There are so many fantastic reasons to visit the Netherlands! The tulips, the canals and picturesque bridges, the lovely boathouses and breathtaking narrow townhouses, the rich history and art – revived through number of great museums and galleries are just part of it!
But tourists also come to experience the lifestyle of locals through traditional and modern restaurants and cafes, as well as one of the most popular and essential parts of this place’s culture – the sense of freedom, through a vast number of amazing coffeeshops!
Today, the city of Amsterdam has over 200 certified coffeeshops, where selling medical and recreational cannabis products is allowed. These places are certainly very loved and visited by both locals and tourists who want to relax and enjoy the chill and cozy atmosphere of the coffeeshops while they are enjoying the products and sometimes even the food that is being prepared and served in some of them.
However, if you are someone who is visiting Amsterdam for the first time, or simply someone who is planning on experiencing the coffeeshop culture in Amsterdam for the first time, there are few things a new visitor should take into consideration before going into any coffeeshop. There is a certain Amsterdam Coffee Shop Etiquette that is expected to be respected by anyone who steps into their facilities.
Here is the cheat sheet for the coffeeshops.
Here are some don’ts when visiting coffeeshop for the first time:
1. Don’t confuse “Coffeeshop” with “Koffiehuis” or “Cafe”. An important thing to remember is that a licensed seller of cannabis products is called a coffeeshop and it is much different than a regular coffeehouse or cafe, which are usually casual restaurants or bars. The license that marks the coffeeshop as a coffeeshop is a green and white sticker on their window and its helpful for first time visitors to easily distinguish the place from a cafe. Guests should also take into consideration that coffeeshops don’t serve alcohol.
2. Don’t buy too much. Beginners should always keep in mind that a little goes a long way, and you can always come back to buy more if you need more. Cannabis is meant for sharing, and one bag and one joint are usually enough for more people, so don’t waste your money, because you will end up throwing away leftovers.
3. Don’t underestimate the effects, since the coffeeshop products are usually pretty strong. Keep in mind that when available, the pure weed joints are not meant for enjoying entirely by one person in one sitting. There is also a limited amount that you can buy, and customers are not supposed to exceed 5 grams per day.
And here are some dos:
1. Ask questions about the menus which usually have selections divided into weed, hash, pre-rolled joints, and sometimes “spacecakes”. The coffeeshops’ staff are credible, well knowledgeable, and friendly. They are there to help customers, so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations and information about the effects.
2. You can buy your products in one coffeeshop and then go to another one to chill, but it is considered rude if you take up space and not purchase anything, so make sure you buy at least a drink or some snacks.
3. Ask the staff whether you can smoke tobacco inside or not. Usually smoking cigarettes indoors is forbidden across the city, and many marijuana smokers don’t smoke tobacco since it is much more harmful for the overall health. So, asking whether smoking tobacco in the coffeeshop is allowed or not is considered to be a common courtesy.