So you want to head to Amsterdam? I try to get there myself every couple of years just to take in the vibe because it’s definitely a chill place to be. So, if you’re headed out that way, here are a few of my tips from one tourist to another.
1. If you can, find accommodations that are cannabis smoking friendly.
If you can find somewhere to stay that lets you smoke weed in your room, you’ll be off to a great start. In 2008, Amsterdam banned the smoking of tobacco in many indoor places (which include hotels), but sometimes weed can be a different story. Many of the places that allow you to smoke in the facility are hostels like the Flying Pig. There’s a smoking area connected to the bar, but rooms and hallways are still non-smoking. If you can’t find one, don’t fret. Edibles are always available if you want to be stoned in the comfort of your hotel.
2. Head directly to a Coffeeshop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200
Coffeeshops, not to be confused with coffee houses or cafes, are where you can (semi) legally buy weed in Amsterdam and they are EVERYWHERE. It may be more efficient to Google where they are because it’s actually illegal to have too much signage advertising marijuana in front of the establishments.
3. Bring Cash
After you find a coffeeshop that piques your interest, you walk in and buy weed. It’s that simple. Some places, however, don’t accept cards. If you’re like me, you think everyone should take Apple Pay, but we’re not there yet. So, if you want to make sure you can get that good herb.
4. Know Your Stuff
I know it can be intimidating to go into a coffee shop for the first time, but there are a few thing that you need to know going into it. In Amsterdam, joints are different. They include tobacco, much like a spliff in the United States. If you want a pre-roll of straight weed, you need to ask for a “pure joint”. That’ll be closer to what you’re expecting when you ask for a joint. Also, take a good look at your weed. You can check it out and smell it before you buy it. If it doesn’t look good, don’t get it, but make sure you check it!
5. Be Comfortable Not Knowing Your Stuff
If you really don’t know what you want after looking at the menu (which may not be all the descriptive), don’t be “that guy”. It’s okay to ask for recommendations from the person behind the counter. They get asked questions all the time, so they’re used to answering them. Just ask.
6. Make sure it’s okay for you to smoke
Even though a majority of coffeeshops in Amsterdam have smoking sections, you should still check to see if you are allowed to smoke in the venue. One experienced I encountered was that certain coffeeshops only let you smoke what you bought from them. In retrospect, it seems like common sense to not be able to just walk in and smoke weed, but still, check!
7. You can buy snacks, but the coffee is kind of garbage
To be a place called a “coffeeshop”, the actual coffee is not that great. If you’re picturing walking into like a Starbucks of marijuana, it’s not like that at all. It’s closer to walking into a dispensary that also has food for you inevitable munchies. On the upside though, there are a few coffeeshops that do have free wi-fi!
8. About Getting Crossfaded….
You can’t buy weed at bars, but you can smoke in a lot of bars. It’s fairly easy to go pick up some of that sweet, sweet, Amsterdam Mary Jane, then head to a bar and toke up while you have a drink. You can also get edibles and liquor at some liquor stores. This will also be convenient for those in hotels that do not allow smoking.
This, of course, isn’t everything you need to know for a trip to Amsterdam, but it’s a start. There’s a lot of things to explore and do in Amsterdam. Let me know your favorite and your tips for a fun trip to Amsterdam!