Amsterdam Red Light Tour


Amsterdam is known as the city of sin but also as a city full of museums, art, and culture. The Red Light Secrets Museum combines all of these aspects into an interesting attraction in the heart of the city. I stumbled across this place when was on a tour of ‘de Wallen’ the biggest and best known red light district of the three in Amsterdam, featuring roughly 300 working windows.

Amsterdam Red Light Tour

I found my red light tour so interesting that when my partner and I had some time to kill before our flight the next day, we decided to head back to the area and check out the museum. We had a coupon for discounted entry so we were able to enter the museum for just eight euros each which made it even better value for money!

Our experience in the museum really brought to life some of the facts we had learned about the area from our tour guide the previous day. It is based in a former brothel and at the start, you are ‘lured’ further into the museum a girl projected onto a large screen.

Next, you find yourself in a cinema to watch a documentary that introduces the different characters you see around the area from people who bring snacks to the girls while they work to a gentleman that sells red lights and even an older prostitute.

I found this part of the film quite strange as she is showing her child the room that she works in. I doubt that this is common practice as our tour guide taught us that the girls are discouraged from bringing their family and friends to their office. Overall I enjoyed the short documentary but found it to be perhaps a little out of date and not really reflective of what I had experienced the day before.

After the movie, we got to check out the history of the fashion and it was really interesting to see how lingerie has changed over the years.

On the way up the stairs to the next room, we got to see a board that was once used as a work schedule. We then arrived at one of our favorite parts of the experience, a room with a window where you can dress up and look out across the bustling streets and get a feel for how it is to stand in a window just like the prostitutes do. It would have been better if this was downstairs on street level so you could feel truly immersed but nonetheless it was a cool experience!

Next, we got to look around three work rooms; a regular room, a luxury room, and an SM room before entering what they call the emersion room where you can sit and there is a video simulating a crowded street of customers ogling you as they walk past. This felt really genuine and made up for my thoughts about the upstairs window experience.

Following the emersion, we watched another documentary made by Stop the Traffik which really brought home the issues mentioned by our tour guide and I would really recommend others to watch this.

Amsterdam Red Light Secrets Museum

The final stages of the museum include a lost and found and a wall of confessions made by Amsterdam prostitutes, some of which are really funny and some heart-wrenching. You end with a quiz to test your knowledge of what you have learned during the museum journey.

I would highly advise anyone visiting Amsterdam to take a red light tour or visit Red Light secrets as I feel my understanding and empathy has grown as a result of this experience.

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