Things to do in
Amsterdam Red Light District

Learn about one of Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous neighborhoods as you wander its quaint cobblestone streets.

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Amsterdam Red Light District: Our most recommended tours and activities

Amsterdam: Coffee Shop and Red Light District Walking Tour

1. Amsterdam: Coffee Shop and Red Light District Walking Tour

Discover how and why Amsterdam developed its reputation for liberal attitudes towards sex and drugs on a tour of the Red Light District. Stroll into the atmospheric streets of the Red Light District, and see everything that the area has to offer. Walk down some of the city’s narrowest streets. Learn about the Red Light District from a local perspective, and discover the locations of several coffee shops, including the 1st coffee shop opened in Amsterdam. Hear explanations about the coffee shop culture, sex work, and political issues.

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Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with Windows

2. Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with Windows

Discover all the secrets of the Red Light District of Amsterdam with a local Dutch guide during this walking tour with a maximum of 4 participants. Learn about Dutch coffee shops, the history of Amsterdam's oldest neighborhood, and the women working behind the famous red windows. Wander around the scenic canals and narrow alleys of the area. Stroll past the Old Church, Amsterdam's oldest building, and learn about the famed 'Dutch tolerance'. You will learn about everything the Red Light District has to offer, from the Condomerie condom shop to the Prostitution Information Center. Listen as your guide tells you about the many sex shops, peep shows, bars, and coffee shops you will walk past.

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Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with a Sex Worker

3. Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with a Sex Worker

Explore the famous Red Light District of Amsterdam with a sex worker as your tour guide. On this exclusive walking tour, go behind the scenes to get a better understanding about the everyday life of Amsterdam's sex workers.  Hear about the history of the area as you head over beautiful canals and stroll along some of the city's narrowest alleys. Discover the story of the world's first condom shop, and hear about a museum that tells the story of sex work and exhibits erotic art. See the many sex shops, peep shows, and live sex show venues that have made the area famous around the world. Listen to the sex worker explain all about their job and how the sector operates. Hear about their own experience to tell you all about the realities of working behind the windows. Feel free to ask questions to gain an accurate picture of what goes on in the city's sex industry.

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Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with Snacks

4. Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour with Snacks

Join a walking tour of Amsterdam's Red Light District. From your local guide, hear about the beginnings of this notorious district and how it has changed over the years. Put the rumors to the test as you pass by the erotic window parlors and smell the aroma of marijuana drifting along the canals. Despite its reputation, be charmed as you discover the district’s vibrant history and explore its cobbled streets. Meander through the Red Light District's network of alleys lined with over 300 single-room cabins rented by sex workers. Learn about the interesting history of sex work in Amsterdam and the district's relationship to Dutch culture. Head down the narrow lanes and follow your guide into secret entryways. Become an expert on the area, people, and history in no time. Along the way, stop off at a local eatery to check out some local Dutch delicacies.

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Amsterdam: Old Town Exploration Game

5. Amsterdam: Old Town Exploration Game

Discover Amsterdam's most interesting places by solving clues around town that will unlock amazing stories. Along the way, find fascinating tales of the people who used to live, work or create art around the city center. Uncover hidden secrets about the places you visit, and try to find the famous lost diamonds of the Medusa ship. Each clue will lead you from one place to another, giving you exact directions so you won't need a map, a GPS or a guide. When you solve the clue and guess the answer, the secret story of that place is unlocked.  The tour will take you from 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, but there’s no time limit so you can finish it at your own pace. After you buy the quest, an access code will be delivered to you by mail, which will be used in the downloadable app. You won't need a guide, just download the app, go to the starting point and be ready to begin the adventure. To play as a large group, one person can purchase access for the entire group by selecting the number of people in the group, or each person can purchase their own ticket. All group members will receive access on their smartphones to play the city game. The person who makes the purchase will receive an email from the local partner with all the details. You can play as a group and solve the clues together as you walk or you can split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the other groups. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group and meet the group at the end.

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Amsterdam: City Highlights Bike Tour

6. Amsterdam: City Highlights Bike Tour

Start your Amsterdam tour by jumping on board a bicycle and traveling like the locals do. On this quirky Amsterdam bike tour you will use the city’s most beloved form of transportation and hear stories and tales from the city’s past and present. You’ll feel like a true Amsterdammer in no time. Weave your way through Amsterdam’s history by starting downtown. See all the major highlights as you learn about Amsterdam's rich history. Cycle over bridges, along idyllic canals, and into hidden courtyards. You will have plenty of opportunities to stop and photograph the picturesque city. At each stop your guide will tell you about the history of the sites that you’re visiting and also about Amsterdam's culture.

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Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour

7. Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour

Discover the secrets of Amsterdam's Red Light District on this guided walking tour. Learn about the women working in the district, the Dutch coffee shops, and the history of Amsterdam's oldest neighborhood. See the Old Church, Amsterdam's oldest building, and learn about the famed 'Dutch tolerance'. Be surprised by the open-mindedness displayed in the Red Light District, and wander around the city's narrowest alleys. Explore everything the Red Light District has to offer, from the famous 'Condomerie' shop to the Prostitution Information Center. Along the way, walk past sex and coffee shops while your tour guide explains everything about them. Be surprised as you witness how the neighborhood is an important part of Amsterdam and crucial to the city's history and development. See how the Red Light District continues to shock, yet charm to this day.

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Amsterdam: City Walking Tour

8. Amsterdam: City Walking Tour

Explore Amsterdam with a local guide who knows all the city’s secrets. During this walking tour, learn about the city’s heritage as you visit popular sites, as well as some local gems along the way. Learn about the history of the city, from its beginnings as a muddy village on the River Amstel to how it became the most important trading city in Europe. Topics covered range from the history of sex work and drug decriminalization in the Netherlands, to the tragedy of Anne Frank’s story and the Nazi occupation. The aim of this unique tour is to give you the perfect introduction to the city. Whether you go on to visit one of Amsterdam’s famous museums or check out the cafés and bars of the Jordaan District, this tour will help you to get your bearings in this often confusing city and allow you to make the most out of your stay.

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From Brussels: Day Trip to Amsterdam

9. From Brussels: Day Trip to Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam on a full-day tour from Brussels and learn the history of the city from an English-speaking guide. Discover where the city was founded in the 13th century on Dam Square and admire the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and Royal Palace. Venture into the oldest part of Amsterdam to see the Oude Kerk (Old Church) and wander the infamous streets of the Red Light District. Continue to De Waag to look at the remains of the medieval wall, and then go into the Jewish Quarter where Rembrandt once lived. End at the flower market, and get 3 hours of free time to explore on your own. Discover the famous coffee shops or try some local cheese.

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Amsterdam: Private Coffee Shop and Red Light District Walking Tour

10. Amsterdam: Private Coffee Shop and Red Light District Walking Tour

Explore the notorious Red Light District of Amsterdam with a private guide. Learn about Amsterdam's liberal views about drugs and sex work in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets to see the sex workers’ windows, legal drug vendors, and live sex shows. Hear stories of how sex work works in the city. Learn about Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops where cannabis is sold, and discover what is legal and what is not. Your guide will explain what a coffee shop is, tell you what products are made from hemp, and much more. Along the way, discover the Condomerie condom store, see shops selling hardcore leather and sex goods, hear about the xxx-rated video cabins, and go to the Prostitution Information Center. Visit Amsterdam’s first coffee shop and see the historic defense tower of the Schreierstoren (Tower of Tears).

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Planning Your Visit

  • How to get there?

    Amsterdam's Red Light District is, perhaps ironically, situated around the Oude Kerk (Old Church) in the center of the city. It's a short walk south from Amsterdam Central Station.

  • Best time to go?

    This is a difficult question to answer because the red light district is incredibly active at all times of day. Your best bet may be to see it warts and all in the afternoon and then return to see it lit up at night!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    The Red Light District is always open.
  • Is it expensive?
    Free to look at from the outside.
  • Will I need a guide?
    For safety's sake, and to learn more about the area and architecture, consider booking a walking tour of the district.
  • How to get there
    This attraction is within walking distance from most hotels in city center, as well as from Central Station.
  • Additional information
    **Stay alert and in control of yourself.*

Other Sightseeing Options in Amsterdam Red Light District

Want to discover all there is to do in Amsterdam Red Light District? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Amsterdam Red Light District

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 8,466 reviews

It was an amazing tour with our guide Stephan. He was very friendly and accommodating. Because we did this tour earlier in the day the Red Light District was still very active. Stephan his story telling was excellent and he was a great guide overall. A must do for anyone visiting the city. Highly recommended!

Excellent tour with our guide Stan. He was very informative and accommodating. We were in a small group with just two other people what made it a very personal experience. A must do for anyone that want to learn about the city and Red Light District area. Highly recommended

The guide was absolutly great, amazing - Maaark (with 3 "a") :))) He is amazing guide, amazing person and totaly will make anybody have the great day of life in Belgium in any place you choose to visit with him.

Great guide, great tour - it was really very informative and entertaining.

Great experience with a really great tour and interesting stories.