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Amsterdam: Dutch city set to ban two of the most popular tourist activities – what?


Amsterdam is making huge changes that will affect tourists this year. The city in the Netherlands is banning guided tours past windows in the red light district. Views of the sex workers posing behind the glass are a huge draw for tourists.

Tours will still be permitted – so long as they don’t pass by the windows and guides follow the new rules.

Currently, around 115 guided tours visit the red light district in Amsterdam every day.

These have been shown to inconvenience more than half of the residents and businesses in the area, the city claims.

Overcrowding in the historic city centre of Amsterdam – where the red light district is situated – has been a big problem for many years.


Everhardt has said that insisting on the new detours for guided groups “will help to prevent disruptions for residents and businesses.”

Cracking down on guided tours isn’t the only big change set to impact tourists in Amsterdam.

Visitors could soon be banned from buying cannabis in the city, as the mayor of Amsterdam attempts to deter visits to the historic centre.

Mayor Femke Halsema commissioned a survey, by the Research, Information and Statistics Department, to examine how many tourists are drawn to Amsterdam because of coffee shops selling cannabis, the legal prostitution zone and by low-cost flights.

The research showed that 34 percent of people would visit the city less often and 11 per cent would never go again if they were barred from entering its coffee shops.

Meanwhile almost half (42 percent) of Britons said they would visit less frequently and 12 per cent claimed they would never go back.

Among the tourists who would continue to flock to Amsterdam, 40 percent said they would not use cannabis.

Those who would continue to use the drug said they’d find another way to source it, with 22 percent saying they’d let someone else go into a coffee shop.

The study said: “For British visitors, coffee shops are by far the most frequently mentioned main reason to come to Amsterdam (33 percent).

“They cite walking or cycling through the city less often as the main reason (21 percent) and more often indicate cheap travel as the main reason (11 per cent compared to six per cent on average).”

According to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), British nationals make more than two million visits to the Netherlands every year, half of whom are visiting Amsterdam. Most visits are trouble-free.


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