Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world that is especially known for its inimitable beauty and prominent history. Some of the major highlights in the city include a number of incredible museums, picturesque canal belt, a dizzying number of majestic and enchanting bridges, sculptures, monuments, eye-catching tulip blooms, etc. Unlike these attractions, one of the most infamous stretches in the map of Amsterdam is the Red Light District. Note that this area is mainly known for window prostitution. This compact area that consists of few side alleys and two canal streets is known as De Wallen.
Apart from prostitution, the street is densely packed with many other fascinating things such as coffee shops, astounding architectural wonders, eateries, etc. Hence, most people may include a tour of the Red Light District in their itinerary while planning Amsterdam private tours. When you walk through the red light streets, it is quite natural for every curious person to encounter many doubts and questions. In most cases, you will not be able to disclose it with others, mainly out of embarrassment. In case you are also traveling on the same boat, below are some of the most interesting facts about the infamous Red Light District in the Dutch capital.
How Does Things Work Here?
The red light district offers a number of tour options to the visitors whether or not you are interested to indulge in sexual activities. The street will become fully functional by late afternoon and as you walk through the street, you can see women appearing behind the windows on each side of the street. If you are here for just window shopping, the best time to venture the street is early afternoon since the area will be less crowded at this time.
You may notice a red light on the top of every window in the street and if it is on, it indicates that the sex worker is available. Otherwise, the curtains will be shut and the light will be off. On some windows, you can see a blue light instead of the red one; this indicates that the person behind the window is a transvestite or transgender.
Furthermore, you can find around 400 windows in the red light area and hence, the competition in the street will be really fierce. So, never give any wrong signs to the sex workers as it can have consequences. Furthermore, the outfit of the women behind the windows will be really exposing so as to attract the customers. Apart from sophisticated lingerie, you can spot women in many other costumes as well. Some of the most popular ones include the attire of nurses, cats, policewomen, bunnies, etc.
On the other hand, some women may try tactics such as knocking on the window glass, waving, etc., in order to encourage the passers-by to avail their service. In case a person is interested in availing their service, he will have to knock on the window glass of the respective sex worker. Then, it will be the negotiation part and in most cases, it will be done by their managers. Usually, the average cost to avail their service for twenty minutes will be around 50 Euros.
Is Prostitution Legal in Amsterdam?
Prostitution became legal in Amsterdam in 1811. This initiative was actually meant to reduce the crime rate against women in the Dutch capital and they succeeded as well. Furthermore, the government shut down all the brothels in the city before fourteen years. Here, sex workers are recognized officially like any other professionals in the Netherlands and you ought to treat them with equal respect. They have to pay taxes to the government like all other employees and have their own union as well. In fact, the sex industry in Amsterdam is really safe when compared to many other countries that promote sex works.
You can see a number of policemen patrolling around the red light street in order to ensure the safety of both the sex workers and the visitors. Note that all the prostitutes in the street are subjected to frequent health tests in order to guarantee the safety of their clients. Plus, all the brothels in the street must have permits to function. The main two things that are absolutely banned here is underage prostitution and forced prostitution.
Tips for First-Time Visitors
The window shoppers must take special care to avoid eye contact with the prostitutes for a long time since they may mistake that you are interested in spending time with them. In addition, taking photographs of the prostitutes is strictly prohibited here, in order to secure their privacy. Similarly, if you behaved improperly with the prostitutes by calling names or grabbing them inappropriately, you will be either hosed down by their bouncers or will be thrown out of the street. After all, they are doing their job and hence, treat them with respect.
Even though the red light street is mainly about window prostitution, sex shops, brothels, and sex clubs, there are many other attractions in the street as well. The most attractive highlights in the street include a sex museum, an ancient church, and majestic bridges. All these spots will surely give you some awesome photographs. During the daytime, you can visit this charismatic area in order to enjoy your meals at any of the outstanding eateries here.