5 Coffee Shops In Amsterdam To Visit Before The City Goes Legit
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Among other great attractions in the city, Amsterdam is world famous for its “cannabis coffee shops.” Each offers their own atmosphere and are great places to hang out on while on break visiting the city sites. They are, of course, world famous for offering marijuana on their menus. However, in 2004, Amsterdam followed the example of many of its European counterparts, banning the smoking of tobacco indoors — a controversial choice for a city known for its smoking habit.
The move provoked anger among the people of Amsterdam, as Dutch coffee shops were seen as a haven for smokers. Owing to a liberal history, public acceptance of cannabis use has permitted many coffee shops to openly flout the ban.
But with almost constant debate by the Dutch government on the “degrading culture” of cannabis use, a proposed “weed card” system could finally rid the culture of smoking in Amsterdam once and for all. Under the proposed system already in place in Holland’s southern provinces, only residents of the Netherlands aged 18 or over would be able to get their hands on the green stuff.
So if you’re thinking of traveling to what has become the cannabis capital of Europe, head to one of these five coffee shops to enjoy the best of Amsterdam’s smoky delights before it’s too late.
1) De Rokerij (‘The Atmosphere’)
In three venues around Amsterdam, the mystic ambience of De Rokerij will surely leave you dazed at your very first sight. Their funky tobacco is first rate, and the place is bustling with live DJ performances and people coming in from all walks of life. Though you will not be allowed to smoke straight tobacco, they offer great substitutes in the form of herbal products. The drinks are also reasonably priced here.
2) Homegrown Fantasy
Decorated with modern art on all its walls, Homegrown Fantasy is known for the high quality product that it sells. If you happen to be in and around the Central Station or Dam Square you can stop in to get a feel. The shop is located precisely behind the Kalverstraat shopping area.
3) The Greenhouse
Located in three areas, the Red Light District branch is the most famous. The dark décor is impressive and the walls are adorned with photos of celebrities. They provide the best smoking in town and this is apparent from the fact that their produce has been relentlessly winning the annual “Cannabis Cup” (the Cannabis cup was raided last year in for the first time in 24 years). You are allowed to smoke inside, but they also provide a separate area for that sole purpose.
4) Hunter’s Bar
Voted as the most liked of all the coffee shops by the people of Amsterdam, Hunter’s Bar is an endearing place. Located at the edge of the Red Light District, the décor inside is black, giving a cozy feel to the place, and there are ample chairs and couches for you to relax on. Though you will not be allowed to use tobacco, you can avail yourself to the substitute that they offer. The prices are comparatively cheaper than other shops, and be sure to check out the tasty shakes they offer on the menu as well.
Both Hunter’s Bar and The Greenhouse can be found on De Wallen in the Right Light District.
Coming into prominence after being featured in Ocean’s 12, this coffee shop sees a large number of people streaming in everyday. The décor is unique with its various shades of orange adorning the walls in different shapes. The coffee shop serves some of the best drinks and smoking in the whole city — surprising as the prices are very affordable here.
Have fun and stay safe. Remember, it is illegal to consume cannabis outside of these designated spots, and in spite of the leniency of the law in the Netherlands, cannabis is still illegal. To avoid a sobering trip back home, enjoy the delights Amsterdam has to offer responsibly.
By Adam Spawton-Rice
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