or growing experts. But there are of course also plenty of good ones. I don’t know how many there are at this time, I hear a lot. But I don’t know, a lot of them will die and go away but some others will grow very fast. Figure it out yourself; if you want to buy some stocks you might want to buy some HempFlax stocks or Sensi Seeds. You never know the future of course but those two companies are both doing well and have a history of quality, and quality conquers all! At this time HempFlax is the largest CBD oil producer in Europe. And on the other hand, if you look at our museums, the museum in Barcelona is a masterpiece! But with everything in this business you have to wait and see how the politicians and the pharmaceutical industry try to stop it, don’t be surprised. I think they can’t anymore and should not, because this plant and medicine should be available for everybody.
Posted on: November 24, 2018
It’s a safe means of payment and is anti-money-laundering. However, one week ago Amsterdam’s Red Light District credit card payments were no longer an option. The last payment processor has pulled the plug from the payment terminals. “About 30% of all sex workers have such a device, both in the clubs and behind the windows.” says Eric Hamaker, owner of accounting company Red Light Tax. “They’ve been out of operation since the 16th of November”
The British supplier MyPOS has stopped the service because the company doesn’t want to be associated with the sex industry. The company wants to go public on the stock exchange in 2020 and for that reason Citibank advised them to withdraw from the sex industry. It’s a slap in the face of the sex workers in the Red Light District.
Payments via credit card have been possible for some time and Red Light District credit card payments are becoming more popular. Foreign customers of the window brothels increasingly want to pay by credit card because they have less cash on them. With credit card payments, financial flows become more transparent and exploitation can be proven more easily. Also, sex workers in Amsterdam feel safer if they don’t have to walk the streets with large sums of cash, according to the trade association for Dutch sex workers PROUD.
The new development brings back the fear in the Red Light District that cash will become the norm again. Those who want to pay with a Dutch bank card can still go to the Red Light District, but international visitors, a large proportion of the customers in the Red Light district, do not have a Dutch bank card. However, there are still plenty of ATM’s in the Red Light District of Amsterdam where one can withdraw cash with their credit card.
Large amounts of cash have always been the reason why bankers kept the sex industry at a distance. Banks don’t want their financial systems to be used for, among other things, money laundering. For this reason it’s wry that a credit card company does not want to renew contracts with sex workers. Sex workers are now being thrown back to old times. Former prostitute Metje Blaak is clear that the time of a shoebox with cash under the bed must be a thing of the past. “We laundered the money by going to the casino,” she recalls. “We bought casino chips for two hundred guilders but then didn’t not do anything with them. After an hour we left again and delivered the chips back to the cash register. Our money was ‘healthy’, as we called it at the time.”
In Amsterdam’s Red Light District it’s legal to start working as a sex worker from the age of 21 onwards. There must be a registration at the Chamber of Commerce and taxes must be paid.
Posted on: November 22, 2018
Smoking tobacco will soon be illegal in Amsterdam coffeeshops. Customers will no longer be allowed to light up joints (Wikpedia: a rolled cannabis cigarette) in coffeeshops with tobacco in them. Paul Blokhuis – politician of the Christian Union serving as Dutch state secretary for Health, Welfare & Sports – has formed an agreement on this together with the participants in the so-called National Prevention Agreement. Participants include companies, civil society organisations and governments all working together to reduce unhealthy behaviour. Blokhuis wants to be consistent and doesn’t want to exclude coffeeshops from the smoking ban that applies to the Dutch hospitality industry and other public places.
Amsterdam’s newspaper Parool on 21 November 2018: Tobacco smoke will also be banned in coffeeshops. Dutch news channel RTL Nieuws: Lighting a joint in a coffeeshop not allowed anymore.
Whoever wants to smoke joints in coffeeshops that contain tobacco must smoke outside or take them home. A joint with a spice/herbal mixture will still be allowed, confirm insiders. Source: Dutch national newspaper AD.
The National Prevention Agreement contains several plans to improve the health of the people in the Netherlands. Plans against for instance; overweight and excessive alcohol consumption. The agreement also states that tobacco shops will no longer be permitted to advertise by 2021 and that their smoking products can no longer be visible. These are shops such as Primera and special cigarette sales outlets in supermarkets. An exception will probably be made for real super specialty stores such as cigar shops and pipe tobacco vendors. For them, the advertising ban and a ban on showcasing their products could mean bankruptcy. According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, more facts on the Prevention Agreement will be presented on Friday November 23rd, 2018.
The Dutch Cabinet previously wanted to ban smoking in cafes within two years with the removal of special smoking rooms from the hospitality industry and regular offices. The Dutch hospitality industry argued for a longer run-off period. According to the newspaper, the complete smoking ban in the hospitality industry will definitively be in force in July 2022.
The price of cigarettes will also gradually rise in the coming years, to 10 euros per pack in 2023. However, the Dutch government will first investigate whether this will not lead to more cigarettes being imported from abroad. To prevent this, the Ministry wants to make price agreements with neighboring countries.
Posted on: October 19, 2018
Street dealers in Amsterdam remain a persistent problem despite the deployment of police and other measures. In fact, the problem continues to extend even beyond the city center. As is well known, street dealers cause nuisance and feelings of anxiety among residents and entrepreneurs. Tourists are often stuck with inferior, dangerous or completely fake drugs. What is less known is that some of the street dealers intimidate or even steal from tourists during the point of sale.
Some time ago this was the motivating reason for the Amsterdam coffeeshop (the Dutch term for an cannabis shop) and the smartshop branch to start a campaign to warn tourists about these practices. With flyers, stickers, posters, an informative film and the website www.ignorestreetdealers.com the most basic tips are given plus advice on what to do when tourists get into trouble. That both industries are an effective medium for warning campaigns has been proven by the fact that more and more cities in the Netherlands are taking part in the campaign when they run into similar problems with street dealers.
To give the street dealers Amsterdam campaign a new impulse, an activation event was held on Friday the 19th of October at Leidseplein. In addition to an enlarged version of the poster in the middle of the square, an explanation of the fact that more structural measures are needed than just warnings will be given. Street dealers (actors) will try to sell their (fake) drugs to the men and women in the streets. All those who are able to resist their sales methods in the most playful or effective way are eligible for free tickets to a party this Saturday evening (Project Sugar has provided 20 tickets for this).
The neighbourhood director of the Leidseplein and the neighbourhood itself are very positive about the new action. Amsterdam’s City Hall has given the permit and there is support from the coffeeshop union and the smartshop union. Suggestions for new ideas that support the street dealer campaign are coming in from everywhere and can be implemented for a more liveable city center.
Posted on: October 9, 2018
Back in 2016 it was announced that the Startfoundation – an independent social development company – would start working on setting up the brothel My Red Light in Holland’s capital- better known as the ‘municipality brothel’. This Amsterdam brothel was created at the initiative of the former mayor Eberhard van der Laan, with the assistance of a large number of renowned companies. The brothel has no one owner, but is a foundation. We did an interview with the current chairwomen Justine le Clercq about the Amsterdam brothel business and the Red Light District. Justine le Clercq in front of My Red Light – a new brothel in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
J (Justine): I have no idea who I am; I hope to have figured it out before I pass away! How did I get involved with the Red Light District? A friend who works in the escort service directed me to it. And because of my own past, I have always followed the developments. And I’ve always thought; well with my personal experience, if there ever comes a project where it makes sense to use my own expertise and skills, then I will do that, but not just anything. When the My Red Light Foundation was founded, when they almost opened, they needed a press officer for 5 hours a week. Then I thought that’s okay, because not many people want to be in the media, but I was already in the media because I’m an author and I organize exhibitions and so I was already everywhere in the media, so I’m used to it. And I have a history of drug addiction and prostitution etc. So I thought, I felt called to it, let me put it that way. Three weeks later I was chairwoman of the board of an Amsterdam brothel, but that’s the way things go!
J: Three years.
J: No, I was an addict, which is of course a form of prostitution that isn’t usually practiced in the Red Light District. It was in the 1980’s when there was a lot of drug addiction in the Netherlands. I lived in The Hague – a major city in the Netherlands – and the first 3 years that I was hooked I made ends meet by hustling, which meant stealing stuff. When I turned 18 I thought to myself that if I got arrested, I’d have a criminal record for the rest of my life. I was very aware of that in one way or another, but I could not stop using drugs either, so I just started doing prostitution the day I turned 18. Quite shrewd actually!
J: No, that was not a decision. No, absolutely not. I never expected that I would do this. I’m not a career planner anyway, but this would have been complete out of the box thinking. No, I started at My Red Light for the press officer position, I felt called because not many ladies who’ve worked in the sex industry want their face in the newspaper or on TV. I’m an easy talker, I was already in the media and I also have the kind of career that I can’t be disappointed anymore. You are a little younger yourself, but you will understand that as you get older it becomes easier to talk about your past. When I was twenty it was of course a completely different story compared to now.
“I feel obligated towards my own past.”
Yes, it’s a kind of commitment that I feel, I feel obligated towards my own past. That may sound a bit melodramatic, maybe it is, but you have to envision that when you were addicted in the 80’s that a lot of people died. A lot of people died from aids, a lot of people were destroyed by their past and had no chance to rebuild a good life. I had a chance; I have an exceptionally good life. Because of this you feel a kind of obligation to do something with it. So I came for the press officer position but when I got there there was actually hardly a board, and a foundation has to have a board. When we opened it turned out to be a bit of a rudderless foundation. And then I was asked to be chairman of the board. I thought it was just a temporary position; well temporary has now been more than 1.5 years.
J: The most apparent difference is that we don’t make a profit. When we make a profit, then it goes to the foundation and not to the people who work there or the owner. There is no owner at a foundation, if you have a commercial company and you’ve made a 100, – euro profit, it goes to the owner. At a foundation the money goes to the foundation. The foundation consists of a board and it’s checked and also obliged to be consulted by all people involved in the foundation. In My Red Light’s case they’re all the sex workers. They advise and say what they want to do with the money. So together we decide to buy new towels with this 100, – euro. Or are we going to improve the lighting? What do we do with the money? That is the most obvious difference.
“Together we decide … that is the most obvious difference.”
There are of course more differences because if you set up a foundation in the Netherlands you have to determine on paper what goals you want to achieve. That’s not necessary with a for profit company. The goal of a company is simply to make a profit, if they have other goals then that is nice (if they’re nice goals), but it isn’t necessary. For a foundation it’s obligated. So we have a number of goals that state that we want to contribute to normalizing and decriminalizing the sex industry. We want to work together to develop the potential of the women, if they want to go to school, if they want to learn a profession. We want to offer them that opportunity and that they are also more proud of themselves. We want to encourage them to take good care of themselves and be able work in a beautiful environment. We want to encourage them to lead another life alongside the industry.
J: You’ll always have sex workers who have a permanent contract and that usually means that they have a window for 5 or 6 days a week. Well, if you count then you already have 14 women who work 5 or 6 days. On the other days in the evening you have the freelancers. These ladies are registered with us, so we have had a conversation with them and they’ve worked with us in the past. We have a total of 135 registered freelancers but we obviously don’t have enough room for 135 persons. Some ladies have worked with us from the start but there are also a lot who travel around: Somebody leaves at a certain point and another lady replaces her full time spot for a couple of months.
J: During the day we have 1 to 3 ladies who work, which is very few. If you walk in the Red Light District during the day you’ll see that there are very few ladies at work. That’s because there are hardly any customers during the day. There is so much tourism that showing up as a customer during the day is actually too annoying. When a customer does come by it will be in the evening hours, in the dark. You see this during the summer months; the ladies start their shifts at a much later time because otherwise it is too light outside.
“So all the brothels are pretty empty at this time (during the day), and that’s a huge loss.”
So all the Amsterdam brothels are pretty empty at this time (during the day), and that’s a huge loss. It’s also a loss because we only have a small number of issued permits for the sex industry and they are becoming ever more scarce. So there are fewer places for the ladies to work. We would prefer to rent out our empty rooms to homeworkers during the day. These are ladies who do not want to stand behind a window and do not want to work in a private club but prefer to just rent a room to work in. That isn’t allowed in the Netherlands, a lady can only work in the licensed sector. So that means a building or a place that has an issued municipality permit. Amsterdam brothel operators are banned from renting out their rooms to ladies who don’t want to stand behind the window.
J: No, all sex workers are registered under “remaining services”.
J: No, it’s an important difference. A homeworker is not a window sex worker. A homeworker will never stand behind a window.
J: Personal preference. You can do anything in the sex industry and everyone has his or her own preference. Some like to hang from a pole, whilst others do escort with a hotel stay, another finds the Amsterdam brothel more comfortable or the streets. Everything has it advantages and disadvantages; it’s a personal consideration. Working from home is forbidden whilst prostitution itself is a legal profession. A physiotherapist can start a practice from home; a masseur can start a practice from home. Everyone can start a practice from home. I myself and others also work from home. But for a prostitute this is forbidden. So what can she do? She has to find a workplace that already has a permit. Well, those are the Amsterdam brothel operators, the private clubs or the escort services. But what if you don’t want one of those three options? What if you just want to work at home? We have everything here in the Red Light District but the windows are empty during the day. Why not rent out these beautiful rooms that are vacant to ladies who prefer to arrange their own business. It’s a great solution? But to this day the City of Amsterdam makes it impossible because it forbids it.
J: The permit of a Amsterdam brothel operator states that a sex worker can only rent a room if the she solicits her customers through the window. And that’s very strict. It’s even so strict that a sex worker cannot advertise on the Internet because she can only solicit her customers through the window. And then you think what is this absurdity? This cannot be right? But yes, it’s true. It really is unworkable in the digital age and it’s also unrealistic.
J: Well, it’s not a question of advertising (laughter). Ladies tell each other, of course, which brothels there are and every Amsterdam brothel, every operator, has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage could be, for example, the place where the window is located, but there can also be disadvantage: One room is more beautiful than the other room. There are advantages and disadvantages so ladies look at which operator they want to work with.
“There’s a shortage of window brothels in the Red Light District.”
There’s also the question of available places. They might want to work somewhere but if there are no windows available then it stops and you have to go to another Amsterdam brothel operator. There’s a shortage of window brothels in the Red Light District. We can say that the ladies who start working with us tend to not want to leave. That is of course because we have a fantastic Amsterdam brothel! Much better than anyone else (laughter)! We have beautiful rooms and we are very nice, so.
J: Exactly the same as every other Amsterdam brothel. We all follow the same procedures. Through an introductory meeting which consists of an official section where you have to check all papers and an unofficial part where you, you just want to know who you let enter in your house. That’s what it comes down to. You cannot ask a too intimate question, of course, that is not the intention at all, but you want to know; gosh you want to rent here, who are you then? Some important questions are: are you already in the sex industry or not? Because it’s quite something when someone knocks on your door and wants to start. That’s quite a different story. Have you already stood behind a window? Have you been standing behind a window in a city like Amsterdam or a place like the Red Light District? And then: how is your situation? Are you married do you have children etc.? So here are a few important questions.
“We also try to gauge whether someone is a confident person … you do have to have a certain character to stand behind a window “
We also try to gauge whether someone is a confident person. And you notice that if they have doubts themselves and they work a night that they disappear afterwards. You have to have real courage and a backbone to stand here. At night there are thousands of people passing by, half of them nice and the other half are totally, well, let’s say removed from any form of decency, and that’s an understatement, so it isn’t easy. You do have to have certain character to stand behind a window in the Red Light District. And then in the weeks after their first night you try to have a lot of contact to see if things are going well.
J: A LOT (laughs), which ones do you want to hear?
J: We have a lot of rules! And you know what’s so funny, they also make special rules just for us. Amsterdam brothel have been legalised since 2000, and that should have meant that it would have become a normal legal business, but that doesn’t mean that we are treated like it. The hospitality industry also suffers from this, they also have special rules that other entrepreneurs don’t have. Well, we have those hospitality rules too! You have to think of very strict hygiene rules, rules on cooperation and the signaling of suspicions of coercion and human trafficking. That is a very complicated regulation because it’s completely unclear who should do that, how you should do that and what actually has to be reported. Anyway, we do have that obligation. We have all kinds of obligations regarding the staff who work at our office. We have all kinds of obligations, we can’t just do something else with a room. We also rent it out sometimes for an art project or the like, well of course you need all kinds of event permits. We must of course cooperate with the police. There is also regulation and legislation around that. Well do you have some more time? (laughs)
J: No, that isn’t mandatory. No, mandatory testing isn’t possible in the Netherlands either. You can insist, and yes, that’s a nice thing about the Netherlands, the care and service and the standards are so high that everyone does it. We know from other countries and big cities where there is a lot of prostitution that if there isn’t a norm for being very hygienic and getting tested that it gets neglected pretty fast. But here it comes from the government. It’s very good, it’s great. Girls do not have to go anywhere for a test. The care providers of PNG (Prostitution and Health project) just drop by with their suitcases full of things and they just ask; hey, shall we test you? So yes, everyone here gets tested. And of course it’s also true that when you come here as a new foreign sex worker and you see that everyone gets tested, then you are going to do it yourself too.
J: It has been exciting for us from the start, and that’s actually because on the day of the opening a number of things had gone differently than what was intented on paper. We had a false start as a foundation and as a company. We had to work extra hard, but on the way we encountered even more difficulties. So it actually means that at this moment the Amsterdam brothel My Red Light is fighting to survive every day. What caused the false start? The business plan was based on two sources of income: window brothel rents during the evenings and homeworker rents during the days. We did not get a permit for homeworkers, so half of our income fell away. The second false start was that we’d hired employees for office services, which is mandatory, they call them administrators and you always have to have one administrator present at all times for the 14 windows. A few days before we opened, half of our staff was rejected by the municipality. They weren’t allowed to work for us due to past violations. So we opened with hardly any staff and financially in the red. And that was the start. You can imagine that it has been tough.
J: I think it’s an unheard of hypocrisy. Look, that you have a kind of natural political distrust as a citizen seems normal to me, that’s also the field of tension we all act in, as a citizen you have to look critically and they look critically at us. But what I’m experiencing since working at this brothel as chairman of the board, and what I see politicians do over the backs of prostitutes, well I have led a turbulent life and I find these moves that are made by politicians and councils really outrageous. I find it unheard of and that it can all happen with the approval of the right-minded people in the Netherlands who hold key positions within our society or researchers who know perfectly well that the figures they use aren’t correct.
“prostitution touches so many strings with people that they completely go off track.”
In one way or the other, the subject of prostitution touches so many strings with people that they completely go off track. And that this can happen in a fairly restrained country like the Netherlands, where we talk things out, act rationaly and “polder”, that there is a constant secret. Project 1012 is simply a secret agenda. It’s very simple, the goal is the removel of prostitution from the Red Light District. The joke is that it’s completely obvious to everyone but no one speaks of it, those who pronounce it are not heard. That is the game. It’s not easy as a citizen to say to a respected politician that he has a secret agenda. Especially when you’re a sex worker, everyone will just roll their eyes. It seems to be that if you are, or have been a sex worker, you’re a kind of mindless amphibian who can no longer identify things or think, that is the general tenor.
“I’m disappointed in the system, even at this age.”
I’m disappointed in the system, even at this age. And working in the system, it does more with you than I’d orignally thought. The whole board, not only me but also my colleague Marcel Heyman and a third secret board member, really experienced a personal crisis because our picture of humanity and our image of society changed. It sounds very bombastic but I mean it seriously. We’ve had sleepless nights. Before this project we all had three normal and long careers. But now we were suddenly in a place where we saw that a completely different game was played. A game that was impossible to win. I can tell you if you are used to having opertunities and taking them that a guerenteed bad outcome really gives you a stomach ache.
J: Of course, everyone knows that. Tourism is so gigantic these days. As a customer you try and go to the prostitute around 11:00, chances are that you have to go in under loud applause from 146 drunken Englishmen, and who wants that? Going to a prostitute is a game of eroticism and sexuality, of the forbidden but still desiring. It’s an intimate game you play from the moment you look at each other, there is a foreplay and a follow-up. You do not want that under the eyes of 1000’s of tourists. But that is not the worst. To then close down more Amsterdam brothel and to state “gosh, how is it that it’s so busy in the Red Light District?!” whilst you’ve just closed down 200 window brothels, forcing the tourists to walk around in a much smaller area. I’m stunned by this, I mean, this would an interesting case for a parliamentary inquiry. How can right-thinking people do this? That they can close down window brothels and then with each other, I’m talking about the Dutch intelligentsia, act surprised about what happens.
J: I can’t, it’s as simple as that. Because a lady can say that she does not work for someone and that she does not hand over her money. I just rent out windows. So when she comes home and she gives her money to someone, I can’t see that. I don’t know if she’s in a very bad situation at home either. So we’re absolutely not free from any compulsion or human trafficking. What we do is that we build a relationship with our renters. This does not mean that we are free of these dangers, but we do see it when a women changes or when something is going on.
“It’s not always the case that if we find that there is coercion, the lady also experiences it as coercion.”
We have contact in such a way with many ladies that at some point they also tell things. In that way we can offer something extra. We can’t drag them out of that situation, of course, because that would mean using force too. And the boundary between coercion and the feeling that you still have a choice is a grey area for the girls. It’s not always the case that if we find that there is coercion, the lady also experiences it as coercion. It’s difficult matter. But we are extremely involved with them and if we signal something, we will talk to them. So that means you’re trying to lower the threshold for them to talk about it.
J: There really should be a taskforce. I have enough ideas, no shortage of those for me, but it’s not about my ideas. There are two structural big problems where things went wrong. Number one: the political motives behind 1012 weren’t made public. They started a project where they pretended to have certain goals, but beneath the service the goals were completely different. Two: all the knowledge and skills that are present in the Netherlands weren’t consulted. How is it possible that you start a project without talking to universities where research has been done into tourist flows, how crowds of people move? A lot of research has been done about this subject, also in the other cities in Europe. How is it possible that they never sat at the table? These are the most basic of things. At this time the debate has warped into trench warfare; parties have dug themselves in and there is no sensible conversation to be had. It is beneath all levels.
“the debate has warped into the First World War. Parties have dug themselves in and there is no sensible conversation to be had.”
I see only one solution and that is a taskforce where people are obliged to commit and leave their own standards at the meeting room door and really look at the issues objectively. That starts with what Amsterdam wants with its tourism, and that’s question one. What does the City of Amsterdam want with its residents? Do they want vacancy in the city center or not? In the 1980’s we had vacancies in city center here and you know what happened to the city. Taskforce means that you first lay down a number of basic starting points for the larger urban design goals and from there you descend into how you should carry it out at the micro level. Look, and if they just honestly say we want prostitution gone from the city center, fine, but then we’re going to talk about that and we’re going to see how we can shape that policy. But do not say that you want it and then continuously work against it. I think that residents and entrepreneurs alike have just as much need for transparency. We need transparency a task force and a 15-year plan.
Posted on: September 11, 2018
This best coffeeshops in Amsterdam ranking was constructed based on 224 votes from members of the Dam Jam – Amsterdam Coffeeshop Culture Facebook group and the Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory Facebook group. The Facebook group Dam Jam has 14.401 members and is described as: “A page about Amsterdam, its coffeeshops and a cheeky bit of culture all rolled into one”. The other one currently counts 60.612 members and uses this description: “A place for members of the ACD forum and fans of ACD to come on Facebook to discuss current coffeeshop culture and share info”.
Some of the members prefer to lounge whilst others only vote for the quality of the cannabis. With this top 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam you can’t go wrong during your visit.
Number one on our list with a total of 31 votes out of 224 is the Grey Area. This coffeeshop is regular cannabis-cup winner and the staff is really knowledgeable. It’s named Grey Area because Dutch law on using cannabis isn’t exactly clear-cut. The shop is located in the center of Amsterdam and is world renowned for the quality of their weed. Most visitors go there to buy their cannabis but not to chill as the shop itself is quite small. Because of the central location and popularity it can get busy so expect to have wait in line. Find Grey Area on the map.
This coffeeshop came in a close second with 28 votes out of 224. 1e Hulp is located at the outskirts of the city center making it relatively quiet. A really relaxed, very comfortable and cozy coffeeshop perfect for chilling. Oh, and the weed is great too! This isn’t the cheapest coffeeshop in Amsterdam but they serve some unique and excellent strains. The staff is also really friendly and will help you out with making your selection. This shop is well known for their moon rocks. Find coffeeshop 1e Hulp on the map.
Boerejongens is without a doubt one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. This is a very modern coffeeshop with a touch of class. Boerejongens got a total of 20 votes out of 224. It’s very easy to reach due to it being located close to Rembrandt Square. The staff wear crisp white shirts combined with black bowties and white aprons. They are also very friendly and knowledgeable. Expect a great selection of strains and to wait in line as this is a really busy shop. You can sit and chill in the cozy upstairs however most people just go here to get some of the best cannabis in town, and leave. This is because the upstairs is quite small. Find Boerejongens on the map.
Het Ballonnetje attracts a wide variety of guests, including tourists, musicians, artists and students. The staff here is friendly and they sell their top quality weed and hash for reasonable prices. Het Ballonnetje is located in Amsterdam Oost (east). Tip: get your supplies at het Ballonnetje and visit Artis Zoo located just around the corner. Find Het Ballonnetje on the map.
Number five on our best coffeeshops in Amsterdam list is The Plug. This place was formerly Coffeeshop Utopia but has merged with The Plug in Barcelona back in May 2018.
This has greatly improved their original selection and menu. It is a small coffeeshop with the option to sit outside in the sunlight. The staff is friendly and patient. They also serve great coffee here. Come for the cannabis stay for the coffee ;). Find The Plug on the map.
This is another shop on our list that is located at the outskirts of Amsterdam’s city center. The Stud was established back in 1982 and serves a good mixture of local regulars and tourists. It’s a small shop so seating is limited. Expect the best herbs for a fair price served by friendly staff. Coffeeshop The Stud also has a few (“old dated”) computers that visitors may use. The shop is located close to the Amsterdam Muiderpoort train station, in the more eastern part of the city. At Cannabis Liberation Day 2018 The Stud was nominated for the best coffeeshop in Amsterdam! Find The Stud on the map.
The atmosphere in Green House is completely unique. Green House has four separate locations spread out over Amsterdam. We’re talking about the Green House at the Oudezijs Voorburgwal located in the Red Light District. Great central location. All Green House coffeeshops have a high quality reputation and great quality products. One of those places where you can buy with your eyes closed. Find Green House on the map.
Located in the heart of Amsterdam close to Dam Square and the Royal Palace this is one of the oldest and the best-known coffeeshops in Amsterdam. The interieur is great and “mind expanding” by itself. The place is really hospitable and the serve a nice selection of high quality. Great shop for relaxing, nut just buying! Find Abraxas on the map.
This is one of the more larger coffeeshops on our best coffeeshops in Amsterdam top 10. The vibe here is good and relaxing with plenty of comfortable seating for everyone. They also have some canal side tables outside for when the sun is shining. Besides serving up some great bud they also play quality music. Right next door are a McDonalds and Burger King for those who get the munchies. Find Easy Times on the map.
This coffeeshop is actually a hotel and coffeeshop in one. It is located at one of the entrances to the Red Light District from Amsterdam’s Central Station. This is a great place to start your adventure. The staff is really friendly and the weed and selection are really good. It is a cozy coffeeshop, surrounded by two canals, with limited seating so not ideal for long chill sessions, unless you also booked a hotel room there. Find coffeeshop Voyagers on the map below.
We listed all the 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam in Google Maps (below) so that you can easily find them.
On your mobile device: combine two fingers to scroll through the map:
Posted on: August 30, 2018
Dutch drug gangs produced at least € 18.9 billion of ecstasy and amphetamine in the Netherlands in 2017. Most probably the actual turnover was significantly higher. These striking numbers come from a new study done by the Dutch Police Academy.
The € 18.9 billion is higher than the annual turnover of a Dutch company such as Philips and around two times the Dutch defence budget. It can be regarded as the contribution of Dutch drug gangs towards the illegal world economy. A substantial part of that amount – estimated to be around three to five billion euros – goes straight towards the pockets of the Dutch drug gangs themselves, according to the research led by Pieter Tops, professor at Tilburg University.
The researchers have spent a year and a half working on their report, entitled: “waar een klein land groot in kan zijn” (ways in which a small country can be great). They concentrated on the year 2017 and on just the production of a xtc and amphetamines (speed). Cannabis, cocaine and heroin were left out of consideration.
The four researchers speak of ‘an inconvenient truth’. More than 600 million grams of amphetamine were produced in the Netherlands in 2017 and nearly one billion ecstasy pills. The Dutch National Police, the Public Prosecution Service and the Brabant-Zeeland Task Force had asked for a documented insight into the scale of the trade. Up to now, there were no such insights. According to the researchers, synthetic drugs are a national problem. A problem with international consequences for the position and image of the Netherlands.
This global top position can be explained by, among other things, the great location and infrastructure of the Netherlands. The Dutch tolerant attitude towards to the use and production of synthetic drugs also plays an major role. There currently is a shortage of investigating officers, as a result the chances of getting caught are small. And the penalties for drug crimes are low. Dutch drug gangs, however, are the root of a great deal of violence in society. According to the researchers, a broad international approach should be top priority for the current and of future Dutch governments.
Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus, nicknamed: Gabber House.
According to Minister Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice), the report spells out the seriousness of the drug problem and the role of the Netherlands. He finds it “shocking when you see it all put together like this”. The minister says that he’s aware of the “shameful position” of the Netherlands in the international ranking of drug-producing countries. “I have realized the urgency. We have to put a lot of effort into this, we will do that and we will do it even more strongly.” says the minister, who has made available extra capacity and money to tackle the problem.
Posted on: August 29, 2018
We’ve made an useful list for you of the 10 most unusual museums in Amsterdam. Did you know that Amsterdam was ranked as the most cultural city of the world in 2017? The creators of the ranking (The World’s Most Cultural cities) used TripAdvisor to determine the number of theaters, museums, art galleries, concert halls and Michelin restaurants. They did this for the thirty cities worldwide that received the most international visitors who also stayed in the city. For these cities, the list looked at the number of inhabitants in relation to the number of cultural attractions in the city. These 10 unusual museums in Amsterdam probably helped with that high ranking! 🙂
In 1990, cat lover Bob Meijer set up the Kattenkabinet, in honor of his deceased red male cat named J.P. Morgan. In the museum you can admire all kinds of paintings, sculptures and drawings with a cat theme. Presented are works by, among others, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec.The museum is located in a beautiful old canal house from 1667, making a visit to this peculiar museum an interesting experience even for people who do not like cats.
|Adults||€ 7,- per person|
|Students & Pupils||€ 4,- per person|
Open: Monday through Friday from 10:00 am till 5:00 pm and Saturday through Sunday from 12:00 noon till 5:00 pm.
Number two of our unusual museums in Amsterdam list is the Torture Museum Amsterdam, and it is not suitable for the weak. This intriguing museum gives you a realistic look at a dark past, where gruesome torture techniques and public executions were everyday occurrences. More than 40 different torture instruments and methods from different parts of Europe are presented in the Torture Museum.
|Adults||€ 7,50 per person|
|Children up to the age of 12||€ 4,- per person|
Open: every day from 10:00 am till 11:00 pm.
In this cozy museum you can view peace pipes, clay pipes and historical price lists. As a visitor you get a personal tour of the hundreds of pipes and all related smoky objects. The tour guide tells all stories behind the objects, which makes it very interesting.
|Adults||€ 10,- per person|
|Children aged 6 – 18||€ 5,- per person|
|Children aged 5 or younger||Free|
Open: Monday through Saturday from 12:00 noon till 6:00 pm.
How do we look on the inside? How are our organs and body parts built up and where is everything exactly? Where do the muscles and blood vessels run in your forearm? In Vrolik Museum you’ll find a collection where the normal and abnormal development of the human body play a central role. It was amassed in the late 18th century, the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century.
|Adults||€ 7,50 per person|
|Children up to the age of 12||€ 3,50 per person|
Open: Monday through Friday from 10:00 am till 5:00 pm.
The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam is the world’s oldest and most important museum that is solely dedicated to Cannabis Sativa L, also known as hemp or marijuana. This museum fulfills an important informative function. It has a unique collection that covers all aspects of cannabis. It functions as an educational center and facilitates scientific research and fulfills an important informative function. More information on the museum can be found here.
|All ages||€ 8,50 per person|
Open: every day from 10:00 am till 10:00 pm.
In 1997 the House Boat Museum was opened. The owner got the idea for the museum because of the many questions he got about living in a house boat. Now visitors can see and experience what it is like to live on a houseboat in Amsterdam. The unique location at the Prinsengracht, on the edge of the famous Jordaan, provides a magnificent backdrop for the historic museum ship.
|Adults||€ 4,50 per person|
|Children aged 5 – 15||€ 3,50 per person|
Opening hours can be found on this page of their website.
Number 7 on our unusual museums in Amsterdam list is the largest museum for bags and purses in the world. With more than 4,000 bags, the museum shows the history of the bag and purse in the west. From the Middle Ages to the present. The oldest bag is a goatskin leather bag from the sixteenth century. The collection hosts the weirdest and craziest types of bags including iconic ones from Margaret Thatcher’s and Madonna.
|Adults||€ 12,50 per person|
|Students||€ 9,50 per person|
|Pupils aged 13 – 18||€ 7,50 per person|
|Children aged 7 – 12||€ 3,50 per person|
Open: every day from 10:00 am till 5:00 pm.
Tucked away in the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District lies a small uniquely preserved wonder: the Our Lord in the Attic Museum. Walk through the narrow corridors of this seventeenth-century canal house. Climb the wooden stairs and discover living rooms, kitchens and bedsteads all furnished in the style of the Dutch Golden Age. This all leads up to the attic of the museum where you’ll find an entire hidden church. More information on this museum can be found here. This museum is also a part of our Audio Tour.
|Adults||€ 11,- per person|
|Children aged 5 – 17||€ 5,50 per person|
|Children aged 4 or younger||Free|
Open: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm till 6:00 pm.
Us humans cherish life, but we need death to give it all meaning. Dutch society is constantly changing and this affects the forms of funeral services, funeral rituals and the way we Dutchies mourn. Tot Zover delves into how the Dutch deal with death in four different themes: rituals, the body, Mourning and remembrance, and reflection on mortality. The Museum gives an overview of the traditions and customs in the field of dying, burial and grief processing in the Netherlands. There are, for example, objects relating to the funeral industry, such as the uniform of an undertaker’s man and an atomizer, which was used to dispel unpleasant odors in death rooms. Attention is also given to modern funeral rituals, for example in other cultures.
|Adults||€ 7,- per person|
|Pupils aged 13 – 18||€ 5,- per person|
|Children aged 12 or younger||Free|
Opening hours can be found on this page of their website.
The last one on our unusual museums in Amsterdam list is a museum named after one of Jimi Hendrix’s best records, and that can only mean one thing: psychedelic art. Electric Ladyland is an ode to fluorescent art, which can sometimes have hallucinatory (side) effects. In this museum you are not merely an observer, you take part in a world full of weird shapes and colors. Ideal for anyone who does not like the passive view of art and prefers to be a part of the adventure.
|Aged 12 and older||€ 5,- per person|
Open: Wednesday through Saturday from 2:00 am till 6:00 pm by appointment only.
Posted on: August 24, 2018
The tax authorities must be used to deal with the criminal profits of Amsterdam drug dealers that roam the city streets. That is what the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) wants in Amsterdam and in the Dutch congress. But is it a feasible plan?
Some 1600 street dealers walk around the streets of Amsterdam, according to new figures from the police. These Amsterdam drug dealers cause a lot of inconvenience. If they are caught, they usually get a fine and an area ban, but that doesn’t scare them off. “The punishments are too low”, says party leader Diederik Boomsma of CDA Amsterdam. “Dealers see the fine as a business risk, they laugh at that fine, so we have to think of something else.”
Boomsma, together with Lower House member Pieter Omtzigt, therefore want to make use of the tax authorities. This is already happening with illegal hemp growers in the Netherlands. Boomsma doesn’t know whether it is an effective measure.
A lot of street dealers sell fake drugs. Don’t buy from street dealers!
Dutch Lawyer Peter Plasman, who regularly represents drug dealers, calls the CDA plan ‘ridiculous’ and ‘wrong’. He finds the use of the tax authorities in this case ‘an excellent definition of the abuse of powers’. In addition, Plasman doesn’t think that a levy from the taxing authorities will be a deterrent for Amsterdam drug dealers. And, unlike with hemp growers, it is difficult to prove how much a street dealer has earned. “Street dealers are often just runners who give their money directly to the people responsible for the trade. The only way to prove how much such a person earns is to follow him intensively, then you have just one person, which isn’t a realistic option.”
This might look like cocaine but it’s actually baking flour.
Despite all the criticism, Boomsma wants to have a good look at his plan. He wants to recapture the inner city of Amsterdam for civilization. That is why he also wants to tackle the buyers and users of drugs. “We have to get rid of the image of Amsterdam as a city where you go to do things that aren’t allowed in your home country. It isn’t a solution but that shouldn’t discourage us.”