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Red Light District Tours

10 Interesting Amsterdam Red Light District Facts

Posted on: August 23, 2018

Red Light District Facts Window Brothels

10x Misunderstood Amsterdam Red Light District Facts

In this article we listed the 10 most common misconceptions about Amsterdam’s Wallen area and answered them with the right Red Light District facts.

1 | Sex workers have high debts because of high rental costs

Red Light District Facts: Sex workers rent their window brothels on a day-to-day basis and have to pay the rent before they start their shift. If the sex workers can not pay the rent, they won’t get a window brothel from the brothel operator. The large majority of window brothel operators require the rent to be paid upfront. The chance to incur debts with your landlord is therefore minimal.

Amsterdam Red Light District Facts Sex Workers

2 | Sex workers in the Red Light District do not earn much

Red Light District Facts: A really good night can bring in around 1000 euro for a sex worker. For normal evenings profits can range between 200 to 600 euros. Evenings that bring in less than 200 euros in profits are considered to be bad evenings. There will of course always be less successful sex workers, not every self-employed person can be successful after all.

3 | Sex workers have to accept every customer

Red Light District Facts: Sex workers run their own business and can reject any person they want. Very often men are refused at the entrance of a window brothel. It could be that they offered too little or that they wanted something that the sex workers don’t offer.

Amsterdam Red Light District Facts Sex Workers

4 | Sex workers earn just 50 euros or less per customer

Red Light District Facts: The starting price for negotiations is usually 50 euros for 15 to 20 minutes. For additional services customers have to pay extra. This does not automatically mean that the sex worker also has to spend more time with a client. It is very common for sex workers to earn more than 50 euros per customer.

Click on the button below to read the ‘Amsterdam Prostitution Menu‘. That article offers more information about Amsterdam’s Red Light District, brothels and escorts.


It is recommended to make clear agreements in advance with sex workers about the services and the corresponding prices. This prevents confusion & hassle and usually results in a better experience.

5 | Sex workers work at different window brothels every day

Red Light District Facts: In general, sex workers prefer to have the same workplace for every working day.

amsterdam wallen district

6 | Rents for window brothels have risen drastically in the last 10 years

Red Light District Facts: The supply of window brothels in the Red Light District has decreased considerably in the last 10 years due to the Amsterdam’s purchasing of window brothel real estate (more on that at the bottom of this page). However the scarcity in window brothels has not led to a drastic increase in rent prices. On average, the rent price for a window brothel in the Red Light District is 165 euros. The price has risen by 15 euros over the past 10 years. That is a price increase of around 1% per year. Currently, Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 292 window brothels. Before the municipality of Amsterdam launched the gentrification project – called Project 1012 -, there were 369 window brothels in the Red Light District. In other words; 77 windows have been closed down by the local government.

Red Light District Facts Sex Workers

7 | Sex work in the Red Light District is not safer compared to other options

Red Light District Facts: Recent research in the Netherlands has shown that sex workers who work outside the licensed circuit are at significantly greater risk. Working in a massage parlor, hotel room or at home brings greatly increased safety risks. Working in a window brothel or a private house yielded a number of significant protective results. Some comments on safety by sex workers from the research paper:

“I find the work in a massage parlor much more dangerous than other types of sex work. Especially because it is not clear in advance what the service entails and what the customer can expect. “

 “You are directed to a house or hotel and do not know how many people are waiting for you. What should you do if you are there and something happens? “

de wallen amsterdam the netherlands

8 | There are many male sex workers in the Red Light District

Red Light District Facts: There are no male sex workers in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Male sex workers in the Netherlands tend to work as escorts and thus don’t need a window brothel to offer their services. There are however some transgender sex workers who still have their male parts.

9 | The minimum age for sex work in the Red Light District is 18

Red Light District Facts: The minimum age for sex work in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is 21. The minimum age for sex work is arranged locally, not nationally, as result of this sex workers can work as an escort from the age of 18. We listed the 10 best escort agencies in Amsterdam in this free article.



Red Light Amsterdam District Facts Minimum Age

10 | Sex Workers spend a lot of money on STD testing

Not true! STD testing for sex workers is free in Amsterdam. Sex workers do check ups on a regular basis. These check ups are not mandatory in the Netherlands though.

Amsterdam Tours

Learn more about legal prostitution in the Netherlands during our super interesting Amsterdam Red Light District Tours, our Amsterdam History Tours or with our Amsterdam Brothel Tours



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