Why don't brothels in Amsterdam specialize?

Although it might not be as clear to some, the red light district has a frame of mind that attracts not only characters traditionally associated with the "dark side" of city life, but also average people.
You will find them walking, sometimes ashamed or delighted, sometimes excited by the sight of their bodies selling under the sensual glow of red lights.
There is much more to do in the red light district: The old pubs, where travelers, students and colorful figures from all walks of life gather to enjoy a drink in the midst of sensualism; the old architecture that one adores while running; and a variety of unique shops selling souvenirs, odds and ends, and various goods. During your stay in the neighborhood you might need some of these goods.
In short, the red light district is really worth visiting for more than one reason. You will find them walking, sometimes ashamed or delighted, sometimes excited by the sight of their bodies selling under the sensual glow of red lights.

This part of the city has the oldest houses in Amsterdam, at least in terms of building structure. This district of Amsterdam now has one of the oldest businesses in the world and at the same time "de Wallen" are one of the most dangerous corners of Amsterdam due to drugs and illegal drug trafficking. What shocked many holidaymakers in Amsterdam is that the red light district in Amsterdam is also a residential area, where people live and work far differently than one would suspect in this area. Here, at least on the outskirts, there are normal hotels and sometimes even first-class holiday apartments in Amsterdam.

Already established in history, this red light district was and remains in its original form a district for trade and commerce and people knew how to market themselves around the Oude Kerk. Now the economic crisis seems to be reaching the red light district of Amsterdam as well. For months it has been observed that there are hundreds of passers-by, but nowadays they are all pursuing one goal, stopping for a moment, looking through the door or almost squinting through the often red-lit windows. This way things get quieter and quieter in the red light district of Amsterdam, once known for "delicious amusement". They still exist, the narrow shop windows lined up next to each other, filled with prostitutes, filled with erotic bars, lively in the peep shows and the sex shops and coffee shops are extremely harmonizing neighbors to extraordinary restaurants and boutiques.

But the sign “Here No Sex” is becoming more and more common. Yes, you read that right here. "No Sex" is a sign in the red light district of Amsterdam. Now you could think that the city's marketing strategy is behind it, true to the motto that what is forbidden becomes interesting again exactly then. Unfortunately not in this case. Here, “No Sex” in the red light district of Amsterdam rather means: “Come in, you can look out”. As already known from the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, tourists are now being guided through the red light district, perhaps one of the most unusual city tours in Amsterdam. On this city tour through the red light district of Amsterdam, the holidaymakers of Amsterdam are welcome to take a seat behind the window and experience the feeling of the women who otherwise work here for a moment.

According to the mayor of the city of Amsterdam, there could be more morality in principle in the red light district of Amsterdam. From his point of view, some bars could also be closed here. The background for Mr. Cohem, however, is the additional containment of crime, which sometimes seemed to get out of hand here. More police can and need to in the future do not expect the red light district, but a tougher stance on crimes already. And so new stories are created every day, which you will be told on the tour through the red light district in the houses with "No Sex".

Most visitors have probably heard of the red light district before their arrival in Amsterdam. There is no arguing about the facts, most of the stereotypes belong to the truth: there are many sex shops, peep shows, brothels, a fancy condom shop, a sex museum and of course prostitutes behind red-lit windows. In addition to the fact that there is much more to this city than the Red Light District, there are more significant truths about this (un) popular area.

In Amsterdam, prostitution has enjoyed a long tradition of tolerance and, even with light drugs, the Netherlands' attempt to legalize trade and introduce control measures. Basically you know that it will happen one way or the other and therefore this approach is based on the intention to make it as safe as possible for the parties involved. In addition to the intention to prevent forced prostitution, this open and honest approach means that sex workers here have their own union, extensive police protection, an information center (also for visitors), regular monitoring and testing as well as professional standards.


The "oldest profession in the world" has settled in Amsterdam since the 13th century and has become an integral part of the cityscape. Although prostitution is allowed across the city, everything is concentrated in the red light district.
The red light district is located between the Centraal Station, Nieuwmarkt and Dam and attracts crowds of tourists every day. There are even smaller areas where you can find the red-lit windows. This is in Nieuw Zuid between Spuistraat and Singel and in the Pijp along the Ruysdaelkade. The red light district, located right in the center of the city, is the area where you can find out whether everything you've already heard is really true. Women of all nations offer themselves in windows that offer more than just a peep show or live sex shows that are shown in the "theaters". See for yourself!

There is no need to be scared or uncomfortable when you go to the Rossebuurt (Dutch for red or pink neighborhood). There you will meet Japanese tourist groups "armed" with cameras or laughing women celebrating their bachelorette party. If you follow our advice, you will definitely be on the safe side.

A visit to the red light district
The best time to see the red fluorescent light of the Red Light District is when the sun goes down. The area is then full of visitors and groups of tourists. It is best to travel in a group of at least two as this area also attracts more inevitable characters. Pack yourself a city map and explore the area on your own or take a specialized tour if you are interested in learning more about the area.

Not everything is allowed
There are a number of rules to ensure the safety of prostitutes and visitors to the red light district is maintained. It is forbidden to take photos of the women and this is strictly monitored. Although all 24 hours with camera monitoring, you should be wary of pickpockets. They tend to mingle with the crowd or groups of distracted tourists. You should therefore take good care of your bag and leave valuables in the hotel safe if possible. Also show consideration for local residents and families who go to work in the morning, and behave respectfully towards them by not shouting or causing any other inconvenience.

Tips for a safe visit:

Please note that you are not allowed to take photos of the occupied windows. Should you still want to try your luck, be warned! The girls' bodyguard can quickly attack him and it can get uncomfortable.
Be on the lookout for bag thieves who like to mingle with large groups and want your handbag.
In order not to attract unwanted attention, we advise you to visit the red light district in a group or at least in pairs.
Make sure you don't buy from dealers who can be found on almost every street corner. Be it hard drugs or bikes. Although soft drugs are allowed throughout Holland, the fun for the Dutch police stops with hard drugs of any kind.
Just have fun and enjoy your time in the red light district so that you can remember your experiences for a long time.

Amsterdam offers taster courses in the brothel
Mariska Majoor used to work as a "window whore". She left her job a long time ago, but she still earns her money in Amsterdam's red light district. She now offers guided tours where tourists have the opportunity to experience the work of prostitutes first-hand.

Amsterdam is particularly famous for its small canals, known as canals. In the meantime, the free trade in marijuana and similar herbs also attracted at least Europe's youth to the Dutch city. And then there are also the numerous red-lit windows in the corresponding district with the many scantily clad women.

Maybe nobody would travel to the metropolis because of her - but anyone who has always wanted to know how a whore feels in an Amsterdam “window brothel” can now try to empathize with that. For the prostitute information center (PIC) provides the red light district tourists a corresponding "taster". The idea comes from PIC spokeswoman Mariska Majoor, who used to work as a “window whore” herself. She left her job a long time ago, but she still earns her money in Amsterdam's Roltlichtviertel “Op de wallen” - but now with guided tours. The 39-year-old tries to explain to the visitors what the job behind the window means for women. “But they don't open their eyes until I take them with me,” says the ex-prostitute.