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"Coffeeshops" - What a great concept!
Coffeeshops were definitely not the only reason we wanted to visit Amsterdam, but it is the thing we miss the most! Here's an important tip - Be sure to learn where your hotel is before visiting a coffeeshop! And at most of the coffeeshops we were very pleased with the product except at one - Basjoes. I have since read on this site that some just offer a selection but sell the same stuff, and what was supposed to be "Thai" looked like the same old crap we get at home. When smoking a dutch joint (and be sure to do that!) just be careful if you are not a smoker since they add tobacco to them. Don't try to take a big toke on those! My biggest suggestion is to try the "White Widow"! You will not regret it! (I wish I could run down to my corner coffeeshop right now!!!)
The One-Stop Shop
Where else in the world can you order a Coca-cola or a Heineken to go with your order of hash, weed, and munchies?
A bit *nippy* outside? How about a warm cup of hash hot chocolate to warm you up? ;-)
It's 4pm .......... "High" Tea time!
Dutch Cannabis Law
International law means that the Netherlands cannot make cannabis legal and so this complicates the situation. Cannabis consumption is therefore viewed as decriminilised rather than legalised as technically it is illegal in Holland.
Personal possession of a small quantity (under 30g) of cannabis is allowed.
Coffeeshops are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis and are strictly regulated and taxed. Coffeeshops must not sell to anyone under the age of 18, they must not sell more than 5g to any customer and they must not hold more than 500g on the premises. Also hard drugs are strictly forbidden.
Amsterdam is well known for its famous coffee shops. There are 234 coffee shops in Amsterdam and the legal age to get into them is 18 years old. We went into a few coffee shops in Amsterdam. It was a different experience to say the least. I guess the laws have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. If you smoke regular cigarettes in a coffee shop you can expect someone to get mad at you. Amsterdamers also like to mix their tobacco with their weed. That was strange to me. Rob thought it was pretty nasty.
Coffee shops have menus where you can pickout what kind weed and hash you want to smoke. They also sell papers and you can choose to borrow their bongs or pipes or vaporizers.
Some coffee shops are large and fancy and some are little holes in the walls. Robs favorite place was a very small coffee shop called the Grey Area. Two guys from New York opened that one up and according to Rob they had some of the best weed. This place was also pretty packed. After a while I had to step outside, I felt I was getting high myself and I wasnt even smoking.
The first coffee shop opened up in 1972 and many more have opened up since then. You can also only purchase up to 5 grams of weed at a coffee shop. You can have more than 5 grams of weed on you also. If you travel to Belgium and you decide totake some ofyour weed,make sure you dont have more than 3 grams on you.
The coffee shops also do not sell liquor. At some coffee shops they require you to puchase something to drink,like water,juice,soda,or coffee. Foodis usually not sold at coffee shopsbut some might sell some snacks.
At some coffee shops you have to go to a separate contained location to smoke your weed. So this whole thing is pretty controlled and there are plenty of rules to follow but where else in the world can you do this??? Rob was in heaven.
Nota local custome but what most of the ppl do
People generally got o Amsterdam caus ethe fact of the legality of drugs.
These coofee shops keep some of the strongest types of marijuana. Don't buy them unless you usually smoke a lot (daily smoker). This grass could made an unspectable reaction(the shock may involve intoxication symptoms (vomit)) and you can have some very bad feelings.
So if you smoke rarely we suggest you to avoid strongest types of grass. Also we suggest you to roll small joints (a bag should be ok for 10 joints or more).
Lots of coffee shops located in the Red Light District sell the same grass regardless of type you order(you pay the price of white widow but in most of these ***ty coffee shops you will get a bag of an ordinary skunk).
It has become a custom of the channels.nl forum posters to get together at the Rookies coffeeshop in Amsterdam. To easily identify forum posters, the Channels buttons were worn and members found it fun to have meetings and smoke together. People from all over, well everywhere, coming together to share a toke of the sacred herb. Life is good in Amsterdam!
Its not ok, but its all-right :-)
An interesting fact that i didn't know until a few weeks ago, is that cannabis is actually ILLEGAL in the Netherlands... That said, outside of the tourists, i get the impression that there aren't that many people that smoke weed. Also, coffee shops aren't native only to Amsterdam (as i'd imagined), but can be found all over Holland.
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roll it up, light it up, inhale... exhale...
The Dutch can take almost a snobbish attitude when it comes to at least one of their cash crops. (Not referring to Tulips – but probably that as well) I guess it is what happens when it become part of the culture as opposed to the counterculture. (even though, probably close to same percentage of the population between the ages of 20 and 35 smoke between Holland and California to Washington) The only people that used pipes and water pipes (i.e bongs) in Holland were the tourist and travelers (what seemed to be mainly from the States). The locals mix their bud with tobacco and roll it up in a rather large, usually cone shaped, joint with a “filter.”
While sitting with someone from Georgia, who rolled a States side J, I heard remarks from the locals stating, “you can tell who’ve rolled a j before.” Also I had some of the coffee shops employees and regulars ask to see mine, and commented how good it was. Then proceeded to show me different methods…
I even witnessed a local telling a traveler, “that has got to be one of the most pitiful joints I have ever seen, can I PLEASE roll you one?” and with that, the local, rolled what could have been a piece of art, and said, “it’s a Dutch thing”
The coffee bar...
Sells pre rolled joints, conveniently distributed in little glass or plastic tubes, for $7.50 US You can also go to shops that sell nothing but MJ seeds, or mushrooms.
"Coffee shops" are allowed to sell alcohol by law, although you can go to a pub, and ask if you can smoke at their establishment .
Amsterdam (at least the central part) is lined with Coffeshops selling Marijuana. Although I am sure locals use them too, I got the definite impression that they cater to tourist and expats who have flocked to the city because of the tolerance. To add to the confusion if a cup of coffee is what you really want go to a bar.
When In The Dam....
When taking hits from the local, ahhh... shall we say, fare, start small, work your way up. Otherwise; all you'll do is learn how to cough...and I'm talkin cough HARD. You may even beable to see what it feels like to cough all the way till that puking stage, oh what fun that is.
Start Small, these are the two magic words of the day.
buy a drink ....
when going into a coffee shop to smoke your cronic....you must buy a drink as well as your pot! do not think you can just sit in the shop smoking away.....this is a must do, do not act like a fool and dis-respect these people.
Would you like to see the menu?
'Coffee Shops' are everywhere. This is where you can buy marijuana and hash, surf the 'net, and maybe even buy coffee! If you are only interested in the coffee, perhaps you should try a cafe. The term coffee shop, doesn't really mean coffee shop.
Marijuana is legal and is served in "coffee shops". There are plenty of them near Damrak and Red Light district, and the smoke smell coming out of them can be quite strong. You will see a lot of hippie-looking happy people walking around ;) They never bothered us, but since the drugs can easily become a habit, I would not recommend venturing alone in small alleys at night, or leaving valuables unguarded.
2013 Coffee Shop Update
It looks as though the information in this section is a bit out dated. Allow me to provide a quick Coffee shop update.
Sure, you can hit the usual suspects…Green House or Barney’s…good products, but expensive. Here are a few lesser known coffee shops to try out.
Places to go:
• Green Place (Kloveniersburgwal 4)…Good selection of flowers…properly cured…look for their OGs (i.e. Tahoe OG)…hybrids that are predominantly Indica.
• Siberie (Brouwersgracht 11)…Very local shop with a good selection of reasonably priced hash. Grams of potent Moroccan can be bought for less than 10 euros.
• Hunter’s (Warmoesstraat 24)…The Hazes have always been popular in Amsterdam. I think that the Hunter’s Haze is excellent. Better quality and less expensive than either Amnesia Haze (Amnesia) or Arjan’s Haze (Green House). They also have some nice Budda Cheese as well. (Slide next door to Vodka Bar…very relaxed towards smoking…shhh.)
• Basjoe (Corner of Kloveniersburgwal and Rusland)…Another place to find great hash at a good price. Ask for the Triple Zero…not always on the menu…but usually in stock.
And now…Places to avoid:
• Bulldog (Any location)…poor quality flowers…usually not cured properly (it will smell like cut grass)…and expensive. Buy a tee-shirt…skip the weed.
• Grasshopper (oudebrugsteeg 16)…Cool old building…a nice place to have a pint on the terrace when the weather is good. The food is pretty decent too. But don’t venture downstairs to the coffee shop. Many of their offerings have a chemical taste that means the plants weren’t flushed properly…makes for a harsh flavor.
So, there you have it. I’m sure that not all smokers will agree with my recommendations…to each his own. But I just wanted to share some of my recent coffee shop experiences.
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In the spirit of scientific explorations I probably should have ventured into one of Amsterdam's famous coffeeshops. But I didn't, so I really have no firsthand knowledge of what goes on inside these establishments. Rumor has it, though, that it is not actually coffee that is for sale in these shops.
I know that for some folks, the liberal laws regarding recreational drugs and prostitution is the main attraction of Amsterdam. For others, these "loose morals" keeps them away. On my part, I always felt perfectly safe in Amsterdam and thoroughly enjoyed myself at the cafes and walking through the neighborhoods. So while the freely obtainable vices did not enhance my experience, neither did it detract. I cannot personally find fault with the Dutch credo of live and let live.
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Amsterdam Travel Guide
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