The city government of
The new limits on tourism are part of a plan from the city’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema, to make Amsterdam’s neighborhoods more livable for its residents. For years, the city has explored options to limit the number of tourists, especially those visiting to indulge in alcohol, sex and cannabis.
“Residents of the old city center experience a lot of nuisance from mass tourism and alcohol and drug abuse on the street,” the Municipality of Amsterdam said in a statement on February 9,
“Residents cannot sleep well and the neighborhood is becoming unsafe and unliveable,” the city added.
Sex workers and establishments are regulated in the Netherlands, and cannabis is tolerated, although not officially legal, with sales of marijuana products permitted by the city’s cannabis retailers known as coffeeshops. The famed coffee shops allow patrons to
Under the new rules announced last week, the city would ban cannabis smoking outdoors on the streets of the Red Light District beginning in May. City officials said they would consider more action if the new restrictions fail to reduce unwelcome behavior by tourists, such as banning to-go sales of cannabis at coffee shops during certain hours and restricting smoking on cafe terraces.
New Rules For Amsterdam’s Sex Businesses, Too
Other new rules include a reduction in hours at the city’s sex businesses, which will require the establishments to close at 3 a.m. instead of the current 6 a.m. Restaurants and sex establishments with a catering license will be required to close at 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays instead of the current 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. Additionally, no new customers will be allowed to enter businesses with a catering license after 1 a.m.
Drinking alcohol on the streets is already banned in Amsterdam. Under the new rules, stores and cafeterias in the Red Light District that sell alcohol will be required to suspend weekend alcohol sales beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday and continuing through Sunday.
Last year, municipal officials in Amsterdam announced that they would take other steps to limit tourism in the busiest parts of the city, including capping the number of river cruises, cracking down on rowdy bachelor and bachelorette parties and limiting organized pub crawls, among other measures.
The proposal also included the new rules announced last week, including reducing business hours at sex establishments and catering firms and banning smoking in parts of the city. An advertising campaign to discourage tourists from engaging in unwelcome behavior is expected to launch later this year.
“Amsterdammers live in every neighbourhood, including the Red Light District and Leidseplein,” reads the official visitor information site
City officials are accepting public comments on the new rules for a period of four weeks, after which the proposals are expected to be finalized as amendments to Amsterdam’s municipal bylaws.