Red light district
Red light district Amsterdam: The ‘Wallen’ or ‘Walletjes’, is the prostitution zone of Amsterdam. The name Wallen is derived from the defensive walls in the old town centre.
The neighbourhood is also sometimes called the Red Light District because of the red lamps that illuminate the windows of the prostitutes. On the Wallen there are also sex theatres, peepshows and coffeeshops. The red light district owed its existence originally to the proximity of the seaport.
The Amsterdam Wallen is a small area that is enclosed by Lange/Korte Niezel, Zeedijk/Nieuwmarkt, Koestraat/St. Jansstraat and Warmoesstraat. It is a lively neighbourhood with attractive canals and streets and with the Old Church as centre. Almost every canal house was built in the 16th or 17th century. It is also a favourite residential neighbourhood.
Tours are conducted through the red light district during which you will walk through the neighbourhood accompanied by a guide. An open day is also held once a year providing a peak behind the shades of the sex houses. The purpose of this is to improve the image of the Wallen.
The municipality has been involved since the beginning of 2008 in having premises used for prostitution bought up and closed. This policy is designed to combat white slavery and money laundering practices. Their place has been taken up temporarily by well-known fashion and jewellery designers. The municipality wants to encourage a situation in which the Wallen is not simply about sex and it also gives the designers an opportunity to show off their work in an area with many visitors.