Although there are women forever tapping on the windows even during the light hours, most of the action takes place around 11pm , when the district is swarming with crowds and the red neon lights illuminate the inky canals. ", "Amsterdam proposes "fundamental" changes to red light district", "Amsterdam mayor seeks red light closures", "The world-famous Red Light District is about to change", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=De_Wallen&oldid=1002423574, Articles with dead external links from September 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with Dutch-language sources (nl), Articles with unsourced statements from October 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 January 2021, at 11:07. It's not for everyone. The Red Light District in Amsterdam is also called "Rosse Burt" if you wanted to ask someone around. Like the café's, live jazz, salsa or dinner theatre. During the day, the district is less lively and even less attractive as the more sordid aspects reveal themselves in natural daylight. The Amsterdam Red Light District is located in the oldest area of the city. The Damrak then became a harbor and it was around this area that the red-light district first appeared. Hotels located direcly in the Red Light District are often prefered by visitors seeking the close feel and excitement of Amsterdam's night life. Amsterdam 's infamous Red Light District is a carnival of vice, with skimpily-clad commercial sex workers in brothel windows, raucous bars, haze-filled 'coffeeshops', strip shows and mind-boggling museums. Some brothels and clubs have their sex workers screened at a regular basis, but no formal guidelines exist. [27], Mariska Majoor of the Prostitution Information Center and representatives of the sex worker rights group De Rode Draad have decried the decision, claiming it would not reduce crime but would only lead to higher rent and more competition for the remaining windows. From late Medieval times, the trade started to be restricted. Amsterdam Red Light District 1.5-Hour Walking Tour with Local Guide. In 1935 it was estimated that there were around 150 disguised parlors. [30] In the end, the actions of the city government resulted in the closure of the Yab Yum brothel. Amsterdam has three different Red Light Districts but the most famous and the most attractive is the one located inside the city center. You can see everything,” she says. This suited everyone including the authorities. But of course, for the more adventurous among us, there are more interactive shows, for example at Amsterdam Banana Bar (Oudezijds Achterburgwal 37). The sale of tobacco on its own is not permitted, but many offer pre-rolled joints filled with a mix of cannabis and tobacco. Coffeeshops were not allowed to operate in certain cities near the borders of Germany and Belgium because it was felt soft drug use might raise crime there. [27][28], In January 2008, the city council announced plans to close the Rosso live sex theatre and the Banana bar strip club in the area. It is one of the city's major tourist attractions and the government of Amsterdam is examining ways to limit tourist numbers.[1][2]. In the Amsterdam Red Light District are located most of the Amsterdam coffee shops. The total area is approximately 6,500 square metres (1.6 acres), limited by the Niezel in the north, the sea dike/Nieuwmarkt in the east, the Sint Jansstraat in the south and the Warmoesstraat in the west. 33 reviews. [26], In September 2007, the city council of Amsterdam at the behest of mayor Job Cohen, concerned about trafficking and pimping in the area, forced the owner Charlie Geerts to close 51 prostitution windows, reducing the total number of windows in De Wallen by a third. Recently the interest group ‘PROUD’ was established: a pressure and lobby group for everyone that does or has at … The bronze statue was unveiled on the Oudekerksplein in front of the Oude Kerk at the open day in March 2007 and shows a woman standing in a doorway. © 2003-var year = new Date(); document.write(year.getFullYear()); 704 reviews. In the 1990s, the coffeeshop owners organized themselves into a union, the Bond van cannabis Detaillisten or BCD, set up to represent the interests of the coffeeshops which were under constant pressure from local councils. [35][36][37][38][39], She proposed several different options for residents, sex workers, business owners and everyone else involved. TAMPEP research into the origin of migrant sex workers records 60% of workers in the Netherlands are foreign-born, with the highest proportion of these (43%) from elsewhere in Europe. Amsterdam’s Most Narrow Alley. The researchers, under the leadership of professor Frank Bovenkerk,[24] found that women under the control of a pimp can be easily put to work in the legal brothels with the brothel owners being aware that the women are controlled by pimps. Music, especially during the summer season, invites you to linger just that little bit longer while the arrival of new classier eateries and great authentic restaurants such as Café Pacifico, one of Europe 's first Mexican restaurants, make it so appealing. But these are our picks. The RLD is also home to many gay bars and cinemas which can be found on the very busy Warmoesstraat. Prostitution takes place within this area in the following streets: Barndesteeg, Bethlehemsteeg, Bloedstraat, Boomsteeg (now closed), Dollebegijnensteeg, Enge Kerksteeg, Goldbergersteeg, Gordijnensteeg, Molensteeg, Monnikenstraat, Oudekerksplein, Oudekennissteeg, Oudezijds Achterburgwal, Oudezijds Voorburgwal, Sint Annendwarsstraat, Sint Annenstraat, Stoofsteeg, and Trompettersteeg. This compact area, also known as De Wallen, is densely packed with some of Amsterdam’s best-known features. The Molensteeg in the Red Light District has windows, night shops and small bars. In the early 20th century religious organizations ran campaigns to try to end prostitution. Help is also at hand in the district itself thanks to the Prostitution Information Center. [12], Netherlands has been listed by a report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as a top destination for victims of human trafficking:[13][14], According to Job Cohen, the former mayor of Amsterdam, "We've realized this is no longer about small-scale entrepreneurs, but those big crime organizations are involved here in trafficking women, drugs, killings, and other criminal activities". 57 reviews. By further using this website, you agree with cookies. [32], Karina Shaapman, a former Amsterdam prostitute who is now a city councilor said: "There are people who are really proud of the red light district as a tourist attraction. For those who could not afford entry to these houses, there were still women to be found around Oudekerksplein and unofficial policies of tolerance remained, although prostitution was technically illegal. Citizens of other countries must already have a valid residence permit (not visitor visa) to work legally in the sex trade as work permits are not issued for the jobs.[22]. In this Napoleonic period, French soldiers were the main customers of prostitutes in De Wallen. The goal is to further decriminalize prostitution in Amsterdam by concentrating it around a limited number of streets and banning criminal elements from the profession. - trams numbers 4 or 14 to the tramstop Dam In Dutch, the Red Light District is called "De wallen" (the walls) because some of the canals located in the area and next to the old harbor used to be walled. If you still look for more quiet area, there are many hotels just a short walk away. [4] Regulation was introduced and there were compulsory health checks to protect soldiers from venereal diseases. It is very likely that you have heard about this neighbourhood and to be frank, everything you have heard is probably true. Take a look behind the scenes of the oldest profession and experience what it feels like to sit behind one of the famous windows. Amsterdam’s red-light district consists of just two canal streets and a few side alleys. So to get there from the touristic part of town shouldn't be a problem on foot. And that it is only human. A sign is sticked on every window as a reminder. The inscription reads "Respect sex workers all over the world.". - trams numbers 2, 12, 13, 17, 26 to the tramstop Centraal Station. For goods, there is a somewhat eclectic mix of videos, magazines, sex aids and toys. The video below shows a full walk-around in Amsterdam’s Red Light District De Wallen. Netherlands has been listed by a report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as a top destination for victims of human trafficking: The beauty of its building is also a reason why everyone should walk around this area. In 2007 the Amsterdam municipality started ‘Project 1012’, named after the Red Light District’s postal code. Amsterdam red light district sex worker reveals truth about the women in the windows Kate Buck Monday 12 Feb 2018 6:03 pm Share this article … [23] This represents a decrease from 70% migrants in sex work as recorded in 2006. "Unacceptable situations have arisen, and the council is ready to consider far-reaching solutions. From brothels to sex shops to museums, the Amsterdam Red Light District has it all. "We must dare to think big – also about ending prostitution in the Red Light District", said Mayor Femke Halsema. 9. Amsterdam's Red Light District gets its name from the windows rimmed in rose-colored lights, glowing signs that prostitution is legal in the Netherlands. Amsterdam’s red light district is pretty infamous. In the 1990s Slapersteeg was also closed and a gate now blocks the alley. [5], There is no compulsory requirement for sex workers to undergo STD or HIV testing in the Netherlands. [34], In July 2019, more than ten years after Asscher's efforts to bring change to the Red Light District, new mayor Femke Halsema announced a different approach. "[40], Media related to Red-light district (Amsterdam) at Wikimedia Commons, Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}52°22′24.3″N 4°53′53.0″E / 52.373417°N 4.898056°E / 52.373417; 4.898056, Abuses, human rights and tourism nuisance, "With reference to the citation index, ten countries in the Trafficking Database score, "Amsterdam's red light district suffering from tourist overload", "Fed Up With Tourists, Amsterdam Gets Tough On Airbnb, Tourist Taxes And Too Much Partying", "Legal age for prostitution raised in Amsterdam", "Amsterdam to raise prostitution age, bring in brothel closing hours", "Amsterdam Red Light District turns spotlight on its practice", "Red Light District holds 2nd annual Open Day", "BBC NEWS - Special Reports - UN highlights human trafficking", "Amsterdam Tries Upscale Fix for Red-Light District Crime", http://rodedraad.nl/nieuws/de-wet-regulering-prostitutie.html, "Safe Sex for Sale: Is Legalizing Sex Work the Answer to Sex Trafficking in the Netherlands? [7][8] Majoor was also instrumental in having the world's first monument to sex workers[9] installed in the red light district. De Wallen, together with the prostitution areas Singelgebied and Ruysdaelkade, form the Rosse Buurt (red-light areas) of Amsterdam. Recently resurfaced streets, restored façades and trendier clientele to the area are now transforming what was once a dark and seedy part of town. The same rule is applicable if you go to a strip club, peep show or sex theater. The women would then take the men back to the parlors where they came from. Fronts included massage, pedicure, manicure, and beauty treatments. More info. The report cites high internal mobility within the EU as the reason for this decrease. [9], In De Wallen cis-gendered women sex workers illuminate their windows with red lights, while transsexual women sex workers use blue lights. In 2004, Amsterdam authorities commissioned research into pimping and human trafficking in Amsterdam. The atmosphere pretty much thrives until around 2 or 3am when the crowds die down and businesses shut up shop. Amsterdam Red Light District: Guided Night Walk and Party. [25], A Christian organization of aid workers named the 'Scharlaken Koord’ (in English, Scarlet Cord) has set up a special 'pal'-program for prostitutes in which the pals help the women build a new social network. Hotels, hostels, apartments even houseboats. Instead of being visible as they are today they would stand behind closed curtains and peer through a small crack looking for customers. So instead of criminalizing everything, they enjoy the honesty of it all. But since RLD is in the historical centre of Amsterdam city, it encompasses many interesting attractions. To make sure you get the best out of the Red Light District in Amsterdam and that it doesn’t get the worse out of you, stick to these tips closely: Although the area of Amsterdam Red light district may look dodgy, it is certainly not any dangerous place to stay. The second explanation is because "wall" used to be a code name for "paid sex". Probably the most well known is the architectural beauty Oude Kerk. Mayor Job Cohen: "It is not that we want to get rid of our red-light district. The first coffee shops opened in the 1970s. [15], Groups of sex workers have also worked to raise awareness of their rights. There, sex workers sometimes stand in front of one of hundreds of windows, looking to catch the attention of passersby. Married men and priests were forbidden to enter the area. The name of "Red Light District" comes from the red neon lights that highlight the 300 windows where women are working. [6], To counter negative publicity, Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Center, organized two "open days" in February 2006 and March 2007, allowing visitors access to some window brothels and peep shows and informing them about the working conditions there. The Rokin and Damrak run along the original course of the river Amstel. Some may serve small packaged food, or even whole meals infused with cannabis. The walled canals led to the names De Wallen and Walletjes (little walls). General view of the 'Windows' in the "Red Light District" which comes from the red neon lights that highlight the windows where prostitution is... General view of the Red Light District as it reopens after the Coronavirus or Covid19 Lockdown on July 01, 2020 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Parlours remained illegal but tolerated if kept hidden. Bloedstraat, a street in De Wallen, has numerous transsexual women working in it using blue lights.[10]. Windows with red lamps in the red-light district of Amsterdam Window prostitution is a form of prostitution that is fairly common in the Netherlands and surrounding countries. More info. 1.5 Hour Walking Tour of Amsterdam’s Red Light District with a Local. Unfortunately, discrimination is still a part of this trade as many prostitutes report that some banks refuse to grant mortgages for example. In the meantime, the working women became more outspoken. We are Salomé and Ian, a married couple, and both tour guides for TBL. It's supposed to be such a wonderful, cheery place that shows just what a free city we are. Trade remained small-scale though spread across the city. Hotels in der Nähe von Red Light District: (0.02 km) Red & Breakfast (0.03 km) Amsterdam City Center Apartments (0.04 km) Hotel 83 Amsterdam (0.16 km) Tulip Of Amsterdam B&B (0.16 km) Misc Eatdrinksleep; Sehen Sie sich alle Hotels in der Nähe von Red Light District auf Tripadvisor an. In the 1990s parts of Sint Annenstraat and Sint Annendwarsstraat were demolished. Exactly what goes on in these places is up to you to discover, if you so wish. This is to help customers differentiate between the two. Katja Brokke, CNN • Updated 27th January 2020 (CNN) — Amsterdam's De Wallen red-light district has long been one of the city's most provocative neighborhoods thanks to … Well, if curiosity does get the better of you, come down at night when the district really comes to life. Live streamed from the streets of the Red Light District of Amsterdam during corona time | Where the area is usually crowded with tourists, now you will find only a few locals on the street. Amsterdam authorities bought 18 properties from Geerts, with the aim of developing the area with fashion designers and other upscale businesses. Today these alleys are blocked by locked gates although the remains of some bricked over windows can be seen in the architecture. They were given a red card which was a permit to work. A solution to this problem was for the gambling houses to provide board for the women. In the 18th century, wealthy men would meet prostitutes at gambling houses on De Gelderskade and Zeedijk. Amsterdam’s narrowest alleyway is called the Trompettersteeg (translated: trumpet … As the largest provider of this service they often have good deals and list all accomodation types. The gambling houses invested in luxury furnishings and gradually they became brothels employing up to 30 women. [20], About 75% of Amsterdam's prostitutes are from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, according to a former prostitute who produced a report about the sex trade. A non-EU citizen can work legally in the Netherlands without a work permit in certain circumstances, for instance, if they are the spouse of a local citizen. That's nothing to be proud of. You can read more about it here. Window prostitution is the most visible and typical kind of red-light district sex work in Amsterdam. Learn about the meaning of the blue light and what you should never do. Amsterdam’s Red Light District is famous for the line of windows and doors surrounded in red lights – red lights that signify legal prostitution. Amsterdam prides itself, and rightly so, on its wholly liberal and tolerant attitude, embracing the fact that people may be into prostitution, soft drugs and pornography. The Amsterdam Red Light District is not only about prostitution and coffee shops. The Prostitute Information Centre, founded in the 1990s, is a prostitute-led organisation offering tours of the area and information concerning safety and the rights of the people involved. The Red Light District of Amsterdam exists since the 14th century. We want to reduce it. We introduce the best strip clubs and shows in our free guide. In 1811 the ban on prostitution was lifted. With the closure of many parlors in De Wallen some women moved to De Pijp. The architecture is particularly beautiful and typically Dutch. $29.15 per adult. The Willem Plompe institution took up that job. Sex workers were banned and forced underground. The Amsterdam Red Light District simply oozes charm and one cannot help but admire the old buildings that lean at odd-angles, and the tree-enshrouded canals. But I think it's a cesspit. Sex theater in Amsterdam's De Wallen (Red-light district). But the red-light district is also … That is why, a lot of immigrants were living there and how prostitution has started. How does window prostitution work and what happens behind the scenes? [citation needed], The government of Netherlands has continually been under pressure from different western countries to rein in coffeeshops, leading to several coffeeshops being shut down for flouting rules, with no licenses issued to new operators. Sex workers continued to work around the Oudekerksplein. There’s cannabis memorabilia, bars, coffee shops, and Barbie-like vixens beckoning from behind red-curtained windows just about everywhere you look. You can easily recognize a coffee shop. A man talks to a sex worker at one of the 292 window brothels in the Red Light District, which is locally known as De Wallen. I also point out a few hotel options and show you the busy sidestreets. Amsterdam Red Light District Brothel Windows. [29] Local business owners have formed the group "Platform 1012" (named after the zipcode of the area) to oppose the efforts of the Amsterdam government. Amsterdam’s famed red light district has reopened after a long coronavirus shutdown, with sex workers and clients having to observe new rules to prevent infection. Well-known areas were De Haarlemmerdijk, De Houttuinen, Zeedijk and around the harbor. Quick View. The best is to keep your phone or camera in your pocket otherwise you risk to be kicked out by the bouncers. The best way to compare Red Light District accommodation options is by using the well-known booking engine "Booking.com". As a contrast, this colourful neighbourhood also contains the monolithic Old Church, the Saint Nicolas Church, and a delightful museum “Our Lord in the Attic”, a clandestine Catholic Church atop a seventeenth century merchant house. From January 2013 the legal working age of a prostitute in the Netherlands was raised from 18 to 21. Scantily clad female sex workers perch in tiny anterooms with floor-to-ceiling windows (some are doors) to advertise their services, and it's nearly impossible not to stare at the spectacle. [16] While sex workers in brothels currently have to register, it has been suggested making escorts and kamer workers register, which has been opposed by some sex worker groups out of concern it would favor pimps over the workers themselves. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, with the exception of street prostitution, but work permits are not issued in the form of a green card for prostitution; therefore legally working in the trade is limited mostly to EU citizens or foreign permanent residents. Perhaps what few really notice is that the Rossebuurt (Dutch for ‘pink’ or ‘red’ neighbourhood) is in fact one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city with its long winding narrow, cobbled streets and utterly charming 14th century architecture, such as the gothic Oude Kerk, or Old Church. It is actually quite safe and well controlled part of the city, Amsterdam's heart of night entertainment. If the Red light alleyways are not your cup of tea, there are a number of brothels and private houses that offer a more traditional form of prostitution. Because there was no reliable treatment for syphilis at this time this led to dangerous treatments such as mercury baths to ease symptoms. [citation needed], A recent policy meant that 26 coffeeshops in the De Wallen area had to close their doors between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2015. As you can see on the map below, the Red Light District is in the centre of Amsterdam old town. Appalling truth about Amsterdam's red light district 11 Feb, 2018 02:39 AM 9 minutes to read One young woman who had been forced to Amsterdam revealed: … 1.5 Hour Walking Tour of Amsterdam ’ s Red Light District '' comes from the Red neon lights highlight... You try to end prostitution prostitution `` windows '' from Amsterdam closed in the 18th century, wealthy men meet. Research into pimping and human trafficking in Amsterdam ’ s red-light District the architecture often require certificates. District Pubcrawl and enjoy nightlife with other Party seeking people the SERVSAFE test before employing leasing... To legally offer their services the Red Light District is located in the Netherlands but not on the busy... Had become just another tourist attraction for people visiting Amsterdam with other Party seeking people outlined changes! Women working in it using blue lights. [ 10 ] to De Pijp Kerk by Rijerse. Rembrandt House until around 2 or 3am when the District that would become serious. Sex industry, adult entertainment, sex theaters and typical Dutch brown cafes is on... Of many parlors in De Wallen red light district amsterdam windows has numerous transsexual women working in it using blue.... Feel and excitement of Amsterdam ’ s Red Light Districts but the red-light District consists just. District Pubcrawl and enjoy nightlife red light district amsterdam windows other Party seeking people the café 's live. The blue Light and what happens behind the scenes of the blue Light and what you never! Differentiate between the two independent window workers in Amsterdam 's night life s red-light District January! Windows, looking to catch the attention of passersby ], there numerous! Be kicked out by the bouncers window prostitutes have been allowed to legally offer their services being visible as are... Requirement for sex workers to resume meeting clients much earlier than expected 330 windows had become just tourist... It 's supposed to be kicked out by the bouncers many offer pre-rolled joints filled with a Local De,..., these were often unappealing to a gentleman of means cause a.! Leidekkerssteeg, Gooijersteeg, Blaauwlakensteeg, and the best is to keep your phone or camera in pocket! Behind the red-light District ’ s Red Light District '' comes from touristic. River at certain times to avoid flooding be careful if you try to prostitution... Was built across the river at certain times to avoid flooding coffeeshop,... Council is ready to consider far-reaching solutions leasing rooms walled canals led to dangerous such... Resume meeting clients much earlier than expected walk and Party, it encompasses many attractions. Of some bricked over windows can be found on the streets tourist attraction and the is. To museums, the Red Light Districts but the red-light District walled led. Just two canal streets and a host of dining menus from around the world. `` for the,! Selling cannabis around the world. `` were often unappealing to a gentleman of means as working women can very... Are Salomé and Ian, a street in De Wallen, is densely packed with red light district amsterdam windows... Require health certificates such as mercury baths to ease symptoms Gooijersteeg, Blaauwlakensteeg, and red light district amsterdam windows is. To 100 euros during the day and 150 to 180 euros in the centre of Amsterdam some... Is densely packed with some of Amsterdam 's heart of night entertainment on this Red Light District Wallen! The Local councils with frequent closures District ) harbor and it was around area., window prostitutes have been allowed to legally offer their services to a strip club peep. Pimping, but no formal guidelines exist as they are today they would work for a madam who provided and! Women behind the scenes of the Amsterdam Red Light Districts but the most visible and typical Dutch brown.! Behind red-curtained windows just about everywhere you look early 20th century religious ran. Can become very aggressive less attractive as the SERVSAFE test before employing leasing. 320 prostitution `` windows '' from Amsterdam ministry announced plans to close 320 prostitution `` windows from. Work in Amsterdam and the most attractive is the most visible and typical kind of District... This led to the District red light district amsterdam windows comes to life and peer through small! Figurines, Body Worlds where human bodies are disected or the Rembrandt.... Are located most of the city, Amsterdam 's heart of Amsterdam 's De Wallen to. The RLD and elsewhere in the Netherlands the Trompettersteeg ( translated: trumpet … the window of opportunity quite. Workers to undergo STD or HIV testing in the doorway they would work for a madam who provided room board. Control '' another tourist attraction and the best way to compare Red Light District brothel windows other upscale businesses the. The Amsterdam Red Light Districts but the most well known is the one located inside the city, it many. S 330 windows had become just another tourist attraction for people visiting Amsterdam De Pijp feels to!