Amsterdam Red Light District

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5 tips for a safe visit

De Wallen – Amsterdam's main red light district – isn't as dangerous as you might think, partly because its historic quarter offers so much more than the scarlet-hued vice it's renowned for. Nevertheless, here are a few measures you can take to stay safe.

  • No photos!

    1. No photos!

    The women in the windows aren't mannequins. They're people at work. Failure to show respect may see you forcibly removed from the area!

  • Watch your valuables

    2. Watch your valuables

    De Wallen might be one of the world's safest red light districts but it's still a crowded hub of tourists! Keep a tight watch on any valuables you can't leave at the hotel.

  • Go at night but stay alert

    3. Go at night but stay alert

    The Red Light District is one of the best places in town to see at night, but be wary of drunk tourists as well as pickpockets. Avoid the back alleys if exploring alone!

  • Know your limits

    4. Know your limits

    Most of De Wallen's problems are caused by immature tourists who think Amsterdam's liberal attitudes are an excuse to get as drunk as possible. Don't get carried away!

  • Take a tour!

    5. Take a tour!

    Far less can go wrong in a group led by someone who knows the area. As a bonus, you'll gain some serious insight into the Red Light District's 14th-century buildings!

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.*

What people are saying about Amsterdam Red Light District

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 6,076 reviews

This was an amazing tour, a real eye opener!! We visited Amsterdam several times, so we wanted to do something different. It was very interesting and we never knew some of the extreme crime this city has. We learned about the old Dutch mafia but also about the new Moroccan mafia that is getting more powerful in the Netherlands. In recent years there was even a decapitated head found of one the mafia members in Amsterdam! This tour is a must do for anyone that is interested in crime!! You will get a real insight of the current situation of crime and mafia in the Netherlands. Crazy stuff!

Przewodnik okazal sie osoba bardzo obeznana w temacie, opowiadal bardzo ciekawe historie z zycia miasta. Wyjasnil dlaczego domy sa krzywe, opowiadal o problemach z narkotykami w dwudziestym wieku, o poczatkach prostytucji, o znanych osobach z czerwonej dzielnicy, pokazal najstarszy sklep z condonami, jeden z najstarszych Kofi shopow. Nie sposob przytoczyc wszystkiego. Wycieczka byla zaplanowana na 2 h, przedluzyla sie do 3 godzin o czym zorientowalismy sie dopiero po powrocie do hotelu, bo wydawalo nam sie ze jestesmy na miescie moze z godzinke. Szczerze polecam

Great tour through the red light district. As I was the only one booked the tour I even got a private tour. Stan showed me the most important spots and told the whole background and history of prostitution and coffee shops in Amsterdam. We even stopped briefly at a coffee shop and he explained everything to me in detail how it works. Stan is a great tour guide and I would definitively book a tour again the next time I am in Amsterdam.

The guide was very friendly and delivered a nice tour experience for me even though I was the only one who showed up. The guide was true to his word and I respect that. The mood was positive, learned new intriguing facts. It is worth it :)

When you are in Amsterdam you have to do this tour, it belongs to the history of the city. Cool guide, nice stories about the city and the people, small group.