Red Light District, Amsterdam
Dressed in a full black gortex ski outfit...I got grabbed and catcalled down in the red light district... Believe me...I was NOT a pretty sight. SO...just try to travel with someone who looks like he's your man...or risk the embarrassment of dealing with some really rude and disgusting horn dogs.
The area around the Red light distict is a favourite for pick pockets. You may be stopped on the Street and asked if you want to buy soft drugs. Poilitely decline and move briskly on. The city is fairly safe at night, but use common sense and avoid back alleys and dark side streets.
Obviously you will no doubt have heard of the Red Light District I do not find it particularly dangerous but from a female perspective its one of those situations where you want to look but are too embarrassed to look. I am not sure whether I am embarrassed for me or for the girls!! Still there are some shady characters there so be vigilant as you would be anywhere!!! - Keep safe!!!
Amsterdam has become famous for it's red light district and cafes - unfortunately many people visit the city for only this reason, I found it to be my least favourite part. To see young girls prostituting themselves behind windows, and together with all the other sights of trashy sex and drugs the district offers at night, really filled me with sadness. It was an eye-opening experience which I suppose is never a bad thing. I would LOVE to revisit Amsterdam but next time I will avoid this aspect.
The Red Lights District again.
Unfortunately while wandering in the Red Lights District we came across solicitors and 'resellers' that wanted to sell us any kind of drugs, including cocaine, heroine and so on. The worst part has been that some of them were kids about 13-15 years old...
Another good reason to avoid dark streets at night in that area...
The Red Light District is not for the faint hearted. Beware of pickpockets, prostitutes and drug pushers. Don't let it put you off though, if anything it is not as bad as other big cities! Walk around just for fun, there are always hoardes of tourists and you shouldn't feel intimidated, day or night.
First, viewing this picture,hope you have a good sense of humour.Better not to make such pictures as I've done.It is the rad lamp's street and video and photo is prohibited here,espesially at night.Be careful!
What else is legal? Prostitution. As a woman (and a human being), am opposed in human trade, but am happy to know the prostitutes are entitled to health care and birth control. The Red Light District is a little disturbing as we stumbled onto it one night going back to our hostel after dinner. One scene that will haunt me is the view of a group of American soldiers cheering as one after another of them went into patronize the same prostitute while his cohorts waited outside yelping.
If you think you are going to Disneyworld,stay away. This is sex and drugs we are talking about. Don't go if you are a prude or slightly closed minded. Just look forward and don't even acknowledge the dealers. The natives don't condone anything harder than weed. I went on a Sunday afternoon and only saw two porkers in the windows. I guess a Saturday night is better to go.
Having read a few comments and noticed the dates on them, I thought I'd add an up-to-date one of my own having just returned from a trip to Amsterdam.
The city as a whole is a wonderfully laid-back and beautiful place where you can stroll along canals, take a cruise, sit outside a cafe and watch the world go by etc, and then there's the red light district.
Many of the comments have gone along the lines of 'avoid eye contact', 'walk on by quickly' and so on but in my experience over the last few days, this needn't be the case.
I was offered drugs on the street at least half a dozen times on one evening; on the first occasion a single man peeled off as a group passed me and he was offering the drugs. He stood a little close for comfort and spoke quietly and my first reaction was to check over my shoulder for his companions (surrounding me for intimidation? or setting me up for pickpocketing?) but the truth is they'd sauntered on, oblivious.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I politely declined the dealer's offer and he'd smiled, said OK and wished me a good night - but better still, this was the pattern I found each time someone tried selling me anything.
Maybe in times gone by there would have been more of a 'hard-sell' but nothing of the sort last week. Could be that the dealers realise, if they *** tourists off and give the place a bad name, the police will crack down on them like never before. As it happened, the offers were polite and my thanks but no thanks reply met with manners and a cheery 'enjoy your holiday' type of comment.
All of this aside, I'd still keep my wallet or purse close to your person if I were you - not in a jacket pocket or handbag, for instance. Plan for the worst, ie someone IS going to try and pick your pocket, think about it and make that as difficult as possible for any would-be thief. Keep your wits about you and I'm sure you'll have as good a time taking in the sights of this district as much as any of the others in this great city.
This is where you have the zoo...the ses pool of people from all over the world. All walks of life come here and stay here, and do there dirty deed here.
This is where I found most of the junkies hanging out & your street dealers. Do not make eye contact with these people, dont not say anything to them other then *** off in a real mean way.
Saying no in there world means yes I am going to follow you all over the place until you buy something from me.
Amsterdam by night os often very calm I think. Especially for beeing a capital & a big city.
When strawling around you will mostly see some bums, a couple of shady-looking junkies mayby....and lots of cabs.
A numerous of guys WILL try to sell you a bike....but they have always been harmless.
The redlight District can be a bit dodgy by late night.....but this area is often frequently patroled by the police.
The only place I´ve experienced beeing a bad place to hang out at is the central station. This is the place where many bums & especially junkies strawl around to beg, rob or just get a good nights sleep. Avoid hanging out here during nighttime.
One thing worth mentioning is that Amserdam doesn´t have any nightopen shops/restaurants/teahouses. So if you´re stuck in Amsterdam during latenight - all you can do is walk around til 8 AM, or hang out at the centralstation.
The red light district of Amsterdam, this place really is smuggy by night, and makes you think twice about the city, but i guess its just like any other big city, it has its problems.