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Red Light District

Top 13 Amsterdam Red Light District Rules & Laws in 2024

Posted on: March 18, 2024

11 Red Light District laws

Amsterdam Red Light District Rules & Laws: Avoid Fines or Violations

Before visiting the most fascinating area in the world it might be a good idea to get acquainted with the most important Amsterdam Red Light District rules & laws. You don’t want to accidentally break the rules, do you? Discover this useful list with 13 laws in Amsterdam Red Light District.



red light district rules amsterdam

1 | Public Alcohol Ban

In some areas in Amsterdam a public ban on alcohol is enforced. The Red Light District is one of those areas. It is therefor forbidden to drink alcohol in the public spaces (on the streets) and it’s forbidden to have bottles or cans of alcoholic drinks on you. A fine of € 95,- is imposed on violations of the alcohol ban. The local police and municipality enforcers uphold the ban.

Amsterdam Red Light District Laws
The main street of the Red Light District (Oudezijds Achterburgwal).

Street signs with red circles indicate that something is not allowed in the Netherlands. The sign in the picture above means that it is not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets in this area; the Red Light District.

How old do you have to be to drink in Amsterdam?

In Amsterdam, the legal drinking age for beer and wine is 18 years old. However, the legal drinking age for spirits and other distilled beverages is 18 years old as well. It’s important to note that bars and restaurants in Amsterdam are required to check IDs to ensure that their customers are of legal drinking age. Failing to comply with this requirement can result in significant fines or even the loss of the establishment’s liquor license. Additionally, public drinking and public intoxication are not allowed and can also result in fines or other penalties.

2 | Street Prostitution Is Illegal

It’s forbidden for sex workers to offer or promote their services on the streets of Amsterdam’s Red Light District or elsewhere in the city.

night netherlands

The law applies on, or next to the road, or in a publicly accessible building. It’s also forbidden for possible customers to in any way accept proposals, in whatever form, to make use of their services. The fine for street prostitution for both the sex worker and the customer is € 115,-.

sex workers statue
Sex workers statue next to Amsterdam’s Old Church.

3 | Smoking Cannabis Outside

Current Red Light District laws do not prohibit the smoking of cannabis outside on the streets. There are some public places in Amsterdam where smoking a joint outside is prohibited though. These places are for example: children’s playgrounds and school squares. In the Netherlands you are legally allowed to have 5 grams of weed on you, for personal use.

the bulldog coffeeshop weed
The terrace of coffeeshop The Bulldog on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal.

The unwritten law when it comes to smoking weed in the Netherlands is that people do it at home or in a coffeeshop. If you do smoke outside make sure that you are not a hindrance to other people. So don’t smoke a joint in front of houses with open windows for instance. Not everybody enjoys the smell.

4 | Compulsory Identification

Everyone aged 14 and older in the Netherlands must be able to identify himself or herself with a valid ID. For persons aged 16 or over who fail to comply with the obligation to identify themselves the fine is € 60,-. For persons aged 14 and 15, the fine is € 30,-.

Only certain government officials can ask for your ID. These are: police officers, ticket inspectors (public transport) and special enforcement officers (BOA’s in Dutch) like labor inspectors and forest wardens.

Amsterdam Red Light District New Laws
Amsterdam’s most narrow alley including 9 window brothels.

5 | Amsterdam Window Brothel Opening Hours

Window prostitution businesses are allowed to be open to visitors from 08:00 am to 06:00 am. Yes, the window brothels are op 22 hours a day! The sex workers tend to work in 8 hour shifts and are not allowed to work more than 11 hours a day.

De Wallen night

6 | Littering in Amsterdam is Not Allowed

Do not throw soda cans, plastic bags or other (empty) product packagings onto the streets. If the local authorities catch you doing this, it will cost you € 140,-. Besides, why even litter in such a beautiful city?

Dutch police uniform
Dutch cops are very friendly if you just stick to the rules.

7 | Sleeping In A Car Is Forbidden

In Amsterdam it is forbidden to use the road as a place to sleep or to use a vehicle, boat, caravan, tent or any other accommodation as a place to sleep or to offer these options. The authorities lately have been clamping down hard on people who sleep in their own car. The price for some nice quiet time in your own car is € 140,-

8 | Prostitution Hotels Are Illegal

It is currently forbidden to operate prostitution-hotels in the city of Amsterdam. In prostitution hotels rooms are made available to prostitutes who recruit their clients elsewhere. These types of hotels are forbidden because they go hand in hand with street prostitution.

However, Amsterdam escorts often go with their clients to hotels. Sometimes, customers invite escorts to Red Light District Amsterdam hotels. That is legal. The staff at the hotels are of course allowed to refuse an escort – if they know they are a sex worker.

Amsterdam Red Light District Laws Mounted Police
Police also patrol the area by horse making the district even safer. 

An alternative option would be to arrange a sex date in Holland. Discover these popular sex date platforms where men and women are just searching for sex dating without any strings attached.

9 | Red Light District Tour Regulations

Providers of tours in the Red Light District have to comply with rules that were in implemented in April 2018. If a guide gives a tour to five people or more, he/she needs a government exemption. With larger tour groups there is currently a set limit of 15 participants. If the tour group is bigger than this, local authorities can end the tour, and the guide will be fined.

It’s also mandatory for tour guides to inform the participants that it is not allowed to take pictures of the sex workers.

Amsterdam Red Light District Rules

Do you want to learn everything about De Wallen? Then download our app with Red Light District tour and listen to fascinating stories of 22 experts. A virtual guide will show you around.



10 | Promoting Prostitution On The Streets Is Illegal

It is forbidden for sex workers (or anyone else) to advertise sex services on the streets. The fine for this is € 115,-. In general, prostitutes do not want to work on the street at all because it is less safe, less comfortable and it makes less money. In the 1950’s & 1960’s, some prostitutes worked on the streets in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Also because there were less window brothels. Those days are over now partly because Amsterdam has more than 350 window brothels.

11 | Tours

Amsterdam Tours By Locals
Our local guide with more than 11 years experience in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Red Light District tours with tour guides are banned by the local government. The only way to get a Red Light District tour is with our app. It contains an interesting audio tour, virtual guide, map and stories of 22 experts. Here you can read all other new rules for tours in the Red Light District.



12 | Minimum Age Of Sex Workers

Amsterdam Window Shopping

One of the last Red Light District laws you have to know about is the following. The prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light District need to be at least 21 years old to work in the windows. Every time they rent a window brothel, they are required to show their ID to the brothel operator.

13 | Urinating In The Street Is Prohibited

oudezijds achterburgwal

It is strictly forbidden to urinate on the streets of the Red Light District. The local residents hate it when visitors urinate in the street. Do not do this or risk a fine of 140 euros.

Please visit Sexy Loo instead. It’s a public restroom that looks like the Red Light District, filled with imitation red light windows.


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One Response to Top 13 Amsterdam Red Light District Rules & Laws in 2024

  1. […] Interested in knowing more about the rules and regulations in the Amsterdam red light area? Browse this website and learn in detail about the laws that protect escorts in the […]

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