1. Head right to a coffeeshop!
2. Don’t expect much in the way of window signage, since advertising marijuana is illegal.
You won’t find any “marijuana sold here” decals in the windows, but rest assured, if the sign outside says “coffeeshop,” then the establishment sells ganja. Also, if you’re googling venues before visiting, then don’t worry if a website doesn’t list marijuana or soft drugs. Again, if it’s a coffeeshop, then it’ll have weed.
3. Every coffeeshop is different, so explore town to find a place you like.
When I said there are literally hundreds of coffeeshops in Amsterdam, I wasn’t exaggerating. There are more coffeeshops then you could possibly visit during a stay in the city, but be sure to spend some time exploring to find a coffeeshop that you enjoy. They come in all shapes and sizes, have different strains of marijuana, and have totally different environments.
Some are set up as multiroom lounges with board and arcade games, while others are more like quick shops (without any seats) for marijuana buyers looking to get their weed in a timely manner. Don’t just set up camp at the first coffeeshop you visit; take some time to explore and find one that you’ll enjoy patrolling.
4. You pretty much just walk in and buy weed.
5. Bring cash with you, because some coffeeshops don’t take cards.
6. “Joints” have tobacco; “pure joints” are just marijuana.
7. Most coffeeshops have menus, but they aren’t always descriptive.
8. Ask for recommendations.
9. Always look at the weed before buying it.
10. A lot of coffeeshops don’t sell bongs or pipes.
11. Luckily, there are plenty of other places to find them!
The Netherlands has no real drug paraphernalia laws, so you’ll see bongs in the windows of shops all over Amsterdam, especially near the Red Light District. Heads up though: Most of the pipes, bongs, and other paraphernalia seem like they’re mass-produced. The bongs you find in one store are probably going to be the same that you find throughout town, so there’s no real need to go hunting for the “perfect” bong.
12. Ask for joint papers and a lighter.
13. Make sure it's OK to smoke before you light up.
14. The coffeeshops usually serve snack snacks!
15. But the actual coffee they serve isn’t always that good.
16. Check for the Wi-Fi sign.
17. Weed quality and prices vary, so look for herb outside the city core.
18. Coffeeshops can’t sell alcohol, but you can smoke inside a lot of bars.
19. Liquor stores and small markets sell edibles.
Some but not all coffeeshops will sell edibles in addition to grams of herb and joints. But smaller markets and liquors stores throughout the city sell lollipops, “space cakes,” and other weed-infused goodies.
20. Smoking marijuana in public is illegal, but not really enforced.
21. Smart shops don’t sell weed. They sell “mushrooms” and other “mind” drugs.
They’re called “magic mushrooms,” but they aren’t actually mushrooms. The sale of actual hallucinogenic mushrooms was banned in 2007, so instead smart shops sell truffles that have basically the same affect on you as mushrooms. They also sell other mind-altering drugs like salvia, peyote, and other psychedelics.