Posted on: May 29, 2020
De Wallen – the Dutch name for the Amsterdam’s Red Light District – is the oldest and most fascinating part of Holland’s capital. The Dutch liberal and open-minded culture can be seen everywhere in the Red Light District. Only here you can see a church that’s surrounded by window brothels with sex workers, cannabis shops, residential houses and a 5d porn cinema with a daycare next door.
This list contains 15 must see in Amsterdam Red Light District items that everyone finds special. Whether you like architecture, art, Dutch culture, history, religion, food or (erotic) entertainment. There’s really something for everyone. It’s not without reason that 4000 people from different parts of society also live in this part of town.
There are only two places in the world where there are statues for sex workers and one of them is in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District – just next to The Old Church. The Dutch are quite tolerant and open-minded too. Just two reasons why you can find this statue here, right in the old city centre.
During our Amsterdam Red Light District Tours our local guides tell more about this wonderful statue.
On one of the oldest streets in the capital you can find the oldest house. Funny thing is is that this house was only discovered to be the oldest house back in 2010. The old house with a wooden skeleton dates back to 1485 but stands hidden behind a facade dating back to 1800. Before this discovery the wooden house at the Begijnhof was considered to be the oldest house in Amsterdam. The funny thing is that Amsterdam’s oldest house is currently functioning as a gay-club named Dirty Dicks. During our Amsterdam Red Light District tour we’ll pass by this house!
Amsterdam has its very own little Chinatown. It was first established in the year 1911 and is the oldest Chinese neighbourhood on European soil. Since the year 2000 the area has had a Fo Guang Shan He Hua Tempel which is the largest Chinese style religious building in Europe. Besides this highlight this is the place you want to be for asian food. All types of Asian restaurants can be found in this area including Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Malaysian food.
Food lovers pay attention. This is the most iconic snack-bar in the Netherlands. Walk on in and pull a deep fried snack from the automatique. Try out local delicacies like the kroket – a breaded deep fried cow or veal meat ragout which is super crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. Or try the Frikandel, a minced meat deep fried snack that can be covered in a sauce of your liking. Tip: try it with mayonaise, curry and unions.
The CEO of the FEBO chain talks about his shops and Dutch food culture in our app Amsterdam Audio Tours.
Ever wondered what a brothel looks like on the inside? The Red Light Secrets museum is actually a repurposed former brothel. Inside you get to see the many different luxurious rooms. You even get the option to sit in a Red Light District window brothel. Try and find out if any of the passer-byes are interested in your flirting-skills.
A hidden church museum right in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Light District. This church is located in the attic of a completely restored 17th century canal house. This little hidden church is a great symbol of tolerance in Amsterdam. Back in those days celebrating mass was forbidden, but in the case of hidden churches they were tolerated. This museum is a must for those who’d like to see the inside of an old canal house and learn about world famous Dutch tolerance. You can find more information or buy your tickets via the link below:BUY TICKETS >
The 15th century former city gate still stands beautifully at the center of the Nieuwmarkt Square. The building has had many different functions throughout its life. These include being a guild house, a museum, a fire station an anatomical theatre, and currently it’s The Waag Restaurant. Rembrandt even made one of his art works here. The famous painting by Rembrandt called “The anatomical lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulip” shows an anatomical dissection taking place inside The Waag.
The first 5d Porn Cinema in the world. This truly unique experience is a must for those who want to have a laugh. Inside the theatre you take a seat in moving chairs as a 3d porn movie is projected on the screen. The movie is about someone who visits the Red Light District for the first time. A plethora of other effects including wind, foam and water are then added in sync to the pictures on screen. This is a fun ride that you can only experience Amsterdam.BUY TICKETS >
Amsterdam’s oldest building the Old Church stands proudly between the window brothels and coffeeshops. This church dates back to the founding of Amsterdam. The first records of the church come from the year 1213. A lot has happened since then and the church has undergone numerous reconstructions and a switch from Catholicism to protestantism. The wooden ceiling, which is the largest of its type in Europe, is made from Estonian oak and dates back to 1390.
Learn more about Holland, the Dutch culture and history during the Amsterdam History Tour.
The Red Light District is home to the narrowest alley in Amsterdam. At its narrowest point this alley is just 1 meter wide. Besides being very narrow it also has nine window brothels so this is quite an intimate experience. During our Red Light District tours we’ll walk through this alley and many others!
A visit to the Red Light District isn’t complete without visiting one of the 10 sex shows in Amsterdam. We’d advice you to go to Casa Rosso though. This is the largest erotic theatre in Amsterdam with the long reputation. Open since 1968 this amazing theatre offers seating for up to 184 persons. Expect live couple sex on stage, stripteases, banana shows and some audience interaction! For details and reservations click on the button below.BUY TICKETS >
The urban area is filled with street art from graffiti to actual bronze items. An actual bronze plaque was placed secretly at night on the street of the Oudekerksplein. After noise complaints from the neighbourhood from people stepping on the plaque it was removed by the municipality. The secret artist came forward and a deal was struck with the municipality. The plaque was placed at another spot and the artist remains anonymous. We’ll tell more about this during our Amsterdam Red Light District tours and during the Amsterdam Audio Tour.
Amsterdam has 164 coffeeshops. The first one was founded in 1972. Back in the 1990’s there used be over 400 coffeeshops in the Dutch capital. What happened with them? What are the drug laws in Amsterdam? Can you smoke outside on the streets? During our Amsterdam Drugs Tour we’ll walk through a large part of the Red Light District area and you’ll be able can ask any question that you have about Dutch coffeeshops. Did you know that growing cannabis commercially is totally illegal in the Netherlands? Learn everything about legal and illegal drugs during the Amsterdam Drugs Tour.
The list of 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam contains votes of over 200 frequent coffeeshop visitors.
The first shop in the world completely dedicated to condoms. The idea came to the owners at the start of outbreak of the HIV-Aids epidemic. They were of the opinion that the public needed a store with professional staff that could give advice on condoms. At the time you could already buy condoms at pharmacy but there were too few option, hardly any choice or any good information. Thus the Condomerie was born and it is a featured highlight on our Red Light District tour.
Theodoor van Boven is the founder and one of the 22 experts in the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.GET THE APP >
The best must see in Amsterdam Red Light District is of course a window brothel, or 288 window brothels if you’re lucky enough to find them all. Amsterdam and prostitution are inextricably linked. Prostitution has been legal in the Dutch capital since 1811 and prostitution has always taken place in De Wallen area. This is one of the few places on earth where you can see this. Learn more about this unique part of the Netherlands during a Red Light District with a licensed guide or with the app Amsterdam Audio Tours.