Coffee Shops, Amsterdam
So, 7 years ago in Amsterdam I had my first holiday there, it was blinding! Fantastic weed at really cheap prices. I went there last week hoping things would be the same, oh how wrong could I have been. No longer is there a massive range of weed nor are there any cheap prices. Don't expect to go out there and get some cup winner weed and pay an average price for it, there is no cup winner weed for sale just average weed and shocking prices. If you shop around you can get some nice stuff for a decent price and we still had a wicked time, just disappointed at the major change that has occured.
Right then, coffeeshops. Now when I ask for Jack Herrer, I know exactly what it should look and smell like however I hand over my money and receive something that is quite blatently not Jack Herrer. So, do you say anything or not? We chose not to say anything and not to go there again, we were a bit worried what would happen if we complained about the weed and didn't want any hassle on our holiday. So just to warn you all really, you may not get what you are expecting, probably because we're not local we get given the duff stuff. Other coffeeshops however were fine and we got the weed we expected. Just another example of the fact that you should shop around always!
Ok, first of all, I am not an expert on the matter, at all!
But it seemed to me that most coffee shops in Amsterdam are too 'touristic'... I went only to one, in Breda, far from the hords of tourists and excited teenagers, and the only people there were locals, and, from what I was told, the 'quality' of the weed was very different from the one you find in central Amsterdam.
Get yourself to Rookies. I go EVERY year around November and will be returning this Friday.
The Rookies is situated just off the Leidseplein (or Led Zep as one of the guys once put it to a taxi drivert!) on the road between Burger King and the Sports Cafe.
There is a pool table and a wicked atmosphere. Get the chess set out, buy a freshly squeezed OJ and roll yourself a phat one :-)
I personally do not go to Amsterdam for the coffee shops but I know that this is either partly or solely the purpose for being in Amsterdam for many people.
There are 'smoking' coffee shops all over the city and in all neighbourhoods. And they are as varied in their decor and ambience as any other cafe in town.
If you are planning a trip in order to try some coffee shops then do take a look at the coffee shop directory website:it has some very useful info!
Unique Suggestions: www.coffeeshop.freeuk.com/
Quite possibly the biggest famous rip off I have ever known.
You pay €200 for a crappy tShirt (that you can get for free with a little talking), access to the "smoke and chill" area (which there are plenty of already allover the city),access to the crappy concerts and a ballot sheet with the shoppes,their entries and their addresses.
You will not be at a table with spotlights on you tasting bud and shish like your some kind of wine connesieur,with people anxiously looking up at you for your response to be scrawled quickly into their notes...they give you this list and you be on your way to the coffeeshoppes to dish out MORE of your own money and wait in line like everyone else who doe'snt even know it's Cannabis Cup time.
I'd rather wipe my ass with that €200 than pay for something that is free.
Go on HighTimes.com and look for Cannabis Cup Journal #8 every year...it gives the entries and winners of the last cup.Write them down and you can go have your own cannabis cup anytime...
Smoke a nice one for me with the money I just saved you.
Unique Suggestions: *Dampkring* / De Tweede Kamer
Are some of the shoppes with annual entries,the first 3 being the best.
Kadinskys is perhaps the most refined shoppe with a "classy" interior and a chill vibe,and their bud and shish is really good too.
I know if I did'nt know better and had gotten suckered out of that much money I'd be furious.
The only way I would suggest the cup to anyone is if you(they) are growing.There are seminars and displays that may prove worth your time.
You may also go on a one day pass (€50) and see what you'd like and be out.
The actual event is not as much of a "Cup" or contest as it is a convention or seminar/workshop week.
Fun Alternatives: The Cannabis Cup is a ploy to get American pothead tourists off of their lazy asses and have an excuse (if they ever needed one) to make it out to the Oudezijd of Amsterdam and spend money on the industry.
Put that €200 towards your next trip,because not many people are satisfied with only going once.
i know that many (especially) young people just come to amsterdam, go to the closest coffee shop and see red light district - i did the same when on my first time in Amsterdam - and i didn't like it all
second time i went a little bit out of the center and i love it
Unique Suggestions: of course u have to see a red light distrit but take it easy and don't hang there for too long - just a stroll will be enought and there are other places that are much nicer
Fun Alternatives: just ask some locals where to go, i found few nice places close to princenstraat otherwise the "gay" quater is the best from center in my opinion
"When in Amsterdam blah blah you absolutely blah blah must visit blah a coffee shop. When in Rome blah do as the Romans blah blah... "
Sorry to say this but: rubbish! You MUSN'T anything unless you WANT to. Okay, having lived in The Netherlands for almost all my life I'm definitely biased. I just cannot imagine what the big deal is with these places. And why Amsterdam? Amsterdam isn't any more tolerant or liberal than the rest of The Netherlands. Amsterdam doesn't make its own laws, the policy is a national one. Coffeeshops are everywhere in this country. In EVERY town and in EVERY city. If I want to I can get a smoke whenever I want to. But I rarely do. No, I have no problem with these places, I think they're a fairly effective way to regulate a problem that repression won't ever solve. It's pure common sense really; a relatively harmless drug has been taken out of the hands of organized crime which otherwise could push more dangerous drugs on their clients. And that's fine by me.
However, Amsterdam is the only place where these coffeeshops play a major role in tourism. Apart from the many tourists who want to "give it a try" coffeeshops also attract tourists who are obsessed with these places and that has its impact on the atmosphere in the centre. That's what I don't like. As if there isn't anything else to this city.
No matter what you do; don't buy or use anything in the street. The first because you won't know what you get, the second because it's illegal . So is trying to take any of the stuff out of the country. If you buy anything, consume it before leaving. And when you use anything, be sure to take your time and relax. If in doubt if the stuff has any effect on you, try to stand up. Then you'll know.
And if you're not at all interested in this sort of thing then there's absolutely nothing wrong with you. Most "Romans" in this city aren't very interested either, it's mostly the tourists who are so excited about these places.
Not too much of a trap I guess, but it could be embarrassing....
If you are looking for "coke" (as I call a glass of Coca Cola), then specify this, by asking for a "glass of coke", or "a coca cola", or whatever.
Not a big deal as such, but you may not get such a nice reception if the staff think that you are in looking for hard drugs.
If you are any bit nervous, this may throw you off...
Just a tip, you dont need to set this in stone (pardon the pun)
Ofcourse a lot of young travellers come to Amsterdam to get stoned. But please be aware of the fact that you have to be over 18 to even be in a coffeeshop and it doesn't matter if you smoke or not. So make sure you always have an ID or a copy of it with you!! Even if you've been in the coffeeshop before.
We have very strict policy here in Amsterdam. if coffeeshops allow people in under eighteen they risk being closed.
The people who work in these shops see a lot of people each day. Please understand the fact that it's really difficult to guess people's age. Don't be offended if you're 22 and still being ask for your ID. It's not personal!
Unique Suggestions: Never forget to bring your ID!!! If you don't have it with you, entering the shop will probably be denied!
Fun Alternatives: If you're under eighteen let somebody who is old enough get you some stuff and smoke it elsewhere.
During your visit, you might be tempted to visit a coffee shop and try the marijuana. You're not alone! On our coffee shop visit, the place had a nice crowd of people, but not many were locals. If you go, and you're not used to smoking, ask for the mildest possible, and take it slow.
Unique Suggestions: Visiting a coffee shop is quite interesting. Even if you're not into smoking, stop by and order a cup of coffee. Then ask to see the menu. Talk to the person behind the counter and ask him/her to explain to you the different blends. These people take their weed very seriously; it's like visiting a wine bar! Have your coffee, thank the person and be on your way.
Fun Alternatives: If you feel uncomfortable, then just leave. There are plenty of traditional cafes around.
this is when up to 3000 people all pay $250.00 to go buy pot in amsterdam coffeeshops that enter the event. for that money you get a crappy t-shirt, a few cramped over crowded concerts, and a shuttle ride to different shops....whoo hoo! we only got the shirt cause we didn't use the shuttles and we only went to one show de la soul which was pretty lame..thanks to 420 tours for being way unorginized and under prepared they forgot to announce the 2nd place in the cannabis cup they started with the 3rd place shop then announced the winner..lol.. it was embarassing for them i imagine, but they made the cash so we're the dumb ones.
Unique Suggestions: don't buy anything from 420 tours, they over charge on everything. and you shouldn't have to pay to judge, sorry but that's just plain rude! and to only recieve a cheap t-shirt, barney's was giving away better quality shirts to all the judges for free!!!! and the one's that got 250 bucks from us gave us crap! the shirt is about as thick as two ply toliet paper. well enough bad mouthing 420 tours..
Fun Alternatives: go on your own!!!!!! you don't need no stinking cannabis cup!
Some of these fast food pizza places are a complete rip-off, in particular in the main street between Central Station and The Dam. The one place was called American Pizza (Or something like that). They hide the prices and then charge you 5 Euros for a slice of Pizza. I was very angry, but it was not worth to fight with them.
I visited 'Grasshopper' Coffee Shop. What a rip-off place! I sat outside; I ordered a drink, but once I wanted to use the restroom, I had to pay before I was 'allowed' to pee! Absolutely rediculous! 2 ladies (dressed smartly) forced me to pay even I was a coffee shop customer. No one could control!
When 'Coffie shop' is found in Amsterdam, do not expect just to drink a cup of coffee, it stands for more. As I already said, and as you probably know, light drugs are allowed in Netherlands, and Coffee Shops (there are lot of them in Amsterdam!) are the places where you can buy some of them. You can still limit yourself with just coffee, but I think that those who are not friends of marijuana, will not find Coffee Shops very attractive places to visit. Me personally had unpleasant feeling when going along the street where coffe Shop is located. I believe that situation is different for different people, and some are excited just about such places, but it is for your knowledge. If you know it in advance, you will not have any problems to distinguish Coffee Shops from usual cafes. Besides, coffee in Holland is very good, according to Krystynn