Posted on: September 11, 2018
When you go to Amsterdam it is useful to know where to find the best things. You do not want a bad experience, especially when it comes to drugs like cannabis. There are plenty of companies in Amsterdam that are too expensive or offer poor quality products.
We have the solution for you! An overview of the 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam created by frequent coffeeshop visitors. First, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about coffee shops in Amsterdam.
For some this is a superfluous question, but many wonder what a coffeeshop means in Amsterdam. Meaning: A coffeeshop in the Netherlands is a company where cannabis (weed and hash) can be offered and sold. When the Dutch refer to coffeeshops, this expressly means that it concerns drug-related matters. If a Dutch person says that he or she is going to visit a coffee shop, then the person will buy weed or hash. No coffee or tea.
The Netherlands works with a tolerance policy (Dutch: gedogen-beleid), which simply means that it is allowed to sell and buy soft drugs (= weed & hash) in coffeeshops. However, it is illegal to produce cannabis commercially in the Netherlands. This means that almost all coffeeshops in Amsterdam obtain their cannabis from illegal sources, or criminals. In that respect, the Netherlands works with a strange, clumsy and old-fashioned drug policy. This Dutch drug policy has been active in this way since the 1970s.
The Bulldog was not the first coffeeshop in Amsterdam but the third. It was founded in December 1975, after Mellow Yellow & Rusland.
Amsterdam has currently 164 coffeeshops (source). 14 of them can found in the Red Light District. There used to be many more coffeeshops in Amsterdam, but the government has closed many. In the 1990s, the Dutch capital even had more than 400 coffeeshops. Most coffeeshops in Amsterdam were closed because of criminal activities. With such a complicated drug policy, that is almost unavoidable.
Yes! Only a few coffeeshops close to the border with Germany and Belgium are prohibited for tourists. Coffeeshops in Amsterdam can let everyone in as long as they are 18 years old.
Yes! All coffeeshops in Amsterdam sell weed and hash in pre-rolled joints and small seal-bags. Almost all shops have pre-rolled joints in stock. If not, you can always ask the staff to work for you. They will do this for you – if it’s not too busy.
Almost all coffeeshops in Amsterdam via illegal suppliers and growers. This is because it is prohibited in the Netherlands to cultivate cannabis for commercial purposes. An exception to this is the so-called closed ‘coffeeshop chain experiment’ to clarify whether legal delivery, purchase and sale of cannabis is possible. The quality of this cannabis is also checked. This experiment is also called the weed experiment or weed trial, in which growers will produce cannabis under the supervision of the Dutch government.
This best coffeeshops in Amsterdam ranking was based on 224 votes from members of the Dam Jam – Amsterdam Coffeeshop Culture Facebook group and the Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory Facebook group. The Facebook group Dam Jam has currently 14.401 members and is described as: “A page about Amsterdam, its coffeeshops and a cheeky bit of culture all rolled into one“. The other one currently counts 60.612 members and uses this description: “A place for members of the ACD forum and fans of ACD to come on Facebook to discuss current coffeeshop culture and share info“.
Some of the members prefer to lounge whilst others only vote for the quality of the cannabis. With this top 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam you can’t go wrong during your visit.
Number one on our list with a total of 31 votes out of 224 is coffeeshop Grey Area. This coffeeshop is a regular cannabis-cup winner and the staff is really knowledgeable. Snoop Dogg has visited this coffeeshop as well. It’s named Grey Area because the Dutch law on using weed isn’t exactly clear-cut.
It also turns out that this is one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam because Grey Area is frequented visited by famous people. Snoop Dogg, Kelis, Cypress Hill, Woody Harrelson and many others have been here.
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The shop is located in the center of Amsterdam and is world renowned for the quality of their weed. Most visitors go there to buy their weed but not to chill as the coffeeshop itself is quite small. Due to the central location and popularity of the coffeeshop, it can get busy so expect to have wait in line.FIND ON MAP >
This coffeeshop in Amsterdam came in a close second with 28 votes out of 224. Coffeeshop 1e Hulp (translated: First Aid) is located at the outskirts of the city center making it relatively quiet. A really relaxed, very comfortable and cozy coffeeshop perfect for chilling. Oh, and the weed is great too! This isn’t the cheapest coffeeshop in Amsterdam but they serve some unique and excellent strains. The staff is also really friendly and will help you out with making your selection. This is one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam and is well known for their moon rocks.FIND ON MAP >
Boerejongens is without a doubt one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam. This is a very modern coffeeshop with a touch of class. Boerejongens got a total of 20 votes out of 224. It’s very easy to reach due to it being located close to Rembrandt Square, on the Utrechtsestraat 21. The staff wear crisp white shirts combined with black bowties and white aprons. They are also very friendly and knowledgeable. Expect a great selection of strains and to wait in line as this is a really busy shop. You can sit and chill in the cozy upstairs however most people just go here to get some of the best cannabis in town, and leave. This is because the upstairs is quite small.FIND ON MAP >
Het Ballonnetje attracts a wide variety of guests, including tourists, musicians, artists and students. The staff here is friendly and they sell their top quality weed and hash for reasonable prices. Het Ballonnetje is located in Amsterdam Oost (east). Tip: get your supplies at het Ballonnetje and visit Artis Zoo located just around the corner.FIND ON MAP >
Number five on our best coffeeshops in Amsterdam list is The Plug. This place was formerly Coffeeshop Utopia but has merged with The Plug in Barcelona back in May 2018. This has greatly improved their original selection and menu. It is a small coffeeshop with the option to sit outside in the sunlight. The staff is friendly and patient. They also serve great coffee here. Come for the weed, stay for the coffee 😏.FIND ON MAP >
This is another shop on our list that is located at the outskirts of Amsterdam’s city center. The Stud was established back in 1982 and serves a good mixture of local regulars and tourists. It’s a small shop so seating is limited. Expect the best herbs for a fair price served by friendly staff. Coffeeshop The Stud also has a few (“old dated”) computers that visitors may use. The shop is located close to the Amsterdam Muiderpoort train station, in the more eastern part of the city. At Cannabis Liberation Day 2018 The Stud was nominated for the best coffeeshop in Amsterdam!FIND ON MAP >
The atmosphere in Green House is completely unique. Green House has four separate locations spread out over Amsterdam. We’re talking about the Green House at the Oudezijs Voorburgwal located in the Red Light District. Great central location. All Green House coffeeshops have a high quality reputation and great quality products. One of those places where you can buy with your eyes closed.FIND ON MAP >
Located in the heart of Amsterdam close to Spui Square and Rokin street, this is one of the oldest and the best-known coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Coffeeshop Abraxas is also known from a scene in a famous movie. This is one of the reasons why it’s part of our Amsterdam Drugs Tour.
The interior is really unique and “mind expanding” by itself. The place is really hospitable and they serve a nice selection of high quality coffee and tea. A fantastic coffeeshop to enjoy a relaxing joint.FIND ON MAP >
This is one of the more larger coffeeshops on our best coffeeshops in Amsterdam top 10. The vibe here is good and relaxing with plenty of comfortable seating for everyone. They also have some canal side tables outside for when the sun is shining. Besides serving up some great bud they also play quality music. Right next door are a McDonalds and Burger King for those who get the munchies.FIND ON MAP >
Coffeeshop Voyagers in the Rotlichtviertel.
This coffeeshop is actually a hotel and coffeeshop in one. It is located at one of the entrances to the Red Light District from Amsterdam’s Central Station. This is a great place to start your adventure. The staff is really friendly and the weed and selection are really good. It is a cozy coffeeshop, surrounded by two canals, with limited seating so not ideal for long chill sessions, unless you also booked a hotel room there.FIND ON MAP >
On the 11th of February, 2020, we posted a poll on our Facebook-page. We asked whether the content of cannabis should be checked by the Dutch government. This is what 294 respondents answered:
We listed all the 10 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam in Google Maps (below) so that you can easily find them.
On your mobile device: combine two fingers to scroll through the map:
Did you know that “only” 7.2% of the Dutch adults used cannabis last month (source)? Did you know that >95% of all cannabis in the Netherlands is produced illegally? Here it’s only tolerated to buy and sell cannabis. The commercial production of cannabis is not legal.
(It’s only legal when done via the new so called ‘weed-experiment’ or ‘weed test’ what goes through the Dutch government and in which only a few coffeeshops may participate).
Ever heard of the Dutch Cocaine Factory that legally produced cocaine in Amsterdam? From 1870 till 1919 cocaine was a legal product in the Netherlands. In the 1910’s the Netherlands was actually a global market leader in the production of cocaine. And did you know that the Netherlands is one of the biggest XTC producing countries in the world?
An image of the Netherlands in cocaine.
Learn more about weed and others drugs during this informative Amsterdam Drugs Tour. A licensed guide explains more about drugs during a beautiful, healthy walk of 100 minutes through the centre of Amsterdam. This fun activity includes more than 12 drug related highlights.MORE INFO >
Which venues do you find the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam? Please share your opinion in the comment section below.