Amsterdam’s coffeeshop culture is renowned across the world and draws thousands of tourists to the heart of the Netherlands every year. Introduced in the 1970s, the coffeeshop system was part of a movement to differentiate between “hard” and “soft” drugs. Under the Netherland’s drug policy, cannabis can be sold by licensed coffeeshops given certain condition and buying and using it is not punishable by law.
Strict rules apply
Coffee shops are subject to strict regulations in the Netherlands and the government will not hesitate to close a shop down when these rules are being broken. Here are the main regulations:
- Every customer can only buy up to 5 grams of cannabis per day.
- Serving alcohol is not allowed.
- Hard drugs or any other narcotics are not allowed inside the establishment.
- Advertising the sale of cannabis is not allowed. Only a sign saying that the place is a coffeeshop can be displayed. It is normally a green and white sticker.
Finding the cheapest coffeeshops
Amsterdam is known worldwide for its coffeeshops and the city hosts well over 220 coffeeshops. There are many different kinds of coffeeshops just as there are many different kinds of bars and café’s. Some are designed to spend time in and provide comfy sofa’s and music, while others are more reminiscent of a takeaway. Styles also vary widely with some coffeeshops staying true to the original hippie-vibe, while others can be old-fashioned or state of the art – the choice is endless.
Each of these coffee shops has its own menu and selection of grass, hash, pre-rolled joints and sometimes a menu of edibles like space-cake or hash brownies. Menus are normally found on the counter but may be kept out of view, in which case you need to ask to see it. There are thousands of different varieties of cannabis available and prices vary. Each shop has its own pricing. You will usually pay a bit more in the centre of Amsterdam, especially in places that are designed to appeal to tourists. Further out of the centre, and in some neighbourhoods, prices may be lower.
Coffeeshops can set their own prices, so there is a large range and prices can vary. Often, you will find good recommendations on forums and micro-sites, posted by people who have recently bought items in Amsterdam.
The general prices range from about €6,00 (£5.40) to €11,00 (£9.90) for a gram of weed or hash, although they can be lower and much higher too! Pre-rolled joints cost about €2.50 (£2.25). Rolling papers are always available in any coffeeshop and most of them have some on the bar for free. In some coffeeshops, like the Grey Area shop, you can borrow a vaporizer to smoke your marijuana. As this is probably the cleanest way to smoke your herbs, it is definitely worth a try! The better coffee shops are cheaper, have a better selection, friendlier staff, nicer snacks, and better music. If you think you have found the cheapest coffeeshop in Amsterdam, why not let us know?