Red Light District of Amsterdam in Travelife Magazine

Where to go in the Red Light District of Amsterdam

The Red Light District of Amsterdam, the largest city in the Netherlands, is busy, colorful, and completely entertaining. It’s probably the only place in the world where you will find a kindergarten school beside a brothel, a church, a coffee shop, a bar, or a cafe.

Where to go in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands
Rate R for Amsterdam’s Red Light District

I love the culture of inclusion and tolerance in the Netherlands. It’s a culture that believes that repressing sexuality is unhealthy. So the National Health Service of the Netherlands provides sex workers to qualified citizens in need of “wellness” therapy.


The standards for qualification are actually subject to strict criteria which will obviously not apply to an over testosterone man in need of free pipe cleaning.

I totally enjoy Amsterdam’s world famous Red Light District, surprisingly described to me recently by a friend as “a chill place to spend two days with my wife.” While I haven’t met his wife, I always thought of the District as a place where you would be better off bringing other people’s wives.


You may have guessed by now that with its kindergartens and day care centers, the Red Light District is in a residential area of Amsterdam. It’s a residential area with 250 prostitute display windows, fetish shops, sex toy shops, live sex shows and cannabis seed shops.

It’s also got smart shops that sell quasi legal organic and natural recreational drugs, clothes stores, and restaurants. And it’s safe, prowled by the undercover police of Amsterdam and watched over by 300 CCTV cameras.


Where to go in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands
The Red Light District of Amsterdam

The idea of police and cameras is kind of kinky, but it could be kinkier if they wore their uniforms Yes, the District is alive and heaving with humanity and entertainment, manufactured or otherwise.


Sex Palace, the last peep show establishment in the District, attracts just as many visitors as the Anne Frank Museum. That’s one million people paying 45 euros each for a peep.

And then there is the Banana Bar (you can guess what goes on inside this reputable establishment) where, according to the Forbes List, the owner is one of the 250 wealthiest persons in the world. Doesn’t this make you feel like you are in the wrong business?

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Meanwhile the Condomerie features a thousand condom choices in all shapes, forms, colors, tastes, and in all sizes. Some were way too small for me and too many were way too large.

For something saner, there is the oldest gay café named tMadje. Everyone is welcome but asked to be respectful. Its original owner hid Jews from the Nazis throughout World War II. It was known as the “little house of resistance.” In 2008, her niece took over and continued her legacy of excellent coffee and resistance to intolerance


Where to go in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands

Pre-marital stag parties abound in the District, and for that matter so do “hen” parties. Every time I visited the District to conduct sociological surveys, there were any number of both types of parties populated by costumed celebrants, carousing till they could carouse no longer.

In fact, drunken tourists falling into Amsterdam’s celebrated canals are the biggest cause of death in the Netherlands. The only things that fall into the canal more than tourists are bicycles, and 15,000 are fished out every year. The canals are three meters deep: one meter of mud, one meter of water, and one meter of bicycles.

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