If you’re new to the lost art of smoking cannabis in public legally then Amsterdam will seem like somewhere you saw in your dreams. If you’re arriving in the city for the first time then the chances are you’ll end up in one of the big coffee shops, that are the equivalent to Aberdeen Angus Steak House in London, such as the Bulldog in Dam Square. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it but if you fancy heading to somewhere a little less full of students looking scared and dribbling Burger Kings then here are some of the more refined coffee shops where the locals hang out.
Located on Sarphatistraat 87 This one is a little south east of the city centre and not quite walkable if you’re staying right in the middle of town. But then this is what makes it somewhere a little special and unique. Gone are the hoards of backpackers but the same luxurious treats such as the pool tables and plasma screen TV are still there. There is a separate room for smoking, in case you ever need a breather and there’s enough room to feel like you’re not all smoking the same joint. It’s a good one if you’re looking for the mellowness but still the all the mod-cons and comfort.
This one is pure class and there won’t be a zoned out kid in sight…hopefully. On Brouwersgracht 11 right by the canal and with amazing views, this little treat is one to pass on to people going to a smoke in the city. There’s a big double door to welcome you in and then some comfortable chairs to take the weight off, which is a rarity in such establishments as people tend to have a smoke and end up sitting there all afternoon. You’ll want to do just that here though and will be welcomed with open arms by the friendly staff who will be happy to help you pick and then roll some of the choice weed of the day.
3. Yo Yo
This again fits into the out-the-way idea and is a really special little hidden gem. If you are in the right state of mind then you might be able to find this place. It’s near the Albert Cuyp market, just away from all the business. What’s interesting about this place is the homely feel. Not too long ago it was someone’s house and now it’s run by an all female group who are intent on making everyone feel welcome in their home. It’s quite a residential area and very leafy. You can sit both outside on the tables and chairs or inside in the cosy small interior where there’s plenty to look at on the walls. The weed is particularly good here and all organic.
Picture of pot and cup of coffee in Amsterdam by Valerie Everett