Although cannabis is not and has never been of interest to me, I did admire the tolerance and openness towards it in Amsterdam. It looks as though legalising it has been a successful experiment (and is now also being implemented in some states in the US). Sales are confined to establishments known as coffeeshops (Kofiehuis in Dutch), which may also sell food and non-alcoholic drinks, and in central Amsterdam they can be found scattered around, often in side alleys. The laws vary by county, with Amsterdam having the most lenient laws, but other parts of the Netherlands may ban cannabis entirely or restrict it in certain ways. At the Amsterdam Flower Market, I was intrigued by the fact that cannabis seeds are sold (see attached photo).
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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!!!)
Listen being in this part of the world is great the city is amazing.
This is a tip for anyone who plans on doing things that may be illegalin other countries.
Alright first thing never never put in a bag!!!!! ALways keep it in your pocket or in your jacket. You bag can be searched
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.
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.
'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.