Amsterdam

Red Light District Tours

New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

Posted on: July 12, 2017


New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

The City of Amsterdam & Tour Companies Created New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

The number of organised tours in the Red Light District has grown quite a bit in the past few years. Amsterdam’s Red Light District (locally known as “De Wallen”) is a very popular area because it’s unique area in the world. It’s the oldest & most fascinating part of Amsterdam and contains typical Dutch architecture, several churches, a Buddhistic temple, cannabis shops, stock exchange, restaurants, bars, many window brothels, prostitutes and much more. But the Red Light District is not just a tourist attraction; people also live and work there, and obviously that has to be respected.

The Goal Of The New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

A select group of tour companies (us included), neighbourhood residents, interest groups and the local government have recently joined forces to ensure that the growth in interest in the Red Light District develops on the right track. They want to reduce the inconvenience that some tour companies cause and wish to maintain the industry’s good reputation as a hallmark of Amsterdam. For this reason we have agreed on new Amsterdam Red Light District rules created by the local government that stipulates how to carry out tours in this unique part of Holland’s capital. We’re a very proud member of the Amsterdam Red Light District tours agreement, sanctioned by the City of Amsterdam.

One of the goals of these new Amsterdam Red Light District Rules is to keep the area nice and liveable.

Exclusive members of the new Amsterdam red light district rules agreement
Exclusive members (inclusive us) of the Amsterdam Red Light District Tours agreement, sanctioned by the local government.

The picture above contains a big white-board with all the signatures of the companies/people who created and agreed to the new guidelines and Amsterdam Red Light District rules. The board is held by among others: Chairman of the City Centre of Amsterdam Boudewijn van Oranje (with glasses on the right) & alderman and the deputy major of Amsterdam Kajsa Ollongren (center, wearing the light brown coat). We’re at the top; fourth row.

You can read about the new guidelines on Red Light District tours in Amsterdam in this article.

The City of Amsterdam asks that all tour companies working in the Red Light District comply to some ground rules. By working together they can keep the Red Light District liveable and attractive for residents, business owners, prostitutes and visitors alike.

Amsterdam Red Light District Guide

10 Guidelines For Red Light District Tours In Amsterdam

  1. The agreement pertains to the area that border the following streets/squares:
    1. Dam Square
    2. Warmoesstraat
    3. Zeedijk
    4. Nieuwmarkt
    5. Kloveniersburgwal
    6. Oude Hoogstraat
    7. Oude Doelenstraat
    8. Damstraat
  2. The goal is to limit the size of groups to 20 persons per tour guide. 20 persons is the maximum, but can be raised to 25 persons under exceptional circumstances.
  3. There will be no more Red Light District Tours after 11 pm.
  4. In order to limit nuisance to local residents, businesses and road users, groups will not standstill in the following areas:
    1. The alleys in the Sint Annenkwartier.
    2. In front of the entrance of coffeeshop The Bulldog.
    3. The Bridges on Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
    4. In front of the entrance of Casa Rosso Erotic Theatre.
    5. In front of the entrance of the Condomerie when it’s opened.
    6. Stoofsteeg alley.
    7. Gordijnensteeg – corner of Monnikenstraat.
    8. Bloedstraat.
  5. The guides will make every effort to prevent groups from restricting the flow of traffic.
  6. During opening hours, there will be no stopping in front of shop entrances, or entrances to restaurants, pubs, etc.
  7. The guide and the company can be identified by their company logo or badge.
  8. Sound amplification is not permitted during tours.
  9. The guide will kindly ask the participants to comply with the following local rules of conduct:
    1. Do not take pictures of sex workers.
    2. Do not misbehave, either in general or towards other members of the group or people on the street.
    3. Stay with the group.
  10. The guide will ensure that:
    1. The group doesn’t spread in different directions;
    2. The group doesn’t stand still in from of the window brothels;
    3. The group does not block entrances to shops, restaurants, etc. And only enters establishments with the permission of the owner;
    4. The group does not impede the flow of traffic;
    5. The tour ends before 11 pm.

Amsterdam Red Light District Tour Map

The image below shows the area where the new rules apply. The streets where groups aren’t allowed to stand still anymore are marked in dark red.

Amsterdam Red Light District Tour Map
Amsterdam’s Red Light District and Dam Square.

Are There Also Tour Companies That Do Not Follow The New Rules For Amsterdam’s Red Light District?

Yes, some tour companies or individual tour guides did not agree to these new Amsterdam Red Light District rules. For example: Sandemans New Europe Tours a.k.a Sandemans New Amsterdam Tours. Most likely this company did not want to sign the government’s new rules because it uses a business model that requires more than 25 or 30 attendees per tour guide. This creates a lot of irritations for everyone associated with the Red Light District including the prostitutes. It is a pity that Sandemans New Europe Tours (and some other companies) do not care about the area and the people in it. The City of Amsterdam contacted this company several times trying to convince them, but repeatedly they refused.

There are currently about 36 organizations (including us) that agreed with these new Amsterdam Red Light District Rules and the City of Amsterdam is working hard to convince (new) tour operators to follow these rules too.

Others who read this article about the New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules also read An Interview With A Window Prostitute and Her Boyfriend & FAQ Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

One Response to New Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

  1. Pieter van Boven says:

    That’s a nice Dutch initiative. Sounds like good teamwork between local government, companies and residents.

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