I made a brief trip to Amsterdam last week. I only had a couple of days and most of the time was spent in wholesome, family-appropriate activities, but I got the chance to nip off to the Red Light District one afternoon. I was just so curious to see what it was like! It was daytime so most of the windows were empty but I have to say that seeing those (lovely) ladies standing there made me glad that I don’t have to deal with timewasters and windup merchants whilst standing on public display in my underwear! Kudos to those girls for having the nerve to do it.
I visited the Museum of Prostitution when I was there. I can’t believe I did this, but I asked if there were any “professional discounts” for actual prostitutes and offered to show them my website as proof. They thought this was very funny and let me in for free!
I thought the museum was excellent. Although it was a bit sensationalist (the S&M dungeon, at least) it really seemed legit and sincere to me. There were model rooms to show what the actual workspaces looked like both in brothels and for the window girls. (The dressing tables cluttered with toiletries seemed particularly authentic to me. That’s how we roll!) The very best bit was the high-definition wall-size screen with a looping video that showed what it was like to have tourists and punters walk by, oggling and haggling.
There was a serious bit towards the end – a shrine to the women who have been killed in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
From what I understand, the window scene is pretty much a tourist rip-off. You get very little for your 50 Euros and it’s a rushed service. There are also brothels and the locals are more likely to visit independent escorts who advertise online in the same way we do here in the UK.
But if you visit, please take the time to check out the museum – it’s well worth the twenty minutes or so it takes to go through it:
I visited a few other museums, as well, including the Rijksmuseum, and the Rembrandt House but most of my time was spent wandering and enjoying the scenery. I was thrilled to discover that the rumours were true: Heineken actually does taste good in Holland! I enjoyed plenty of it while I was there. But that is the last beer I’m having for a while – I’m going to be on a diet for a while and so no more alcohol for me!