The capital of the Netherlands has a very attractive history linked to the sea. It was undoubtedly one of the most important commercial ports of the 17th century. Partly thanks to the discovery of the New World, and to being the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company with its slave trade between Africa and America.

This wealth greatly helped to expand a city in which its inhabitants were more open-minded than elsewhere at the time. As evidenced by the fact that, since 1413, there has been a statute to protect prostitutes. Despite the fact that Amsterdam has currently lost importance with respect to the port of Rotterdam, its history and neighborhoods are still marked by a past linked to the sea, and to all kinds of commerce: including that of people and psychotropic substances.


If you have already enjoyed the Free Tour Amsterdam , the White Umbrella guides will have dropped a few comments about the Red Light District of Amsterdam. We are in one of the most peculiar places that exist in Europe , and although it is not a dangerous place, it is better to visit it with people who know every corner, therefore, it is recommended to take a look at our Red Light District tour .

The first advice we share is that if you step into the Red Light District of Amsterdam you have to be open-minded. After all, the cultural show we are going to attend has to do with the fine act of regulating tolerance. The typical topics about Amsterdam’s Red Light District are prostitutes and soft drugs. And those topics coincide with what you see as soon as you set foot in the district. Before us: a collection of sensual neons, erotic shops and cafes or pubs, apparently normal, which in reality are not -only- cafes or pubs …

Most famous coffee shops are establishments that sell food and drink and in which one can interact in various ways. They are usually local with different styles, both visual and musical: from the purest punk, to the most sophisticated chill out with commercial music. But as we have commented, these are not a normal pub in which only one can eat and drink. In the red light district of Amsterdam, the vast majority of coffee shops sell recreational soft drugs: marijuana, magic mushrooms and food with a lot of THC inside. It is totally legal to consume the aforementioned in these establishments. Of course, it is only allowed in places where it is sold or legally authorized for it.

Amsterdam’s Red Light District is more than lights and drugs.

As you may have already guessed when passing in front of the sensual neons, this place has the presence of booths in almost all the buildings that make up the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Historically, prostitution has been applauded and vilified by the people of this city. Although it is now legal, in the past it was not so legal, and in the future the citizens of Amsterdam may change their minds again.

This is what some residents of the Red Light District of Amsterdam expect, who prefer that this place be better known for the Oudekerk (Old Church) and for other of the wonderful squares that are also an important part of the complex, but ignored by the common tourist. Therefore, to see beyond the typical and topics of this peculiar site, to soak up Amsterdam itself as a local.

Ver más publicaciones

June 17, 2020
On December 3, 2018, operators of the city of Amsterdam removed the famous letters of "IamAmsterdam" located in the Museum Square.
June 17, 2020
The capital of the Netherlands has a very attractive history linked to the sea. It was undoubtedly one of the most important commercial ports of the 17th century.