Oh, hi there! So, you’re going to Amsterdam?! Sweet. Maybe you’re going because you’ve heard all about the liberal drug politics, and to be able to find a coffeeshop and get high on any streetcorner. Maybe you want to spend all your time illuminated by the red lights in the district inhabited by the ladies of the night.
Chances are you’re gonna do both these things. And hopefully, you will learn that Amsterdam is so much more than women for sale in crimson cubicles and legal weed. But I’m not gonna lie, it’s a part of the trip, as is all the great beer, the art and culture, the awesome food and the super-friendly Amsterdammers, just to mention a few things.
If it’s your first time in Amsterdam, then you might need a few friendly tips and pointers:
First things first; you wanna get high. This is most likely why you are going to Amsterdam, but it won’t be the reason that you will be returning to Amsterdam. There are coffeeshops all around town, and they all sell weed. If a cafe / restaurant / bar don’t have a sign saying coffeeshop or weed, then they don’t sell marijuana, and seriously, you don’t wanna be that guy who asks at a local bar if you can buy some weed. Really. If a place sells weed, they will make this very obvious, and they will advertise being a coffeeshop. If you can’t smell the sweet scent of Mary Jane, then it’s not a coffeeshop. Ask for the menu, and choose from a usually wide variety of marijuana, hash and pre-rolled joints.
Coffeeshops allow you to smoke (and eat) their products at their premises, just be aware that smoking normal tobacco is strictly forbidden in any indoor establishment. Most coffeeshops have their own herbal mix you can blend your weed with, just ask at the counter. Don’t blend it with regular tobacco if you want to smoke at the coffeeshop. Strange? Yes, maybe. Try to show some respect though, and only light up in places it is socially accepted. Don’t blaze in the middle of a crowded street. Be cool.
Usually, all coffeeshops also sell beverages, such as coffee, tea, juices and sometimes alcohol, so if you wanna stay for a while and chill, you can. Just don’t be a douche.
As long as you have soft drugs for your own use (usually 5g or less), then it is not illegal to be carrying this. Soft drugs include any type of marijuana and hallucinogens such as magic truffles, and can be bought legally in Amsterdam.
Don’t ever buy from street vendors!!!!! You risk being ripped off, and worse. Seriously, just don’t.
As for tips on which coffeeshops to visit, it’s difficult to say, since people have so different opinions on what kind of atmosphere they prefer. Tourists usually flock to one of the many famous Bulldogs in the city, these keep a very good selection, as well as great spacecakes. Someone prefer the small and dark coffeeshops that only play reggae or 70’s hippie music all day, and others like the more cool places, like the Original Dampkring and Barney’s Uptown, where in addition to great weed you can get food and really yummy hot chocolate, if suddenly and unexpectedly the munchies appear. Smartshops sell legal magic truffles as well as seeds and paraphernalia, so happy trippin’!
Part two; SEX. First time in the Red Light District? DON’T TAKE UP YOUR PHONE OR CAMERA!!! Photographing the girls (or boys) in the windows is strictly not okay. Chances are your phone or camera will end up on the bottom of a canal, and there’s really not much you can do about it. But by all means, use your built in camera as much as you want (also called your eyes). It’s free and it’s fun.The girls don’t mind being looked at, and they will knock on the glass if they want you to approach them. Just be aware that you are always under supervision. Be polite, always pay up front, and be clean and decent. Usually, the prices start at €50, so keep some cash at hand. If you see some blue lights, these usually represent trans women. Just so you know. The Red Light District (also locally known as De Wallen or just the old side) is full of peep shows, red lights and sex shops. Don’t be coy or awkward about this, as this is a completely natural part of Amsterdam. Wanna buy a 12 inch / 30 cm dildo and some waterbased lube? No problem! If you think it’s awkward, then the shopkeeper will think it’s awkward. If you’re cool, they’re cool. Easy as cream pie. Red Light is also known for its great nightlife, and it is a surprisingly safe part of the city, as long as you stay in the main streets.
“Aah, you went to Amsterdam? Smoked some weed, huh? Went to the Red Light District, eeeeeh?” Those are the two things everyone will ask you when you mention Amsterdam, but hopefully, you’ll fall in love with all the other, even more awesome things about this amazing city.
Fancy a romantic stroll along the beautiful canals, people watching on one of the many squares, shopping at the cool out-door markets or in the Negen Stratjes, or just enjoing all the great food and drink that are available pretty much everywhere? Amsterdam is such a romantic city, whether you go there for Christmas, spring time, autumn or summertime. You will always find a cozy cafe to relax and have some drinks at, there’s always a great restaurant nearby with an intimate atmosphere and delicious food, and there are so many great things to do as a couple, you won’t have time for them all in one visit.
If you want some more tips on things to do in Amsterdam like museums and attractions, click here.
One of the things we love about Amsterdam, is that you’re never far away from a good place to sit down and relax, and to have a glass or two (or ten) of something yummy. Known for it’s many breweries such as Heineken and Amstel, Amsterdam is mostly a beer city. The Dutch are also proud of their Genever and Bols, but it is always possible to get a good glass wine for those of you who don’t like beer. Most bars also serve yummy snacks and sometimes food aswell, and if you get hungry but don’t want to sit down somewhere, there are plenty of food stalls scattered across the city. These sell everything from fresh haaring (herring), hot dogs, french fries and stroopwafels, to mention some, and they are always available, no matter time of day or weather. Want some tips to some good restaurants and bars? Click here.
When people ask us “why do you love Amsterdam so much?”, we usually tell them to go there and find out for themselves. If they go there, and still ask us, then we tell them to fuck off. If you go to Amsterdam and still don’t know what there is to love about a beautiful, green city, happy and friendly Amsterdammers, good food and beer, culture, architecture, music, history, bikes and dogs and cats, well, then you just won’t get it. And for you who get it, and fall in love with the city, you’re welcome. Enjoy!