Amsterdam’s red light district – De Wallen

If this is your first time in the Netherlands, we honestly have no idea what took you so long. Amsterdam is the top destination for any stag party or lonely hunter for adult entertainment. In the recent years, the city has been trying to get crack down on its most potent adult attractions but there are still plenty of places to party hard. Get ready for a night life to blow your mind and bring along your buddy to help you remember what you did the morning after.

First things first – Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district. Cruising the area is a must-do for any first-timer. You can do it on your own (from Central Station head towards Nieuwenmarkt) or you can take a guided tour specifically designed to walk you through the area comfortably, to give you some history and answer your pressing questions. In the guided tours, you will probably see other groups of couples, students and tourists interested in the ins and outs of the hottest spot in Europe for adult fun. Walking on your own is safe and acceptable but may spare you a lot of the fascinating history of sex and prostitution in the red-light district.

Click here and check Amsterdam’s Red Light District Walking Tour.

De Wallen

As you walk down the canal street with the heaviest of traffic – De Wallen, check out the windows with the red and purple neon lights. They are less prominent in daylight because the neighborhood also doubles as a quiet residential area. However, at night De Wallen is exactly what it’s meant to be – a part of a fun town where sex is legally available in brothels, erotic shows, sex toy shops, peep and live sex shows all safely aligned as supermarket food for your heart’s desires.

De Wallen by day
De Wallen by day

What definitely startles the first-timer is the lit-up windows where girls of many nationalities do their best to entice you in. Most foreigners’ jaws remain dropped for the entire stroll of the area lavish with carnival-dressed girls who dance and flirt with you if their catch your eye. The girls may or may not be their own boss but if you don’t make trouble, you won’t be dealing with anyone else but them. In any case, once you accept their invitation to go in, they open the door to their rooms for you and you are told the rules, the price and the exact features of what you are getting. It’s a contract for both sides to be respectful of the rules when they close the deal. You will probably have a time limit and specific requirements pertaining to the house. Follow the rules and your instincts and enjoy the freedom of legal, multi-cultural ass-getting in Europe’s most famous red-light district.

Amsterdam's red light disctric
Amsterdam’s red light district

Live sex shows

If you are not into paid sex, but you still want to enjoy the spirit of De Wallen, be sure to get to one of the live sex theaters, such as the Moulin Rouge, Casa Rosso or the Bananenbar. The three offer a variety of acts that the audience could never see, not to mention participate in, in another country. Females are welcome and often outnumber the men in the crowd; couples also go in for a good time. The performances are bound to make you laugh, get you excited and allow you to witness sex you never thought you would see on stage.

The Moulin Rouge seems to always have the couples-sex act on the program but you always have to ask at the front if this is on your to-do list. There is also male and female striptease and acts with props you may never be able to look at in the same way again. The performers rely on audience participation, so if you’re in the right crowd of like-minded people, you may end up having a grand time. Casa Rosso has similar acts as Moulin Rouge but may have sexier or fitter performers. The Bananenbar is the worst for couples although females and couples are welcome. The tricks of the girls involve detailed oil massage session, writing without holding the pen with your hands and, of course, a catchy act involving bananas being extracted from the girls by the mouths of volunteers.

Moulin Rouge
The famous Moulin Rouge nightclub and theater

Erotic museums, coffee shops and dining

A brothel next to De Wallen's Erotic museum
A brothel next to De Wallen’s Erotic museum

Once you’ve seen and done it all, follow your cerebral urges and learn your sex ed while you’re here. The Sex Museum and the Erotic Museum may be two educational stops where you can update your BDSM history or cunnilingus art knowledge. Most people find the Sex Museum more entertaining because, say, you can have your picture taken with a giant penis. When you’ve exhausted the topic, you can move on to the hard-and-fast science of THC at the Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum.

Find out the full spectrum of using Jah’s gifts and their benign effects on daily human life. If this adventure makes you weary, the red-light district abounds with coffee shops where you can lean back, relax and enjoy what you’ve been learning about. Check out the Baba Coffeeshop if you’re into loud music and people-watching when stoned or Hill Street Blues Market for a more quiet space with a terrace for lazy sun lounging. And again, there is no need to feel sneaky about anything when you’re in a coffeeshop – purchasing and consuming up to 5 grams of hash and weed is legal in coffee shops (no tobacco though!) but don’t light up in the street or you may get a fine.

Sure enough, you’ll have to grab a snack. The red-light district is full of bars that operate as diners in the daytime, as well as kebab-and-French-fries corner stores. If you’d like something more visually satisfying and gourmet, make reservations at Restaurant Anna, or go for the exquisite sandwiches at Kapitein Zeppos. Don’t forget that Chinatown is just around the corner from the red-light district (towards Central Station) and there you can find pasty shops, fast food and gourmet bistros for a wide range of tastes and budgets at any time of the day.

De Wallen Map

Next articleRed light districts in Germany


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