Closing Coffeeshops and Cleaning Up the Red Light District - Plan 1012 Sucks!

When thinking about Amsterdam, you probably imagine a vibrant city centre filled with coffeeshops, bars, smartshops, souvenir shops, fast-food chains and of course a Red Light District (RLD) offering windows with prostitutes bathed in the glow of red lights.

 The 1012 Plan

That’s at least what you have seen in the past, if you are a returning visitor, or that’s what you’ve heard from millions of others who’ve made their way here. Sadly, all that will change
if the “1012 Plan” is carried out in full. Fear not, coffeeshops and prostitution won’t be suddenly outlawed; but it means that the city council is trying to “clean up Amsterdam”, giving it a more trendy and chic look. They want to transform the area into a hip place to go out, eat and shop for art or fashion, for tourists and locals alike.

The idea is to replace any “dodgy” bars, coffeeshops and sexclubs with modern cafes, restaurants, art galleries and designer shops. Further still, is an attempt to get rid of any red light windows that are outside of the RLD, and sadly, the majority within it as well. Under Plan 1012, prostitution will completely disappear from the Kortjespoortsteeg, the Singel, the Spuistraat, the Oude Kerksplein and in the Trompettersteeg. Windows will remain only in allowed areas and each will have to receive special permit, issued only to persons with no criminal record. The minimum age for prostitutes will be raised from 18 to 21.


The most important aim of the plan is to eliminate money-laundering, sex-trafficking and any other forms of abuse of people or the law, as well as getting rid of the (in)famous street junkies. There are plans of creating a “Rode Loper”, (Red Carpet) to the city, leading from Amsterdam Centraal station all the way down to the Flower Market. The red carpet area is vital to this plan as it’s the first part of town seen by most visitors. This controversial initiative is known as the “1012 Plan”, named after the postal code of the city centre; the area that needs “cleaning“. Intended to be completed by the end of building the new metro line connecting the north and south of the city, it is still a long way off.

What is not yet known is how this plan will affect tourism in general. Opinions are divided. On one hand, it will be great to see more new and legitimate businesses, but is this worth losing the RLD that is so famous throughout the whole world? Of course it’s more than sex & drugs that make the city so beloved, but with this new style Amsterdam will certainly become less attractive to the billions that loved spending their money in local sexclubs, with prostitutes, in game-rooms / casinos, seedy bars and coffeeshops over the years.


 Coffeeshops Closing in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is phasing out 28 coffeeshops because they are seen by the new government as being located too close to schools. Thankfully the shops are not being closed immediately do have some time left, however from January 1, 2014, the shops on the list can only open for between 18:00 to 1:00.

The following shops are scheduled to close:


 July 1, 2014

Ben, Betty Boop, Gouden Boon, The Grasshopper, Homegrown Fantasy, De Kade, Magic, Ocean, The Power, The Wauw Shop.


January 2015

Abraxas Too, Anyday, Biba, The Energy Shop.


January 2016

El Guapo, De Graal, High Time, De Kroon Twee, De Kroon Drie, De Kuil, Little, Lucifera, Mediterranee, Mellow Yellow, Resin, Space Mountain, Today, Utopia.