The Red Light District (or “De Wallen”) is the oldest part of Amsterdam. It’s worldwide known for its vibrant atmosphere and the red windows that display sex workers offering their services. It’s definitely a must visit during your trip to Amsterdam!
Red Light District on the map
The Red Light district is located within walking distance from Amsterdam Centraal Station, between the Warmoesstraat and the Zeedijk, on and around the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal. It’s easy to find and to visit even during a short transit stay in Amsterdam.
If you are travelling from another place in the Netherlands, use the free Glimble trip planner app to see how to get there:
Red Light District in Amsterdam: things to do
The Red Light district in mainly known for the legal prostitution and coffeeshops that sell cannabis. Today Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 290 window brothels and 14 coffeeshops, including two of Amsterdam’s oldest ones.
The starting price for negotiations with Amsterdam window prostitutes is usually € 100 for 15 to 20 minutes.
The Red Light District also has a number of live sex shows, sex shops, strip clubs, a prostitution museum, a cannabis museum. The oldest erotic theatre in the area is Casa Rosso.
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Red Light Secrets, Museum of Prostitution
The Red Light Secrets, Museum of Prostitution is located in a famous brothel in Amsterdam which is still in its original state. You’ll even get a chance to sit behind the window to experience what it is really like to be watched from the streets.
Is Prostitution Legal in the Netherlands?
Yes, prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, with the exception of street prostitution. The brothels in the Netherlands became legal in the year 2000. Nowadays prostitution is regarded as an official profession. The prostitutes must pay income tax, rent and follow applicable regulations like people in any other job.
Red Light District opening hours
The Red Light District is open 24/7. There is no entrance or exit to this area, it can be visited any time. The window brothels are only closed for 2 hours a day between 6:00 and 8:00. Most pubs and clubs close around 3:00 on weekends.
However it’s definitely more alive and vibrant during the evening time and at night.
Red Light District rules: how to behave?
Every year approximately 5,4 million tourists visit the Red Light District. And everybody is welcome to experience this unique part of Amsterdam. But there are a few rules every visitor has to follow.
Important! Starting from 25 May 2023 cannabis smoking ban came into effect in the Red Light District, Dam Square, the Damrak and the Nieuwenmarkt in Amsterdam. You’re not allowed to smoke weed in public here. Potential fine is 100 euro.
Please keep in mind, this is a neighborhood where people live and work. You are welcome to visit their workplace, but behave, treat them with respect, treat them like you would like to be treated.
1. It is strictly forbidden to take photos or film women behind their windows. Be careful: if you try to take a photo, working women can become very aggressive.
2. Do not drink alcohol out in public spaces, you can get a fine of € 95.
3. Do not leave trash in the streets or canals.
4. Be respectful to the women, don’t tap on the windows or stay near the window for too long.
5. Watch out for pickpockets, as this is almost always a crowded area.
Is it safe in the Red Light District?
Yes, it’s a safe and well-controlled area of the city. It is not a dangerous place to visit.
Hotels located directly in the Red Light District can also be a good place to stay for visitors looking to explore Amsterdam’s heart of night entertainment.
Enjoy your visit to the Red Light District in Amsterdam!
This article is also available in German: Rotlichtviertel in Amsterdam