There are around 160 coffeeshops in Amsterdam, and as such, lots and lots of options for the many cannabis lovers that fill its streets. However, as many people will know, it’s not always easy to work out which coffeeshops are worth visiting, and which are just tourist traps. The beautiful canals and cobbled streets of Amsterdam can lead you down some interesting paths, but not always towards the best places. In fact, the architect of Amsterdam intentionally designed it so that the tourists would be trapped in the ‘outside rings’ and would not bother the locals in the ‘inner rings’. The average holiday go-er may visit Amsterdam for a week or a long weekend, and in that time, without guidance, they may miss out on some of the best cannabis vibes of their lives. That is why we’ve decided to give you our opinion. The Amsterdam coffeeshop scene is a complex one, but after reading this article you will know a few major hotspots that you simply cannot miss.
The History of The Coffeeshop
The Netherlands, when it comes to drugs, are nothing short of progressive. They live by the philosophy of ‘gedogen’; which translates to mean ‘to tolerate’. Rather than trying to illegalise every substance that walks through the door (like the UK do), the Dutch are far more pragmatic and understanding. In the 1960s, the Netherlands started to become aware of the rise in drug use throughout the world and in their own nation. The first action they took was to separate the likes of ‘hard drugs’ and ‘soft drugs’. Hard drugs include cocaine and heroin, whereas soft drugs include the likes of cannabis. Dutch officials would take extremely different actions on hard and soft drugs, which meant that culturally, these drugs were separated early on. In the UK, cannabis and harder drugs can often be placed in the same category by ignorant people. However, in the Netherlands, they were able to make this separation, and were thus able to create an entire cannabis industry. The Dutch government believed that if they harnessed the illegal drug selling market, they would not only be able to regulate cannabis but also optimise profits.
The first ever coffeeshop in Amsterdam was called Mellow Yellow and it was opened in 1967. Again, the logic was that if the space was given to cannabis-lovers to smoke weed, then it would normalize the drug and ultimately make it safer. In consequence to this, Bulldog – a chain which would one day dominate, opened up their first chain and started to commercialise the coffeeshop market. Now, in 2021, coffeeshops are one of the biggest attractions for tourists around the world who visit Amsterdam. In fact, the Netherlands make over 400 million euros annually from the sales of cannabis in coffeeshops. Yep. Unreal figures there.
If you want to know more about other places in the world where cannabis is legal, click here.
The Best Coffeeshops In Amsterdam
There are over 7 billion people on this planet and we all have varying preferences. Therefore, what one person may appreciate about a coffeeshop, another might find highly distasteful. And vice versa. Some people prefer a bustling, noisy environment, whilst others prefer a much more chilled out vibe. Some like edibles, some like buds. Therefore, we’ve tried to include something for everyone on this list, whilst also meticulously ensuring that it provides the finest cannabis out there. Without further ado, this is it: the top 5 Amsterdam Coffeeshops.
Green House United
“The Coffeeshop To Feel Famous”
Green House United coffeeshops are a dining and cannabis experience extravaganza. It unites the power of weed and food, whilst also giving an incredibly comfortable service.
Green House United are so popular that there’s actually several of them. They, like Bull Dog, are a very successful chain. Green House is known to have hosted some very famous names in the past; even the likes of Rihanna, Eminem, Wizz Khalifa, and Richard Branson have walked through the door. Richard Branson definitely being the odd one out on that list.
Not only do they offer incredible space cakes and cannabis buds, but they also have a very successful kitchen. Their fish & chips or sirloin steak are to die for.
In regards to cannabis, they have an unbelievable selection. In fact, they’ve won over 40 Cannabis Cups. If you’re unsure what the Cannabis Cup is then, quick summary: it’s a big deal.
The Point Coffeeshop
“The Family Coffeeshop”
The Point coffeeshop is a Ghanaian family run business, based in the outskirts of Amsterdam. Unlike the Green House, it doesn’t go for the glitz and glam aesthetic, but instead caters to its loyal customers and has an extremely bold cannabis menu. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track style of coffeeshop then this is the one for you. It’s cute, caring, intimate and even has a few seats inside if you’d like to enjoy your cannabis there.
Whilst The Point does not have the kind of sit-down, restaurant service that some of the other coffeeshops have, it gives the customer an insight into what the first ever coffeeshops would have been like. Plus, the White Widow and Purple Haze are especially incredible. If you’re ever in Amsterdam, you won’t regret cycling out to this little gem.
“The Hipster, Colourful Coffeeshop”
The Paradox coffeeshop has been around for 30 years, and does not claim to be anything fancy. However, they do focus on quality and care. Situated in a quieter area of Amsterdam, away from the tourism, this is a coffeeshop for the artists and poets out there. This is the kind of place where concepts are spoken of, discussions are had, worlds are built – just in a matter of one bud sesh. This is the place to be creative.
The interior has some lovely artwork, comfortable sofas, board games and friendly staff. You won’t find any cocky, high English tourists here, that’s for sure.
If you’re looking for great conversation, a creative atmosphere, a nice coffee, and of course some great weed, then this is your place.
“The Most Dutch Coffeeshop There Is”
If you’re looking for the most Dutch coffeeshop there is, then this is the one for you. This place is relaxed, friendly and chill. It’s the perfect balance of quiet, but also the place to have a great chat. At Old Amsterdam, you’ll get the most amazing White Rhino cannabis, whilst also being made an insane Oat Cappuccino.
This coffeeshop is made for the young locals who enjoy cannabis but don’t need to shout about it.
“The Most Beautiful Coffeeshop In Amsterdam”
Last, but by no means least, we have the Boerjejongers coffeeshop. What a name, eh? Boerjejongens, when translated into English, literally means ‘farmer boys’. They take pride in their more classy and medical approach to cannabis selling.
First of all, the building is by far the most beautiful architecture of any coffeeshop in London. It’s glass windows and minimalist style make it look almost like an Apple store. The staff are dressed in white, making it seem like a medical practice. It’s not dark and dingy, like some coffeeshops, but instead it’s welcoming and futuristic. The weed is presented like delicate wines, rather than something shady. Not only that, but the parking is completely free. What a bonus!
This is a coffeeshop from the future.
Which Coffeeshop Will You Try?
So, now you know the 5 best Amsterdam coffeeshops of 2021, it’s time to book your flight and go try them out for yourself. Remember, you can’t be expected to go to every one one of these. Sometimes you might just want to stay at one place for the whole day, maybe even the whole week (depending on how high you get). The one and only thing to remember is don’t allow yourself to be tourist trapped. Be free, be independent. Good luck!
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