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.*

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 6,079 reviews

Our guide was very knowledgeable. My only complaint is that was signed up for the 6:00 tour and ended up having to wait till 8:00 for an English speaking guide. It was partially my fault as I don’t have cell phone service in Europe and although they tried to contact me I didn’t receive the message until I was back at the hotel.

It was really enjoyable tour with our guide Stan. All information was spot on and detailed. Recommend it to the people visit Amsterdam. Hearing details which you can't find on the web sites of the city. Liked every minute of it.

Our Guide was very friendly and well spoken. We enjoyed our tour very much. She offered very interesting perspective and we learned a lot about the subject matter. Totally recommend the tour and this guide : )

Stan was the best! Had such a great time seeing everything and learning about the history and current state of the district. You HAVE to do this when you come to Amsterdam!

This was one of the best tours I've ever been on! A must do to learn the history and real stories from a sex worker.