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It is very understandable that you have questions about Amsterdam Red Light District. It’s a one of a kind neighbourhood! Where else in the world do you have window prostitutes, cannabis shops, magic truffles stores & sex shows? Look no further & avoid ambiguities. This list with all Q & A’s about Amsterdam Red Light District offers the solution. Our experts answer all frequently asked questions for free!DOWNLOAD AMSTERDAM APP
(Last updated: 26 April 2022)
The meaning of a Red Light District is as follow. It concerns a neighbourhood with (window) brothels, sex shows and/or other erotic venues.
There are several stories about the origin of the name: Red Light District. For example, after a year of mourning, the widows of seafarers of the VOC would show the surroundings through a red lantern on their window that they were available again.
There is also a story about the early railroad workers in the United States. They carried a red lantern with them at night, after the service, so that they could be easily found in an emergency. Many of these workers who visited prostitutes left this red lamp in the porch or put the lamp behind the window.
There is also a biblical explanation. The book of Joshua tells the story of Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho, who marked her home with a red rope.
Amsterdam has 3 Red Light District areas:
✦ De Wallen.
✦ Singel/Spuistraat area.
Amsterdam, De Wallen, Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
Yes, all three Red Light District areas can be visited. And all venues, attractions and window brothels are open!
Amsterdam, De Wallen, Oudezijds Voorburgwal.
Amsterdam Red Light District – De Wallen – is located in the old city centre. Just a few hundred meters south of Amsterdam Central Station. It can be found in the centre between Dam Square and Nieuwmarkt Square.
De Wallen is the biggest and most famous prostitution area in the Netherlands. It counts 201 window brothels.
Discover this interactive Amsterdam Red Light District map below. Our red light logos represent the locations of window brothels. De Wallen district is marked in red.
Zoom in and out for more details.
Get more maps and visit the Amsterdam Red Light District Map page.
Amsterdam, Damrak street.
✦ Start: In front of Amsterdam’s Central Station.
✦ Walk straight ahead in line with the crowd.
✦ Cross the Prins Hendrikkade (and mind the cyclists).
✦ Walk approximately 300 meters.
✦ On your left you’ll see grand cafe The Grasshopper.
✦ Walk towards The Grasshopper and go into The Warmoesstraat.
✦ You’ve just entered Amsterdam Red Light District.
✦ Go right on this street.
✦ As you walk on the Warmoesstraat, take the first left onto the Old Church Square.
✦ On the left and right you can see window brothels.
Besides De Wallen, there are two other Red Light District areas with window prostitution.
This Red Light District area has about 40 window brothels and is located in the city centre. It’s close to Central Station, the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and Blauwburgwal.
Oude Nieuwstraat. Another Red Light District during daytime.
This Red Light District area is situated in the south of Amsterdam, near De Pijp neighbourhood, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. It has approximately 40 window brothels.
Ruysdaelkade. Another Red Light District of Amsterdam in the south.
De Wallen is considered to be the best Red Light District in Amsterdam. This neighbourhood in the capital has most to offer. Entertainment, (historical) highlights, Chinatown, shopping, canals, coffeeshops, museums, you name it!
The Red Light District areas around the Singel and Ruysdaelkade only offers window prostitution, a few cafes and some restaurants. De Wallen also has hundreds of window brothels, while the other two Red Light District areas have dozens.
In general, the Singel area and the Ruysdaelkade are less visited, which some experience as pleasant (when visiting a prostitute). In contrast to the Singel area and De Wallen, the Ruysdaelkade is very easy to reach by car. You can park your car in front of the window brothels.
Currently there are 201 window brothels (in De Wallen area).
Many window brothels have been closed in recent years. In 2006, there used to be 403 windows. In 2016, De Wallen had 288 windows. And now in 2021 there are 201 window brothels. This Red Light District area is expected to have only 101 window brothels by 2024.
The area is internationally known as the Red Light District because of all the red lights that lit up the window brothels.
This color of light has become the standard overtime because it’s the color of love. Moreover, it makes the skin more attractive and hides imperfections.
The Dutch refer to the area as “De Wallen”.
The word ‘Wallen’ comes from the canals that cross section the 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 Amsterdam. That’s why the whole neighbourhood is now called “De Wallen” in Dutch. (source: Amsterdam archeologist)
Amsterdam’s Red Light District is about one square kilometer in size. In other words the total size is 2 km.
De Wallen is situated in an area with this official name: Burgwallen Oude Zijde. Burgwallen Oude Zijde has a total area of 40 hectares, of which 35 hectares of land and 6 hectares water (100 hectares is 1 km2). 3,195 households live in Amsterdam’s Burgwallen Oude Zijde district. (source)
Amsterdam Red Light District has 201 window brothels spread out over De Wallen area. Most windows are situated on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
This is one the most frequently asked Red Light District questions. Amsterdam’s Red Light District is always open because it’s a residential area. It can be visited 24/7.
The window brothels are only closed for 2 hours a day, between 6 AM and 8 AM. Bars close between 1 and 3 AM. Restaurants usually close around midnight.
Yes, the Red Light District is always open! Also on Sunday’s.
Oudekerksplein in Amsterdam.
Only a few shops are normally closed on Sunday’s. Window brothels, restaurants, cafes, coffeeshops, sex shows and museums are all open.
It depends on what you’re looking for.
Want to experience window prostitution? Then the best hours to visit is between 6 pm and 5 am.
Although prostitutes can rent a window all day and night, most of them work during the evening- and nighttime. This is when the sex workers get most customers. Furthermore, the sight of the red lights reflecting on the dark canals looks best when it’s dark outside.
Therefore, the best time to visit Amsterdam Red Light District is between 6 pm and 5 am.
The Red Light District in Amsterdam is most visited between Thursday’s and Sunday’s from 7 pm till 11.30 pm. This is because the Dutch capital is most visited during these days of the week.
The quietest moments in Amsterdam Red Light District are between Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 7 am till 4 pm.
The Old Church Square with sex worker statue: Belle.
Anytime of the year is a good time the visit Amsterdam. Every month and seasons has its charmes, advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, summer is considered the best time to visit Amsterdam.
During the springtime the weather should get a little better. In May you’ll have longer days and more sunshine without the large numbers of tourists that you have during the summer season.
At the end of April Amsterdam celebrates the biggest party of the year: Kingsday. At the start of May Amsterdam also celebrates liberation day. During this season an excursion to the blossoming Keukenhof or Tulip fields might be a nice respite from the busy city life.
These months have the best weather and are also the busiest months (for tourism) in Amsterdam.
Enjoy the beautiful weather during the summer in Amsterdam.
The city hosts countless concerts and cultural festivities. The sun is out 16 hours a day so you get the most time of the year to get a good impression of this historic city. The overall good weather brings the many terraces, parks and squares in the city to life! World’s only gay pride on water is in August.
September and October overall still have good city trip weather but it remains unpredictable.
The Red Light District in September with colourful trees.
At the end of September the city starts to experience a slow decline in the number of tourists until the low in February. At the end of October, world’s best DJ’s are performing during the Amsterdam Dance Event.
During the wintertime there are less tourists in Amsterdam. So if you prefer things being a little less busy, this is your season.
De Wallen in March. Cold, trees without leaves, but nice and quiet in the capital.
Of course there are exceptions like Christmas and New Years Eve, but those days can also be reasons to visit. Because it’s less busy in Holland’s capital you can expect to pay less for your hotel or Airbnb.
If it gets truly cold you might also get lucky and be able to ensede-skate on the canals of Amsterdam!
The so called blue light district in Amsterdam are three streets within De Wallen area that contain some blue-lit windows.
Sometimes these window brothels are occupied with transgender sex workers. These blue-lit windows can be found on the Bloedstraat, Gordijnensteeg and the Barndesteeg. The transgender sex workers are mostly visited by male customers.
Purple lights indicate the same as red lights: Window prostitution.
Yes, Amsterdam Red Light District is safe! No need to worry. The local government took many measures during the last few decades to make this area safer. There are lots of police camera’s and police officers in the Red Light District. They do patrols by bike, by foot and even by horse.
The Red Light District is the entrance of Holland’s capital. The Red Light District gets over 3.1 million visitors per year. This is also why the City of Amsterdam makes sure that the Red Light District remains safe. What happens in the Red Light District reflects on the rest of Amsterdam. The reputation and perception of both are inextricably linked.
The Red Light District is just a 2 minute walk away from Amsterdam’s Central Station. The good accessibility is one of the reasons why De Wallen is so popular and safe.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 4,295 residents and over 3,1 million visitors per year. All these people wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t safe.
Like in every city, it’s recommended to mind your belongings. And, mind the traffic! Be careful for the bicycles!
That depends on what you are looking for. Sex with a prostitute costs at least 50 euros for about 15 to 20 minutes.
All costs are described in this overview with all Amsterdam Red Light District Prices. It contains prices to visit prostitutes, museums, attractions but also prices for cannabis, food, drinks, public transport and other entertainment can be found here.
Nobody. There is not just one organisation (or person) that runs Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
This area has 4,295 residents, 201 window brothels, dozens of brothel operators, over 350 sex workers, hundreds of restaurants, more than 100 bars, 3 religious buildings, a handful of casinos, 5 museums, 14 ‘coffeeshops’, many stores and other venues.
Thousands of people work here. All these people together make up the Red Light District.
Taken pictures of sex workers is not done and not allowed by the window workers.
When sex workers in the Red Light District see you taking a picture, the following can happen. Window prostitute draw curtains, yell at you, tell you it’s not allowed, throw water on you, spit on you, insult you, etc.
Officially, it is not prohibited by law to take photos of sex workers in the Netherlands. Which makes it part of the unwritten rules of Amsterdam Red Light District etiquette.
It is okay and allowed to take photos of buildings, canals, streets, (cultural) highlights, shops, etc. It’s just the sex workers who don’t want to be photographed. The motives are personal, but often the sex workers do not want to be photographed because they lead a double life.
Friends, family and relatives of sex workers are unaware of their profession. This is partly due to stigma and shame. The sex workers do not want photos of them to appear online. This could ensure that acquaintances are informed about their profession.
Photographing sex workers, drinking alcohol on the street, littering, urinating in public is not allowed in the Red Light District. Discover all Amsterdam Red Light District Laws and Amsterdam Red Light District do’s and don’ts here.
The do’s and don’ts are part of the etiquette, while the other piece shows things which are illegal by law.
Yes! It’s Amsterdam Audio Tours. With this app you’ll become an Amsterdam connoisseur today. Listen to real stories of 22 experts, see pictures and experience over 30 highlights.
Listen to at home, as a podcast. Or in the Red Light District. It contains real stories from sex workers, historians, police officers, residents, sexologists, etc.GET AMSTERDAM AUDIO TOURS NOW
Our Amsterdam Audio Tours app offers amazing stories from 22 experts. The audio tour has a duration of 2 hours. Start and pauze whenever and wherever you like.
When the download is completed you can start, pause or stop the tour at any time. Further instructions on how to navigate the menu are included in the app itself.
The starting point for the audio tour is the Prins Hendrikkade 93. You can also listen to the audio tour from home as a podcast. Don’t forget to fully charge your phone or tablet beforehand.
No, there are no straight male sex workers in Amsterdam Red Light District for women. The demand is simply too low.
However, there are male Amsterdam escorts who offer erotic services. For men and for women. They do not work behind the windows but offer their erotic services online and meet their customers somewhere.
A green light district is a district where sex work if officially tolerated. (source) In the Netherlands, sex work is legalised. Therefor it’s unnecessary to have a green light area.
Amsterdam does not have an official green light district. However there is an organisation that is named Green Light District. This organisation wants to transform the neighbourhood into a future-proof, sustainable and iconic piece of Amsterdam.
This local company start projects with which they remove monumental buildings from natural gas. And it isolates houses and generate sustainable energy. It wants to ensure that Amsterdam Red Light District turns green by greening up pavements and roofs. They support sustainable initiatives by residents and entrepreneurs from the neighbourhood, they organise events and help them to grow further.
Yes, it sure is! Amsterdam’s Red Light District is the safest prostitution area in the world. It is not for nothing that so many sex workers want to work here.
✦ Prostitution is legal.
✦ Brothels have security systems: Camera’s outside. Panic buttons inside.
✦ Brothel operators have to contribute to the safety of sex workers by being present at all time in case of emergencies.
✦ Prostitutes may always refuse customers.
✦ Sex workers can be tested on STD’s for free.
✦ The police monitors Amsterdam Red Light District with dozens of camera and street patrol.
✦ The minimum age to work as a window prostitute is 21 years.
✦ Prostitutes are self-employed and registered at the Chamber of Commerce.
Amsterdam has a lot of prostitutes that are from abroad. They want to work here because it’s safe and financially interesting.
The “Spanish Corner” is situated on the Old Church Square (Dutch: Oudekerksplein) in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Most of the prostitutes who work in the so called “Spanish Corner” are originally from Latin-America.
You can just walk any window brothel and tap the window. The window prostitute will open the door to discuss possibilities. Then, together you settle an arrangement.
No, prostitutes who work in window brothels in the Red Light District won’t leave their room for a hotel room visit. Prostitutes in the Red Light District rent their own window brothel.
The Red Light District is more oriented on quick sexual interactions instead of 1 to 1,5 hour hotel visits which are common for escort services. Amsterdam has a great variety of escort services for you to choose from.
Yes, Amsterdam’s Red Light District is open during Christmas! For the sex workers Christmas can be a good time because there is less competition which means more paying customers. Most of the prostitutes who work in Amsterdam are from Romania, Bulgaria & Hungary and they usually work during Christmas.
The Red Light District of Amsterdam has 201 window brothels and about 30 of them are closed during Christmas.
Good to know: In the Netherlands we celebrate Christmas on three days; the 24th of December (Christmas eve), the 25th (first Christmas Day) & 26th of December (second Christmas Day).
Yes, Amsterdam’s Red Light District is open during New Years Eve!
During New Years Eve it’s Dutch tradition to go out to have a blast! The Red Light District window brothels and regular bars are open just like any other night.
Most clubs in the Netherlands, this includes those in the Red Light District, host special parties.
During the spring season the average temperature varies a lot. March can be a really cold month whilst June can bring hot summer temperatures of up to 24 °C (75 °F). Always pack some sweaters, warm clothing and, depending on the month, add lightweight clothing.
During the summer season (July till September) the average temperature in Amsterdam is around 17 °C (62 °F) but you can also expect temperatures of up to °C 25 (77 °F) regularly. The most appropriate clothing is lightweight, but be sure to bring some rain resistant clothing as you are almost guaranteed to catch some rain when visiting Amsterdam.
During autumn (October till December) the temperatures vary greatly, but expect a lot of wind and rain. Always pack some sweaters, warm clothing and some lightweight clothing if you visit at the start of October.
During the winter season (December till March) warm clothing is advised, including a warm jacket and some headgear. The average temperature during the winter is around 4 °C (39 °F).
Tip: Sweaters should always be packed regardless of the season.
Yes, English is widely spoken in Amsterdam. Research done on the English language in the Netherlands has shown that between 90% and 93% of the Dutch population claims to be able to have a conversation in English.
The Netherlands is a small country and English is a mandatory language in all primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands. The Dutch really appreciate it when you start a conversation with a Dutch word like “Goedendag”. It means “good afternoon.”
It’s quiet and peaceful.
Between 6 and 11 am it is wonderfully quiet in De Wallen. Just like in all other neighbourhoods in Amsterdam.
Most don’t. Some do. These days, lot’s of people from all walks of life and all social classes use drugs.
The proportion of drug-addicted prostitutes is in fact super low. There are no heroin-addicted prostitutes in Amsterdam. You’ll be surprised to see how healthy the sex workers are in Holland.
It is a social misconception that all or most prostitutes use drugs and that they start working in prostitution to pay for their drugs.
Yes! The sex workers in Amsterdam are tested for STD’s regularly. Not because it’s mandatory. But because they want it themselves. In the Netherlands there are special health facilities for sex workers, where they can be tested for STIs free of charge and anonymously.
You can assume that all prostitutes in Amsterdam only have sex with a condom. Because of the risks, they do not allow unprotected sex with clients.
In addition, it is mandatory in the Netherlands to be insured against medical expenses. Also for sex workers. This allows them to use the healthcare system in the Netherlands, which is known worldwide as one of the best.
Yes, it’s legal! Working as a prostitute has been legal in the Netherlands for more than 200 years now.
The only light which is really different than the other ones in the Red Light District are the blue lights. In general, transgender prostitutes use these blue lights. The transgender sex workers offer themselves in a specific area in the district. During our tours, our local guide will show you where it is.
Yes. Please do have consideration for the inhabitants of the Red Light District and the people who work there, who desire respect for who they are, and what they do.
The Red Light District has 5 museums:
Yes, of course! It would not be complete if there were no strip clubs to be found. There are several places you could visit.
The first place we would recommend is Sex Palace Peep Show. This venue offers female strippers and couples who have sex with each other.
The handful of female strippers perform erotic stripteases on a round, revolving bed. After all the female strippers have performed, a man and woman will have sex with each other.
You can experience these sex shows from one of the 12 cabins.
You need to insert a couple of Euros to start the erotic entertainment show.
La Vie en Proost is a cozy lap dance bar located in a narrow alley. It’s mostly visited by men.
With many mediocre and bad reviews online, this is certainly not the best strip club in Amsterdam. But can be fun if you want an erotic lap dance at the end of the evening.
At this sex show in Amsterdam, female strippers give erotic shows with bananas. The Bananenbar is also located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
The sex workers inside do several tricks with bananas while the visitors enjoy a drink.
Moulin Rouge is a cozy erotic theatre on the main canal of Amsterdam Red Light District. It has a bar inside and several female strippers give exciting shows.
Certainly during the so-called “writing show” a volunteer is invited from the audience. A female stripper will then insert a marker or marker pen into her vagina and write something on the volunteer’s stomach.
Casa Rosso is an erotic theater located on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. The theater performs erotic acts ranging from stripteases to couples having sex on stage. It hosts shows suitable for everyone older than 18 years.
This sex show was founded in 1969 and has almost 200 seats inside. Every night sex shows are organized here that consist of 8 different acts. Some erotic acts are combined with some comedy, creating a real entertainment show.
You can experience shows while enjoying (alcoholic) drinks, which you can get at the bar.
The Hospital Bar in Amsterdam is a sex show specifically aimed at male visitors. Here you can get lap dances from female “nurses”.
Are you having a bachelor party? Then visit this sex show in Amsterdam for an unforgettable experience.
Club Bonton is the best stripclub in Amsterdam. It’s located outside of Red Light District. Just next to the Heineken Experience.
Strip- & sex club BonTon is the newest erotic club in Amsterdam. The club has beautiful female strippers inside who perform on the first floor. There the women give exciting pole dance shows while the music is pumping over the speakers. Here you can enjoy an unforgettable party!
Oh yes, there is. Not just any cinema, a 5D Porn Cinema! World’s first 5D Porn Cinema is located in the heart of the Red Light District at the Old Church Square.
Added onto the great 3D images, the 5D porn cinema also offers moving chairs and mixture of special effects such as water, wind and smell.
This Amsterdam 5D cinema shows an exciting movie of the Red Light District. How this all fits into a Dutch produced erotic movie we’ll just have to leave up to your own imagination.
Rest assured. All your senses will be stimulated.
Discover this amazing 5D-experience for only 12,50. Buy an e-ticket now!BUY TICKETS >
Yes, there are. The Red Light District has hotels for every budget. Whether you’re looking for something basic or something luxurious. This area has it all.
Discover 10 hotels in Amsterdam Red Light District here:10 BEST HOTELS >
We’d recommend St. Christophers Inn at the Winston. This place offers cheap dorms with bunk beds, comfortable single or double rooms and a cool club next door. And, their terrace is super nice. A great hostel!
The rental prices for window brothels in Amsterdam are between 80 and 180 euros. During the day the costs vary between 80 and 120 euros. At night, the window brothels cost between 120 and 180 euros per shift.
My question isn’t listed in these frequently asked questions. Can you help me?
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