No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a walk through the red light district! While it was interesting and fascinating, it was also annoying having drunk and high men bothering us constantly. We thought we would be okay as we were there during the day. It is a very unique area and must be explored.I have heard from others that the sex shows are also quite interesting. Had we been in a group, we would have done that.....maybe next time!
This area in the medieval centre attracts a large number of tourists & some go home a great deal porrer then they intended.
Prostitution was legalised in the Netherlands in 1810 & brothels in 2000
78% of the Dutch public have no problems with prostitution but only 5% of working girls are born in Holand. There are about 380 windows to choose from & a typical "session" may last 15 min of wham bam thank you Mam
The police patrol the area regularly.
Don't take photo's here cause you will be asking for trouble
The red light dates back to early 1300 when women carrying red lanterns met sailors at port & the light is rather flattering
There are windows, a range of sex shows, porn shops and coffee shops here & regular den of eniquity - If you look beyond the prostitutes etc the area is rather charming with some pretty canals
Alida Bosshardt was a true Dutch heroine. She saved countless Jewish children during the second world war and then followed up by working tirelessly for the prostitutes and homeless of the Red Light District for many years until her death at age 94.
She is remembered by this wonderful statue which can be found in the Red Light District right outside the house in which she lived.
Alida Bosshardt's story is fascinating to say the very least and can be found here:
Well worth a read and my thanks to Swanette (PJ's wife) for introducing me to this truly wonderful lady.
Hobbling on the cobblestones in the red light district I found this sculpture embedded into the sidewalk, between the sidewalk stones of the Ouderkerksplein and the square that surrounds the Old Church in the Red Light District is a fettered bronze/iron sculpture of a hand caressing a breast. This sculpture was left secretly in the wee hours of the night and, over the last 15 years, this same unknown artist has placed numerous bronze and iron statues all over town, anomynously in the night. The identity of the artist has recently been discovered and he is a local doctor who does this public art in his spare time. The City of Amsterdam has since accepted his works as long as the identity of the artist is never revealed. This particular sculpture is a bronze female bust on the pavement in front of the Oude Kerk on Oudekerksplein square. It represents the women of the Red Light District.
Amsterdam is famous (or infamous, however you like it!) for its Red-Light districts. The range of establishments in the area varies from brothels and sex shops to museums and live shows, and leaves little to the imagination. Whether you are just window-shopping or wanting to buy something, there is likely to be a place or two, that cater to everyone.
Amsterdam prides itself on its liberal and tolerant attitude, and the Dutch law enables the functioning of brothels as licensed legal businesses. The individuals working in these establishments are treated like any other self-employed tradespersons. They have access to the social security system, may join unions and pay income tax. The government ensures that they work in better conditions by regulating and monitoring working practices and standards.
The 'Walletjes' area is one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city with its long winding narrow, cobbled streets and charming 14th century architecture, such as the Gothic Oudekerk (Old Church). The area oozes charm with its buildings that lean at odd-angles and the tree-enshrouded canals. There are also several restaurants and eateries and it no longer is a dark and seedy part of town due to recently resurfaced streets, restored façades and trendier clientele to the area. In September 2007, the city bought 18 buildings in the area and aims to convert almost 1/3 of the 150 'windows' into flats and boutiques.
For those not easily offended, there are plenty of live shows at 'Casa Rosa' and 'Moulin Rouge'. For the merely curious, there are numerous peep shows that may come with video booths. For the more adventurous, there are more interactive shows (de Bananenbar). Exactly what goes on in these places is up to you to discover.
To make sure you get the best out of the area, don't at any circumstances take photos of the women working in the windows!
This neighbourhood is maybe the most famous item in the world if it is about tourism and Amsterdam. Everyone immediately jumps to this conclusion and not without being right. The "Wallen" (Kay, Dike, stretch of hightened land along a canal or river) or "Walletjes" (little "Wallen") are a folk area that now houses the prostitution district with the many red lights. Surrounding the old church, this part has however also some other interesting things. It is one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam and many houses are really magnificently kept monuments. It is a district with a whole own character, which has nothing to do with criminal behaviour. So, when walking here, don't only look into the windows and into the nice ladies eyes (or 30 cm lower), but gaze up to the facades and discover the other side of the Red Light District (more about the "Wallen" under custom-tips).
Amsterdam IS a Must See Activity :) This is a almost like a fairy tale like place if you choose to soak in the atmosphere that is around you. Tinkling bike bells, and the rattle of bikes on the cobble-stome. And dotted with Coffee Shops (Hash Bars). This is a very safe place. People can be misled connecting the famous Red Light District with violence and criminalism placing a fear with Amsterdam. This it is not. Amsterdam has the lowest criminal ratio per person in all of Europe. I felt real safe. One guy followed us, talking dutch, think he was drunk or doped/stoned. He also looked as if you could easily push him off, even i felt that i could do it. He was shouting at us, looking for money or something. We just paced onwards at a little quicker speed, he eventually lost track as even this was too fast for him to be bothered follwoing on, and so he just slumbered on elsewhere. This I tend to be calling harmless, you can decide this for yourself. I could talk for pages about Amsterdam and how great it is. But its not the sites and museums alone that are attractive. I will be returning for a third, and subsequent times...The culture is fab, and a touch away from reality with the general acceptance of soft drugs usage. Shopping is great, really great. Clothes, great quality, very reasonably priced, very nice, garden bulbs, plants, cactus etc... :) I affectionately call Amsterdam Damsterdam. Go there if you can. I wont say go out of your way to, I may have flowered it up too much, and it can be cold/rainy/dull, but if you are anywhere closeby, then make it a must. Accom. is quite reasonable and plentiful too. There are loads and loads of places to go to. Tastes for everybody. Found when we got there, tho it wasnt advertised : A Zoo. There are lots of places to poke out. Whatever you choose to do in Damsterdam...Enjoy :-)
Don't miss the RLD. At a minimum, it is an interesting walk-thru to see. The window ladies range from young & beautiful, to older and much heavier (everyone has their own tastes I guess). If you enjoy adult themes, there are plenty of porn/sex shops, and just many things you don't see in the U.S.
We found it to be clean and safe.
There are bars in the RLD. We enjoyed these the most as it was a great place to meet & chat w/ other international tourists. It's an area full of tourists where most are out to have a good time.
If you are interested in more than just window shopping, that is easy too. The universal cost for a girl is 50 Euro. But it is important to be clear about expectations upfront, otherwise everything else becomes an extra charge. (such as don't assume the girl is going to get completely nude, or allow you to touch other parts of her body - unless that was first negotiated). We were pleased w/ our experiences. The sex industry is legal and regulated, that shows.
Also - be warned that window 'girls' with blue lights above them are transsexuals.....don't make an embarssing mistake.
So here I was on my last visit to Amsterdam idling away an hour or so at The Old Sailor with a couple of beers and watching the world go by when this pair of pics presented themselves as an "Upstairs, Downstairs" set and so just had to use them here.
PS if pic #2 is too lewd for you don't enlarge it!
PPS As someone once enquired - "What sort of pussy do you prefer?"
Me, I just like a soft fluffy one. I HATE cats though ;)
People (tourists), old, young alike, both genders, with spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, friends, siblings or just alone like me compose the long queue that just walks past each of the alleys looking at windows on both sides. Its an experience to remember. I have seen some people knocking on the windows from time to time and having deals with the girls, sometimes, a serious deal and sometimes just out of curiosity with talking with one. I was there around 5.30 in the evening, so really dark, but not "Night" so to say. So I don't really know if it is advisable to go at night.
This area also has lots of sex shops, pubs, aex museums (!!!), cafes, stores that you can buy "Souvenirs" from. It is very touristy place and is located close to the Centraal Railway station. Just a few minutes walk from there. Dutch law is said to be very liberal and and it legalises the functioning of brothels as licensed legal businesses. The people working in these places are like normal other self-employed persons and are well accepted in society and do also pay income taxes.
And look at the photo here. I found something that reminded me of India as well (though not really). But its fun to see something like this.
Prostitution is legal – in the Red Light District. It is licensed and controlled by the Government. Women working in the trade do have health checks. Throughout the area women stand inside glass doors and ‘advertise’. They rent spaces that contain beds, toilets and other fixtures needed for their business. All of these rooms have a panic alarm and security that is sometimes the big hairy bloke standing in the street next to you. If a curtain is closed over that usually means either they have not arrived for work yet, or are actively at work.
The ladies will stop and talk to you, but not for long when they realise you are not coming in for business.
Interested in renting a space? Look for signs with the details of the agents.
If pain is your game, you can get it here. Personally I hated when my parents ever beat me and it sure never turned me on. In fact it hurt a lot.
To each his own. They will even provide a rubber chicken to bite on and I have seen some of their whips - from a safe distance.