Amsterdam RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Amsterdam Coffee Shops

By Viator, August 2015

4.5 18 Reviews | Add your review

Nothing symbolizes Dutch pragmatism better than the country’s drug policy. Rather than wage war on all drugs and drive them further underground with all the criminal, anti-social activity that brings, they take a different approach. Concentrating on the elimination of hard drugs, authorities tolerate the sale of soft drugs in controlled environments.

Hence the Netherlands’ famous “coffee shops”. But to avoid confusion, let’s get our terms straight. If you actually want coffee in Amsterdam, head for a café or “koffiehuis”. Because what you’ll get in establishments marked “coffeeshop” is actually cannabis, sold by experts, to be consumed on the premises.

The minimum age for cannabis use in the Netherlands is 18, and visiting the coffee shops of Amsterdam is a rite of passage for many college-age young adults from around the world. But the image of the young stoner is just one part of the story. Long-time puffers who came of age in the ´60s or first-time middle age tokers all feel comfortable in this tolerant environment. 

Being a practical people, the Dutch don’t just value the intoxicating qualities of cannabis, but all the other uses that versatile hemp can be put to as well. The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum illustrates some of these uses, including medical treatments and the products which can be made from hemp fiber. Also on view in this unique center of cannabis lore are smoking accessories and displays detailing the history of marijuana usage and culture.

Whatever your views on cannabis, it’s difficult not to be impressed by peaceful Amsterdam. Spending a few hours breathing in the city’s liberal atmosphere is sure to open your mind.

Tours & Tickets

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Amsterdam Coffee Shops Walking Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

People don’t go to Amsterdam’s famed coffee shops for the coffee. There’s another substance consumed at these misnamed spots that are sprinkled throughout the ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $13.75

Private tour: Amsterdam Red Light District And Coffee Shop Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Join this 3-hour walking tour through Amsterdam and learn about the history of the city's famous Red Light District and coffee shops. Enter a coffee shop, the ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $53.87

Best Amsterdam Walking Tour: City of Tolerance and Coffee Shop Visit

For as long as anyone can remember, the Dutch metropolis has been one of the most progressive cities in the world. This 3-hour guided walking tour is a casual ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $57.31

Small-Group Center Amsterdam, Red Light District and Coffee Shop Walking Tour

This 4-hour small-group Amsterdam city walking tour gives you a chance to see its city center and Red Light District, explore the coffee shop culture and soak ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $159.33

Amsterdam Coffee Shop Culture And Local Food Sampling Walking Tour

Join this 2-hour Amsterdam walking tour and explore the city's coffee shop culture with a local guide. Get an in-depth look into the world of coffee shops in ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $27.51

Private Tour: Amsterdam Center City And Red Light District Coffee Shop Walking Tour

This private 4-hour walking tour of Amsterdam gives you a complete unedited view of Amsterdam city and life. Step back in time and learn interesting facts ...  Read more

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $212.05

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