Exploring Amsterdam’s Red Light District: A Guide for Tourists

Welcome to Amsterdam’s Red Light District

Amsterdam’s Red Light District is one of the city’s most famous attractions. Known for its legalized prostitution and vibrant nightlife, it can be an intriguing destination for tourists. However, it’s important to approach the area with respect and an understanding of its unique culture.

History and Culture

The Red Light District, or “De Wallen” in Dutch, dates back to the 14th century. Originally a harbor district, it eventually became known for its brothels and sex workers. Today, it encompasses several streets and canals, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Prostitution in the Netherlands was legalized in 2000, with strict regulations in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the workers. The area is also home to other businesses, such as sex shops, coffee shops, and bars, which contribute to its vibrant atmosphere.

Exploring the Red Light District

1. Be Respectful

First and foremost, remember that the Red Light District is a place of work for the sex workers. Treat the area with respect, avoiding any disruptive or offensive behavior. Photography is strictly prohibited, so be sure to refrain from taking pictures of the workers or the windows.

2. Take a Guided Tour

For a deeper understanding of the district’s history and culture, consider taking a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides can provide insight into the area’s past, highlighting important landmarks and sharing interesting stories. These tours often provide a respectful and educational perspective.

3. Don’t Only Focus on the Sex Workers

The Red Light District offers more than just prostitution. Explore the area’s vibrant nightlife, with its diverse range of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Visit the coffee shops to experience the unique Dutch cannabis culture, or check out the many restaurants and shops in the district.

4. Visit the Museum of Prostitution

The Museum of Prostitution, also known as “Red Light Secrets,” offers an inside look into the world of Amsterdam’s sex workers. Learn about the industry’s history, hear personal stories from former workers, and gain insight into their daily lives. It’s an eye-opening experience that promotes understanding and empathy.

5. Stay Safe

As with any tourist area, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and take precautions. Avoid walking alone late at night, and be cautious of pickpockets. If you choose to engage with the area’s offerings, always prioritize your safety and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Red Light District safe?

The Red Light District is generally safe for tourists, especially if you stick to well-traveled areas. However, it’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings and take necessary safety precautions.

What are the opening hours?

The Red Light District is typically busiest in the evenings and remains open late into the night. Many businesses start to close around 1 or 2 am, but bars and clubs may stay open until the early morning hours.

Can I take pictures in the Red Light District?

No, photography is strictly prohibited in the Red Light District. This includes pictures of the sex workers, their windows, or any other identifiable areas. Violators risk fines or other legal consequences.


Amsterdam’s Red Light District offers a unique experience for tourists, but it’s important to approach it with respect and understanding. By being mindful of the area’s history, rules, and the people who work there, you can have a memorable and meaningful visit. Remember to explore beyond the sex workers and embrace the district’s vibrant culture, nightlife, and fascinating museums.





Open chat
Hello ????
Can we help you?