Red Lights in Amsterdam

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After finding a sweet deal due to off season prices, we checked into a hotel in the center of Amsterdam. We ate stir fry and then popped in and out of “coffee shops” (marijuana bars) and “café’s” (pubs). The smell of weed hangs pours from “coffee shops”. The clang of glasses filled with dark Dutch and German beer sounds from the doors of “café’s”. Even in the frigid winter air, there is a steady stream of locals on bicycles.

I walked into a couple of tourist shops selling neck ties and wooden clogs, hoping to find some last minute Christmas gifts, but was quickly bewildered by the monotony of junk and gave up. Then for the first time, I ventured into the red light district.


In Amsterdam one can just as easily go window shopping for jewelry or clothing as they can for women of all shapes, sizes, attitudes and theatric winking skills. The red light district is not a remarkably dark, tucked away corner of the city that takes extra effort to find. It’s smack dab in the middle of downtown. The brick streets actually glow red from themed lighting beaming from long cherry fluorescent bulbs and old style lamps cluttering the facades of porn shops, sex theatres and brothels.

Mike and I were weaving our way between a clog of mothers strapping their children to bike seats while at the same time we were being beckoned at by old girls, fat girls, young girls, beautiful girls and downright scary girls swaying their near naked bodies behind glass doors. Café’s, travel agencies, convenient stores and family restaurants all share walls with small rooms where girls make a living at one of the oldest professions in the world.

Morally wild, yet seemingly calm and efficient, Amsterdam intrigues me. It’s a city I’ve yet to figure out and will surly return to.

One Thought on “Red Lights in Amsterdam”

  1. Suzy Says:

    Oops, that was from me…

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