Category: Red Light District

Red Light District in Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District. The City is looking for options to reduce the number of “low quality visitors” this old neighborhood attracts. One option under serious consideration: move the prostitutes away from the area. Another possibility: curtail the number of cannabis cafes (“coffeeshops”), close them altogether, or bar sales to non-residents.

The Red Light District in Amsterdam is a major draw for tourists.

There are in fact three such districts, but the downtown neighborhood known as “De Wallen,” or “Rosse Buurt,” is the largest and best known. At peak times it sees some 900.000 visitors per week.

The area is also home to some 8.600 residents and 6.145 households.

Locals sometimes refer to the Wallen as ‘a square mile of misery,’ due to instances of human trafficking, exploitation, other criminal elements, and the nuisance caused by both overtourism and petty criminals.

While many visitors still believe Amsterdam has an ‘anything goes’ policy, the City of Amsterdam is actively looking at curtailing the number of prostitutes, pornography-related businesses, and coffeeshops (cannabis cafes).

Options being discussed include moving prostitutes away from the center of town and closing coffeeshops.

Visiting the Red Light District? See the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution. You’ll learn the story of sex work in the Netherlands. The musesum is located in a former brothel.

You will also want to take a  Guided Walking Tour of the district. Another popular Guided Tour also includes provides details about the area’s coffeeshops.

Browse our collection of articles about the Red Light District:

The connection between Amsterdam’s coffeeshops and organized crime

Amsterdam coffeeshops The number of coffeeshops in Amsterdam’s Red Light District will be reduced by 34 percent over the next 3-6 years.

The closures are meant to make a dent in the estimated €21 – 42 million in un-taxed, yearly profits made by organized crime syndicates that officials have documented as being involved on the supply side.

The proposed measure, expected to be accepted by the Amsterdam City Council, is part of a large-scale project to clean up and repurpose Amsterdam’s city center.

26 coffeeshops in downtown Amsterdam must close their doors

Coffeeshops Amsterdam According to the Municipality of Amsterdam the large number of coffeeshops in the center of town create an infrastructure that encourages criminality. The City refers to such establishments as ‘crimogene‘ — a term used to describe functions that encourage ‘promotion or advancement of — or susceptibility to — criminality.’

The closures are part of the Coalition Project 1012, designed to spruce up downtown Amsterdam by — among other things — breaking the influence of organized crime.