Red Light District, Amsterdam
If you are strolling along the Red Light District and you want to shoot some pics of this area, make sure you don't take detailed pics of the "ladies". If you do so, there is a change that their pimp will take your camera away or just destroy it. So be warned.
In the Red Light District you will see no photo signs everywhere. Girls will beat their glass doors and chase you if you try. And sometimes large burly guys will appear and tell you to stop if you get your camera out. I walked around at one point with a camera around my neck and the lens cover on. I put it in my rucksack after loads of abuse for just having a camera.
Of course DAO gets the shots others are afraid to take! It took me the best part of 2 days to get shots that are not great, but I got them!
Enjoy this series! I even got shouted at for taking pictures of the 'No Photo' signs!
Don't take pictures of the ladies behind the windows. It is not appreciated, and that is not very strongly expressed.
The picture was to show another lady behind a window. An old lady looking down to the street. Maybe waiting for a relative, or a friend. Maybe just curious what happened outside. Some houses even have special mirrors next to the windows for the people to look down on the street.
But as you can see the lady is perfectly hidden by the curtains. So do as we did, and don't take pictures !!
Hents: A little feed back from a friend of mine (who said I could use his information) on how to pick a good hooker. Some of these gals wash after a customer. Then when you pick her, she jumps into a shower so you can see she is clean again. However, not all the girls do this. Some, he says, are busy little beavers, and smell like one too.
Don't bring anything with you if your going cruzen for whores in the red light district at night, just the money honey. Keep your head clear (as clear as you can be) and keep your money back in your hotel safe, bring enough for some loven and leave the place like you left it. Pack it out baby!
Here is the lowdown: Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since Napoleon made it so in 1815 and in 1996 the Dutch government started to tax it. According to statistics there are now more than 25000 prostitutes in the Netherlands and over half of these are said to be illegal immigrants. Sex always involves a condom and costs around 50 euros for oral and then full sex. There are also many brothels, both low and high class. In high-class brothels such as Yab Yums sex can cost upwards of 150 euros an hour.
The Red Light District is a wonderful place to visit.Sure there are some shady folk, but use your common sense.You really do not get approached by dealers, because they are usually walking up & down saying things like coca, weed, X etc....Just ingore them.If you standing there looking the walk by trying to get eye contact or verbal contact again do not give them the time of day & they will leave you alone.
I go to Amsterdam every year(or I try to).Here are a few helpfull hints if you want to visit the RLD(Red Light District)
First off there are 3 RLD's in Amsterdam.The best & safest is the main one right passed the DAM.Like I stated in the begining pay no attention to the low end pushers or freaks, they want you to react so they can hustle you, so just keep moving & pay no mind.If you get bothered go into a bar, store, coffee shop, food shop just any place with people they won't follow you in.Why would you buy Weed form a street pusher when you can go to a coffee shop & buy it there in a place that is super safe.Again Common Sense.
On my first trip to Amsterdam I already had visions of the RLD as a run down, dirty seedy slummy place to visit.Boy was I worng.During the prime night time hours the place is hoppin.Peppered along with the ladies of the night are bars, coffee shops, hotels resturants, stores, apartments etc.....It's not what most people invision.
You should not really go to the RLD passed 1am unless you are with a group of people.Best time is dusk to 1am.Plenty of people either looking for some action or doing the tourist thing & taking the sites in. I strongly suggest any female not to walk down there alone after hours unless you really know how to handle yourself.Not saying you will be attacked, just you will become a target & to them a possible easy target at that.Common sense tells you even in the States in a big city usually the freaks are out after hours looking to prey.
Same goes for men, don't walk alone down any dark streets drunk or high wondering around.Best thing to do if you feel the need to visit after hours is stick to the main drag.All it is is common sense.
Try not to bring any items of value down there.I make sure my hand is on my wallet at all times when in a crowd.A good pick pocket will ripe you off if you a carless.Remember pick pockets are not just local to the RLD, it's just like any busy city, keep an eye on your stuff & you won't be a target.
The best thing to do is visit the RLD during the day to get to know the in's & out's of the streets down there.Than go back at night & enjoy.Trying to be as familar with your enviorment as you possibly can, doing a tour in tha day is super safe even by your self.
Last tip is a tour is offered (for a price) to take a visit all around the RLD.It is not only the safest way, but best way to become familar with the area.If I remember it's like 10 euro or something around that.
As for me I been down there at all times of the day, never been bothered by anyone.I mind my own business & do not give the freaks or pushers the time of day.I am boring to them so they leave me alone.As for the girls in the windows they usually are opening their doors asking me to come & have some fun.
The RLD is a fun place to visit.Like I said just use your common sense & you will be saying how great that area of Amsterdam really is.
i felt more safe in amsterdam than i do in my own city las vegas. honestly i did not see or hear about any violence in the 11 days i was there. i never heard about al quaida or osama bin laden, the vibe's were all positive. the only place i felt uncomfortable was the redlight area's and even then by using common sence i avoided any possible encounters ( which were few ) so by using your brain you will be safe!
The red light district is very famous because of the red windows with prostitutes on the other side.
There are some warnings about this area :
1. Don't take pictures of the girls
2. Don't walk on small alleys alone during the night
3. beware of pickpockets
4. Don't buy drugs on the streets.
It is probably the most known fact, but anyway...no photos in Red light area, if you want to see your camera again!! Except the Old church, of course :-)))))
During the day RLD is quite safe, when gets dark, it is better not go alone.
Prostitution is legal in Amsterdam and the Red Light District is its epicenter. If you are conservative or are traveling with children, be warned. The prostitution and other sex-related business in the Red Light District are fairly blatant and out in the open. If you do not want to have to answer the resulting questions from your kids (Why is that woman sitting in the window in her underwear?, etc.), then don't visit that area of the city with the entire family.
I think a trip-one or two- are worth taking just to see the show. It is for free, but do not take pictures. Someone may come out of the booth/house and chase you down, and do not gawk. So then, what is the attraction? Tourists walk slowly up one side of the street and down the other and keep theri head down so as not to stare, or be noticed. Well, that is not my idea of fun. It is pretty sleezy and feels dingy on the streets, and would not venture into some of the establishments for a drink, or whatever. Wtch out for bumping and your wallet walking away.
The Red Light District is very open. On your first day in Amsterdam you may be wwlking the city at around 5:00 pm and everything looks like and other city. After 5:00 pm things start to change on certain streets. If you happen to be on one of those streets you may be taken aback.
After touring the Red Light District, I noticed that there were a host of drug dealers and loiterers hanging out. Then all of sudden I saw the local police arrest a chap (for reasons unknown to me) who almost made an escape while handcuffed. As this was obvious evidence of underworld activity going on, I decided to take notice. This was not a good place to explore after dark. In fact I recall the host on the Pilot Guides TV series actually get mugged here on camera. So be on guard.
I did a little research about this topic of crime in Amsterdam and I found out that the murder rate is surprisinly high when compared to my own hometown. I suspect this is probably a carry over from the drug trade which is quite active.
Apart from the weird crowd that may make you feel a bit on the edge (the homeless people sleeping on the street corners and begging on the streets, the alcies, the narcs and the like), Amsterdam is a safe city. The homeless people are often harmless and will leave you alone, if you leave them alone as well.
The red-light district (around the Oude Kerk) can be a bit dodgy at night and some people will try to offer illegal drugs to you –especially if you are male and look people in the eyes. However, there are also always lots of tourists around, so there is no need to avoid going to the area entirely, but it's good to keep this sort of stuff in mind.
Don't try to photograph the women in the red-light district though. The angry pimps might come and get you for taking free photos – you pay for the services, right? ;-) Officially, pimping is illegal, but who knows what happens in practice..
I know of way too many stories of people (even Amsterdam locals) who get mugged around the Red Light District. The perpetrators are mostly junkies and travel in pairs. Don't walk down any street that isn't busy. If you do there is a sizable chance that you'll get robbed. Most of the theives I've encounter have been too timid to carry out their mugging if you put up some resistance. Still, it is better to avoid that scenario in the first place. Junkies suck!
When walking around Red light District you will see signs NO PHOTOS. Take them seriously unless you run really fast :) If you try to take photos of the girls in the RLD, you are just calling for your camera to get smashed (if not yourself).