Are you thinking about visiting Amsterdam? Do you know what a coffee shop is? If you go to one of those well known places typical in the Dutch capital (and the whole country) to ask for coffee, make sure you don’t get confused by the name. Because in reality coffee shops are similar to snack bars, where you can buy and consume marijuana and hashish. In Amsterdam specifically you’ll find coffee shops all over the place, and they are an essential stop for every tourist, even if it’s just to experience the liberalism of the dutch people yourself…
In 1972 a group of hippies occupied an old bakery on 53 Weesperzidje Canal. Their idea was to turn it into a tea room where you could buy hash and marihuana openly. Its name was ‘Yellow Mellow’, which referred to the possibility of smoking banana peels. They had problems with the police, but since, the country has learned to adapt. Today, the coffee shop still exists, but now with much better conditions.
Since then, the culture of the coffee shop was established permanently in Amsterdam and the whole of The Netherlands, turning the country into one of the pioneers of this type of drug freedom. Not only that, but it has created huge expectations amongst its visitors, coming from all around the world looking for a holiday as liberal as possible.
And so we begin with the list of the best coffee shops you could find in Amsterdam:
This coffee shop is located on the way to Leidsplein, and what’s very characteristic about it is the light decorations and dark walls, covered with tribal patterns to strengthen the effect of the marijuana. Smoking tobacco is forbidden inside, but they offer you a herbal substitute at a very good price for tourists.
This coffee shop can be found in three different locations. One of them, the most famous one, is in the Red-Light District. It is one of the most famous cafés in Amsterdam, evident by the fact that its walls are covered with photos of its celebrity visitors. Its marijuana always wins the Cannabis Cup, which is given to the best coffee shop that participates in the competition.
It has tables on the terrace for all the ‘normal’ (or industrial) tobacco smokers.
For the most indecisive whether or not to try marijuana, Grasshopper is a bar, a restaurant, a café and a coffee shop all in one. In order to smoke pot you have to get to the lower floor. The service is very good and the staff know what to recommend to people who are new to it. Perfect for tourists and very close to the Red-Light District.
This is one of the tourists’ favourites, again in the Red-Light District. The interior is dark, black, and the armchairs are very big. The staff are very friendly and the prices are better than those in other cafés in the same area. They make really great smoothies too. Their locations is characterized as ‘in front of a dog that’s taking a piss’.
Located in Leidstraat, near to the Liesplein plaza, it’s a coffee shop whose atmosphere is very characteristic and it’s recommended that you visit it. It was inspired by the ocean, and that’s obvious as soon as you walk in. It has two floors and the walls are covered in images of corals, rocks, sea animals and other oceanic elements. It also has a TV with outlandish pictures.
It is a must for travelers thanks to its great location very close to the center of the city and ts decoration that really makes people want to stay. The service is amazing; the waitresses begin advising as soon as they understand whether or not you are new to the whole marijuana thing. They are able to match your requests, and it is pleasant to see such a natural reaction to drugs never before experienced by most tourists (since the coffee shop even has a menu for joints and drinks). They do not serve alcohol though. It is forbidden with the joint. The coffee shop, overall, is very original and attractive.
This coffee shop became famous after the movie ‘Ocean’s 12’ starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney. It is painted in strange orange shapes, which create a psychedelic atmosphere.
The prices, unlike its fame, are normal. They also turn a blind eye to industrial tobacco smokers. Something typical for the coffee shop is the happy cat that greets you from the window at the entrance.
This coffee shop is part of the most famous chain in Amsterdam. Its icon is a giant bulldog which you will notice as soon as you enter, along with the locations of the other coffee shops in the chain. Their prices are quite high in comparison to normal coffee shops, but the atmosphere is more sophisticated. Tourists with less experience usually end up going there thanks to its fame, but if you want our advice, don’t be fooled, and dive into the real Netherlands by going to a more typical coffee shop.
Have a good psychedelic trip!
Translated by Desislava Zehireva