Whilst you may get the impression that the coffee shops are only for tourists, the Dutch definitely enjoy the occasional joint.
The Coffeeshops are still something that pique the interest of tourists. They were one of the first places you could buy weed and hash without running the risk of getting arrested in the world! (No, they are not legal, just decriminalised).
There are coffee shops not only in the tourist hotspots of Amsterdam, but in all cities and most small towns in the Netherlands. Coffee shops don’t sell alcohol, or offer hard drugs. Those are as illegal in the Netherlands as any other country.
Some things to note:
- You do not actually have to smoke weed inside a coffee shop. If you just want to go in, drink a cup of coffee and take in the vibe, that’s okay.
- If you don’t want to smoke but want to try an edible instead, listen to what the person behind the counter says! If they say ‘only eat one’ then don’t think after 45 minutes ‘oh, it’s not working, I’ll have another one’. They take a long time to take effect and the only way to un-eat is both messy and unpleasant.
- You’re okay smoking in designated places. Your hotel room rarely qualifies as such.
- Due to strict tobacco laws, the joints that you smoke inside the coffee shop can’t contain any tobacco.
- Smoking joints outside is frowned upon in busy places. Be respectful of non-smokers and children!