Did you know? Amsterdam is synonymous for marijuana. The city is one of the most well-known marijuana-friendly destinations in the world, as it has been since the 1970s when the plant first became the popular commodity that it is today. After World War II, soldiers used marijuana to relax, unwind, and socialize. Today marijuana isn’t technically legal in The Netherlands, but marijuana consumption is allowed inside of the many coffee shops.
What is an Amsterdam Coffee Shop?
An Amsterdam Coffee Shop is a marijuana consumption club of sorts. Visitors may enter the establishment if they’re 18 years of age or older where they can purchase and consume marijuana. More than 250 coffee shops are located throughout Amsterdam. Many of these shops are located in the Red Light District, where the tourists usually gather to enjoy the city – and a great smoke sesh.
How to Choose a Coffee Shop
Research the many different coffee shops before you go out and about in Amsterdam. It takes only a small amount of research to help you discover the shops that meet your criteria. Some people want a shop that has low prices while others prefer a more social environment. Some smoker want the best marijuana and a nice cup of Joe to go with it all. No matter what you seek, there is a coffee shop that will surpass your expectations.
Use the 25 tips below to find the best Amsterdam coffee house choices and to learn how to smoke like a pro when visiting the country. Using these tips ensures that you find the good high time you’re looking to find!
1. Visit the ‘Locals Only’ Spots
Tourist spots offer great coffee shops without question. You’ll Want to visit a few of these shops to get the feel for smoking in Amsterdam. However, do not limit your destination to only the tourist spots. When you find your way to one of the ‘locals’ hangouts, you’ve found the secret spots that create special memories that you’ll take back home and cherish forever.Trinity is a coffee shop situated outside of the Red Light District where the locals are oftentimes found. There’s a plethora of fun entertainment options here, including dart boards and pool tables, as well as a nice selection of marijuana. Expect great conversation as the locals ponder your accent, how you found the coffee shop, and share in your marijuana enjoyment. Of course, this is only one of the many great coffee shops for locals, so search the options to find the quaint, small places that most tourists avoid.
If you are close to Trinity Cafe this Google Map might help you.
2. Look for the Green Sticker
Finding a coffee shop can be a challenge for an Amsterdam visitor who doesn’t know the difference between a cafe, a coffee house, and a coffee shop. A cafe is similar to a bar in other countries and the coffee houses are known as koffiehuis. These establishments sell coffee, pastries, and sometimes other food items but do not sell or allow cannabis consumption on their property. Coffee shops have a sticker of green and white to alert customers that it is a cannabis-friendly establishment. When in doubt, look for this sticker in the window.
3. Request a Menu
All of the coffee shops have menus of their products describing the various items they offer for sale, but don’t expect a lot of description in the products. Most of the menus contain only the strain name and a price (in Euros) and lack any other details. This is in part due to the advertising restrictions that are in place. If the menu isn’t within eyesight, ask the server for a copy to browse your choices and get high the right way.
Most shops allow visitors to bring in their own marijuana. They’ll even provide rolling papers, tips, and a lighter to get you going. But, it is only proper etiquette that you spend some money at the shop if you bring in your own marijuana. Most of the shops do not sell pipes, bongs, or other marijuana – related accessories, but there are snacks and beverages to enjoy as you partake in your marijuana smoking sesh. Make yourself comfortable, light up, and grab a drink to show your appreciation for the coffee shop. Of course, you can always do the honorable thing and make a small marijuana purchase from the coffee shop rather than bring in your own if you prefer that idea.
5. Each Coffee Shop is Unique
The Greenhouse is a Cannabis Cup winner and popular amongst celebrity smokers who visit Amsterdam. This is one of the most unique and popular coffee shops in town, but there are plenty additional unique spots to find marijuana and fun. Don’t limit your visit to only one coffee shop because you’ll miss out on the versatility and unique engagement that each offers to its visitor. Hunter’s Cafe is a touristy spot with prices considerably lower than most other shops in the Red Light District. Dolphins has a unique dolphin theme that will enhance your experience.
6. Bring Cash
A few of the upscale coffee shops only accept cards or accept them in addition to cash. You must have a card with a chip and a pin number, which is standard form across Europe. It is easier to bring cash with you to the coffee shops that you plan to visit. This just makes it easier and speeds up the purchase process. Plus, it also keeps things discreet and confidential so only you know the Amsterdam spots you visited during your getaway. ATMs aren’t readily available in Amsterdam so do not make the process of buying marijuana harder than it should be.
7. Don’t Touch the Menus
Strict marijuana advertising rules in Amsterdam cause many of the coffee shop owners to fret over their menus once they’re off the tables. Most of the agents will not allow you to touch the menus if they’re sealed inside of glass. Those menus that are not cannot leave the table area. It is best to place the menu on the counter to read over the menu option to avoid any headaches that might result due to these advertising restrictions. You can always ask questions about the products that are on the menu, so avoid those frustrations from the start.
8. Ask for Product Recommendations
The menus may not offer a lot of information, but this isn’t to say that you cannot get product details to choose the marijuana that will satisfy you the most. You can always ask the staff at the coffee shop for recommendations of the best strains to try. They’ll help you learn the difference between a sativa and an indica, alert you to customer favorites, answer questions, and otherwise ensure that you choose marijuana that meets your needs. These are experienced members of the marijuana community. You can trust their knowledge to send you in the right direction and an amazingly high time.
9. Choose Lodging Wisely
A 2008 ban on smoking in public places means that you won’t likely be allowed to smoke at an Amsterdam hotel if you choose to lodge at such a location. There is always an exception (or two) to the rule, however, so it is possible to find a few hotels that allow smoking. However, if you are a heavy smoker or want to enjoy a smoker paradise while in Amsterdam, it is best to choose an alternative lodging option. Flats and apartment rentals for short-term stay are available; look at these lodging choices if smoking is important when you’ve left the area coffee shops. Pure weed smoking isn’t as frowned upon as smoking marijuana combined with tobacco, so keep this in mind when booking your loding as well.
10. Check Out the Weed
The rules for buying weed don’t change simply because you’re in Amsterdam purchasing the product from a coffee shop. Always look at the marijuana before purchase. The shops allow you to look at and smell the marijuana they offer and when you take the time to look at the product before you buy, you can rest assured that you’re buying the quality that you want. It is rare to find marijuana inside the coffee shops that does not live up to high standards, but this does vary from one coffee shop to another.
11. Look for Wifi
Barney’s Coffee Shop is one of Amsterdam’s most popular spots. It is situated in the Haarlemmerstraat district inside a 500-year-old building. Cannabis, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available here, as well as Wi-Fi. This is not as widely found at coffee shops as you might be accustomed to when visiting from another country so if you want to stay connected while engaging at the bar, look for signs on the door that indicate the service is available. Many of the better coffee shops in town offer free Wifi, but do not let this alone be a deal breaker from visiting a shop that has piqued your curiosity.
If you are close to Barney’s Coffee Shop this Google Map might help you.
12. Do Not Bring in ‘Hard Drugs’
Dutch authorities are pretty lax when it comes to ‘soft’ drugs like marijuana but they’re not so kind when hard drugs are involved. Do not attempt to bring in hard drugs when visiting any of the Amsterdam coffee shops. This is a good way to get thrown out the door or worse, land yourself in jail. Hard drugs include LSD, party drugs like Molly or Ecstasy, and cocaine. You’ve come to experience marijuana in its finest form and the opportunity is before you. Do not miss out on the experience by handling hard drugs that land you in hot water.
13. Daily Limit
Amsterdam coffee shops ar open long hours so it is easy to go any time that you would like and stay as little or as long as you like. But, do not expect to smoke as much marijuana as you’d like while at the coffee shops. The Netherlands government allows 5-grams per day limit shouldn’t bother most people. You can hold up to 500 grams on your person but don’t expect to purchase an amount greater than 5 grams in any single day.
14. Bring Your Own Supplies
Most of the coffee shops in Amsterdam sell marijuana but none of the cool accessories that many smokers like to use these days. You can bring in your own pipe or other smoking accessories and supplies from the outside if you wish, but remember the shop is always willing to offer you a paper so you can easily roll up. There are many different stores that do sell pipes, bongs, and other assorted items, but do not expect to find head shops like you’d find in U.S. states. Arrive at the coffee shop prepared if you’re going to enjoy a smoke sesh.
15. Ask Before You Smoke
There is a good chance that smoking is allowed inside the coffee shop that you visit but do not automatically assume that it is allowed. About 90% of the coffee shops allow smoking inside their establishment, but i you’re in that rate establishment that does not, lighting up could cause a big uproar. It is easy to avoid any headaches by asking this one simple question ahead of time.
16. Outdoor Smoking is Illegal
Outdoor smoking is illegal in Amsterdam, though it is rarely enforced. As long as you are cool, calm, and collected and not causing a big disturbance or setting off fire alarms, you probably will go unnoticed. Since there are so many coffee shops in town, it makes sense to limit your smoke seshes to your time inside these shops, however. It is better to be safe than to be sorry and with so many places to dart inside to smoke and stay a spell, you have even more reason to stay safe and smoke in places where it is allowed.
17. Don’t Buy Weed From Random Street Dealers
Street dealers are notorious for selling soft and hard drugs in tourist areas, particularly the Red Light District. It might be tempting to purchase from a street dealer but heed the warnings that you’ll see placed at various locations through the city that tell you to avoid such dealings. Not only does buying from a street dealer increase the risks of becoming the victim of a robbery or other crime, you never know exactly what you are getting when you spend your money on the streets. It is just as easy to purchase marijuana at one of the coffee shops and put your mind at ease.
18. Just Relax
The art of buying marijuana might seem strange at first. After all, it’s not everyday you can walk into a shop, look at a menu of marijuana strains and place an order. But, you can while in Amsterdam and it is a simple process for anyone to complete. Just walk into the coffee shop f your choice, browse the menu, and tell the waiter what you want to buy. It is truly that simple, so let your worries go and rest assured that you enjoy and savor the moment for what it is worth.
19. A Smart Shop isn’t the Same as a Coffee Shop
A smart shop is much different from a coffee shop. This facility does not sell any marijuana products but instead sells edibles that contain the same active ingredients as their magic mushrooms, which were banned in Europe in 2007. If you plan to purchase ‘hard drugs,’ visiting one of the smart shops in town is the best place to go to make the purchase. Heroin, cocaine and an assortment of other drugs are sold on the streets of Amsterdam but if you plan to do them, at least purchase them from a legitimate shop!
20. Don’t Underestimate the Marijuana
Amsterdam tourists will not find any disappointment in the marijuana they purchase in the city. It is very strong and potent, especially to newcomers and visitors who do not regularly consume the product. The marijuana has a great taste and oftentimes earn title as the ‘best marijuana ever smoked.’ Even regular smokers will find the marijuana they purchase at the coffee shops stronger and more potent than what they’re accustomed to smoking. Do not underestimate the marijuana and find that you consume too much! You want to enjoy your stay and play as much as you can. Over-indulging will ruin all of the fun!
21. Do Ask for Coffee Shop Recommendations
250 coffee shops is a lot of coffee shops, in case you didn’t already realize the magnitude of this number. Spending two weeks in Amsterdam is still not enough time to visit each of the shops. Since you likely have only a limited amount of time to spend in town, make sure your visits include the best coffee shops in town. We’ve listed some of the steps to take to find the best coffee shops and listed a couple of the top names above. But, you can take your quest to find a great coffee shop that will surpass your expectations by asking for recommendations from other people.
22. Do Not Bring in Alcohol
Smoking is allowed in most coffee shops but alcohol is not. You’ll need to visit a cafe if you want to drink an alcoholic beverage. Do not bring in alcohol from the outside and do not expect to find it on the menu for sale once you arrive at the coffee shop. These shops are designed specifically for the needs of marijuana consumers and for consumption of the product. You will find lots of cannabis, but not a single alcoholic beverage. Don’t Even ask!
23. Joint & Pure Joints
There are two types of joints for sale at the coffee shops in Amsterdam. The Pure Joint is a 100% marijuana joint while the Joint is a 50/50 mixture of marijuana and tobacco. The mixed joints cost less than the Pure Joints, although prices vary from one coffee shop to the next. The considerable differences in costs is one of the biggest reasons that it is so important to find the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam rather than jumping in the middle of the fun and hoping for the best. And, when you compare the coffee shops it is easy to learn the best offering each variety of joint.
24. Limit the Amount of Marijuana You Purchase
Although you can purchase 5 grams of marijuana each day at a coffee shop, do not purchase too much marijuana and find that you need to toss it before departing. A little goes a long way when it concerns Amsterdam weed. Even if you’re a regular smoker, this weed will do your body good and you will likely smoke much less than usual. Purchase marijuana in small qanties and come back if you smoke it all and need more.
25. Bring a Friend
Exploring Amsterdam alone is never fun. Make sure that you arrive in town with a friend or two so you can all enjoy the excitement together. If you think that smoking marijuana is fun, you know how much more thrilling it is when friends and people you love are near. The same holds true when traveling to Amsterdam to enjoy a marijuana experience. The more friends that come along, the more fun you will all enjoy together. Plus, it is safer when you travel in groups and you can breathe easier knowing that there are people there whom you trust and who have your back.
The Bottom Line
Do not let a first-time Amsterdam visit intimidate you when fun and excitement in a high environment is what you’ve come to enjoy. The city is known as one of the most marijuana-friendliest in the world and with the 25 tips above in use, it is easy to experience this excitement firsthand. Amsterdam will live up to every expectation that you’ve set. Once you visit the first coffee shop and have a better idea of what to expect, you’ll be getting stoned like a pro and may never want to return back home! The same is true when these tips are used when visiting the grand Amsterdam coffee shops.