Street prostitution is not allowed in the Netherlands, unless it is done at specially designated red light zones for street prostitution. Utrecht’s red light zone is on the Europalaan. On the street (in a defined zone), you make contact with clients who are driving around. Before you enter the car, you make agreements with the client about the price and the services that you will provide. If you come to an agreement with your client, you will drive together in his car to the designated zone where you can work.

A Belle ‘sitting room’ or shelter is located at the red light district where you can go for coffee, tea or orange juice and where you can use the shower and toilet. Items are sold at the bar, such as condoms, toiletries, cigarettes, food and drinks, among others. This is where you can have a quiet break and prepare yourself for your work.

The red light zone is open daily between 7.00 pm until 2.00 am. The Belle sitting room is open between 7.30 pm until 1.30 am. A doctor is available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 7.30 pm and 11.00 pm. The doctor specialises in sex work related health issues, can perform an STD examination, can provide information about contraception and hepatitis B vaccinations.

A permit is required in order to work at the red light zone. You can request an application at the gemeente (municipality) via phone number 14030. It’s also possible to fill in a request form at the Belle sitting room at the red light zone. Then, you’ll need tot do an interview with a staff member from Public Health Services (municipality) and a Belle care worker. Your permit is valid for one year, after which there will be another interview to renew your permit. Women from Utrecht are given priority when applying for a permit. At this point, there is a multiple-year waiting list for women from outside the Utrecht area.

The Utrecht city council have decided to close the red light zone for street prostitution at the latest on July 21st, 2021.

For more information, see the Utrecht municipality website.

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