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Red Light District

Discover amsterdam's red light district

Anyone who has been in Amsterdam knows about the Red Light District, no doubt about that! Although people outside the Netherlands call it the Red Light District, the Dutch call it ‘De Wallen’. This name comes from the streets, some of them end with ‘wal’, something you can compare with dikes.

The neighborhood is full of sex-shops, sex-theatres, peep-shows, coffee-shops and of course the girls behind the windows. In the past, the Red Light District had about 400 windows for prostitutes, but this number has been reduced by the Amsterdam Council, mainly because of the suspicion a certain part of the girls were not working there voluntary but were supposed victims of human trafficking.

If you are visiting Amsterdam for the 1st time, it should be on your list!

About the Red Light district

Red Light District Amsterdam Map

The Red Light district is located in the city center, if you just walk out Amsterdam Central Station, keep left and you will enter the area.

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See which museums there are to discover, which activities are fun to do and what else you can see and do in Amsterdam.

Red Light District Amsterdam prices

First of all, don’t expect to find any Dutch girl behind the windows. If you have found one, you are lucky. Most girls behind the windows are from the Eastern part of Europe, like Bulgaria and Romania. If you wanna meet Dutch girls, just go to a regular bar and have a chat with them ;-).

The cost of the services from the girls depends on the services you want and how long you want to stay with her. In general, services start from € 60,- for 15 to 20 minutes.

Casa Roso in the Red Light district
At the left the famous 'Casa Roso'.

How does it work?

Just walk through the streets and alleys and see the girls you like. Most of them will wink at you when you are passing by. When you approach the window she will open the door.

Now you have to negotiate with her about the services, time and the price. If you both agree, you enter the room, she will close the red curtain and you pay her in advance.

How does it work with sex-theatres and peep-shows?

One of the most well-known sex-theaters is Casa Roso. Here you can watch live performances. If you don’t want to go to a theater just watch a peep-show. You enter one of the cabins, insert Euro coins and the window will open to watch a live performance.

The price for a show at Casa Roso starts at € 60 with one drink included.

Red Light District Amsterdam along the canals
Also the cannels run through the Red Light District.

Red Light District opening hours

It’s a neighborhood where you can walk all day, there are no specific opening hours. After lunchtime, some women will take their seat behind the windows, but the area starts to live after 6 PM to 3 AM on the weekend. Casa Roso is open daily from 7 PM to 2 AM.

The women behind the windows start at the end of the afternoon till 03:00 AM, according to the new rules that take effect mid May 2023.

Is Red Light District Amsterdam safe?

Yes, in general, it’s safe. In the past, there were some problems with crime but nowadays there is more police presence in the district and the atmosphere is friendly. Still, like in every big city, you need be careful and take care of your belongings.

Best time to visit the Red Light District is between 7 PM and 12 AM in the winterseason. In the summer season after the sun goes down to see all the red en neon lights.

Street in the Red Light district in Amsterdam

Beware of:

  • pickpockets
  • buying drugs. You might be approached by guys asking you if you want to buy drugs. The stuff they sell is not the best around and sometimes just fake.

Do not:

  • take pictures of the girls behind the windows
  • ask for unsafe sex, they won’t

Red Light District Amsterdam information

In the last years, The Amsterdam Council has bought several buildings in the Red Light District simply to shut down suspicious windows. Those windows have been changed into art galleries. Maybe around 30% of the windows have disappeared in the recent years, but the conditions for the women have been improved.

Prostitution in The Netherlands is legal, women behind the windows have in fact their own business and pay taxes.

The neighborhood is one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam, it’s full of the typical historical buildings in Amsterdam. The history of this area goes back to the 14th century!

If you want to read more about the Amsterdam Red Light district, read the wiki page.

Important information

Starting mid May 2023, the Amsterdam Council will apply new rules for the Red Light District. Windows will close at 03:00 AM and bars will close at 02:00 AM (last chance to get in is at 01:00 AM). Drinking alcohol and smoking joints will be prohibited.

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