The Red Light District is Amsterdam's most notrious neighbourhood. De Wallen, as it is known to locals, is often cited as offering a shocking view of the city's famous liberalism like no other, when it comes to the policies of tolerance for prostitution and soft drugs. Given its reputation for vice, it's no surprise that this part of town has become such a popular destination for tourists - but is the Red Light District safe? Find out more below.
The Red Light District is the based in the heart of Amsterdam, in the cit'ys most historic quarter and is one of the best known neighbourhoods for tourists who come to see the city's naughty side.
Although in many cities around the world, areas that are known Red Light Districts can be extremely dodgy, the Amsterdam Red Light District is actually pretty safe. Although there are some problems with pickpocketing, petty theft and drug-dealing, the area has a constant police presence (there are also a number of undercover cops) and you will see everyone from tourists to elderly couples and families walking around at all times. Although issues with antisocial behaviour have increasingly been a topic of contention in recent years, the area is pretty safe. As long as you keep your valuables hidden, avoid interaction with dodgy characters and ignore street dealers, you're unlikely to come across trouble in the Red Light District.
Some people expect the area to be hidden away and a bit lawless but this couldn't be further from the truth - Amsterdam's Red Light District is right in the centre of the city, just a stone's throw from central station. Yes, there are drugs, yes there are prostitutes, sex clubs and everything that goes with it but there is no reason to be scared of visiting this part of town - just take the same sensible precautions as you would in any city at night. For more information on staying safe in Amsterdam, check out our blog, 'Is Amsterdam Safe' for all our top tips to make sure your trip is as fun and safe as possible.
And if you are concerned about safety but do wish to check out this fascinating and infamous part of the city, consider joining a Pub Crawl. You'll be able to meet plenty of drinking buddies (safety in numbers, after all!) and our staff will be on hand if you have any issues.
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