Smoking weed is an enjoyable part of many people’s time in Amsterdam and around 30% of tourists visit a coffee shop whilst in the city. However, it often goes wrong when people over-do it or irritate locals by breaking the often-unspoken rules that hold together the pretty grey Dutch drugs laws. Here, we take you through the do’s and don’ts of smoking weed in Amsterdam… If you’re visiting Amsterdam but prefer to drink than smoke there’s also plenty of great activities for you – check out our Amsterdam Booze Cruise here!
DON’TS: while smoking weed in Amsterdam
1) Don’t visit a tourist-trap
There are 165 coffee shops across the city, from quality-focussed, dispensary-style chains like Boerejongens, all the way up to famous spots like the Bulldog that sell as many hoodies as they do joints. Many locals will tell you that to get the real Amsterdam coffeeshop experience, it’s best to get away from the tourist traps and find yourself a local spot – they rely on return custom so tend to offer better quality and value.
2) Don’t expect to get stoned from the souvenir shop brownies
The brownies that you see for sale in souvenir shops, in between tulip bulb sets and little windmill figurines are not going to get you high – they do not contain any THC and are just a novelty item for the taste.
3) Don’t smoke on the street
Although you’re not going to get thrown in jail for smoking a joint on the street, it isn’t technically legal and an easy way to really annoy the locals or get a hefty fine. Wandering around with a joint in your hand is a novel feeling for many visitors which they would not be allowed to enjoy in their own country, but it is important not to abuse the privilege, and use your judgement to determine where is and isn’t an acceptable place to enjoy a toke.
4) Don’t smoke on Café Terraces
Even worse than smoking weed on the street is lighting up a joint on a restaurant or café terrace. Although you may get away with it in touristy places on Leidseplein or the Red-Light District, do it outside the neighbourhood café on the corner, just by your Airbnb, and you’re likely to get a good telling-off (or at the very least, some very angry looks!). Although many people (especially those visiting from the US where smoking cigarettes is less common) are surprised by how many people smoke outside cafes, restaurants etc this does not extend to weed! If in doubt, ask!
5) Don’t cycle whilst stoned
Cycling is serious business in Amsterdam and people use this form of transport to get to work, meet friends and family etc. And if there’s one thing the Dutch love almost as much as cycling, it’s being on time – nothing will enrage a commuting Amsterdammer like someone zig-zagging around, completely stoned, on a bright yellow tourist bike, delaying their journey and messing up their agenda. By all means enjoy cycling and smoking whilst you’re here – they’re two of the best things to do in Amsterdam – but don’t mix them. Best case scenario, you’ll annoy everyone else by moving like a snail, worst case scenario – you’ll fall off your bike, break your arm and ruin your holiday.
6) Don’t stay inside your hotel
While being stoned, people tend to stay in your hotel and play some games on the PlayStation or watch movies, however, there is plenty to do for stoners in Amsterdam, so go outside and enjoy the city!
DO’S: Amsterdam stoner things to do
1) Do try out a variety of unique coffee shops on a coffee shop tour.
There are around 165 coffee shops in Amsterdam and these vary hugely to suit every taste but it can be hard to know where to begin if you’re visiting for the first time. If you want to visit a few coffee shops but don’t know where to start, it’s best to join a coffee shop tour. Whether you’re an experienced smoker, or just want to try a bit and learn more, an Amsterdam coffee shop tour is a great option for everyone visiting the city – in addition to being informative and entertaining it’s a great way to see Amsterdam’s cannabis scene from a more local perspective. You also get the benefit of a professional, local guide who knows the coffee shops like the back of their hand.
2) Mix things up on a combination coffee shop tour
If you really want to make the most of the city, rather than spending all day in coffee shops, you can do a combination coffee shop tour. This is where you combine a coffee shop tour, where you’re taken to a selection of the city’s best coffee shops, with a number of other stoner-friendly activities and – whether you’re a seasoned stoner, or just curious to try a bit of weed and learn more – there’s plenty of things to do in Amsterdam for the green-minded. These combination tours include:
Coffee Shop and Artis Tour
Where else in the world can you smoke some of the world’s finest weed, before going to the zoo and checking out a huge variety of beautiful and exotic animals a stone’s throw from the city centre? We Are Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo Tickets! There’s even an incredible planetarium which is impressive enough sober, but absolutely insane when you’re stoned! It’s definitely a must-do.
Coffee Shop and Food Tour
When you’ve enjoyed everything on offer at the city’s coffee shops, the munchies are pretty much a certainty. A great way to combine two of our great loves – smoking and eating delicious food – is to join the Amsterdam Food Tour. After visiting three great coffee shops, you’ll be taken to try loads of different typical Dutch snacks – perfect stoner food!
3) Chill out in the park!
On a beautiful sunny day, there’s nothing quite like sitting back in the sun, and lighting up a joint… You’ll see plenty of people having a glass of wine or a joint in the park on a sunny day, but the key is to ensure that you’re not imposing on others. Find a secluded spot and you should be fine – use common sense, and don’t light up next to kids’ playgrounds, families or anyone else for that matter.
4) Try a space cake!
Take care with this one… Space cakes can be pretty strong and less is definitely more, if you’re not an experienced smoker. Head to a coffee shop (not a tourist souvenir shop as previously discussed in this blog!) and ask the advice of the staff. Many coffee shops sell a variety of space cakes with some pretty delicious types on offer in the city’s better coffee shops! A space cake is probably something best enjoyed later on in the day, as they can make you feel a bit too stoned to enjoy the many other great things to do in Amsterdam!
5) Check out the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum
The Weed & Hash museum in the Red-Light District is a fantastically entertaining and informative museum dedicated to all things cannabis-related! The museum opened in 1985 and is a great place to learn more about this incredible plant, its multitude of uses and its unique history.
You can get tickets here.