Tours of the Red Light District banned in Amsterdam from April

Tours of the Red Light District banned in Amsterdam from April

From April 1, tour guides will no longer be allowed to take groups around the Red Light District, as tours past the windows of sex workers will be prohibited. It’s not just the Red Light District that is banned from these tours, but anywhere in Amsterdam with sex worker windows.  

Cutting down on nuisance

Every day, around 115 tours pass through the Red Light District. Not only does this cause congestion, but many tourists also try to snap pictures of sex workers, even though this is prohibited. “It’s not respectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction”, says councillor Everhardt.

Organised tours of the Red Light District have been banned since January, but as of April, the ban will extend to the whole city with regards to tours past sex workers’ windows. Additionally, stricter measures are going to be introduced for tour guides, meaning smaller groups and an obligatory permit costing 200 euros if they want to continue giving tours of the city centre.

According to the new rules, tour guides will only be allowed to give tours between 8am and 10pm and will not be allowed to solicit participants in public places. They will not be allowed to shout or stop at busy areas. Tour guides found to be breaking the new rules will be fined 190 euros and the tour will be broken up immediately. If a tour guide breaks the rules three times, their permit will be temporarily withdrawn. If they break them a fourth time, the ban will be permanent. If an individual tour guide is working on behalf of a company, the fine for breaking the rules is 950 euros!

Visiting the Red Light District

Tourists can still wander about the Red Light District, but it will no longer be signposted. The decision to use terms another than Red Light District came about during discussions for a new route to guide tourists through the city centre. Residents of the area were involved in the development of the plan.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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