It is probably the most popular neighbourhood of Amsterdam: the Wallen, better known as the Red Light District. It owes its notoriety not only to being the oldest neighbourhood of the city, but also thanks to a not so ordinary profession that can be found here on every corner: prostitution.
The idea people have of the red light district and of prostitution in general is usually pretty biased. To change that and to inform people more about the world’s oldest profession, the Red Light Secrets museum was opened in 2014. This museum is completely dedicated to the world of prostitution.
The life of a working girl
The Red Light Secrets museum takes you into the world of the prostitutes working in the red light district in Amsterdam. Walk through an actual brothel room and learn about the differences between working in a brothel or from a rented room on the street.
Photographer Tess Jungblut accompanied the cleaners from the Wallen while cleaning the working spaces of the girls, early in the morning. The series of photographs Jungblut made during those trips are exhibited in the museum and take you places most of us otherwise would never see.
Experience what it is like to sit in an actual window – only if you want to! – while people from the street can see you and judge you on the way you look.
All throughout the museum little cards are hidden on the walls, giving answers to so called ‘secret questions’. From ‘how many condoms does a prostitute use?’ to ‘how do you become a prostitute?’ and ‘is it dangerous to work as a prostitute?’.
The answers to these secret questions, together with personal stories from working girls, give visitors more insight into what it is like to work as a prostitute in Amsterdam.
Furthermore, the museum gives you insight in everyday life of prostitutes working on the Wallen throughout the years, like what they used to wear in the old days compared to today’s attire.
Everyone visiting the Wallen should include a visit to the Red Light Secrets Museum. The museum gives honest and realistic information on what it is like to work as a prostitute in Amsterdam.
And the museum is not just about prostitution. The red light district itself plays a beautiful supporting role, best illustrated by the short movie that shows how tight knit this neighbourhood is and how everyone here supports each other.
Visiting the red light district will never be the same again.
Red Light Secrets Museum
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60H
1012 DS Amsterdam
Monday: 11.00 – 00.00
Tuesday: 11.00 – 00.00
Wednesday: 11.00 – 00.00
Thursday: 11.00 – 00.00
Friday: 11.00 – 00.00
Saturday: 11.00 – 00.00
Sunday: 11.00 – 00.00