Visiting Amsterdam’s red-light district, the big problem for the neighbours

Visiting Amsterdam’s red-light district went from being a curiosity to a major tourist attraction and finally a headache for the locals.

It’s not a problem to find Amsterdam’s red-light district. Nor is it for the thousands of tourists who walk its streets every day.

Barrio Rojo Ámsterdam - Cartel de vecinos pidiendo respeto

This flood of people made the neighbors so angry that they put a lot of pressure on this controversial place to put a date of death.

On my last visit to the red-light district, I was able to see this discomfort of the neighbours, how the houses of prostitution are decreasing and when they will stop working.

The problem of the red-light district

Immediately you go into the red light district you find a sign from a family that says “We live here”.

With this they try to tell the traveler that beyond the women who offer their services the place is a place where parents live with their children, so they ask for respect.

But the problem in the red light district was not only prostitution. The great conflict came with the curious.

The place began to fill up with people who went to watch the women expose themselves in shop windows, drinking alcohol in the streets, making dirt and noise that bothered the inhabitants.

Barrio Rojo Ámsterdam - Cartel marihuana

After a lot of pressure the city council put an end to this problem and decided to move little by little the houses of prostitution to other less touristic areas where, it is expected that there will be no more tourists.

But the complaint also came from the sex workers who complained about being treated like animals by many tourists.

The complaints of these women accused many visitors of insulting them, taking pictures of them and even beating them in some cases.

The current state

Things have changed in Amsterdam’s red-light district.

You’ll find posters announcing that you’ll be fined up to 200 euros if you’re found drinking alcohol on the streets.

There are also the signs of angry neighbors asking for respect and those indicating zones of silence.

However, you can see some shop windows where women are exposed under red lights to potential customers.

The shop windows are less and less and you can see that many of them have been abandoned not long ago.

Can you still visit the red light district?

If you are going to travel to Amsterdam before April 1, 2020 you will be able to see the red light district still standing, or at least what is left of it.

It is hoped that after that date there will be nothing left there.

And to make sure that the tourist demand decreases, no company will be authorized to tour the place.

Why did he become so famous?

One of the people who lives in the city explained to me that the problem with the neighbors and the social pressure did not come until the excessive tourist demand arrived.

The city of Amsterdam has 850,000 inhabitants and receives 19 million travellers every year.

Among the most famous aspects of the capital of the Netherlands are the coffee shops where you can smoke marijuana without problems and the neighborhood where prostitutes are displayed in windows.

The big difference is that going to see women (there are never men) is free, so of the 19 million, a few went there.

This angered the neighbours and the sex workers and brought the great tourist attraction to an end.

Alternatives to the red light district

The city of Amsterdam has much more than marijuana and prostitution. I recommend you look for alternatives. And if you don’t want to look for them, I’m going to offer you some options.

There’s a lot more to it and if the party is your thing, these options can be very interesting without the need to objectify a woman or get high.

Heineken Experience

The first five minutes you think you wasted your money. It all seems so cold and mechanical that you don’t want to be there and go outside for a beer.

Don’t do it!

Heineken Experience Ámsterdam

I was there and I recommend that you do it because it’s really worth it and the price you pay is worth every penny.

Go to the Heineken Experience, learn how one of the most famous beers in the world is made and more. You will be able to immerse yourself in an audiovisual experience full of music, videos and you will be able to taste the drink.


As you can imagine, Amsterdam has a great nightlife. If that’s what you’re looking for, I recommend that you let me recommend the places to go and what to do with a place.

There is a tour you can take where a guide tells you about it.

But not only does it tell you what to do or where to go by giving you advice, but you will have exclusive access to 6 different bars where drinks are included for you to try.

The ice bar

Maybe you’ve seen him in other cities. This is the Icebar Extracold, a bar built entirely of ice. The bar is made of ice, the seats are made of ice and, as you would expect, the drink is very cold.

You’ll enter the bar at 10 degrees below zero.

Icebar Ámsterdam

© Twycer /

The particularity of this bar in Amsterdam compared to others is the big one. Most of these places are usually very small, but this one stands out for being very spacious.