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Red Light DistrictAmsterdam

For at least 600 years, locals, sailors and travelers have come to this part of Amsterdam for adult entertainment in the many bars, brothels and eateries.

Amsterdam’s historic Red Light District is called De Wallen (embankments), four of which make up this neighborhood. Visitors are often surprised to see that during the day De Wallen looks much like the rest of the inner city with cobblestone streets, narrow gabled houses and cozy cafés. Both the red lights and women displayed in windows become visible after dark. Go with an open mind if you are curious about this notorious adult entertainment district between Dam Square and China Town.

Sailors from all over the world have flocked to De Wallen since the early 1400s and these days prostitution is a legalized industry in Holland. The Dutch policy of “if you decriminalize it, you can make it safer” is also true for marijuana and hashish, which are sold in small quantities in the local coffee shops and bars.

The Red Light District is dominated by the 13th-century Old Church (Oude Kerk), one of Amsterdam’s earliest stone buildings. Step inside to see impressive decorations. Check out the statue of Belle outside, depicting a prostitute in a doorway, with a sign asking to “respect sex workers all over the world.”

While locals walk through De Wallen as if it’s just like any other neighborhood, most tourists can’t help gaping at the narrow windows displaying sparsely dressed women under red lights. Hundreds of women of many different nationalities try to sell their services by winking and gesturing at passers-by. Adult shops, sex museums and neon-lit erotic shows draw in curious — sometimes giggling — groups of sightseers. Be aware that these shows leave nothing to the imagination.

To get to the Red Light District, either walk from Central Station or Dam Square. De Wallen is a well-policed area, safer than some other parts of the city. Even still, pickpockets, beggers and drug addicts sometimes target unaware tourists. Be aware that it’s considered offensive to take photographs of the windows with prostitutes. To avoid confrontation, only point your camera at the general action on the streets and the buildings, instead of specific people, to capture the atmosphere.


Popular places to visit in Red Light District

Top things to do in Red Light District


Top Hotels in Red Light District

Hotel Mai Amsterdam
Hotel Mai Amsterdam
4 out of 5
30 Geldersekade, Amsterdam, NH
The price is $56 per night from Mar 11 to Mar 12

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amsterdam Chinatown, Body Worlds, and Rembrandt House Museum. Dam Square and Madame ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (118 reviews)

"Wonderdull .. on all the point .."…"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2020

Hotel Mai Amsterdam
NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
5 out of 5
Dam 9, Amsterdam
The price is $184 per night from Mar 24 to Mar 25

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Flower Market and Anne Frank House. Artis and Heineken Experience are also ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,658 reviews)
Fantastic

"Hotel was fantastic! Good vibe, great clean spaces, room was very good, I had a view of the plaza which was amazing. Will book here again!"…"

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2020

NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
4 out of 5
Rusland 17, Amsterdam
The price is $137 per night from Mar 28 to Mar 29

This family-friendly Amsterdam hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Nes, Rembrandt House Museum, and Amsterdam Dungeon. Madame ...

4.4/5Excellent! (997 reviews)

"brilliant hotel....from check in to check out....BEST location, great friendly staff. I’ll be back again this year...no hesitation."…"

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2020

Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center
Travel Hotel Amsterdam
Travel Hotel Amsterdam
1.5 out of 5
Beursstraat 23, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
The price is $52 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hostel is within a 5-minute walk of Body Worlds, Dam Square, and National Monument. Madame Tussauds and Royal Palace are ...

3/5 (291 reviews)

"We booked this hostel due to it having a 24/7 bar and they closed the bar due to Covid-19 which seemed extremely excessive to say that the bar was absolutely tiny with only 3 tables, meaning minimal risk. Seemed like they just could not be bothered to have it open. Other than that, everything was ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020

Travel Hotel Amsterdam
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
5 out of 5
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, Amsterdam
Free Cancellation
The price is $311 per night from Mar 26 to Mar 27

This family-friendly Amsterdam hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 10-minute walk of Royal Palace, New Church, and Kalverstraat. Theater Tuschinski ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (987 reviews)
The BEST!

"This is my favorite place to stay in Amsterdam. The service is impeccable, the hotel is pure luxury, the location is perfect, and the spa is beautiful. I will never stay anywhere else when visiting Amsterdam! We had a family suite this time and we just loved all the space. We really enjoyed the steam ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2020

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam
De L'Europe Amsterdam
De L'Europe Amsterdam
5 out of 5
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, Amsterdam
The price is $453 per night from Mar 16 to Mar 17

Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Flower Market and Dam Square. Heineken Experience and Rijksmuseum are also ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (767 reviews)
Brilliant hotel, brilliant service.

"Traveled to Amsterdam with my sister! The De L’Europe is beautiful, clean, quiet with an amazing, helpful staff. Our deluxe room was sumptuous—the perfect retreat from the city."…"

Reviewed on Jan 26, 2020

De L'Europe Amsterdam
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Red Light District

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