Smoking weed in Amsterdam: the ultimate guide [Updated 2022]

If you’re heading to the Netherlands, chances are you want to smoke weed in Amsterdam — right?

Of course, before you light up your green and enjoy all those good vibes, it’s important that you know smoking weed in Amsterdam isn’t quite what everyone expects.

For example, did you know that weed in Amsterdam isn’t technically legal — despite what you may have heard?

Yep. So listen up weed-desiring folks: here’s everything you need to know when it comes to getting high in Amsterdam!

👮‍♀️ The law on smoking weed in Amsterdam and the Netherlands

Let’s start with the basics. For one, cannabis is not actually legal in the Netherlands.

Surprised? We were too! Weed in the Netherlands is only decriminalised.

This means that consuming weed in Amsterdam and the rest of the country is tolerated — unlike other countries like Canada, Mexico, Uruguay where it is legal.

Essentially, you’re able to walk into a coffeeshop, purchase less than five grams of weed, and smoke it as long as you’re not being a pain in butt.

It’s neither legal nor illegal: it’s a smokey grey area.

So can you legally smoke weed in Amsterdam?

Technically? No. In practice? Yes, you can smoke weed in Amsterdam in public or in private.

However, make sure you’re abiding by the rules, namely:

  • You don’t have more than five grams of weed in your possession,
  • You’re not causing a public disturbance, and
  • You’re smoking in an area of Amsterdam where it is not banned.

🙋‍♂️ But how do Amsterdam coffeeshop owners get their stock?

This is where it gets fun. Stocking a coffeeshop is technically illegal because it requires a person to transport more than the allowed five grams of weed and leads to people who grow more than the allowed maximum of five plants.

As a result, each day many coffeeshop owners swap tens of thousands of dollars cash for a few kilos of cannabis. A coffeeshop is only allowed 500 grams on-site at any time, leading to multiple deliveries during daily business.

👉 How to order weed at an Amsterdam coffeeshop

Ordering weed at an Amsterdam coffeeshop is just as easy as ordering a coffee at Starbucks: once you know how to do it, it’s simple!

1. Walk inside and look at the menu

Most coffeeshops have a menu near the register with the types of weed available and the prices. You can either take a look at this and make a decision for yourself or ask the person at the register for a recommendation.

You’ll need to decide:

  • what variety and strain of weed you would like, and
  • how you would like to consume it

The main categories of weed are pure weed (just the leaves), weed mixed with tobacco (the most common option in the Netherlands), and hashish (a more concentrated form of weed typically with higher amounts of THC).

You will also be asked to decide between Indica weed (for a more relaxing body high) or Sativa weed (for an uplifting head high).

INFOGRAPHICS-SHOWING-DIFFERENCE-BETWEEN-SATIVA-AND-INDICA-IN-AMSTERDAM

Finally, you’ll be asked to choose your delivery method. Would you prefer:

  • to roll your own joints by buying loose bud?
  • to buy a pre-rolled joint?
  • to eat it via an edible?

If it’s your first time, our advice is to go for a pre-roll of pure Sativa or Indica when you’re smoking weed in Amsterdam for the first time.

If you’re entirely new to smoking and feel a bit nervous, an edible might be for you. Be aware that edibles should be consumed in small quantities (share a muffin with a couple of friends) because its effects take a while to activate and sneak up on you. 

2. Order at the counter with your ID ready

You can place your order (almost always in English!) at the counter. Ask them for what you decided, or ask for a recommendation. E.g. you could ask for:

  • “A pre-rolled joint that will make me relaxed.”
  • “An edible for a first-timer.”
  • “One gram of bud that I can use in a bong at a party.”

You may be asked for your ID before you’re allowed to purchase anything. You need to be at least 18 years old to buy and smoke weed in the Netherlands, so make sure you have your EU identification card or your passport at easy access.

The attendant will weigh your choice of weed on scales if you took a loose option, or hand you your pre-rolled joints or edibles.

3. Request anything else you need and pay

Do you need a lighter? Or rolling papers? (If you’re rolling your own joint). Do you feel like using a grinder? These items are almost always available at the counter — just ask the attendant.

Some coffeeshops have complimentary rolling papers and filters available at the counter when you’re buying weed, so take advantage of this where possible.

Finally, you need to cough up your cash. The attendant will tell you your total and you can make the payment.

⚠️ Warning! Some coffeeshops in Amsterdam only accept cash and others only accept card payments. It’s best to have both on hand before you make your order. Be careful, because some bank cards don’t work in the Netherlands.

4. Choose where you will smoke and light up!

Many coffeeshops in Amsterdam have an indoor area. If you’ve bought weed from the coffeeshop you can head through and smoke inside or on their terrace.

Many coffeeshops nowadays have drinks or even some light bar snacks available. There may also be a TV or music going so you can fully chill out.

READ MORE | Budtenders, Bartenders, and Smokers Bars: Where Can I Smoke in Bars in Amsterdam?

If you’d prefer to not get high with other tourists around you, you’re just as welcome to pocket your weed and head to a private location: a private household, a park, whatever your choice.

However, make sure you’re allowed to smoke wherever you end up; many hotels and Airbnb’s won’t allow it and there are some places in Amsterdam where it is forbidden.

READ MORE | Visiting a coffeeshop in Amsterdam: etiquette, tips and tricks for first-timers

💸 How much is weed in Amsterdam?

The cost of weed in Amsterdam is dependent on a number of things, including:

  • strain and variety
  • strength
  • location of the coffeeshop

As a general guide, you can expect to pay:

ItemCost
One gram of weedBetween €7 and €20
A pre-rolled jointBetween €5 and €12 (or even as little as three joints for €10)
An edible brownie, cookie, or similarBetween €5 and €15

👍 Some of the best coffeeshop options in Amsterdam

So instead of recommending coffeeshops based on weed quality, we’ll give you some suggestions based on the atmosphere, which ultimately plays an important role in the experience.

There are some major tourist hotspots that, depending on what you like, you may like to visit or avoid like a plague. The Bulldog chain is one of these: it’s worth a selfie with the sign, but there are plenty of places you can go for the true smoking weed in Amsterdam experience.

For something more authentic, try Spirit in the Jordaan. They have pinball, which, while already super fun, is even more so when you’re high. Easy Times near the Rijks has a big private smoking room with plenty of seating and a big TV and an outdoor terrace.

7 best coffeeshops to visit to smoke weed in Amsterdam

CoffeeshopThe best partsLocationWebsite
BoerejongensGreat vibe, friendly staff, four locations🗺🔗
CoffeeshopAmsterdamNear Central Station, clean, friendly, premium choices🗺🔗
Tweede KamerAround forever, awesome vibes, newly renovated🗺🔗
Grey AreaA favourite for Americans (and celebrities!)🗺🔗
The SpiritAmusement park theme, chilled vibes🗺🔗
Easy TimesModern, but with a laidback atmosphere. A home away from home. 🗺🔗
The Dampkring (Original)Great for first-timers, authentic, with comfy sofas🗺🔗

Honourable mention: The Bulldog because it is an institution so you should go there at least once even though it is kind of a tourist trap in Amsterdam.

To get more info on the best places for smoking weed in Amsterdam, be sure to check out the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam.

Where to get information on smoking weed in Amsterdam

Planning on picking up a bit of green in Amsterdam but unsure where to start? There’s an information centre for that!

Coffeeshop Info Centre Amsterdam isn’t a grizzly dark coffeeshop filled with well-seasoned smokers — it’s shiny, well-lit, and has experts there to help you answer all your questions about smoking weed in Amsterdam.

photo-of-coffeeshop-info-centre-amsterdam-sign-outside
Like a tourist information centre, but just for smoking weed. Classic Amsterdam! Image: Coffeeshop Info Centre Amsterdam

They can also answer all your questions on the regulations about soft drugs in the Netherlands, sell premium seeds, and you can score some stylish ganja paraphernalia too. If you’re looking for a CBD fix in Amsterdam, you can find CBD supplements, skincare, and food and drinks from SupMedi.

You’ll find the Coffeeshop Info Centre Amsterdam just a three-minute walk from the Central Station (you know, in case you’re itching to get started as soon as you arrive). 😉

🧳 YSK: Smoking weed in Amsterdam is mainly a tourist activity

Walk into any coffeeshop in Amsterdam no, not a café where you get good coffee and cold drinks, a coffeeshop where you get weed and bad coffee and you will instantly notice something: the people behind the counter are all Dutch, and most customers are foreigners.

This is because, despite what you may have heard about the Netherlands being a weed paradise, the Dutch don’t actually smoke that much weed. In fact, less than 25% of Dutchies admit that they’ve tried a cannabis product in their lifetime.

⚠️ Knowing your limits when smoking weed in Amsterdam

This is the part where we warn you that you should be careful when consuming marijuana, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

Smoking weed allows you to control how high you get by smoking just a little or a lot. Hopefully, you’re getting high with a friend, in which case you two can share a one-gram pre-roll to start with.

We don’t want to sound like your Mum, but make sure to:

💧 Stay hydrated,
🚲 Be careful with bikes when roaming the city, and
❌ Never buy weed from any place that isn’t a coffeeshop.

If you don’t know how your body (or mind) will react to marijuana, take it slow and stay in a safe place with friends until the high has worn off. Smoking weed in Amsterdam is very safe — but smoke responsibly, kids. 😉 Because…

🙈 The Netherlands doesn’t have a regulating body for marijuana

If you come from the US or Canada and live in a state/province that has legalised marijuana for recreational use, you may be accustomed to buying weed that has a lot of information about what it is, where it was grown, how potent it is, and how much THC it contains.

This is not the case with weed in Amsterdam.

That means that if you’re a newbie, going to a disreputable coffeeshop may mean you could be getting random weed.

If you’re a connoisseur and can really tell the difference between Indica, Sativa, AK-47, and Alice In Wonderland, good for you! You should call out the coffeeshop when they try to sell you something you didn’t ask for.

🍄 Other trippy experiences in Amsterdam

If you’re looking for something a bit more trippy or want to make Van Goghs starry night come to life, then perhaps consider trying truffles.

In Amsterdam, truffles are sold in smart shops and are actually legal — so if you’ve ever wanted to give them a go, this could be your sign.

READ MORE | Everything you need to know about edibles in Amsterdam

Alternatively, perhaps you want to spend your whole holiday getting to know the epic club scene in the Netherlands?

If you’re interested in harder drugs, then make sure you read up on ecstasy use in the Netherlands. The pills have a higher concentration here than in other countries so be wary.


There is much more to smoking weed in Amsterdam than just hopping into the nearest coffeeshop near your hotel and asking for a joint.

It’s important to know what you’re getting, understand your own limits, and be in a safe environment when you are trying something for the first time. But — it is a stack of fun and a quintessential aspect of visiting Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

What tips do you have when it comes to smoking weed in Amsterdam? Tell us in the comments below! 

Feature Image: AlinaRosanova/Depositphotos
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2020, and was fully updated in January 2021 for your reading pleasure.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of buying weed in this city. So you are fresh off the plane, train or motorway vein and are looking to get stoned. You have one way. Ping this dude on Telegram with Telegram @BUDMANIAC and you would enjoy your stay here. He’s a genius. Thanks Dude for the awesome package. Keep it up

  2. There are different surprising laws of weeds in different countries. In some counties it is legally allowed to smoke and some countries it is not. Therefore, knowing the best laws and rules on such terms will let us decide to best for us, as a living citizen.

  3. When it comes to the taste and quality of weed, nothing beats Green House effect IMHO. I lived in Amsterdam for half a year a few years ago, then visited it again on several occasions and planning to move back there for a year or two and the quality of GHE was a constant thing.

    I normally used their coffee house near Waterlooplein, but they have other ones too.

    • That’s just the green house so man no effect green house effect is in Newmarket and has reasonably bad weed not the worse but definitely not in the top 20

  4. Is there a way to get something for pain management? I live in Germany and am desperate. I don’t want to get high. I’m suffering and live in Germany, not too far from Amsterdam.

    • Look into CBD oil, it won’t get you high but can help some people with chronic pain. Also legal to buy and use in Germany as far as I’m aware 🙂

  5. And, you can buy the weed in the coffee shop or you have to buy it out from there?
    If its out of there, where should I buy it?
    Thanks man!

  6. I tried a space cake and it was weak, barely got a slight buzz. Dissapointed. So I bought an AK-47 weed brownie that was labeled “Very Strong”. I thought, Ok this sounds better. Nope. It didn’t smell much like weed. Tried it and barely got a buzz that lasted less than 30 min I would say. Stay away from these brownies. Stick to smoking.

  7. I am sure this would help other stoners who are dying to get buds here. I had gone dry for days and i needed to get a puff ASAP luckily i meet with Sterling Garyp . Nice strains and prices are moderate.Email (sterlinggaryp@gmail.com)

  8. Thanks for the great article. I will be in Holland in August and I want to get my hands on some oil and a vape pen. Is this available on the coffee shops as well or will I need to look somewhere else for this?

  9. There is one amazing place in Amsterdam to smoke weed. It’s called BIG English, it’s a community center close to station amsterdam zuid and the vibe there is amazing. There are always people there smoking haze and having an amazing time. If you want to visit it, I would recommend to look at the google maps page, it’s called BIG Enlgish

  10. The best place is without a doubt a place called BIG english. Directions can be found on google maps. It’s an extremely good community center to smoke fat joints and nice weed. The people that are there are always friendly and open to new people that come here.

  11. Would like something for pain relief for someone suffering with cancer. We’re could I get the proper stuff please

  12. hello guys i just bumped into this article, im from south africa and we was also willing to start a coffee shop business with myfriend but unfortunately we currently have no one willing to help with a startup funding, we met with a guy who was a potential investor but when we pitched the idea, when he heard that’ll also sell weed he just turned us down but we are not going to give up onthe idea if anyone would love to help we are open to negotiate any terms

  13. I really don’t like the environment at the Bull coffeeshop. If you hang around outside of the city centre than I recommend the Hunter’s Coffeeshop Amsterdam West. Doesn’t feel like a coffeeshop at all, but more like a nice place to hang out with friend, some good live music and nice drinks. Felt like a save spot to me.

    Regards, Felix

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