Window Shopping in Amsterdam – The Red Light District

March 19, 2017

Amsterdam’s red light district is one of the city’s biggest attractions, as well as being one of Europe’s most unique and interesting areas. Like red light districts in many cites across the world, its origins date back to the 14th century when sailors arrived in port and were in need of some female companionship. What makes Amsterdam’s Red Light Zone different from others in the world, however, is that rather than try and criminalise and cover up the sex industry, Amsterdam has legalised and legitimised it – meaning a safer environment for industry workers and their customers alike.

Located just 10 minutes walk from Central Station, the Red light District consists of theatres, museums, bars, coffee shops, and perhaps the most recognisable Red Light District icon – the pouting prostitutes who stand in street-front windows, dressed in seductive lingerie and attempting to lure in passers by.

As the sun goes down, the red lights begin to glow, and the streets start to swell with tourists. Some are looking for some adult entrainment; many others are just intrigued as to what goes on in this unique part of the world.

Amsterdam’s liberal and forward thinking stance on prostitution has earned it equal amounts of praise and criticism. Many believe the selling of sex to be immoral, but Amsterdam points out that prostitution goes on in almost every city of the world and that by accepting it, rather than ignoring it, they have made the sex industry a safer place for workers and clients.

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