Red Light District, Amsterdam
In the Red Light Districts of Amsterdam you will find, on any given day, hundreds of girls offering sex for money. Nowhere else on earth are the women so straightforwardly on display, sitting sparingly attired on stools behind windows. Nowhere else except in the other main Dutch cities, because this conspicuous window prostitution is distinct to the Netherlands, as distinct as the habit that many of its residents have for living their lives behind open curtained windows.
Fondest memory: There are three Red Light Districts in Amsterdam. The main area, the Walletjes, and two minor, Singel and Pijp. Additionally a tippelzone (pick-up area) was (until Nov, 2003) maintained for automobile bound clientele. Utrecht, about 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam has it's canal boat based scene, Den Haag has a spiffy modern shopping mall, Rotterdam does not have an RLD, but numerous clubs and private houses (privehuizen). In many smaller cities you also find the RLDs. These are, of course smaller, but have their charms, as they are less "touristy" and more relaxed. Smaller cities that have RLD’s are, for example, Groningen and Alkmaar. We particularly enjoy Alkmaar, a pleasant little market town with a cosy little Red Light District
Tour the district at night
Fondest memory: I go to the Dam at least once a year. I have been reading that the RLD is unsafe at night. This is untrue. The atmosphere is electric. For the most part people are polite and respectful. notwithstanding, you are in the center of numerous cultures. It's fun listening to the conversations of different people from around the world. Be advised,if you shoulkd choose to visit a prostitute, establish the terms, ie postions time etc. Perhaps one day the US will be wise enough to legalize the industry..It could then be taxed and regulaed and much safer for the women...
This might be one of the only pages on VT to hardly make mention of the Red Light District, but that doesn't mean I haven't been there. In fact, my hostel was located just on the edge of it. Personally, I think it's kind of pathetic to see what goes on there, but I'm not one to judge . . .
In fact, during the daytime, the area is actually pretty nice. There are still some women in windows eyeing you as you pass by, but you'll also see families and people dining in area restaurants. At night however, the place gets crowded with drug dealers and tourists and really just isn't my kind of scene.
Diana took us to the red light district, one of the streets there is called Zeedijk (sea dyke)
I am not sure if everyone is familiar with the red light district?
Here you can find prostitutes behind windows waiting for a man.
Many sex shops and sex clubs in this part of Amsterdam.
In no other city in Europe is the Red Light District approach such notoriety and in no other city would likely to find so many people touring such a district without actually intending to purchase any of the merchandise. Such is the fame of Amsterdam's Red Light District. Tourist flock to it just to have a look and to awestruck by the sight of seeing half naked young women standing behind a storefront window revealing their assets. The sight of this is quite surprising at first if you are not prepared for. I was walking and checking out my city map when I glanced up and saw this scantly clad young lady jesturing to me for attention. The neighborhood does not seem that extraordinary at first as it flanks two canals, the Vooburgwal and Achterburgwal, that crisscross each other. It is the famed window brothels that quickly gather your attention and the sight of seeing hundreds of women selling themselves in this manner is quite remarkable regardless of what you might think morally.
There is a down side to the Red Light District. It is also the main scene for Amsterdam quantitative drug trade. Not just pot but heroin and cocaine can be bought here. This makes the neighborhood dangerous after dark and a no go if you are alone.
Favorite thing: Walk down the Red Light District. It is very safe during the day - although you will get these guys offering a 'group rate' or 'family rate' if you're with other people...haha! They try very hard to get you in there... ;)
I love walking arround and getting lost. I like sitting in the park and smooking a joint and walking arround and getting lost some more. I like picking one bar and going ever night untel I become a regular. I like the liberal views, the Dutch people, and public transportation. I love everything about the damn place.
Fondest memory: I went to see "Spinal Tap" in dutch! Ha!
The Red Light District situated in a triangle formed by Centraal Station, the Nieuwmarkt and the Dam.
Red Light District is the oldest part of the city.
It is home to hundreds of sex shops.
Prostitutes pose in many of the area’s shop-windows.
Fondest memory: also where most of the unexpensive hotels are sitted as ours....
During the day, the Red Light District is not bad, with tourists walking around.
At night it changes lol.
I will describe what I know about the "window shopping". I only went there once, and will not go there at night anymore.
I saw leaflets by the police regarding the safety and some information while at the red-light district. It seems to me there's a standard flat rate charged by the prostitutes for a job done. And there are regulations about their "career" and they pay taxes.
Along the streets, you can see many many windows with chairs or beds, with different types of lighting and decorations and of course a curtain, and even "Windows for rent".
I think it works like this: The woman will stand or dance or sit at the window in not much clothings, displaying their charm to those lonely men. When there's a man interested, she will open her usually locked doors and negotiate the rate. With an agreed rate, she allows the interested man in and close the curtain... Then after that, whatever you can imagine... I dunno... But after you see a man coming out from the door, seconds later, the window will be opened again for business...
Amsterdam is famous for the liberal laws on prostitution. It is amazing to have a walk along the streets, but can be quite intimidating and not suitable for children.
Lonely men go there for window shopping. We saw a huge group of tourists with a tour guide and we joined them for the "tour" of the red-light district.
But there's one interesting thing I met. A touter for prostitutes on the street asking a group of young guys behind us whether they want girls and followed by student discount available! What?! Student discount for getting a prostitute! Amazing!
Favorite thing: Wandering around the Red Light District, with the ladies in skimpy underwear standing behind glass fronted doors attempting to entice customers. Worth a walk around just for the sheer entertainment value!!
Fondest memory: It is truly as interesting as other people say it is. The rows of houses/buildings had windows that were designed to look like shop windows and the women were on display. I guess the better looking you are or maybe the nicer your window dressing and design is, the more customers you get :-) The women came in all shapes, sizes and color. Men can definitely take their pick. I didn't take pictures because I didn't think that was okay...besides, I'm a woman...why would I be taking pics of naked women??? :p
If you have never been to Amsterdam before, make sure you check out the Red-Light District. Check out the beautiful hookers in the windows..now Im no pervert or anything, but these women actually were, for the most part good-looking! I didn't believe it! but anyways, check them out, just so you can say you saw the Red-Light hookers. The picture is of one of the many back alleys of red lights. What you would see in these back alleys were tons of curious tourist (women too) seeing the red lights for themselves, as we did.
Fondest memory: The thing i miss the most from The Netherlands is Stroopwaffels. It is these thin, round waffles with this caramel-like cream sandwhiched between 2 waffles.....it is sooo good! The first funny memory that comes to mind is the shower in the dump we rented. To get into the shower you had to open a door and walk into what looks like a small closet. Well, I turned on the shower to get the temperature right and all of the sudden, the shower nozzle shot off, and a steady stream of water sprayed directly out the door into the hallway. It just so happened that the circuit breaker box was on the wall opposite the shower, and guess what happened?....the entire apartment shorted out, and i couldn't get anything to work. Come to think about it, that also had a big part in our leaving early! :)
Sex must be the most famous feature of Amsterdam. At night, the Red-light district is the most crowded area, sex here is a business, equals to the *guilders*. Prostitute here is no long a shame.
Behind every transparent windows, there're prostitutes in bikini waiting for her customers. If the window is shadowed by the curtain, that means a business is going...
Walk around the Red Light District and go in every coffee bar that you see.
Fondest memory: My boyfriend and I were there for three short (but long) nights. Each of these nights (dusk until the wee hours) were spent in various coffee bars and walking around the beautifully light canals. Amsterdam is a celestial place to visit in the winter.