The Bottom Line
- Unique and informative way to see a seedier side of Amsterdam.
- Chance to see a real Amsterdam prostitution window and bedroom.
- Information can be a bit in-your-face.
- What: Amsterdam Red Light District walking tour
- Who: Given by employees of the Prostitution Information Center (PIC)
- Where: Enge Kerksteeg 3, just behind the Oude Kerk in the old centrum of Amsterdam
- When: Tours are given every Saturday at 5 p.m. (meet at the PIC)
- Cost: € 12.50/person
Guide Review - Amsterdam Red Light District Tour from the Prostitution Information Center
She began the tour by sharing some of her historical knowledge, including the fact that prostitution has been going on in this area -- the oldest part of the city, which surrounded the port of Amsterdam -- since the 1200s. Topics throughout the rest of the tour included ethnicities of prostitutes, laws governing the trade, pricing structures, common practices and just about any other subject one of us in the group could think of. Berna had an answer for anything, but keep in mind that her perspective is a little biased.
The culmination of the tour was a visit to a real Amsterdam prostitute's window, where a woman would sit to show off the goods, so to speak. I found it to be much less shocking and much more sterile-feeling than I'd imagined. We also got a peek at the very red boudoir which is hidden from public view by a mirrored door behind the working woman.
I must say I learned far more than I expected to about the area, the sex industry and the women who work in it on this tour. I'd recommend it to visitors, but would warn them to be prepared for some raunchy comments.