The Amsterdam city centre and its Red Light Distri. The heart of Amsterdam is alive: it is unique and dynamic. It is one of the most beautiful, largest and best kept city centres in the world. It boasts streets and alleyways full of character,
as well as fascinating canals and historic buildings. There are interesting churches and museums and a huge diversity of cafés, restaurants and small shops.
The district 'de Wallen' (‘the Quays’ in English) is known as the Red Light District. In this district, which is famous around the world, in a number of streets prostitutes can be seen in windows. Historically the area has been an important centre of prostitution for a long time. The district was assigned to prostitutes for the plying of their trade as along ago as 1413.
The city centre has always been a special place; a mix of chic and shady.
Prostitution in Amsterdam
Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000. Before that time, prostitution was tolerated, although it was technically illegal. To end abuses in the sex industry, the Netherlands decided to change the law to reflect everyday reality. By legalising prostitution, the government sought to gain more control of the industry and thereby bring an end to a range of abuses that had been occurring, including the exploitation of children and forced prostitution.
Download: FAQ's on Prostitution, Amsterdam and the Red Light District (last updated March 2010)
With the 1012 Project, the City of Amsterdam wants to reduce crime and degeneration in the city centre, boost the area’s quality and diversity and provide the impulse for an economic upturn. The measures that will be taken to achieve this include promoting 10 key projects, reorganising public space and a street-oriented approach aimed at significantly reducing the number of coffee shops and brothels that engage in window prostitution. It goes without saying that the unique character of the city centre will be retained. The City of Amsterdam is working together with residents, businesses and investors to draw up plans for upgrading the different sections of the centre.
Download brochure 'Quality for the heart of Amsterdam'
Download FAQ on Project 1012