Amsterdam Coffee Shops
Last Updated: 5th Sep 2014
by – Matt Vernick, Tour Manager, Europe
The liberal nature of the Dutch culture is a lure to many people who travel or tour the Netherlands as this free and open attitude as extends to the use of ‘soft’ drugs like marijuana and ‘magic’ mushrooms. While other ‘hard’ drugs were made illegal by the Dutch government in the 70’s, laws were never introduced banning these drugs and their use is tolerated in certain parts of Amsterdam. All other drugs are very much illegal. Small amounts of marijuana and magic mushrooms are tolerated however the Dutch have some of the harshest laws in Europe for trafficking large amounts of the substances.
There are literally hundreds of ‘coffee shops’ selling marijuana products and ‘smart shops’ vending mushrooms spread throughout the city but most readily found in the Red Light District. As long as you choose to consume their products in the shops themselves, everyone is cool.
Marijuana can be consumed in a myriad of different forms from the traditional smoking to space cakes, brownies, muffins, milkshakes and even mull tea – if you can think of a way of ingesting it, the Dutch have already thought of it.
Psychoactive mushrooms however are a little (but not) much harder to come by in one of the city’s many ‘smart’ shops whose staff are often very knowledgeable when it comes to the different varieties of fungus and its effects on your mind and body.
As with all things, moderation is the key to enjoying yourself and even if Dutch coffee shops are not your cup of tea, they still a curious attraction that add to the relaxed vibe of the city.
Please Note: Contiki in no way promotes or condones the use or consumption of any of the products mentioned in this article. Having said that, you’re free to ‘do as the Dutch do’ (…when in Rome!) and sample and enjoy the coffee shop culture of Amsterdam as much as you like.