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30 Apr

A Quick Guide to Amsterdam's Coffee Shop Culture

Get the insight you need before heading off for Amsterdam's adventurous coffee shop culture.

A Quick Guide to Amsterdam's Coffee Shop Culture

Amsterdam is a city that appeals to a specific kind of traveller. With its pro LGBT laws and the "legalisation" of marijuana for personal consumption, people flock here from all over the world to soak up its unique liberal culture.


But it's not easy lighting up a joint in the city. Weed is not 100% legalised, so you need to follow a specific set of rules even inside the coffee shops to avoid breaking the law.


If you're thinking about visiting Amsterdam and indulging in its infamous coffee shop culture, here's everything you need to know!


What is a Coffee Shop in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam Coffee Shop

Image: www.amsterdamtourist.info

A coffee shop is an establishment where you can legally buy and smoke weed. Most places will sell a variety of strains for customers to choose from as well as space cookies or cakes.


Amsterdam Coffee Shop Rules and Etiquette

Amsterdam Coffee Shop

Image: Smoke & Vibe
  • You can't buy or bring in alcohol. It's against Dutch law to mix these two substances.


  • You can't just smoke weed. You are expected to buy a drink or something to eat.


  • Consuming weed outside the coffee shops is illegal. If you do, and the police catch you, you'll be spending the rest of your holiday in jail.


  • Remember your ID. It's illegal for minors to buy weed so you will be asked for proof of identification by the cashier.


  • No tobacco is allowed. Due to the 2008 tobacco smoking ban in the Netherlands, you won't be able to mix your joints with the two substances inside Amsterdam's coffee shops.


  • There's a limit on how much you can buy. Coffee shops in Amsterdam can only sell 5g to each customer.


How To Find a Coffee Shop in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Coffee Shop

Image: Dylan Fout

Coffee shops are on almost every corner around the city. You'll be able to easily spot an establishment as they are required to hang a green and white sign in front of the shop window. It's a symbol to show that they are legally allowed to sell weed and customers can smoke inside.


What A Typical Amsterdam Coffee Shop Menu Looks Like

Amsterdam Coffee Shop

Image: Alex Alexander

When you arrive at a coffee shop in Amsterdam, you'll be given a menu with several different kinds of weed and hash to choose from. Each one is sold per gram. If you don't want to roll your own joint or use a bong, you can also purchase a pre-rolled joint.


For those that prefer edibles, you'll also be able to buy a variety of space cakes or hash brownies.


There will also be soft drinks, tea, coffee and orange juice that you can purchase. If you don't feel like buying any weed or you get hungry, the coffee shops also have a decent munchies menu free of any mind-altering drugs.


Have you ever been to Amsterdam's coffee shops? Have any tips for first-timers?