7 practical questions about smoking weed in Amsterdam, answered

Here's what you should know 👇

So, you’re planning a trip to an Amsterdam coffeeshop but don’t quite know where to start? 

If you’re new to the magnificent world of weed, joints and Dutch coffeeshops, you might have some questions on your mind. 💭

Luckily, we’re here to answer all of them. From where, what, when and how you should smoke weed in Amsterdam — we’ve got you covered. 😉

Let’s start with the big one — is weed in the Netherlands even legal for non-Dutch nationals to buy? 

The answer to whether or not weed is legal in the Netherlands is indeed a tricky one. 

Here’s the key to the puzzle: cannabis in the Netherlands is decriminalised, but it’s not actually legal

Cannabis use in the Netherlands is tolerated, so it’s neither legal nor illegal to sell or buy weed in Amsterdam. That’s what they call a (smokey) grey area, folks! 

This means that you can walk into any Amsterdam coffeeshop, buy yourself some weed and smoke it — without being picked up by the Dutch politie. 👮 

That being said, as of December 2023, coffeeshops in Brabandt are taking part in an experiment where they can sell weed from legalised cannabis suppliers. Depending on how this experiment plays out, the Netherlands may decide to legalise the sale of cannabis across the country — including Amsterdam!

Smoke in moderation, be respectful, and don’t be one of those drunk tourists — and you’ll be golden!

Good to know: While you can easily buy weed in any Amsterdam coffeeshop, there is one rule you should know. You’re not allowed to buy more than five grams at a time! Somehow need more than that? Bring a friend. 😉

2. Where can I smoke weed in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam has around 160 coffeeshops! This one is the popular Boerejongens West. Image: DutchReview

You’re out and about in the Dutch capital and wanting to smoke a joint. A coffeeshop is a good option, but it’s sunny out, and you kind of just want to sit at a canal. ☀️ 

But wait  — are you even allowed to smoke outside and in public spaces? Or are there any rules you should know about? 

Short answer: Yes, there are! Here’s what you can smoke where in Amsterdam.👇🏻

Coffeeshops 🍁 

Wait, is it allowed to smoke in a coffeeshop?! Image: Depositphotos

The most obvious places that allow you to puff away all day are… drum roll, please… Amsterdam coffeeshops! Who would’ve thought? 😂

The Dutch capital is home to about 160 of these établissements, which can be a bit disorienting. 

READ MORE │ 17 best coffeeshops in Amsterdam: the best spots to smoke in 2022

If you’re coffeeshop-curious but new to the game, an easy place to start are the Boerejongens Coffeeshops. There are multiple options around Amsterdam, the staff are well trained in answering all weed-related questions, and the interior is seriously classy — instead of dark and dingy coffeeshops, you’re getting marble countertops and “budtenders” in uniform. 🎩

Pssst: You should definitely try their edibles! We’ve tried their red velvet cake and white-chocolate pistachio cake and were blown away. Literally. 

Doesn’t this Red Velvet Cake from Boerejongens just look to die for? Image: Supplied

Another great option is Coffeeshop Amsterdam, located just five minutes from Amsterdam Centraal. The staff are friendly, the menu is easy-to-navigate, and the inside is bright and cheery. 

Third up on our list is Coffeeshop Tweede Kamer. Dating all the way back to 1985, this place knows all about cannabis. With a gorgeous interior and a convenient location on the famous Singel, it’s a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

The last gem we’d like to recommend is Het Ballonnetje, a real OG amongst Amsterdam coffeeshops located within the lively student quarters. Situated off the beaten tourist track, this spot is also popular with locals. They also pride themselves in their specialty weed selection.

Good to know: There is an official tobacco ban in catering establishments in the Netherlands — Amsterdam coffeeshops included! 🚭 This means, no mixed tobacco-weed joints inside — only “green” or herb-stretched joints.

Public spaces 🤝 

Generally, in Amsterdam, if you sit down on any public bench or in a park to enjoy your joint, no one will bother you. 

Since 2023, however, the municipality of Amsterdam has issued a so-called blowverbod — a smoking ban — for certain areas of the city.

This affects de Wallen (the Red Light District), the Dam, the Damrak, and the Nieuwmarkt. 🚭 

On top of that, it is also strictly forbidden to smoke anywhere near school squares and playgrounds!

Other public spaces are generally fine to smoke in. Obviously, if you get blind high and make it your mission to annoy everyone around you, you’ll likely be asked to leave.

One of the Dutchest sights you’ll ever see: bikes, flowers and smoking joints in Amsterdam. Image: Freepik

Keep in mind that all throughout Amsterdam, there are regular residents going about their daily lives. Would you like to have people smoking underneath your window all day? Exactly. So, mind the neighbours! 

Tip: Heading to another Dutch city? Keep in mind that not all municipalities are as accommodating as Amsterdam when it comes to smoking outside. 

In fact, 67% of all Dutch municipalities have a total drug ban for public spaces! Luckily, Amsterdam ‘aint one of them (yet?).  

3. How expensive is it to buy weed in Amsterdam?

Can you tell whether you’re looking at Indica or Sativa just from this picture? Image: Depositphotos

How much you’ll spend on some quality Dutch weed depends on the strain, the weight, and the form you want to buy. 😮‍💨

For example, a gram of weed can range anywhere from €7 to €20. Some artisanal, high-class strains can cost you up to €50 or more. 

If you’re looking to buy a pre-rolled joint — either pure, mixed, or hash — you can pay as little as €3.50 or as much as €15. A lot of times you can buy bundles of joy-nts (hah!), where you pay €15 to €30+ for a pack of five. 

Prefer to eat your weed rather than smoke it? Edibles are available everywhere in Amsterdam coffeeshops and will cost you anywhere from €5 to €20. 

From strawberry cheesecakes to fudgy brownies — there is a treat for every sweet tooth out there looking to get baked (pun intended). 🍰

4. Can anybody buy weed in Amsterdam?

The short answer: if you’re in Amsterdam and are 18 years or older, you can buy weed in any Amsterdam coffeeshop — even if you’re a tourist. Just like with alcohol, you might be asked to show proof of identification, so make sure to always bring your ID!  

The long answer: in some other Dutch cities, there is a tourist ban that does not allow non-Dutch nationals to buy weed.

Of course, if you’re a Dutch national or resident above the age of 18, you can buy weed in Amsterdam or any coffeeshop in the Netherlands without facing any issues at all. 

5. How can I avoid a bad trip smoking in Amsterdam?

You might have heard of “it” — the dreaded bad trip. A bad trip is a negative mental or physical reaction to smoking weed. 

Luckily, a bad trip is generally easy to avoid!

The first trick is to pay attention to what you’re smoking and how much you’re smoking. For example, it could be a good option to start with a weed strain that is lower in THC so that one puff won’t send you flying sky-high by accident. 🚀

Instead, opt for strains that are higher in CBD. Similar to THC, CBD is also a chemical component found in marijuana. But instead of making you high, CBD has relaxing and calming effects. No bad trips in sight!

READ MORE │Amsterdam’s best weed: guide to coffeeshops and cannabis [2022]

It’s also never a good idea to mix cannabis with alcohol or other drugs. Weed isn’t really a party drug in the first place. It’s always nice to make chill plans after smoking up and enjoy your high in peace. 😌

That way, you’ll mostly experience giggles, fascinating thoughts, euphoria, relaxation and maybe some munchies. 

What does a bad trip feel like?

The good news first: a bad trip where you see scary figures or hear voices is mostly an invention of pop culture. In reality, a bad reaction to cannabis is more likely to lead to vomiting if your blood sugar levels drop too low or just a general feeling of being “too high.” 

Mentally, you might experience intense negative emotions such as panic or paranoia. But, again, this is not very common if you consume cannabis mindfully and it all passes eventually!

6. How do I know what cannabis strain to pick?

Just as there are different brands of beer or wine that vary in taste or composition, different cannabis strains and formats will have different effects on you. 

Indica vs Sativa

On the most basic level, the marijuana plant is considered to come in two different strains: Indica and Sativa. 

Did you know the difference between these two strains? Image: DutchReview

In general, Sativa is considered to have mood-heightening and stimulating effects. If you’re looking for a good time, loads of giggles, and high energy, then this should be your choice.

Indica, on the other hand, is more sedative and relaxing. It’s a good pick when you want to wind down, relax or maybe even increase your appetite. 


Another, maybe even more important aspect determining the effect of different weed strains is the composition of the cannabinoids CBD and THC. 

Without getting to biochemicall-y, cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in weed that bind to your brain receptors and make you high.

READ MORE | The miracle cure-all? Everything you need to know about CBD in the Netherlands

THC is the stuff that makes you head-high (or stoned, to put it very simply). This cannabinoid is the reason weed is considered a psychedelic drug. 🤩💫 

CBD, on the other hand, is known to have a variety of health-promoting effects on the body. It can be used to treat insomnia, anxiety, stress- or pain-related symptoms. 

CBD can also easily be consumed as an oil. Image: Depositphotos

Overall, when thinking about which cannabis strain you want to pick, it is best to ask your trusty Amsterdam coffeeshop employee for advice. These guys are trained to know all the strains on offer and will tell you what and how much to smoke according to your needs and desires. 

Good to know: You don’t have to smoke a CBD joint to enjoy the health-promoting effects of this cannabinoid. There is a whole world of CBD-infused products out there from oil to chocolate to coffee. 

7. Can I take weed from Amsterdam back to my home country?

Don’t take any unwanted goods to the airport or you might spend a lot of time at Schiphol airport’s customs control. Image: Depositphotos

Here’s a scenario for you — your weekend trip to Amsterdam is over and you’re about to go through customs at your home airport. 

You’re reminiscing about what you’ve seen — narrow canal houses, beautiful Vondelpark and a coffeeshop or two — when all of a sudden there is a dog pushing its snout into your coat pocket and an angry customs officer is asking why you still have a forgotten sachet of weed in there.

The charge? You’ve smuggled cannabis from the Netherlands where it’s decriminalised to a country where the possession of weed is a crime. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve technically purchased it legally in an Amsterdam coffeeshop.

The moral of the story is: empty your pockets and smoke up before you leave lovely Amsterdam. Should you be heading right from a coffeeshop to Schiphol airport, you might want to have a peek at the video below. Just in case. 😎 

Now that you’ve got all the wheres, hows and whats of smoking weed in Amsterdam coffeeshops, it’s time for you to spread your wings and fly — as high as you can. 😉

Got any questions about smoking weed in Amsterdam we’ve missed? Drop ‘em in the comments and let’s help each other out!

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in April 2022, but was fully updated in December 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara Räker 🇩🇪
Cara moved to the Netherlands at fifteen and she is here to stay! After all, there is so much to love about it, except maybe the bread (as every German will tell you). Next to finishing up her bachelor's degree in European politics (dry), Cara loves to do yoga, swim, and cook delicious veggie food.

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  1. Hey, what if im traveling by train from Amsterdam to Brussels or Paris is there any checkpoints or customs at train stations? Is it safe to travel by train inside Europe with small amounts of weed like 5g or few pre rolled joints?

    • Hi, Hisham! There are no systematic checkpoints or customs on trains in the EU but the possession of cannabis is illegal in France. Cannabis is also illegal in Belgium, but possession has been decriminalized. In any case, we advise you to consume all weed you’ve bought in Amsterdam before you leave just to be safe.

  2. Thank you for the great article. It has been a couple years, since I have been to Amsterdam.
    Looking to have this question answered from anyone that can help.
    Traveling to Amsterdam in December, does any Coffeshop sell cartridges or pens that would easy to be simple about it.
    Looking for vape, resin pens.

  3. Traveling to Amsterdam in February. Will my wife and I still be able to buy weed in a coffee shop with the new ban to tourists coming down late this month? We are senior citizens.
    Thank you


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