Amsterdam, Netherlands

Smoker’s Guide to Amsterdam

The glorious city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has been the center of attraction for generations of cannabis enthusiasts, and in fact for over a century Mary Jane aficionados from all corners of the Earth have been rushing to Amsterdam to partake in the never ending reefer madness. Amsterdam’s top event of the year is this High Times Cannabis Cup which takes place each year in the month of November and brings almost 100,000 stoners from around the world together in celebration of this amazing plant.

It doesn’t matter what you’re after, flowers or concentrates, the city’s coffeeshops have everything featured on the menus, simply choose what you like and pay for it like you would in any other shop for any other product. Cannabis tours in Amsterdam can be found at the very end of this guide.

It’s important to note that cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands but it is decriminalized. You can buy cannabis at a coffeshop and the coffeeshop can sell it to you, but no one is allowed to grow mass amounts of cannabis so how the coffeeshops get their constant supply still remains a mystery to this day.


Dutch law allows 5g of cannabis possession to go unpunished.  This is due to the tolerant nature of Dutch society. The punishment for possession of 5g-1kg of bud is a fine, you do not risk imprisonment, and no one is going to make a big deal from small amounts of marijuana. You can generally walk around in the streets of Amsterdam having weed on you, smoking a joint, even if you are standing outside of a police station you can light up your joint and smile at the Dutch cops who will stare right back at you not looking very interested in your smoking habits.

Growing 10-100 plants generally results in a fine per plant and possibly a small (1/2day) sentence per plant. So up to 50 days for 100 plants. In general Amsterdam is considered very liberal but the same cannot be said for the whole of the Netherlands, as in some places like the South of Holland you can only enter the Coffeeshops if you have a Weed Pass which is only available for the local residents.


To enter the Coffeeshops you must be 18+ years old. Most Coffeeshops will sell you up to 5g at once. The truth is that some Coffeeshops will gladly sell you more than the 5g limit as long as you are friendly with the budtender, and show him you have cash. Coffeeshops are required to check your ID even if you are obviously over 18, some of them are not so strict about it, but in any case it is a good idea to keep an ID on you at all times. A valid drivers license is an acceptable form of identification, so you don’t even need to worry about having your passport handy.

Any time you enter a coffee shop and plan to sit there for an extended period of time you are required to purchase something. It is assumed that if you are sitting down at a coffeeshop you will be ordering a service of some sort, whether a drink, food, or buying cannabis from the budtender. If you don’t really want to sit in the coffeeshop and just want to buy something to smoke then it is possible to simply buy the bud or hash and go sit somewhere else but if you decide to sit in the coffeeshop it would be wise to order coffee, tea or a cold drink to show respect towards the place.

Red Light District

When it comes to getting laid Amsterdam really provides a straightforward solution for this problem.

The Red Light District has been a worldwide famous attraction for horny men (and perhaps horny women) visiting Amsterdam for the last century.

Among the display you will find a wide variety of races, colours, shapes, sizes, women of all sorts, in fact if you have any sexual fantasy you will probably get to live it once in your life if you visit Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

The streets of the Red Light District are literally full of red windows lit with red neon lights, and inside, sometimes standing up, sometimes sitting down, are half naked, sometimes three quarters naked women who try to lure the passers by in for a treat.

Usually a treat can cost you anywhere between 50-150 depends how generous you are feeling and how good the chemistry is with the girl you choose to work with.

In Holland the girls who work in the Red Light windows are legal prostitutes, meaning they pay tax on their earnings, and have medical insurance, as well as periodical medical check ups and they have to make sure they are healthy and do not have any diseases, whether or not they all abide these rules, we can never be sure, but it’s been said that the quality and the cleanliness of the girls working in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is of the highest in the world.

Do not take pictures of the women in the windows, they will respond very negatively, if you really want to take a picture of a girl you must ask her first, and if she says no and you still really want to, then offer her some money and she might say yes.

Smoking In Public

Smoking cannabis in public is prohibited, but still happens all the time, just light up a joint, make sure there are no children in the area, and enjoy your freedom. You can feel free to smoke a joint anywhere in Amsterdam, it is very tolerant towards Cannabis, people know it and they simply don’t care, if you come from a country where smoking cannabis is strictly prohibited and you are used to smoke in secrecy and in closed spaces then you will not believe the amount of freedom you will experience while visiting Amsterdam, you can smoke a joint in front of a police officer and he will simply ignore you.

Alcohol In Coffeeshop

Most coffeeshops do not sell alcohol, however there are several coffeeshops in the Red Light District that do sell alcohol. Some bars allow smoking, so you can go buy weed and go smoke inside a bar that serves alcohol.

How do I know which place is a coffeeshop that sells cannabis or a coffee shop that sells coffee?

The Dutch refer to a coffee shop as an establishment that sells cannabis. You will see a green sign on the outside saying Coffeeshop, and has official dutch government writing on it, basically its the shop’s license to sell cannabis. its always found on the front window facing the entrance. A place that has this sign is licensed to sell cannabis and therefore will offer cannabis for sale. A place that does not have the green coffeeshop sign simply is not a coffeeshop that sells cannabis, but might just be a coffee shop that sells coffee, tea and maybe cakes too. A coffee house does not sell marijuana and a café is the equivalent to a bar. You will see these three terms advertised clearly on shops and that is exactly what they will mean. It is generally not allowed to smoke cannabis at cafes and restaurants, but some places do allow it, it’s always best to simply ask to be sure what is the smoking policy in each place you go to. While some places might be strict about it, some places wouldn’t mind if you smoke a joint while your enjoying your tea or coffee, but it’s best to do it in a coffeeshop that sells cannabis as well. It is possible to roll joints everywhere, so you can sit in a McDonalds or Burger King and roll a joint, then walk outside and smoke it after you finished your happy meal.

What kind of weed or hash is available and what are the prices?

You get what you pay for in Amsterdam. Generally if you hit up some of the more famous, crowded, or touristy shops you can expect to pay more expensive prices, and of course there are some tourist traps to be absolutely avoided, but you will quickly find out that you will be paying a higher price for the very high quality top shelf stuff, around 15-20 euros / gram of possibly award winning cannabis strains. Good hash can cost anywhere from 10-40 euros a gram, and Oil can go from 80-100 euros a gram but is currently not sold in any shops, if you are looking to dab some good oil it’s best to ask around some heady people that have the 710 connection.

We wouldn’t recommend spending all your weed budget in the first place you go to, since part of the fun is going from shop to shop and trying a bunch of strains and different hash samples to compare the different qualities and different highs.

When you buy marijuana in Amsterdam you can buy a baggie of buds, pre-rolled joints, or hash. The combination of tobacco and marijuana in a joint is called a spliff, these are very common in Amsterdam. If you order a pre-roll you need to specify if you want pure cannabis otherwise you’ll likely end up with a spliff. Pre-rolls are typically made with the bottom bag left over buds that weren’t picked to be sold whole, so just keep that in mind, it’s always better to roll your own joint.

Many places offer vaporizers, clean bongs, and pipes for you to use. You need to ask the budtender for one of the bongs, he will give it to you to use in the shop. if you need a bong for your room you can buy bongs in every souvenir shop and many small shops carry bongs and pipes.

I hear Amsterdam has other drugs and not just Cannabis… Is that true?

While Amsterdam is known for its Cannabis Coffeeshops it is true that you can easily find literally any drug in existence, you simply need to know the right person, but it’s possible to get any drug that you want. Obviously it’s not a good idea to talk to street dealers, but you will be approached several times if you walk around the Red Light District at night, usually Moroccans or Africans will try to approach you and offer you all sorts, it’s better to avoid these people and ask someone who you know is a good person and will not try to cause you any trouble. If you are looking for a bit of a psychedelic experience while visiting Amsterdam you can also purchase magic truffles in special shops called Smart Shops. You will see several of these shops while walking around Amsterdam. These truffles are generally not overly potent, so you can take a good dose if you want a stronger trip. Fresh Magic Mushrooms used to be sold legally in Holland but few years back they changed the law and they can no longer be sold. The truffles are not actually mushrooms but something called a sclerotium which is not a live mushroom but still contains the psychoactive ingredient called Psilocybin.

Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are illegal in Amsterdam. However in places around the Red Light District it is not uncommon to be propositioned into buying some blow from some young Africans. We definitely wouldn’t recommend buying drugs on the street or cannabis from a stranger.

General Behaviour
You’re in Amsterdam, if you treat this city right, it will treat you right back. Don’t do anything silly, do your thing, but don’t bother or disturb anyone else, if you are respectful of your surroundings and the people you meet, you will have a wonderful Amsterdam experience. If you choose to cause a problem you will end up being deported and barred from ever returning, so make sure to behave yourself even if you get into the wildest situations, know that even in Amsterdam there is a limit for every party.

If you choose to use other drugs please do so responsibly, and that includes drinking massive amounts of alcohol. Please try to keep yourself in check and under control, cases of alcohol related violence have been documented around the Red Light District, so please try to avoid any confrontations and if you drink, please do so responsibly. It’s better to smoke weed anyway. But everyone loves a cold glass of beer every now and then, and some Scotch is always good as well.

Amsterdam is a city where millions of people come to enjoy every month, a place where everyone always has a good time and relax and it’s up to each and everyone of us who visit this city to keep it nice and clean and ready for the next person who will come to have a great relaxing time. Just remember not to litter and to keep your mess to a minimum. Dutch people often frown

Where can I smoke marijuana in Amsterdam?

You may find it unpleasant to smoke in some public areas such as the quiet neighborhood streets. Although smoking in public is not legal, it is done all the time with the right precautions. For example lighting up near a canal, or at a park is not uncommon, it is better that you ask a local where it is cool to roll up and smoke, and where it is better to avoid it.

Is there a tour I can join to find out the best coffeeshops and spots?

Our Amsterdam Tours will let you experience the hidden jewels of this city. We will show you the best coffeeshops considering your needs and wishes. Get an insight on Amsterdam’s cannabis scene from a local’s perspective. We can even get you discounts on museums, bike rentals, cannabis college etc. Curious about extracts? No problem, we got the local hookups. Contact us today, for a custom tour!

To contact a tour guide in Amsterdam e-mail