Monday, October 4, 2010

Red Light District

The Red Light District in Amsterdam was something else. As I mentioned in an earliar post I stumbled upon it quite by accident, although I did fully intend on going.

Despite it being early in the morning, it wasn't hard to figure out I was in there. My first clue was a sex shop on the corner, full of adult toys. This was also the first canal I ran across, so I was unaware of all the canals in the city so my first impression of the red light district also included the canals.

There were boats driving through the canals and bikes riding down the alleys, and otherwise absent from cars. There were also different types of sex stops on each side of the canal as well as live peep shows, adult viewing DVD rooms and so on. Of course, these are only the light aspects of the district. What it is famous for are the small apartments littered around the streets, down narrow alleys and everywhere in between. At the windows of these apartments there are neon red lights and girls in their underwear, displaying their goods for the legal profession of prostitution. During the day the lights didn't illuminate the streets and windows quite the same as at night.

There was also a very strong aroma on the streets. It had nothing to do with the red light district however, but with the coffee shops found all over the city. The smell is that of the drug cannabis, notoriously tolerated in The Netherlands. Coffee shops are a place you can purchase it from. They even have a menu for different types of cannabis available. You are also free to smoke it there however technically mixing it with tobacco is illegal as there are laws about smoking tobacco inside, none of these laws include cannabis. Coffee shops are not allowed to sell alcohol and cafes are not allowed to sell cannabis, so there is an obvious difference between the two.

I returned to the red light district several times throughout wandering through the city. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident as I had no idea where anything was until I secured a map. I enjoyed walking down the alleys seeing the girls in spite of having no overwhelming desire to purchase their services. It never got old seeing attractive girls motion for you to come see them or call you things like cutie.

Once night hit, the number of windows available increased and the neon lights illuminated the streets and alleys more. Obviously it was not allowed to take pictures of the girls in the windows.

This is a view of the red light district at night, without any of the women in the windows.


  1. I may have to check your blog more often Andy. I wasn't aware that I had followed this blog to be completely honest. I'm sure I did for a reason but I guess I just forgot. This stuff is pretty interesting, keep it up!

  2. Thanks. I noticed you were following it and that's how I started reading a bit of your blog. It was hard to keep this blog updated while I was traveling, but now that I have returned home I've been a little better. Although you seem to update yours daily. I guess I'm too lazy, haha.

  3. Yeah well, mine is nowhere near as interesting as yours. I also have a lot of time on my hands so yeah... I needed a hobby lol Who knows where it'll go though. It's nice to be learning so much about the internet, advertising, ad companies, marketing, search engine optimization, etc etc. I'll try to visit your page more often.