Want to know what it’s like buying weed and smoking in Amsterdam?
One of the biggest reasons to visit Amsterdam is their infamous “coffee shops” and red light district.
So, the million dollar question is: what is it like buying weed and smoking in Amsterdam??
How do you buy some cannabis and what’s the etiquette or protocol when doing so? Even if you don’t smoke or eat the edibles (like me), it’s still acceptable to be curious and visit one to see what it’s like.
During my visit to Amsterdam, there are quite a few coffee shops to visit – about 200 to be exact. Right now, they are not allowing any more shops to open so if any shops close down, that’s it. The number of shops goes down – which sucks for people who are looking to visit Amsterdam but there are many other reasons to visit the city of canals of course.
I ended up visiting Dampkring – a famous & well-known coffee shop due to Ocean’s 12 being filmed inside featuring George Clooney and Brad Pitt (you can see a photo of them in the shop). Most locals buy weed at their favorite coffee shop and will smoke it in the comforts of their own home or at a local park. However, at Dampkring, it’s a comfortable and well-known shop so the place is usually filled with a mix of locals and visitors looking to toke up.
After wandering in and getting used to the (wonderful or not wonderful) musky smell of the weed, you will see a scattering of small tables and chairs as well as a bar with some stools. The place is dimly lit with a warm and gorgeous interior – lots of orange and reds. It’s also a bit quiet, or perhaps it was just the day I went on. To the far back left, you will see another small counter where all the goods are sold. If you turn around, you’ll see a large framed picture of George Clooney making this place “famous.”
If you’re lucky, you might see the “cannabis cat.” The cannabis cat is the local shop’s kitty and is free to roam and lay down on the window sills or an empty chair, or your lap if he so prefers.
How to order
At the stall or counter, selections are typically divided into weed, hash, pre-rolled joints and”spacecakes” (edibles like special brownies or cookies). Prices vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality. I recommend going to the little counter/stall and asking questions. You can even say that you’re a tourist and looking for a good experience.
Don’t be intimidated or nervous since the staff are used to having tourists around and want you to have a good time. It helps if you ask them what “type of high” are you looking for.
If you prefer to roll your own joints, they have paper for that. You can also rent a pipe or a water bong if needed. Bring your own lighter. If you don’t have one, you can purchase one at their vending machine. Be sure to bring plenty of cash/coins.
Pre-rolled joints are often rolled with tobacco to cut the strength of the weed/hash a bit while pure weed joints are sometimes available, but you are warned to NOT smoke the whole thing yourself. It’s best to share or do very tiny hits.
The “space cakes” can be a trip since there’s really no way to know how potent it is. It’s advised to eat less rather than more and wait an hour for your body to digest to see what experience you’re going to end up having.
After speaking to a staff member at Dampkring, he mentioned the indica in California is WAY better than in Amsterdam but the Sativa in Amsterdam still has California beat. I can’t weigh in on what is better of course – just reporting here! The hash stuff can cause hallucinations. I can attest to that since I had a random guy start talking to someone invisible while next to me in Copenhagen.
At the regular bar, you can ask for the menu. This will be the REAL menu where there are some non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. The Belgian hot chocolate is to DIE FOR and I highly recommend it! After smoking up a bit, a case of the munchies will hit but there is a selection of sweet & salty snacks to choose from! Besides hot chocolate, there’s regular soda, water, coffee, and a selection of delicious fruit smoothies to kill cotton mouth.
Overall, it was a chill and fun way to spend some time. Dampkring has a fun & relaxing environment. I’ve passed other coffee shops that seemed funkier, hipster, and “lively” but I didn’t get the chance to go inside. Heard “Dolphin” is also pretty good too.
Some tips to note:
+ Note the difference between a coffee shop and a cafe. A coffeeshop in Amsterdam is known to sell non-alcoholic drinks, snacks, edibles, and weed (or cannabis). A cafe is a regular coffee shop where coffee and regular food and some alcohol are sold.
+ If you’re not sure, look for a green and white sticker in the window. This means it’s a licensed establishment at the coffee shop.
+ Bring cash as most coffee shops will not accept cards. It’s good to have banknotes as well as coins. In Amsterdam, the Euro is the form of currency.
+ It is legal to purchase a maximum of five grams of weed.
+ It’s recommended to buy one if it’s your first time. Don’t overdo it! There’s nothing worst than seeing a tourist lose his shit because they weren’t able to handle the goods in Amsterdam. Even if you’re in a state that has decriminalized weed and “know your tolerance,” you’re still in a foreign country and visiting a coffee shop where you don’t know as much. Can’t hurt to play it safe.
+ If you decide to stay and smoke while in the shop, consider it good manners to order a beverage like a soda or hot chocolate to enjoy.
+You’re allowed to roll your own joint and mix it with some tobacco. However, there is no smoking in the coffee shop.
That’s it, folks. Buying weed and smoking in Amsterdam is easy peasy.