Amsterdam

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Amsterdam Sex Guide advises where to find sex, working girls, prostitution, street hookers, brothels, red-light districts, prostitutes, erotic massage parlors, strip clubs and escorts in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amsterdam [1] is the capital of the Netherlands. With more than one million inhabitants in its urban area, it is the country's largest city and its financial, cultural, and creative centre. Amsterdam is colloquially known as Venice of the North, because of its lovely canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. There is something for every traveller's taste here, whether you prefer culture and history, serious partying, or just the relaxing charm of an old European city.

The red light district De Wallen in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Sex Scene and Prostitution

Wapen Amsterdam.svg

Amsterdam is the top spot for sex tourism in the Netherlands, thanks to its infamous red light district which is one of the Europes most well known tourist attractions. The red light district is popular for both standard tourists and sex tourists alike, and sex shops, peep shows, strip clubs and countless prostitutes selling their wares behind red-lit glass windows abound. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, just as it is in many other European countries and well regulated in Amsterdam, which arguably creates safer conditions for sex workers. Prices in Amsterdam generally range in the red light district, depending on the time of day, as well as the client’s age and attractiveness. Amsterdam’s notorious red light district caters to every kind of fetish and kink and the best part is, it’s (relatively) safe There are actually three such districts in Amsterdam, but the one simply referred to as the Red Light District is the largest and world famous one in the historic part of town just across from Central Station. See also: Amsterdam Escorts

See Also: Prostitution in the Netherlands

Amsterdam Female Escorts

Check out WikiSexGuide Adult Classifieds!

When you find a prostitute online in Amsterdam, there are attractive girls, but also expensive. Escort prices in Amsterdam are $200-$400+ for the full experience.

Amsterdam Red Light Districts

Glass doors to rooms rented by prostitutes in the Amsterdam red-light district
De Wallen is the red area marked in the map

In the red-light district of Amsterdam you’ll see scores of working girls flirting with people from behind their red-light windows. There is no shame in walking through this area, as you’ll be joined by men and women of all ages since this is not only a major tourist attraction, but also a crowded hub for local residents. If you’ve seen random streetwalkers in other large cities you might be surprised to discover that many of the prostitutes working in Amsterdam are actually very attractive, though few are in fact Dutch. This is a legal profession in Amsterdam and many prostitutes belong to a union.

From lots of personal journeys through the area I can tell you that MANY of these girls look like Playboy Centerfolds from a distance and most of those still look hot as hell when you get a bit closer. If you are a fan of thin and athletic girls, natural curves in the correct places, or even comically large boob jobs, you’ll find someone who appeals to you behind some of these windows. Most girls are white and European looking, but there are plenty of black and Asian girls, and even a sprinkling of Latinas. The advantage, of girls in windows, is that, what you see... is what you get !, the girls in order to compete will make an effort to put on that make up, wear that sexy dress, put on that warm smile - that you won't get from the girl from the escort web site, who more often than not will look completely different from the girl in the photo. The disadvantage, is that the sex is rather hurried, as the girls have to pay a large rent for their window booth, and need to have a considerable number of clients per evening, to reach also their savings target.

There are 3 red-light Districts in Amsterdam.

The largest one, the most touristy. A bit annoying having queues of middle aged Chinese couples looking at you awe struck as you enter one of the window booths.

Very pleasant little pedestrian street, few people around, but much less hookers, mainly middle aged plump ones some ugly some very sexy, a few good looking ones. A few are also local women. This district caters to local demand.

  • Down by museum quarter (Pijp)

The smaller of the three. Caters mainly to local demand.

Scene from Amsterdam's red light district.

DO NOT try to take photos of prostitutes even from the streets, or you might lose your camera without any warning!

The Red Light District consists of several canals, and the side streets between them, south of Central Station and east of Damrak. Known as 'De Wallen' (the quays) in Dutch, because the canals were once part of the city defenses (walls and moats). Prostitution itself is limited to certain streets, mainly side streets and alleys, but the district is considered to include the canals, and some adjoining streets (such as Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk). The whole area has a heavy police presence, and many security cameras. Nevertheless it is still a residential district and has many bars and restaurants, and also includes historic buildings and museums — this is the oldest part of the city. The oldest church in Amsterdam, the Netherlands-gothic Oude Kerk on the Oudezijds Voorburgwal at Oudekerksplein, is now surrounded by window prostitution. The area has many sex shops and peep show bars. This section of town is a common attraction for bachelors celebrating a stag night, if you ever get hassled, a firm and loud "Leave me alone" will work most of the time.

  • Prostitutes behind the windows

There are good looking hookers all around Red Light District and all different races and size. You can find a girl from different fetish, spanking, x-large silicon to a innocent school girl.

Price for sex in Amsterdam in red light district: Normally suck and fuck is 50€, if you can negotiate you can come in a non rush hours to 35€. If you are ugly or old price can be 60-100€. Some try the 50 - 50 trick - You enter one of the booths of a girl - and she will then ask you for an extra 50 euro in exchange she will do an extra good job - like offering uncovered oral sex, or add 10/20 minutes, to the 20 minutes that one 50 euro bank note buys you. Most punters presume that 50 euros pays you at least half an hour, so one needs to clarify before entering the booth how much time 50 euros will buy, and try to negotiate a better time deal. Italian and Latin American female hookers are especially good at extracting more money from punters - but perhaps it's worth it, as often they are often very beautiful/sexy !

  • Black Prostitutes behind the windows

Black hookers in Amsterdam are around old church (oude kerk) mostly they aren't that beautiful.

Price for Amsterdam red light district hooker: Suck and fuck is around 35€, but you can get blowjob with 20€ if you can negotiate.

  • Shemale Prostitutes behind the windows

Transsexual "girls" are located around Redlight Bar it's close to new market (address: between Bloedstraat and Monnikenstraat). If you walk around the bar you can see from 8-15 of them.

Price for Amsterdam red light district tranny t-girl prostitute: Suck and sex is normally 50€

See Also: Window prostitution

Street Hookers

After midnight there are afroafrican street hookers around redlight area in De Wallen. They act aggressively and try to offer sex cheaper then the hookers in the cabins. Be aware they can try to steal belongings from customers and tourists.

See Also: Street Prostitution in Amsterdam

Strip Clubs & Lap Dance

Here is a list of massage clubs, sex clubs and strip clubs in Amsterdam:

  • Casa Rosso • Oudezijds Achterburgwal 106-108
  • La Vie en Proost • Bethlehemsteeg 23 • +31(0)20-6261635
  • Moulin Rouge • Oudezijds Achterburgwal 5-7 • +31-20-627-50-30
  • Amstel Club Exclusif, Amstelkade 34. Tel. +31 20 675 1183. Mon-Sat 9pm - 5am.
  • Asmara, Willem de Zwijgerlaan 70. Tel. +31 20 618 4069. Mon-Sun 10am - 12am.
  • Bananen Bar, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 37. Tel. +31 20 627 89 54. Sun-Thurs 8pm-2am; Fri-Sat 8pm-3am. http://www.bananenbar.nl/
  • Blue Bell, Thorbeckepein 24/26. Tel. +31 20 623 386.
  • Huize Ria, Overtoom 558, Tel. +31 20 616 03 14. Mon-Fri 12pm - 5am; Sat-Sun 7pm - 5am.
  • Lichtekooi De, Stoofsteeg 10. Tel. +31 20 624 0644.
  • Love Club 21, Koestraat 21. Tel. +31 20 620 5307. Mon-Sun 2pm - 2am.
  • Madame, Thorbeckeplein 15-17. Tel. +31 20 624 2499.
  • Park 118, Sarphatipark 118. Mon-Sat 10am-1am; Sun 12pm-1am.
  • Romantisch Prive, Middenweg 89a. Tel. +31 20 692 5183.
  • Salon Bali, Admiraal de Rulterweg 419, 1055 ME. Tel. +31 20 682 27 82.
  • Satyricon Club, Roompotstraat 1. Tel. +31 20 676 2420.
  • Selina Topless, Thorbeckeplein 22. Tel. +31 20 623 0246.
  • Sneeuwwitje, Lutmastraat 211. Tel. +31 20 624 2499.
  • Society Anonyme, Stadhouderskade 64. Tel. +31 20 577 49 94.

Amsterdam Brothels / Private Houses

In Amsterdam there are around 10 establishments that are locally known as privéhuizen, which means private houses in Dutch. These are similar to the sex clubs discussed below, with a few key differences. They tend to be located in residential neighborhoods, they don’t have public bar areas, and they are generally cheaper and more relaxed. You won’t have to worry about the taxi scam and the champagne hustle described below because the private house/brothels mainly attract more of a mellow clientele, including many locals who wouldn’t put up with the nonsense that goes along with most of the sex clubs.

For anyone who’s interested in getting off but doesn’t want to negotiate on the sidewalk of a crowded tourist district, or get caught up in some elaborate scam in one of the sex clubs, the private houses serve as a welcome option. They offer the utmost in privacy, discretion, and comfort, and at prices that are usually actually lower than in the Red Light District itself.

How the private-house brothels work

These places are generally in residential areas and usually a converted house or large apartment. The front door is usually only indicated by a small and discreet sign and perhaps symbols of the credit cards they accept on the window. You buzz or knock to get in and a hostess will greet you alone and lead you into a small and comfortable room where you’ll be seated alone. A main part of their business is doing everything they can so customers will never see each other, which is very different from the sex club experience.

Some places actually have a menu with a price list of various options and their costs, and if so you’ll be shown that shortly after you arrive. After you tell the hostess what you are after she will then leave to round up all the available girls, who will, one by one, come in the room and introduce themselves. At most of the brothels there are between 5 and 10 girls working at a time, but of course this depends on the day of the week and the time of day. It’s important to remember the name of the one you prefer because after they each come and go the hostess will come back to ask which girl you’d like. If none struck your fancy you can leave and you won’t pay anything, but if you found one appealing you’ll ask for her. She will then meet you and take you to a private room that has freshly cleaned sheets on the bed.

There will usually be either a shower or a bath attached to the room, and not surprisingly a room with a bath will usually cost more. The hour (or half hour) will begin by her asking you to wash up a bit, and if you are lucky she’ll join you in the shower or tub. After everyone is clean and ready you’ll typically be treated to a full body massage, which could use up the rest of the first half hour. You can cut the massage short or skip it if you prefer, but this is the most common way to build up to later fun.

Most people pay for an hour and if they are finished the act early on they still can hang around and enjoy the girl’s company. Depending on the girl and the house you might be able to talk her into another go round if you are ready, or at least some other form of stimulation on her part to take care of you a second time in an hour. This part is negotiable and varies from place to place and girl to girl. You won’t be rushed out of the room no matter what though, as long as you’ve paid for your time there.

As your prepaid time is running out you might be asked if you’d like to extend it by paying more right then. Many people recommend first timers start with only half an hour and then leave the option of buying more time because many people feel a bit uncomfortable on their first trip to a brothel and at least this way you aren’t committing to more than you are ready for. If you’ve paid for a full hour and then decide the girl isn’t the one you want or you aren’t able to perform yourself then you aren’t eligible for a refund.

Before your time is up you’ll need to get dressed and ready again, and this is on part of your time. Some places will tell you where you stand with the hour, and others will just let the time go and then tell you how much you owe at the end, so make sure you ask in advance or don’t lose too much track of time.

On your way out the girl or the hostess will usually make sure the lounge area and hallways are free of other customers, so you can usually just slink back outside without ever seeing another soul aside from the hostess and the girls themselves.

Prices at the private-house brothels

Some might find it surprising that this classy and pressure-free experience is actually (sort of) cheaper than the window girls in the Red Light District. In the RLD you’ll normally get what they call a “suck and fuck” for a standard €50, but this lasts only 15-20 minutes on a small bed and usually includes nothing more than you’ve distinctly agreed to beforehand. At the private house brothels the usual hourly charge is €80 for a full hour, or €55 for half an hour, and this includes everything normal, although a bath (and sometimes even a shower) will cost from €10 to €40 extra. If you have special desires that some girls might object to (and they often will object) then that will cost extra if they agree, but aside from that it’s all-inclusive.

Some experienced customers recommend tipping extra at the beginning to make sure the girl is ready to play, and others recommend tipping at the end to make a good impression if you plan on returning. Tipping in general is optional though, so if you don’t tip you won’t get any attitude, at least not at the better places.

Payment can be made in cash or credit card, although with credit cards you can expect an extra fee of around 10% on top of the price.

How to find the private house brothels

There are many of these places throughout Amsterdam, and some are far more famous than others. Only one of the better known private house brothels is actually in the Red Light District, and it’s really more of a Thai massage place with extra services available.

Here are some of the better ones that people often recommend:

  • Amsterdam Prive
This private house is near the far end of Vondelpark and is considered one of the classier brothels in Amsterdam. They have a pretty good website if you can read Dutch (or use a translator), which even has photos of the place and some of the girls (no faces though).
Overtoom 443
Phone: 020-618-9110
Hours: 10am to 1am Sundays through Wednesdays, and until 2am Thursdays through Saturdays
“Happy hour” from 8pm to 10pm on Wednesdays
  • Asmara
Asmara is about one kilometer out of the city center, and not near anything you’ve ever heard of. It’s probably best to take a taxi here or tram 12, 13, or 14, which will take you to 100 meters of the door. Their helpful website says they have 31 girls on staff, and includes sexy photos of some of them. Prices at this one start at €130, but that includes everything, even drinks.
Willem De Zwijgerlaan 70
Phone: 020-618-4069
Hours: 10am to midnight every day
  • Club Bianca
This brothel is in a residential neighborhood south of the far end of Vondelpark, so you are best off taking a taxi or a tram to get here. They don’t have a website, and previous clients generally give the place good reviews.
Amstelveenseweg 145
Phone: 020-662-4280
  • Jan Bik
Buitenwieringenstraat 3-5
1013 GH Amsterdam
. Tel. 020-6222785
CLOSED BY GOVERNMENT/WENT BANKRUPT AS OF DECEMBER 2013 DUE TO FRAUD/MONEY LAUNDERING.
  • Love Club 21
This place is considered quite plain and basic compared to some of the other private house brothels, but it’s in the Red Light District so it does okay. This is more of a Thai massage place that guarantees a happy ending for an additional fee. All of the girls here are Thai or something very close, so if that’s your thing this is a good option. Their website doesn’t have photos, but it does actually have a price list.
Koestraat 21
Phone: 020-620-5307
Hours: 2pm to 2am every day
  • Park 118
Park 118 is not far past the Heineken Brewery and the AlbertCuyp street market. It is actually part of a small brothel chain that is well regarded in the Netherlands, at least by many past clients. It’s supposedly quite nice and relaxed inside, and a few photos on their website confirm that, although the site is in Dutch and even when you translate it there isn’t much information.
Sarphatipark 118
020-672-3022
Hours: 10am to 1am except Sunday when they open at noon

Sex Clubs

Amsterdam has quite a few notorious sex clubs, but many people who visit them get ripped off. They often start you with overpriced alcohol and you buying expensive non-alcoholic “champagne” for a girl hoping to get your business. Even worse, on top of an hourly fee starting around €150, you’ll often have to pay a taxi commission for the guy who brought you there of around €75, sometimes even if you didn’t come in a taxi. These places often have bad reputations, although if you’ve got a lot of money and want a little fun they might be a good choice.

As mentioned above, these places are quite similar to the private house-brothels, but they operate as nightclubs with liquor licenses and public lounge areas. Some of them are fairly small, but a couple are large and very similar to an upscale nightclub in the main area. All of them have a variety of rooms where you and the girl of your choice will have plenty of privacy. Some of the rooms are elaborate with Jacuzzi tubs and other fantasy elements, while others are basic rooms that will have a bath or shower attached.

How things work at the sex clubs

Once you arrive (we’ll discuss that a bit more below) you might be asked an admission charge, or maybe not, depending on the place. You’ll go in to a bar area where you’ll be mingling with a mix of other customers and prostitutes. You can scan the room looking for someone who you’d like to spend time with, but there isn’t a rush once you are inside, and girls will be coming and going so if you don’t see someone right away you might wait around.

When you find a girl who you like she’ll usually be very friendly with you if she senses it. The drinks you are buying yourself are expensive enough, but she’ll generally request that you buy her a drink while you chat. This will be discussed more below regarding the “champagne hustle.”

Once you’ve confirmed your choice you’ll go with the girl to a private room where you’ll have an hour total to spend with her, which includes the time you’ll spend undressing and dressing again. You’ll usually start with a shower or bath and then a full body massage, but at this point things can go in a few different directions depending on you and the girl. It’s best to discuss anything special you’d like before you get to the room because many of the prostitutes won’t perform certain things, at least for the standard fee.

Prices at the sex clubs

Elegant roomThe prices between these places can vary wildly, but generally the nicer places with the better girls will charge more, so you kind of get what you pay for. There will usually be a standard hourly fee set for any girl in the place, but that fee can vary depending on the time of the day and the day of the week. The cheapest of the sex clubs is Jan Bik, and they charge €75 per hour for your time with a girl, all-inclusive, but most others start around €150 per hour on up to about €300. Again, it depends on the time of day and day of the week. A few places have a lower set rate before 7 p.m. This fee for time with the girl does not include an admission charge if there is one, or drinks in the club, which can really get out of hand.

The taxi scam

This is hardly unique to Amsterdam, and in fact a variation of it takes place at adult businesses around the world. If you ask a taxi driver in Amsterdam to take you to a sex club, they’ll be thrilled to take you to the place that gives them the highest commission, regardless of anything else you might have asked about or suggested. You’ll of course have to pay the meter and a tip, and the driver will also get a commission of around €75 from the club for bringing you.

Taxi blurThis sounds very nice of the sex club to do, but of course it’s you who ends up paying that entire commission as part of your tab either on your way in or on your way out. No one is likely to mention to you that your bill or admission was padded by €75 that goes to the taxi driver, but rest assured that you’ll pay it if you arrive by cab.

Most of the sex clubs will offer you free transportation on their websites, but of course this adds up to the exact same thing. You’ll pay a fortune for this “free ride” so the best way to get to one of these clubs is walking, or by public transportation, or if you do take a taxi just get an address of a restaurant or building nearby and then get out of the taxi and wait until they leave before you make a move to the club. You’ll have to be a bit discrete with this since this is a huge moneymaker for the taxi drivers and they’ll certainly figure things out if a single man asks to be taken from near a hotel to 50 meters from one of the sex clubs the taxi driver is only too familiar with.

The “champagne hustle”

ChampagneAgain, this is common around the world, so you can’t blame it on Amsterdam, although you can go to one of the private-house brothels if you want to avoid it. Once inside one of these clubs the entire staff will do everything in their power to encourage you to buy expensive champagne to share with the girl of your choice. These bottles of champagne can cost up to €500, and they usually start around €100 at the very minimum for a small bottle.

Since the girls typically get a bit less than half the hourly fee for their services, they work hard to sell champagne out front because they receive a hefty commission for every bottle sold. Some of the girls will even tell you that they can’t go into a private room until you’ve bought at least one bottle of champagne, and they aren’t kidding. Not every sex club is as aggressive as others about this, but prepare for this part of the experience when you are considering how much this experience is going to cost you.

Finding the sex clubs

Below you’ll see a list of most of the popular sex clubs in Amsterdam, and below this you’ll see address so you can see where each one is located in relation to the city center.

  • Elegance tubClub Elegance, Nicolaas Witsenkade 38. 1017 ZT Amsterdam. Phone: 020- 627-9788.
Since Yab Yum was closed down by the city in early 2008, this is now considered the nicest and classiest of the sex clubs. There’s usually a €75 admission charge at the door, which includes 5 drinks. They are quite close to the Heineken Brewery and also to Societé Anonyme, so many people will be able to walk here and avoid the taxi scam. Their website is an odd mix of Dutch text and English labels, and translating it in Babel Fish only helps a bit.
  • Club LV, Middenweg 144. 1097 Amsterdam. Phone: 020-663-6662. Open 8pm to 5am every day.
Details on this place are hard to come by. This place is several kilometers southeast of Centraal Station in a very non-touristy neighborhood. Their website is one of those really annoying Flash sites developed around 2002, and while it looks professional it doesn’t give much away so it’s hard to tell if the actual girls look anything like the models in the staged photos on the site.
  • Club Mayfair, Roompotstraat 1. 1078 Amsterdam. Phone: 020-676-2420. Monday-Friday 3pm to 5am. Saturdays 8pm to 5am. Sundays – closed.
This place is about 1.5 kilometers south of Museumplein and Leidseplein, and it’s only a couple blocks from the RAI convention center complex. Their website is in Dutch, but is easy enough to figure out anyway.
  • Golden Key, Overtoom 294. 1054 Amsterdam. Phone: 020-612-4078. Open 8pm to 4am daily, except from 9pm Sundays.
This place says their girls work independently and set their own rates and services. Past visitors have given the Golden Key fairly low marks on the quality of the girls. The location is not far from the city center, and their website is in English, although with very little information.
  • Jan Bik, Buitenwieringenstraat 3-5. 1013 GH Amsterdam
. Tel. 020-622278.
CLOSED BY GOVERNMENT/WENT BANKRUPT AS OF DECEMBER 2013 DUE TO FRAUD/MONEY LAUNDERING.
  • Ria’s, Overtoom 558. 1054 Amsterdam. Phone 020-616-0314. Open 11am to 4am daily
This place is just down the street from the Golden Key, and it’s close to Vondelpark, and Leidseplein as well. Their website is one of those really annoying all-Flash sites, and while the images and artwork are nice, they really don’t help you get a sense of the place.
  • Societé Anonyme, Stadhouderskade 64. Phone: 020-662-4952. Open 8pm to 4am daily.
This one is located between the Rijksmuseum and the Heineken Brewery, so it’s a close walk from Leidseplein as well. They promise the utmost in discretion and anonymity, and they are one of a few sex clubs that also runs an outcall escort service with the same girls. They show photos of actual girls on their site, which is rare among sex clubs.

Swingers

Swinger clubs in Amsterdam:

  • Club Paradise, Schaafstraat 26. Tel. +31 20 637 34 16. Weds-Thurs 8pm - 1am; Fri-Sat 8pm - 3am; Sun 4pm - 1am. http://www.club-paradise.nl/
  • Someplace, Nassaukade 120, Hoek 2' Hugo de Groot. Tel. +31 20 475 1981.

Sex Theatre

  • Casa Rosso The theatre with the pink elephant on its facade cannot be missed during visit. While sitting back in a comfortable red velvet chair and enjoying a drink, you will be entertained by a great variety of erotic shows performed by talented international erotic artists performing alone or with a partner.
Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 106-108, Amsterdam

Erotic Massage Parlors

  • Body 2 Body Massage Amsterdam
+31 (0) 617 067 101
www.massage-body2body.nl
info@massage-body2body.nl
  • True Tantra Massage / Workshops / Sex Coaching / Training
+31 (0) 6 39 49 21 15
www.truetantra.eu
120€ /2hrs ; 80€ / 1hr.20min.
  • Asmara
Willem de Zwijgerlaan 70
1057 JT Amsterdam
tel. 020 - 618 40 69 or 020 - 618 13 31
€ 80 for 30 minutes; Body to Body Massage, Oral Sex and Sexual Intercourse

Escort Service & Agencies

Transsexuals / Shemales

Shemale Prostitutes: Transsexuals in Amsterdam are located around Redlight Bar in Da Wallen red light district and it's close to new market (address: between Bloedstraat and Monnikenstraat). If you walk around the red light bar you can see around 8-15 shemales of different races.

Price to have sex with transsexual prostitute in Amsterdam is normally 50 euros for suck and fuck.

In this area the transexuals tend to have blue lights rather than red in the windows.

Transsexual Escorts

Check out WikiSexGuide Adult Classifieds!

Gay & Lesbian Scene

There are several gay areas in Amsterdam, all of them not really far from each other. First of all you got the street with the unpronounceable name, Reguliersdwarsstraat, which is rather mainstream and quite busy at the weekend. Nearby is the area around the Amstel street with its several gay bars, many of them in traditional Dutch style and atmosphere. Kerkstraat has two small gay hotels and a couple of old and new gay bars & clubs, and finally there is the Warmoesstraat with its gay cruise bars and fetish shops.

GAY SAUNAS AND BATHHOUSES:

  • Thermos Sauna Day & Night, Raamstraat 33
  • Sauna Damrak, Damrak 54
  • Nieuwezijds Sauna, Nieuwezijds Armsteeg 95. Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr: 12:00 p.m. - 08:00 a.m.; Sa, Su: 08:00 a.m. - 08:00 a.m.

GAY YOGA & MASSAGES

  • TrueTantra, Nude Tantra Yoga 4 Men. Every thursday at Okido Center 20hrs.-22hrs. 15euros. GayTantra Massage (2hrs.,120€ / 1hr.20min. 80€) / GayTantra Workshops & Retreats www.truetantra.eu

GAY BARS, PUBS AND CLUBS:

  • Club Church, Kerkstraat 52
  • Argos Bar, Warmoesstraat 95
  • The Queen's Head, Zeedijk 20
  • WareHouse, Warmoesstraat 96. Mo, Tu, We: closed; Th, Su: 11:00 p.m. - 04:00 a.m.; Fr, Sa: 11:00 p.m. - 05:00 a.m.
  • Hot Spot, Amstel 102
  • Spijker Bar, Kerkstraat 4
  • Het Wapen van Londen, Amstel 14
  • Exit Après Chique, Reguliersdwarsstraat 42
  • Taboo Bar, Reguliersdwarsstraat 45

LESBIAN BARS, PUBS AND CLUBS:

  • Café Saarein, Elandsstraat 119
  • Reality Girlz, Reguliersdwarsstraat 125
  • Bar Vivelavie, Amstelstraat 7

LGBT BARS, PUBS AND CLUBS:

  • De Engel van Amsterdam, Zeedijk 21
  • De Trut, Bilderdijkstraat 165e
  • Café Soho, Reguliersdwarsstraat 36
  • Prik, Spuistraat 109
  • Café le Montmartre de Paris, Halvemaansteeg 17
  • De Barderij, Zeedijk 14
  • Getto food & drinks, Warmoesstraat 51

GAY CINEMAS, ARCADES AND SEX SHOPS:

  • Adonis Cinema, Warmoestraat 92, Amsterdam

This is a gayy shop .The gay cinema with a darkroom, is one of the biggests and most popular in the town. Open: 10-1; Sunday and Saturday 10-3.

  • Diana Shop, NZ Voorburgwal, Amsterdam

Many 'hetero' men, go there at lunchtime and look for action.

  • Alfa Blue, Nieuwendijk 26, Amsterdam

You will find what you are looking for at this place. Very big DVD selection.

  • Bronx, Kerkstraat 53-55, Amsterdam

Open daily 12-24h. Gay shop, cinema, video rental, mail order. Exclusively gay place.

  • William Higgins' Le Salon, Nieuwendijk 20-22, Amsterdam

Video cabins, some with glory holes, lots of steep, windy stairs between sections, & mostly straight porn (an oddity, given the place is named for William Higgins, gay porn producer). Most booths have glory holes. You can also stand behind darkened glass in a dark room and have your bits sticking out through a glory hole into the cinema.

  • Happy Shop, Oude Brugsteeg 5, Amsterdam

A very small shop full of paraphernalia, located in the old, beginning of the 17th century house, on the edge of the Red Light District behind the Beurs van Berlage Open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 12 am – 8 pm, Thursday: 12 am – 9 pm

  • DVD Paradise (Previously Up and Down), Oudezijds Achterburgwal 135, Amsterdam

A wide selection of DVD’s and toys. Also rental of private video cabins.

  • B-1 Sexshop, Reguliersbreestraat 4, Amsterdam

Open Mon-Fri 11-23.30, Sat 12-23.30 & Sun 13-23.30h. Dark room and Video shows.

GAY CRUISING, GLORY HOLES, BEACHES & PARKS:

  • Zilverstrand Nude Beach

In the most Southern part of the Zilverstrand, nudist recreation is permitted. The nudist beach is situated on the Gooimeer. Along a large part of the water there is a sandy beach.

  • Gaasperplas

Lots of "straight" boys from the area want to be blown there. All ages. Lots of black guys there too, because they live around this area.

  • Oosterpark

Crowd: Locals and Turkish and Moroccan gay immigrants. You can find here everything you want. Next to Tropenmuseum. At east side of the lake.

  • Westerpark

In summer its popular with Turkish and Moroccan gays. During the day cruise between the Westerpark and the Sloterdijk along the railroad tracks behind the Begraafplaats St.

  • Oosterpark
  • Van Leyenberghlaan Canal

Nude sunbathers, bi & str8s come by for BJ's. All types from teens to older guys & even the occasional hot Arab boy!

Vondelpark

Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam, and certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands, which welcomes about 10 million visitors every year.

  • Het Nieuwe Meer

All types of guys go here, from vanilla to kink. Crowd: Young hung & beautiful Dutch boys -- from young to trolls. Along the water for sun beauties & into the woods for sex.

  • Oud Zuid

This park is located at the corner of Anthonie van Dijckstraat and Albrecht Durerstraat, outside the British School. There are plenty of bushes and trees to hide your groping and other actions.

  • Sarphatipark

Crowd is mostly Arabs, hustlers, trade, bi's, str8s, hookers & low life types. Always busy in the evening.

  • Corner of Leidsestraat and Prinsengracht a Krul Public, Corner Leidsestraat/Prinsengracht

A public on the corner of Leidsestraat and Prinsengracht. It is a so called "krul", a public for two men. The divider has got small holes so you can watch the other guy urinate or . Especially busy in the evenings, just pee and cough and wait for an answer.

Sexual Services for Women

  • Huize Ria. This is a strip club, but also provides other services for the ladies. Overtoom 558. 1054LN,Amsterdam.
  • The Paradise Club is a great place for women who want to get fucked. Place is a swingers club packed with couples, men and women. It is located just 10 minutes from central railway station. Club Paradise Schaafstraat 26, 1021 KE Amsterdam Noord. Phone: (+31) 20 - 637 34 16 Email: info@club-paradise.nl. http://www.club-paradise.nl/
  • Sameplace is another swingers club. Some days for couples only, some are for men only and some night are for transexual lovers. Nassaukade 120, 1052 EC Amsterdam, +31 20 475 1981. http://www.sameplace.nl/
  • Showboat is a swingers club located in Zaandam 10 minutes away from central railway station. Lagedijk 328, 1544 BX Zaandijk, +31 75 622 2348. http://www.showboat.eu/

Male Escorts

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Amsterdam Sex Shops & Adult Stores

There are plenty of Sex shops in Amsterdam. They are mostly located in the Red-light district. Some of the sex shops only sell basic items such as dildos, movies, clothing, condoms, poppers and herbal potency pills. There is also sex shops with live sex or striptease peep-shows. Some sex shops also have adult arcades, sex cinemas and booths for straight, bi-curious and gay crowd.

Escorts services in Amsterdam

In addition to the obvious difference between you going to their location and them coming to yours, the escort Amsterdam game is also set up more for longer appointments that include actual companionship as well as one or more sex acts. Each agency has their own focus and set of rules, so it’s hard to generalize, but almost all of them have a 1-hour minimum and many actually have a 2-hour minimum. Most of them also have special rates for 4, 8, or 12 hours, or even for a full day or two, but of course none of this comes cheap. Some of the agencies have set operating hours running from mid afternoon until early morning, and a few claim to operate around the clock.

Prices for Amsterdam escorts

As mentioned, most services start at a 1-hour minimum, although some start at 2 hours. With all of them you can add extra hours for a price that is usually a bit less than the first hour, but not by as much as you might think. The cheapest escorts in Amsterdam seem to start around €130 per hour, and the most expensive start around €325 per hour. Jan Bik, which is a combination of a sex club and a private-house brothel, also offers out-call escorts for €100 per hour (details near the bottom of this page), so price-conscious men have a good alternative to the window girls.

Needless to say, you pretty much get what you pay for in a business like this, but there are definitely situations where someone booked a girl from one of the more expensive services only to find that the photo they saw was 10 years and 30 lbs. ago. It seems very rare that a girl will arrive who is obviously not the one in the picture, but beyond that it’s still pretty easy to open the door to find something less than you were expecting staring back at you. If you go for one of the cheaper escort companies you know in advance you won’t be ordering up a perfect 10, and there is always a bit of risk in a transaction like this.

Regular escort agencies

  • Angels of Amsterdam (licensed)

This appears to be a newer agency, or at least their site appears to be new, and it’s quite impressive. Right now they have 14 escorts listed (basically the same girls that appear on the Pure Senses site, listed below), most of whom are showing their faces, and most of them are quite attractive. The site itself is very slick, with a nice feature that allows you to select a criteria like dress size, cup size, whether they kiss or not etc., and with one click you’ll only be looking at the girls who fit that criteria. The site says the girls work independently so they each set their own price, but most of them list a price of “starting at €200″, which seems pretty reasonable compared to many other agencies. Several of the escorts currently listed have “reviews” that you can read, and all of them have a button where you can write your own review (presumably after hiring them), and while reviews are extremely helpful for something like this, it’s a bit hard to trust ones posted by the agency itself. Not all the reviews there are 100% glowing, so it’s very possible they are real, though it seems unlikely they’d actually post one that said the girl was rubbish.

  • Girl’s Company Escort Service (licensed)

Girls Company recently upgraded its website, and they seem to have added quite a few new girls as well. They have quite a few very pretty girls on their roster, and the most shocking thing might be that most of them are around the €140 per hour range, with a one-hour minimum, which puts them clearly into the bargain category in spite of what looks to be a professionally run outfit. Now you can also read short and creative biographies about each girl, which should tell you at least a bit about their personality. This is one of the most entertaining sites to just click around, but if you are serious about companionship then this looks like a good option as well.

  • Heaven Escort (licensed)

This agency seems to have quite a good reputation according to past customers. The descriptions of things on their site make it sound like a professional and no-nonsense outfit. The girls shown are quite impressive, and if you click the right place next to their name you’ll get more photos and a checklist of their details and what they’ll do and won’t do. They don’t give rate information on their site, but they do promise three hours will be at a 10% discount, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

  • Pleasure Escort (licensed)

Here’s another agency that seems to be very straightforward about everything, which is refreshing in this game. They have photos of around 40 girls on their site, and most have several poses where you can even see their face without it being blurred over. Many of the girls are quite pretty, so this seems like a good choice, especially since their rate is €160 per hour as long as you are in Amsterdam. They even offer an expensive Hummer H3 limousine service, which starts at €475 per hour including one of their girls.

  • DM Models (licensed)

This agency looks like having outstanding beautiful escorts listed with blurred face and without. They have almost 30 girls listed and some of them you can find on other websites also. Regular rate of €150 is applied. They offer massage service and looks like they have trained masseuses. They say if the booking is more than 2 hours, then the hourly rate will go down.

  • Escorts Elegance (licensed)

This new agency appears to be related to at least one other existing agency, since at least a few of the girls look a bit familiar. The girls on the main page are mostly shown from a distance so it’s actually easy to miss the fact that many of them are unusually beautiful. They all seem to have their own rate, but that rate seems to be €150 per hour with a one-hour minimum, so this puts them on the budget end of things, in spite of the lovely girls. Each girl has the standard list of things she likes (and things she won’t do), but you also get a sexy story about each of the girls, probably written by someone for whom English isn’t a first language, but all entertaining nonetheless.

  • Angels Exclusive (licensed)

Another new agency and/or new site, but they look trustworthy and the site is appealing with everything explained well. You might also take comfort in the fact that most, or possibly all, the girls are also listed with Pleasure Escort mentioned above. The price is a flat €160 for an hour, including transportation to your place and everything else, which is the same as Pleasure, and quite reasonable compared to some of the competition. If you like Eastern European-looking girls, then this agency has got you covered. Just be sure to click on the girl’s name instead of the rest of the photo, or it might seem like the site is broken.

  • Dutch Students Escort (licensed)

This agency has gotten mixed reviews in the past, and the photos of the girls on the website don’t show faces or give names, so it’s anyone’s guess if any girls currently working for this agency resemble the lovely girls on the site. With a name like Dutch Students you should be able to expect a girl well under 30, but there’s no easy way to be sure in advance. Rates are €190 for the first hour, so they are on the more affordable side of the scale.

  • Pure Senses Escort (licensed)

This agency currently offers 9 escorts on their site, all of them quite attractive, and all of them have several additional photos that really give you a good sense of each of them. They look to be professional and straightforward based on how the website compares to some others, and they only charge €180 per hour, with a one-hour minimum in the city of Amsterdam itself. Pure Senses also offers the same H3 Hummer limo tours that Pleasure Escort does above, so they might be somehow affiliated.

  • Pretty Escort (licensed)

This agency has been around for quite a while, and they are known for being reasonably priced at around €150 per hour, but their website doesn’t give too much information away. The site does show many girls with names and mostly with faces visible, and the selection seems impressive online, but the usual cautions apply if you are ready to book.

  • Dibbes Escort (licensed)

This agency has recently updated its website and now it’s one of the most entertaining and easiest to use in the city. They’ve also added several stunning girls to their lineup, so this should be one of your first stops if you are shopping around. The price is €175 for the first hour and €150 for additional hours, which makes them competitively priced in Amsterdam even though they have some of the most photogenic girls. Some of the escorts have a handy checklist next to their photo, which tells you what they will and won’t do. Too bad regular girls don’t all come with checklists like that.

High-class escort agencies

  • Anna Escort (licensed)

This high-class agency is the famous one-woman operation of a girl who lists her age as 24-years-old. Anna is proud to be buxom and curvy (and based on her photos she has every right to be), and even though you can’t clearly see her face in any of her photos, she says she has gorgeous eyes. Her rates start at €700 for 3 hours, and she also offers special packages. She offers 2-hour appointments to repeat customers, but not to first timers, so it’s like the sexiest loyalty program in the world. At first it was hard to tell if there was exactly one “Anna” behind this agency, but after asking around that does seem to be the case. Unlike some other agencies here, quite a few past customers have posted very favorable reviews of their experience with Anna on sex forums, so if you can afford her it sounds like you won’t be disappointed.

  • Secrets International Escort (licensed)

This is a high-class escort service that started in 2006, but has already developed a good reputation in those circles. They’ve got about 20 girls on the site, and none of the photos show faces, but you can still tell that these are some well put together ladies. Each girl sets her own price, though they all seem to be around €300 per hour with a 2-hour minimum in the Netherlands, and a longer minimum for nearby countries. They also have something called “The Game” which sounds like a way you can tick off quite a few of your lifelong fantasies in one go, as long as you’ve got a minimum of €10,000 handy. Time to start buying lottery tickets!

  • Society Service Escort (licensed)

This is yet another high-class escort service that was started in 2006. And again, the girls all have their eyes or faces hidden in all the photos, but you can still tell that these are really lovely girls. Prices start at €300 per hour with a 2-hour minimum, and each girl has an entertaining biography that will definitely make you wish you had a spare €600 somewhere. They also offer pure “companion service” so if you are meeting come clients for dinner and you want to have the hottest date in the group, that can be done for a lower hourly price than the private and discreet service, and you’ll still have a sexual encounter before the “date” ends.

  • Women of the World (licensed)

This company has perhaps the best reputation of all the escort companies in Amsterdam. It’s run by women, they say, and they specialize in high-end model-type girls (and guys too). Their website features body photos of plenty of lovely ladies, and after you figure out how it’s set up you’ll see that each has their own rate sheet. Some have 1-hour minimums and others have a 2-hour minimum, and most start around €300 per hour, though a few are a bit less expensive.

  • Escort Service Amsterdam

In spite of the generic-sounding name, this is a new and real booking service that handles many high-end (stunning) girls, a few of whom are based in other areas but travel to Amsterdam when booked. It’s a nicely designed site and on top of that they’ve got things categorized so if you are looking for something specific then you are just one more click away from girls fitting that description (Brunette, Asian, Busty etc) – a great feature. Now that Europe’s Finest is no more, this company seems likely to capture the wealthy-businessman market. The only downside seems to be that their rates start at €325 per hour and go up to €450 per hour, making them the most expensive in the city, especially now that Europe’s Finest has closed down. Looks like you get what you pay for though, and just clicking around the site is entertaining.

Attitudes

Many people choose to visit Amsterdam because of its reputation for tolerance, although part of this reputation is attributable to cultural misunderstandings. Prostitution is legalised and licensed in the Netherlands, and in Amsterdam it is very visible (window prostitution), and there are large numbers of prostitutes. The sale, possession, and consumption of small quantities of cannabis, while technically illegal, is tolerated by authorities (the policy of gedogen). This does not mean that you can get away with anything in Amsterdam. In any case, public attitudes and official policy have hardened in recent years. For more on coffeeshops and drugs, see below in Stay safe.

Depending on your viewpoint some people will consider Amsterdam an unwholesome city whereas other people will find their relaxed attitudes refreshing. If you avoid the red light district, Amsterdam is an excellent family destination.

According to a Eurobarometer report in 2012, 90% of the population speak English as a second language.

Get around Amsterdam

Amsterdam's centre is fairly small, and almost abnormally flat, so you can easily get to most tourist destinations on foot - from the train station, within half an hour.

Festivals

Amsterdam is a cultural haven with year-round festivals for every pocket.

  • Queensday April 30: The national holiday, nominally in celebration of the Queen's birthday (in fact the previous Queen's birthday) is hard to describe to anyone who's never been there. The city turns into one giant mass of orange-dressed people (all Amsterdam locals, and another 1 million or so from throughout the country visit the parties in the city) with flea markets, bands playing, and many on-street parties, ranging from small cafes placing a few kegs of beer outside to huge open-air stages hosting world-famous DJ's. The Vondelpark is the place for children selling and performing. An experience you'll never forget. Normally held on April 30th, but if that is a Sunday, it is celebrated one day earlier (to avoid offence to orthodox Protestants). (in 2013, the 30th of April will be used as coronation day, because the new King will be crowned the 28th, but the festivities will also happen on the 30th. BEWARE: it is VERY crowded on this day, so MIND YOUR PURSE/WALLET. If you do not like crowds, go out of the city.)
  • Gay Pride: [2]. Amsterdam gay pride on the first weekend in August. One of the biggest festivals in Amsterdam with parties, performances, workshops and a boat parade on the Prinsengracht on Saturday afternoon which is always well worth seeing.
  • Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE): Usually held during the second last weekend in October, this electronic music annual festival gathers cream of the crop faces from the house and techno scenes. Buy your tickets in advance to avoid paying more at the door and queueing for hours on. Besides partying for four nights in a row, the conference offers workshops, seminars, presentations etc.

Coffeeshops

Amsterdam is renowned for its liberal drug policy. Coffeeshops, not to be confused with coffeehouses or cafes, are allowed to sell cannabis and hash for personal use (not more than 5 grams). While technically still illegal, mostly to comply to international treaties, personal use of (soft) drugs are regulated by the Ministry of Justice under an official policy of gedogen; literally this means to accept or tolerate, legally it is a doctrine of non-prosecution on the basis that action taken would be so highly irregular as to constitute selective prosecution. The city council of Amsterdam allows coffeeshops to operate only with the provision of set, non-transferable licenses as shown by an official green and white sticker on the window of a coffeeshop. Coffeeshops are to sell only soft drugs (such as cannabis), selling of other drugs is not allowed. Also selling of dried hallucinogenic mushrooms is not allowed.

That said, drug usage is increasingly being strictly controlled by the Dutch government. Garish advertising is not allowed (look for red-yellow-green rasta colors and the English word "coffeeshop"); no alcohol or edible cannabis products may be sold inside a coffeeshop; customers who want to smoke their weed mixed with tobacco are limited to special sealed 'smoking areas'; the amount of coffeeshops has decreased significantly since 1995; coffeeshops within a '250 meter school zone' have been closed down; and the usage of magic mushrooms has been forbidden since December 2008 (after two fatal incidents with foreign tourists).

Still there are about 250 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, most of them in the Old Centre. Prices hover around €7.50 for 1 gram, with the average joint holding around 0.33g and a 5g/person sales limit. Most coffeeshops are happy to recommend varieties and prepare your joint for you. Some offer vaporizers/inhalators for people who don't want to smoke.

Using (soft) drugs is not allowed in public places, though in reality it will never be an issue. Just stay away from children's playgrounds and schools. Many coffeeshops offer a 'smoking lounge' where soft drugs may be used. Also note that despite the confusion on the subject, the Netherlands-wide smoking ban applies only to tobacco. However, since the Dutch commonly smoke tobacco mixed with their marijuana or hash, many coffeeshops, especially those unaccustomed to tourists, may require all smoking to be done in a separated smoking section or outdoors (this is far more common in coffeeshops outside of Amsterdam). Most central coffeeshops with large tourist clienteles will allow marijuana or hash smoking in their entire space, requiring you to smoke in the separated section only if your joint contains tobacco. Many coffeeshops also provide a non-tobacco herbal filler for those who find pure joints too strong. You may usually smoke joints containing this herbal filler anywhere within the coffeeshop although individual house rules may vary. If in doubt, always ask the staff.

  • Bulldog, [3]. Chain of touristy coffeeshops.
  • Grey Area. Tiny, but famous for their outstanding weed, especially "American" strains.
  • The Bluebird - one of the best selections of pot in Amsterdam.
  • De Kuil (420 Cafe)
  • Global Chillage - Good produce and nice tunes but uncomfortable seating.
  • Barney's [4]. Multiple Cannabis Cup winner.
  • Kadinsky - 2 coffeshops, across the smaller one (at Damrak) is the "Kadinsky Bar" where you can order alcohol & smoke your goods.
  • Hill Street Blues - lively atmosphere but buy cannabis elsewhere.
  • Club Media - Completely organic menu, fair selection, good prices, lovely staff, free fruit!
  • Katsu - Just around the corner from Media, good prices + nice atmosphere.
  • The Greenhouse - usually pretty crowded but when warm or if you can get a seat definitely one of the nice coffeeshops near the red light. Also has a bar next door.
  • De Dampkring - three locations, bought out Pink Floyd and renovated it. Original shop featured in a scene in Ocean's 12. Very decent hashish ("Rifman" products), rather high prices.
  • De Kroon.
  • Abraxas.
  • Homegrown Fantasy.
  • The Jungle (Het Oerwoud) - Good selection of pre-rolled joints sorted on strength (from beginner to expert). Has two pool tables.
  • The Otherside. - Gay coffeeshop.
  • Betty Too - Absolute gem, cozy and friendly place with moderate prizes and interesting, international crowd.

Sleeping

Amsterdam has over 400 registered hotels of varying standards from budget facilities to some of the most expensive hotels in Europe. Advance booking is recommended, especially for weekends and holidays. Don't expect you'll find an affordable bed once you're here. Most hotels and hostels can be found in the Old Centre, notably south of central station, and in the South around the Museum Quarter. Charming boutique accommodation can be found in the wealthy residential Canal Ring, home to the rich and famous and its squares are the prime nightlife spots of the city. The Jordaan is another area for hip boutique accommodations, slightly upmarket, but still for mid-range prices. Some cheaper hostels can also be found in the red-light district.

A simple bed in a hostel starts around €15 on weekdays in the winter and up to €90 on a weekend in the summer. Hostels often expect you to book at least 2 nights in a weekend. A twin room in a budget hotel, 1-2 stars, might cost around €40 on weekdays in the winter and up to €100 on summer weekends. In a three and four star hotel, the prices would range from €100 to €200, depending on season, and five stars hotels can cost between €150 and €400 a night.

Do not expect a wide amount of services from cheaper end hostels and hotels. Most of these do not have elevators and have the usual steep staircases; if you suffer from vertigo, do get an assurance that you will be getting a first or second floor room or book a hotel that has an elevator.

Since the internet business started many Amsterdam visitors prefer book some hotels alternative such as holiday apartments and houseboats. There are several sites offering short term apartments. Here you can book your own apartment Amsterdam Stay [5]. A company specialized on accommodation offered by private owners (rooms, apartments and houseboats) is CityMundo [6]

See also: Global list of girl friendly hotels

BDSM

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BDSM Clubs in Amsterdam:

Adult Jobs & Activities

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Stay Safe

You should take normal precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in the main shopping streets, in trams and trains, at stations, and anywhere where tourists congregate. Street begging is no longer common in Amsterdam, since the police take a harder line. Some beggars are addicts, some are homeless, and some are both.

What looks like a footpath, especially along a canal bank, may be a bike lane. Bike lanes are normally marked by red/purple tiles or asphalt, and a bike icon on the ground. However, the colour fades over time, so you might miss the difference. Don't expect cyclists to be kind to pedestrians: some consider the side-walk an extension of the road, to be used when it suits them. Never stay or walk on the bike path or street for extended periods of time, as you will be greeted only by angry bell ringing. Keep in mind that for many Amsterdammers, the bike is their main means of transportation. For the bike theft problem see above, Get around.

Watch out for trams when crossing the street. Taxis are also allowed to use some tram lanes, and even if not allowed, they often use them anyway.

Groups of women visiting the Red Light District at night might feel harassed in the aggressive environment, though this is said to be the safest area because of the police presence. Keep to main streets and groups. Do not take photographs of the prostitutes!, you will be yelled at or worse.

Although not really dangerous, women especially might want to avoid the narrow lane north of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) after dark as the atmosphere can be quite intimidating.

Neighborhoods

Safe and unsafe neighborhoods in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is actually one of the safest cities in the world. International consultancy Mercer ranked Amsterdam 13 out of 215 world cities for personal safety in its 2010 Quality of Life Survey. [7]

Journeywoman.com calls Amsterdam 'female-friendly' and recommends it as a city where women travelling alone should feel comfortable and safe. [8]

However, there are differences between the neighborhoods. While it's filled with all types of people during the day, the Red Light District does attract seedier visitors and vagrants after sunset. You may want to avoid walking alone here or in parks at night.

The Bijlmer and Slotervaart in West still have a bad name regarding violence and harassment. With recent urban renewal projects, these neighborhoods have made significant progress in the last few years.

Cannabis and other drugs

It cannot be denied that many tourists come to Amsterdam for the coffeeshops. Coffeeshops (in English but written as one word) sell only soft drugs such as marijuana and hash - asking for other drugs is pointless because coffeeshops are watched closely by the authorities, and nothing will get them closed faster than having hard drugs for sale. 'Café' is the general name for a place licenced to sell alcohol: a bar.

Quality varies. Coffeeshops aimed at tourists are more likely to have overpriced and poor quality products. A simple rule of thumb is: if the place looks good and well-kept chances are their wares will be good as well. Don't just enter a coffeeshop being overwhelmed that it's possible at all to buy and consume cannabis openly: be discerning as to the quality.

If you're not a smoker, and you really want to try it, start with something light, make sure you don't have an empty stomach, and don't combine it with any other drugs or intoxicants, including alcohol. Be forthright with the counter person about your inexperience, they see it all the time. Go with an experienced person if you can. Regardless of the strength, your first experience can be quite a sensation at first, but will quickly decrease in intensity. You may want to plan to return to your hotel and "hole up" for a couple hours until you become comfortable with the feeling. If you do find yourself too strongly under the influence - feeling nauseated, woozey or faint - drink orange juice or eat something sweet like cookies or candy, and get fresh air. Dutch-grown nederwiet (a.k.a. super skunk) is much stronger than you might expect, even if you are experienced. The THC level can be as high as 15%, twice the norm (source: Trimbos Institute).

There's a small chance you will be approached by people offering to sell you hard drugs in the street, especially as you are walking through the Red Light District. Ignoring or failing that a firm refusal is enough - they will not pester you. The selling of drugs in the street is illegal and often dangerous; moreover the drugs sold to strangers are usually fake. When they invite you to see the goods, they can lure you into a narrow street and rob you.

So-called smartshops do not sell any illegal products, but a range of dietary supplements, including 'herbal exstacy' - a legal attempt at an ecstasy pill alternative which is a complete waste of money and various more or less obscure psychedelic herbs and despite a change in the law, one type of magic mushrooms. It is the latter which causes problems as people often underestimate their strength. Magic mushrooms have few physical risks attached to them, but can have a very strong short-acting psychological effect, which can either be great or very distressing, depending on your own mindset (e.g. if you are relaxed, have any serious worries, history of mental illness, etc.) and your surroundings (e.g. if you feel comfortable and safe in them). The first time you try this should always be in a familiar and trusted environment, not on the streets of an unfamiliar city. If you do decide to try it please get informed first. Conscious Dreams [9], the company who invented the entire concept of a 'smartshop' back in 1994 does this clearly (without downplaying the possible risks just to sell more like some other shops do) and responsibly. Also plan well ahead, make sure you have thought out where you will be, most recommended is going to a large park like the Vondelpark, the Rembrandtpark or the Amsterdamse Bos where it is quiet, and there is no risk from traffic. Make sure that being intoxicated will not endanger your safety, or that of anybody else. Be sure to make your purchase in the Smartshops rather than a regular coffeeshop. They are better regulated and information is available from the attendants that work there. They are also of better quality and stronger potency than at the coffeeshops.

If you're not sure of how much to take, take a small dose. Then you'll know what your "tolerance" level is. People who have bad trips are those who take a dosage over their own tolerance level. Never take more than one packet of mushrooms - usually half is good for your first time. A good smart shop can give you more info about this.

Do keep in mind that all hemp related products (except the seeds) are still illegal. This can be confusing for most tourists, who do think hemp products are legal since they are sold in coffeeshops. Hemp products are not legal, rather they are "tolerated" under the Dutch Opium Act. Read more about the legalities in the article about the Netherlands.

As of April 2009 you can still buy Magic mushrooms.

Amsterdam plays host to the Cannabis Cup, the most important marijuana related event in the world every year during the week of Thanksgiving. The Cannabis Cup is organized by High Times magazine, and offers both tourists and natives the chance to enjoy 5 days of consuming and judging marijuana in different forms. Participants are eligible to pay $199 in advance or €250 at the door to obtain a "judges pass", which allows entry to the event for all 5 days, admission to numerous concerts and seminars held during the event, the ability to vote on numerous awards that are handed out, and free bus tours to and from the event. Day passes are available for €30 for each day, and certain concerts sell tickets at the door provided they are not already sold out.

See Also