As stereotypical as this may sound, you can’t deny it not to be true in a sense. Marijuana and Amsterdam go together hand in hand just as much as bread and butter, a pen and paper, or a needle and thread…you get my point.
Great, so you’re interested in visiting a coffee shop. No, not that kind of coffee shop…a weed coffee shop. Make sure you know the difference between cafés and coffee shops before entering, or you may just leave slightly red faced.
Read more: What NOT To Do In Amsterdam
Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Amsterdam every year to partake in the seemingly “legal marijuana” hype that surrounds The Dam. Looking for a coffee shop to smoke in is usually the first thing most people do when they arrive. Amsterdam is teeming with coffee shops and with so many different atmospheres to choose from, you will be spoiled with options. If you are a first time visitor to Amsterdam, you may not know that there are certain rules to abide by within a coffee shop. As an avid pot smoker (I’m not hiding it, sorry) I could immediately spot the coffee shop “first time smoker” when I saw them.
Here is a complete stoners guide on coffee shop etiquette (or weediquette) and rules that you may not know about, or if you’re heading to Amsterdam, may help you avoid a red faced situation in one of the coolest cities in the world.
Most Coffee Shops DO NOT Sell Booze
Coffee Shops are places of tranquility and chillaxin’ (do people still use that term?) vibes, so add booze to the mix and chances are that those calm vibes get instantly destroyed. Some cocky tourists have been known to mix weed and booze and a LOT of them cannot handle them together, get the spins and end up falling in a canal. Whoops! Amsterdam coffee shops don’t sell booze for this exact reason and plus in April of 2007, cannabis coffee shops that DID sell the two were asked to choose between selling booze, or weed…most chose weed, clearly. Even though a coffee shop can’t sell the two together, there are “pot friendly” restaurants and cafés throughout the city if you really want to enjoy a joint with a pint.
Ask Before Lighting Up
Almost all coffee shops will allow you to smoke up indoors, but they may also have a designated toking area. Always be respectful and ask before lighting up.
Advertising Marijuana is Illegal
All coffee shops are not allowed to advertise the sale of marijuana. You can do your coffee shop research before your visit, but if you find yourself walking around Amsterdam looking for a place to buy weed, just look for the little green and white sticker in the window stating the establishment is a coffee shop, walk in and voila!
Most coffee shops in Amsterdam only accept cash rather than debit, or credit cards, so having a few Euro on hand would definitely be helpful.
Know What Type of High You Are Looking to Experience
When visiting a coffee shop, you’ll notice a menu on the counter with a wide range of different options. Names, strains and flavours – oh my! If you’re an experienced smoker and know the type of strain you are looking for, then good for you. If you’re a new smoker and need some guidance about strains, here is a quick Coles Notes version for you. There are two types of strain: Indica and Sativa. If you are looking for a more uplifting and energetic type of high, then go with a Sativa strain. If you are looking for a more chilled out, relaxed high, then go with the Indica strains. I prefer Indica strains as they are meant for relieving tension, pain and relax the muscles. They are also known for helping migraine sufferers, and since I suffer immensely from chronic migraines…it’s Indica for me, please and thanks! If you have any questions regarding anything on the menu, just ask the knowledgeable budtenders and they’ll be more than happy to help educate you about the products available.
Don’t Underestimate the Effects
Even if you’ve smoked pot before, don’t underestimate the effects of most of the greens that are available in Amsterdam. Ease into having a few puffs, chill out, read a magazine and see how you feel. If you’re feeling pretty good, carry on, but you really don’t need to smoke an entire joint to get high and enjoy yourself. I bought two massive pre-rolled pure weed joints and had them for my entire trip almost. A couple puffs and you’re good to go. If you’re more into consuming weed through edibles, such as candies, cakes and cookies – be cautious! The edibles will fuck you right up, so just take a few little nibbles to test your tolerance. You definitely don’t want to be THAT person on the street, high as a kite and bust into a panic attack because you’re so damn high. I saw a few people get absolutely obliterated and as funny as it looked, I would NOT want to be experiencing THAT! LOL
Pre-Rolled Vs. Loose Bud
Most coffee shops will have the options to either purchase you bud as pre-rolled, or by the gram in lose bud form. If you buy lose buds, you’re allowed by law to buy up to five grams and they usually have rolling papers for you to use on hand. If you buy pre-rolled, here’s a tip: most joints are rolled with tobacco to cut the strength of the weed, so if you order a pre-rolled “joint”, you’ll be getting a tobacco joint. If you ask for a “pure weed” joint, then you’ll just get that – pure weed. The pure weed joint is a little bit higher in pricing, but as a non-tobacco smoker, that’s what I want.
You Can Buy Snacks in a Coffee Shop
You know what else goes hand in hand with weed? Munchies! Yes, folks, most coffee shops in Amsterdam sell chips, cookies and other delicious snacks (not made with marijuana) to satisfy you’re insatiable munchies. Most coffee shops with sell drinks such as water, tea and juices because with weed comes cotton-mouth as well.
Not All Weed in Amsterdam is Good Quality
Just because you can easily find weed in Amsterdam, doesn’t mean it’s all great. Like anywhere else, there is good quality and bunk quality. To find out which place is worth your precious Euros, do your online research and like you would read reviews about a restaurant, or product…you can do the same with coffee shops. Try to get out of the main city centre as well and pop into a smaller shop on the outskirts of the city, or better yet, if you take a day trip to another city, you’ll most definitely find a coffee shop there too because Amsterdam isn’t the ONLY place to find weed in The Netherlands. Another bonus for buying outside of the city, the price will be cheaper.
So there you have it, your complete guide to visiting a coffee shop in Amsterdam. I really hope that this post opens your eyes a bit on the culture surrounding marijuana and if you do visit a coffee shop, that you see just how calm, cool and collected they can be. Just a PSA though, once you’ve left the coffee shop and start wandering the streets, just do me a favour and be extra vigilant of the Dutchies on bikes. You’ve been warned. 😉
Have any of you been to a coffee shop? Is it something you’d like to do if you visit Amsterdam? If you have been and have any funny and interesting stoner stories, please let me know in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear them! xo