The Red Light District of Amsterdam

The Red Light District of Amsterdam

Among all the Red Light Districts in the entire world, the one that is situated in the old part of Amsterdam is by far the best renowned. It’s often looked upon as an adult playground, which isn’t strange seeing what you’ll be able to do over there.

Surrounded by 14th century buildings that throw a mystical shadow over the canal this formerly major European trade center has now turned into a place where everything seems to be possible. From the (regulated) coffeeshops where you can buy weed and hasj to (legalized) prostitution where you could become intimate with a beautiful girl, you’ll be able to experience the best of both worlds in the red light district of Amsterdam.

The area originated when local authorities wanted to keep prostitution controlled so the streets of Amsterdam wouldn’t be occupied by flaunting ladies of the night. Back in the old days, sailors used to enter Amsterdam trying to find some female company to compensate for all the lonely nights they had at sea. Therefore the Red Light District was set up along the canals so that the authorities had control over the girls as well as the sailors, who tended to act violent when the booze kicked in.

Nowadays you’d barely see anything that would remind one of those old days. The structure of the district hasn’t changed much itself, but it’s ventures sure did. The old breweries and taverns all have been turned into either windows where girls work from, or hotels and bars to offer tourists and locals an entertaining stay while they’re visiting Amsterdam.  

Compared to the times of the sailors, a lot has changed. But recently there have been some changes as well. It has been known to many that prostitution might attract criminal activities as human trafficking and drugs dealing, and it did so in Amsterdam. Therefore the local authorities have set up a plan which is called Project 1012 and holds the goal to clean up the red light district from any criminally related ventures and/or activities.

The opinions about this project are divided. The people that live in the area see it as a good thing, which in all ways it surely is. On the other hand, prostitutes and venture owners are sad to see the district being narrowed down to the main canal and some side alleys because it decreases their business.

When you’re in Amsterdam and especially in the red light district, it’s wise to keep a few things in mind. Of course, you have heard of all the negative reviews about this wonderful city. The only thing we can tell you is to forget about everything you heard and just experience it yourself. Just be sure to follow the steps you’ll take in other countries as well, like not taking any luxury items to risky places or act like a fool and attract unwanted attention.

Besides that, keep in mind that it isn’t appreciated if you film or take photo’s while walking around in the district. Surely there’ll be some girls that’d allow you to film your private activities while inside a room, but don’t go shooting around outside like it’s some Disney Land. Privacy is a serious thing and with jobs like the girls are performing it’s up to you to respect that.