It is no surprise that the cannabis culture is a huge part of the attraction and tourism of Amsterdam. There are heaps of coffee shops around the city. It was awesome to be able to purchase from a store and smoke socially. This was something I had never experienced before and was a lot different than if I were to choose to smoke in Canada. However with the date of legalization being set for Canada Day 2018 maybe this is what the future will look like in Canada as well.
There is quite a bit of history between the Netherlands and cannabis. I learned most of the information I am sharing by taking the Sandeman’s free walking tour, the Cannabis college and the Hash Marijuana and Hemp Museum and you can read about those here. Technically it is illegal, however it is tolerated by the government and they overlook the use and sale through coffee shops. It is the strangest thing, I have read about and locals explained the concept multiple times and it is still hard to explain. It is okay to smoke and enjoy in the coffee shops you aren’t going to get into any trouble. There are over a hundred coffee shops and just as many cannabis souvenir shops. An interesting fact is that it is only consumed by about 5% of the population regularly. I couch surfed around the countryside and none of the people I met smoked weed regularly. My expectation was that I would be surrounded by people who used regularly but that simply wasn’t the case.
Coffee shops are the only places that sell cannabis. They aren’t allowed to advertise this although a lot of them do have the marijuana leaf hung up somewhere around the store. If it is called a cafe or a coffee house or any other variation, it doesn’t sell marijuana.
Coffee shops are also not allowed to sell alcohol but they usually have drinks and snacks that you can enjoy along with your joint.
You can also buy alternative drugs around the city. Always make sure to stay informed, know what you’re ingesting, how it will affect you and be with people you trust. Theses stores are called Smart shops which offer you the alternative drugs such as “magic mushrooms” and sativa. Check out this article which provides a lot of information.
During my visit I checked out a few coffee shops . These are the ones I visited and what I thought of them. You can also checkout the Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory, this provides solid information about the coffee shop around Amsterdam.
Coffeeshop : Cannabis
Coffee Shop, Coffee House, Cafe : Coffee
Things to know :
Illegal Drugs : People will try and sell you drugs on the street. Don’t buy these drugs, it’s not smart. If you do decide to, know the consequences and be sure to use safely and with someone you trust. Check out this post where I talk more about the cannabis and drug culture of the Netherlands.
Space Cakes : They are very strong and last longer. I bought a space cake from a coffeeshop and dude I have never been more stoned in my entire life! I was on a bus with my friend Peter on our way to Tomorrowland. I woke up and was literally out of this world. I remember thinking deeply about how I was basically a sea turtle. I then decided it was best to go back to sleep. Point being know that it is strong. My cousin has an amazing story of being too stoned to catch her flight. I figure it is quite common in this city.
Netherlands and Cannabis : It is not a legal substance in the Netherlands but it falls into a grey area. It cannot be farmed for product but the government tolerates the use of cannabis and overlooks this aspect. It can be sold and smoked in coffee shops. It is not legal to smoke in public. It also is only consumed by about 5% of the population regularly. I couch surfed on the country side and none of the people I met smoked weed regularly.
Coffee Shop Recommendations
I didn’t keep track of the weed names that I purchased and generally I tried different varieties at each shop. These locations I stumbled upon myself and really liked and a few were recommend to me in during the Sandemans tours.
Smoke Palace : This is the first one I checked out. I ventured over with someone I met at this hostel and met another lovely girl who we smoked up with for the evening. The vibes were awesome, lots of room to chill and it was probably the best designed and most up to date that I visited.
Grey Area : This coffee shop was especially cool because of the name, can you guess what it means? Also the inside was covered with cool stickers so I was loving the aesthetic.
Abraxas : This one was another favourite. The architecture was cool. The people were nice. They had vaporizers which you could use. they also had some amazing hot chocolate and tea.
The Dolphins : This place was quite a bit cramped, the staff were kinda rude but they were rumoured to have some good weed and this is where I bought my edibles from.
Bulldog : You will see this name brand all over the city. It was the first coffee shop in Amsterdam so it wins big points for having history. It is a chain of coffee shops, cafes and souvenir shop. I stopped in at one location. It wasn’t my favourite but I thought I should mention the name because it is very popular.