All of us would have heard of it, most of us would have walked by it and some of us might have strolled through it: we are talking about De Wallen in Amsterdam, one of the oldest neigbourhoods in the capitalmore commonly known as the Red Light District in Amsterdam. For those of us for whom it is not an everyday occurrence to see sex workers doing their jobs, the Red Light District in Amsterdam can seem like a daunting experience.
But any wise old cracker knows that you need to see it for yourself to know it.
So there I was, a young Indian girl pretending to be that wise old cracker, ready to explore the oldest part of Amsterdam. In this article, I touch upon Red Light District etiquette, if you can take tours here, and things you can see in De Wallen. The Red Light District has been around since the Middle Ages and is not restricted to just the one in the old city centre. The amsterdam well-known and perhaps the most visited for tourist purposes would be at De Wallen.
Get is right in the middle of Amsterdam and is very close to the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in the how. Whenever you hear someone say the Red Light District in Amsterdam, they probably mean this one. It is right in the centre of Amsterdam and is probably the most crowded. How do you get to the Red Light District in Amsterdam? You can take a 10 to minute stroll along the canals, walk through the narrow streets and take in the sights as you make your way to the prostitute crowded part of the city.
There are points in there that you might not have been aware of. If you want to be a part of the solution and not the problem, then definitely read on.
You will see things which you may not encounter in your daily life. Acknowledge that and move on. DO treat sex workers with respect Sex workers are people who are just trying to do their work in the Red Light District. Some of them might need to have their identity protected in order to safely carry out their work.
Probably not. DO secure your bag The Red Light District, despite the reputation that surrounds it, is safe during the day and the night.
The biggest threat in the neighbourhood would be pickpockets. If you have decided to brave the hordes of tourists crowding around the area, be sure to put all your valuables into your bag, and have it safely tucked underneath your arm.
Sex work is work: etiquette and a guide to amsterdam’s red light district
The Red Light District in Amsterdam during the day. Amsterdam has already been trying to curb the consumption of alcohol in the neighbourhood as it le to sloppy drunks creating a public nuisance for everyone.
Sex workers are legally required to work from behind their windows, so street prostitution is illegal. They are not allowed to offer or promote any of their services on the road or in any public buildings. If found out, a fine of euros will be imposed on the sex worker and the customer. Apart from that, you might also run into street dealers trying to sell you drugs. Never buy from them. You never know what they might be selling you so be vigilant!
Remember, there are coffeeshops, and they are all trusted sources for your weed. Obviously, the Red Light District is not just sex workers, prostitution, and drugs.
20 things you need to know about red light district amsterdam
It is a vibrant neighbourhood with people living and working there. The Red Light District and De Wallen has a lot of offer: there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops in the neighbourhood. All you have to do is walk around, and you will be able to find something you would enjoy. Can you take tours in the Red Light District in Amsterdam? You better hurry because Amsterdam has been clamping down on these tours in an effort to curb tourism and handle the hordes of people who crowd around the sex worker windows.
Starting from Januaryall tours through the Red Light District are banned. Right now, tours get still happening, but they have amsterdam given time until the end of this year to wind down their businesses. Until then, the tour guides should have a permit, should not have groups larger than 20 people, and they need to take the group through the neighbourhood without blocking the windows. They also have to make sure that no one is taking pictures and they are behaving respectfully. They believe that these tours are a thing of the prostitute, and how only people who want to treat sex workers as objects would attend them.
They believe these tours only help facilitate these kinds of people and hence leave the sex workers vulnerable.
Tourists frequently crowd around window brothels in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Sex workers in the area are worried about what this would mean for their business. Groups like Red Light United and the Prostitution Information Centre are against it for obvious reasons: these tours gave sex workers the opportunity to dispel some of the stigma attached to prostitution. Apart from banning these tours, Mayor Femke Halsema has other plans in store for them.
She is exploring to implement one or more of the following four policies: making sex workers shut shop and move elsewhere, expanding the of window brothels in the district, banning all window brothels, or allowing the window brothels to operate but behind closed curtains.
With the announcement of these rules, groups like Red Light United rallied against them. It would only seem logical to include their voices in these conversations. One can only wonder who the government is trying to please if their policies are not drafted by including sex workers in the process. Hear stories about the history of prostitution, intriguing exhibits about working as a sex worker and get an insight into the sex work industry in the Netherlands.
This should be high on your list because you will be hearing from current or former sex workers. Who better to tell you all you need to know about sex work in the Netherlands? This remanent of Dutch history gives you a taste of how Catholics continued holding their services when they were not allowed to practice their religion in public spaces during the reformation.
Take a peek into classical history, learn more about the history of the performing arts or even get an insight into the history of book trading! This museum is a must-see in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. Before the Reformation, it was just a wooden chapel erected in This little wooden chapel was replaced by a stone church and was consecrated in A church that has evolved with time, it has undergone multiple renovations, survived the great fires in the 15th century, the Beeldenstorm ofand is now a place that brings the old and new together.
Red light district amsterdam
You can see permanent exhibitions about the history of the church and Amsterdam, and temporary exhibitions of contemporary art installations by famous artists. It was unveiled in March It is hard to miss!
And with that message on the plaque, we are ing off and going to let you tell us your thoughts. Did this article help to make it less daunting to venture into the Red Light District?
20 fascinating facts about red light district amsterdam
Let us know in the comments below! Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism.
In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon. One was the head grounds keeper for the English football team, Sheffiel United, and a lovely lady who worked for the city of Amsterdam who was in the throes of cancer and a woodsmith who complained about the influx of wood smiths from Eastern Europe.
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