AMSTERDAM: Sex, Drugs and Jenever

AMSTERDAM: Sex, Drugs and Jenever

- Netherlands -

INTRODUCTION: I spent 24 hours in Amsterdam.
Have you ever wondered why drugs are legal in the Netherlands? Or if prostitution is the oldest job in the world? Why the red lights? What does “Dutch courage” or “Going Dutch” mean? Where is Gin from?

SEX: Is prostitution the oldest job in the world? Since the 14th century men were approaching Amsterdam’s port in search for women and beer. Napoleon was the first to introduce legalised prostitution in 1795 hoping to reduce sexually transmitted diseases. The red light district ( built in 1385 ) is the oldest district in Amsterdam and It now counts 400 windows dedicated to prostitution. Even if sex work is now regulated many prostitutes are facing problems such as human trafficking and pimping. Prostitution really is a dangerous profession; murders and attacks are still happening.
Why the red lights? It’s believed to make women look more attractive.
A fun fact: An average visit to a sexual worker is 6 minutes.
The Museum of prostitution offers a lot of information about the past and present conditions of these women while the sex museum shows a collection of private photos, old and new trends. It’s possible to see a live sex show and adult entertainment. “Case Rosso” is one of the biggest theatre with an ongoing show through the night!

DRUGS: The Dutch apply a very simple and basic idea to the use of drugs. They believe every human is responsible for its own health and ignoring some social problems doesn’t make the situation better but worst as you can’t control it. Thanks to these ideas you can now find cloudy coffee shops at every corner.
Most of them offer bongs, pipes and vaporisers, but if you want to blend in you should roll a joint, or in slang a “Dutch” (Missy Elliot- Pass that Dutch). As I’m not a smoker and I was worried to embarrass myself surrounded by professional I researched for a little coffee shop famous for its space cakes. I shared a piece with a friend while drinking a gigantic hot chocolate. ( Paradox, Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 2R ).
Unfortunately Amsterdam’s oldest coffee shop Mellow Yellow was forced to close in 2017 after 45 years in business as the law on drugs are becoming more strict.
The Bulldog is now one of the oldest coffee shop since 1974, for this reason it can be a very touristy destination.

JENEVER: Have you ever hear the saying ” dutch courage” ( meaning: strength or confidence gained from drinking alcohol )?
Well, there are different stories on how the phrase became popular but It’s mainly related to the comsumion of Janever (gin), a Dutch invention from the 16th century.
Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal is a tasting tavern in the hart of the city, their business started in 1679 as a liquor distillery, today they still use similar recipes and the same craft methods. I went to visit the tasting tavern in the middle of the day as It can be very busy in the evenings. This distillery is famous for its incredible selection of liquors and for serving small glasses so full you can’t lift them or carry them anywhere, but instead you have to bend down and drink directly from the counter. You are probably wondering why? Well, Dutch people have the reputation of being stingy but that’s not technically correct. They like to get what they are paying for, so when you pay 3 euros for a drinks they make sure you have a full glass.

How to get there: Amsterdam airport is very close to the city centre. It only take 20 minutes by train (cheapest option ) or a very short drive ( more expensive option ).
Around Amsterdam: You can walk around the city centre easily. Renting a bike is a very typical activity to do in Amsterdam.

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AMSTERDAM: Sex, Drugs and Jenever -Netherlands-

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1 Comment
  1. I went to Amsterdam last year and had the time of my life there! The people over there are much more chilled compared to London where I live. It’s literally the sex, liberal capital of the world

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

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