Situated in the Dutch- (Flemish) speaking section of the country of Belgium, Antwerp serves as the capital of the Antwerp province. It is also known as the unofficial capital of Flanders. This city covers a total area of 75 square miles with over 510,610 inhabitants. It is a major seaport bordered by the Netherlands on the north and France to the south.
Antwerp is currently the world's center for cutting, trading, and polishing diamonds. Antwerp is sometimes dubbed as “The World’s Capital of Diamonds.” The city’s Diamond District is occupied by diamond cutting shops, diamond dealers, brokers, and merchants.
Antwerp has a single red light district located in an area called Schipperskwartier. The name of the place translates to “shipper's quarters” and includes three streets: Verversrui, Vingerlingstraat, and Schippersstraat. The area is reminiscent of Amsterdam’s red light district and features window cases with hookers of various nationalities. You will also find two adult shops, one of which also functions as a venue for peep shows.
Schipperskwartier is located north of the trendy district’s historic center and south of the Islet. At the heart of this area, between Schipperstraat and Verversrui lies Villa Tinto. It’s a former industrial building which has been transformed into a stylish bordello. Many locals have described Villa Tinto as the “shopping mall of sex.” It is managed in pretty much the same manner as other high-street districts. The main difference is that Villa Tinto is mostly for sex. The main drag here takes tourists past window after window of gorgeous ladies in what could typically serve as the display section of retail stores, thus giving rise to the area’s sobriquet as “the most high- tech bordello in Europe.”
History of the RLD
Villa Tinto aside, Schipperskwartier is the red light district of Antwerp which has been lauded as one of Europe’s most authentic because the area managed to retain the classic port character and remains without the loud and lurid calls of street promoters who are looking to haul hordes of unsuspecting tourists into private rooms or sex shows. In general, Villa Tinto and the rest of Schipperskwartier are a must see when visiting Antwerp. Beautiful young ladies abound and sex prices are surprisingly affordable.
How to find the RLD
Going to Schipperskwartier takes about 22 minutes to reach an approximately 22-kilometer distance from the Antwerp International Airport.
Stay safe in the RLD
Schipperskwartier had been reestablished and renovated recently and is now regarded as one of the safest red-light districts in the world. This so-called three-block ‘tolerance zone’ even has its own police station, hence there is around the clock security monitoring in the area. The organized crime gangs that used to have considerable influence in the vice trade are now gone, so tourists who plan to explore in this city have practically close to nothing to worry about. Tourists can now make late night neon-lit walks sans any fears of running into trouble.
Antwerp is regarded as the wilder version of Brussels, with its enviable collection of brothels, strip clubs, escort services, erotic massage parlours, swinger clubs, sex shops, among others. You’ll want to be in this insouciant city if you wish to tap into your wild side.
Window prostitution exists in Schipperskwartier, Skipper Street, and Verversrui. In Skippers Quarter alone there are about 280 windows. Scantily clad women normally rent a window with a room and they try to enchant clients from behind the glass façade. The standard rate for window prostitutes usually starts at $69 or €50 for 15 minutes. However, you can pay a little extra for kissing and opting not to use a condom. A bit of caution, though – the ladies are regulated but the street hustlers are not.
Prostitution is illegal by law but Antwerp opted to tolerate it in three streets: Vingerlingstraat, Schippersstraat, and Verversrui. The city government even established a permanent police presence to ensure the safety of the sex workers and to deter criminal activity often associated with the sex trade. The legal minimum age for sex work is 18, while the legal age of consent for sex is 16.
In 2005, Belgium amended its 1995 Act Containing Measures to Repress Trafficking in Persons. All forms of human trafficking are now deemed illegal. This includes the trafficking of women as sex slaves and to their forced recruitment as prostitutes. As amended, the maximum penalty for all forms of human trafficking is 30 years’ imprisonment, which is considered sufficiently stringent and corresponds to penalties prescribed by law for other serious criminal offenses.
In general, Belgian law has been quite tolerant of homosexuals. A law prohibiting homosexuality was repealed in 1762, and since then the country had only one anti-gay law, which restricts homosexual sex for those under the age of 18. Gay activists lobbied hard against the inequality, and their efforts paid off as the anti-gay age prohibition was repealed in 1985.
Much like the rest of Belgium, Antwerp is a city with people who have liberal and open-minded mindsets.
General Attitude Towards Gays
The general attitude towards gays and lesbians in this city is one of civility and tolerance. In fact, the perception of homosexuality has changed dramatically in Belgium over the past decade or so. However, it does not necessarily mean that occasional negative reactions no longer occur, as such things still tend to sometimes occur.
Gay Prostitution in Antwerp
Gay prostitution generally takes place in Antwerp City Park where you can get sexual services for as low as for 30 euros. Boys prostitution is also rampant, and in spite of the shift to dating sites, men could still be picked up in public. It has been estimated that there are 800 manhoeren in the city.