Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

| March 2, 2012 | 43 Comments

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (43)

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  1. I didn’t see a peep show when I was in Amsterdam, but we did walk around the Red Light quite a bit. You’re right, there is something about it that draws you in. I too was surprised at the number of customers that just non-nonchalantly knocked on the window, with so many tourists walking around…

    • Cole says:

      The customers were clearly not ashamed to be seen entering which surprised us. But I guess with such an open society then why should they be ashamed! In fact, good on them :)

  2. Andrea says:

    LOL, definitely a must see ;)

  3. Nice of you to be so considerate of Adela’s wishes. I guess you just had to make the best of a difficult situation. Thanks for taking one for the team so you could let us know about this. Seriously, though, a very interesting post!

  4. I spent a lot of time in the red light district — unintentionally, since I kept walking around in circles in Amsterdam. But I did find it all very interesting, too. I might have gone to the peep show if I wasn’t alone. I like your last sentences about being respectful.

    • Cole says:

      Good on you for still checking it out when you were alone Cathy! And people need to be respectful as it is sometimes an unfortunate job that they may not have wanted to get in to. Everyone needs to be respectful no matter what your job title is! :)

  5. Amanda says:

    Awwwwkward! Lol. Not sure if I could do it!

  6. Laurence says:

    Still fifty euros eh? Inflation clearly hasn’t affected prices since my last visit a few years ago…

  7. Before reading this I didn’t know what a peep show was… now I’ve been educated! But it kind of makes me think of those booths at porn stores where you rent it to watch videos. o_O

  8. Turtle says:

    I want to go now just to see the people behind the other windows. That sounds like the highlight of the whole experience!! :)

    • Cole says:

      Just watch out which areas you end up in. There are lady-boy sections, nice looking girls and also apparently a section for older birds!

  9. Laurel says:

    I love that you were a good “sport” and only went along with it since Adela wanted to go :). Interesting experience and yet another reason to go to Amsterdam.

  10. I did walk around the Red Light District, but never dared to venture in one of its fine establishments! It was wild enough for me as it was :-P

  11. Haha I love that you shared this experience. Funny write-up!

  12. Andrew says:

    I’m with Christy, I had no idea of the literal nature of a peep show. I always thought of it just as a generic term, not something specific involving peeping and automated doors.
    I remember taking a boat ride through the one time I was in Amsterdam. We were on a school trip in High School with the German class, so there was NO way they were going to take us IN any of these places. We were lucky to get to have beer.

    • Cole says:

      Hahaha no I don’t think it would be appropriate for a High School trip to attend. But I am sure if you knew what it was back then you would have wanted to go!

  13. Kurt says:

    Ahh. The red light district of Amsterdam. Those silly socially liberal Europeans. Step one regulate it. Step two tax it. Step three?? Step four Profit! (Revenue) We could use some of that here in the US.

    Good write up. Loved your take on it.

    • Cole says:

      Haha good points Kurt. It is a brilliant system and the tax definitely makes it totally worthwhile for the city (not to mention regulated and safer for the women).

  14. We’ve never been to Amsterdam or the Red Light district but we DID make it to the pink light district in our small South Korean town. Same concept, except scantily clad women eating ramen and taking care of toddlers behind their rose-tinted windows. It’d be interesting to compare the two some day.

    • Cole says:

      Hmm the Pink Light district. Might have to check that out when we are travelling through there in another year or so. Just for research of course :)

  15. Shanna Schultz says:

    I will add this to my list for our next stop in Amsterdam…we have walked around the outside of some of these places, but have not yet had the courage to go inside. I was amazed that in Amsterdam, in our room directory in an upscale hotel were listed the hotels recommended prostitute for our pleasure. It was strange to be in an environment where sex is so open.

  16. cheryl says:

    Oh my. You guys are hilarious. I managed to stay out of the red light district when I was there in Decemeber but did take in the cheesy sex museum!

  17. cheryl says:

    And I can only imagine the Google search queries to your site now. =)

  18. Ayngelina says:

    I’d go but I’ve heard similar reports from other people, kinda silly, not what you’d think at all.

    • Cole says:

      You are exactly right! I felt like a bit of creep going in but then realised it was 90% tourists in the other booths just wanting to see what it was all about as well haha.

  19. I went to this same place with a group of friends in 2009. The show itself was depressing, and the cubicles (which we nicknamed jizz-booths) grubby, but what was worst of all was when we left left the cubicle and stepped back into the passage way – A man had been mopping out one of the cubicles and one of the girls in our group got her feet drizzled on by the jizz-mop as he shuffled past her onto the next one. Her face was classic. Grim in every way.
    Chris Booth recently posted..York’s 5 best museums, reviewedMy Profile

  20. Is it X-rated or R? Details please… ;-)
    Christine |GRRRL TRAVELER recently posted..Top 7 Things to Do in Hong KongMy Profile

  21. Valeri says:

    Not only did I find myself in a sex show with a group of fellow travellers, we were sitting in what we deemed “the splash zone.” Nothing like being in the front row watching live sex while sipping a cocktail and sucking on a penis lollipop (I saved mine as a souvenir which ended up melting later on in my suitcase :/ ) As for the rest of Amsterdamage….one day I’ll go back to try and gather the rest of my memories I unwillingly left behind

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