Amsterdam has the reputation as the weed capital of Europe, but it is much more than that. It’s a beautiful city, with incredible architecture, stunning canals you can take a pedalo on and magnificent parks you can waste a day away in.

But the coffee shops are most certainly a key attraction to people who live in a country where marijuana is illegal. So I therefore wanted to share a list of some of the best coffeeshops you can find in Amsterdam.

1) Paradox Coffeeshop

Paradox has a unique logo that they’re recognised for (as you’ll see on their Instagram profile), while they also have a strong reputation for making a great cup of coffee.

The in-house experts can guide you on what to take, depending on your experience levels and what you’re looking for.

Located on Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat, the beautiful art adorning the walls will become even more magical as you enjoy a good smoke. Plus you can finish it off with one hell of a munchy session with a scrumptious sandwich and a milkshake.

2) Barney’s Coffeeshop

Found on Haarlemmerstraat, Barney’s Uptown Experience is just a 5 minute walk from the station, while the décor is incredible (something quite consistent with the options on this list).

They also have a number of merchandising options available in case you want something to remember the experience by (as you may have a little memory loss after smoking).

They open up at 10am and don’t shut until 1am, meaning you can enjoy a good bud into the late hours of the evening.

3) Grey Area

Easily one of the most illustrious and well known on this list, Grey Area has a really upbeat and friendly atmosphere.

Found on Oude Leliestraat, Grey Area has been going for over 25 years, so they’ve got the experience to guide you and advise you on what to pick. Or as they put it, ’25 years of pure dankness’!

The Grey Area has also welcomed a number of A-list celebrities through the doors, from the likes of Snoop Dogg to Flavor Flav.

4) 420 Café

A favourite among locals and tourists alike, the 420 café is a great place to chill, whether that’s on a lunch break, after work or through the weekend, with friends or even making friends with strangers.

This is another spot located near the central station, while you will most likely hear rock music playing overtop, occasionally with some house music mixed in.

Open from 11am till 11pm, you won’t feel rushed to leave as they close up, with unbelievably nice and friendly staff on hand.

5) Kashmir Lounge

The Café De Kashmir Lounge was originally quite a hype venue, with a DJ on hand and a lively atmosphere, however it now offers a much more calmer atmosphere, somewhere you can relax with friends, have a beer, a smoke and a good chat.

The prices are competitive and it’s a great option if you find yourself in West Amsterdam, whether that’s for a bud or for a great cup of coffee.

6) Coffeeshop Bluebird

Locals talk about their great memories and experiences at the Bluebird coffeeshop, with the staircase walls making you feel incredibly trippy once it’s kicked in.

They have an incredibly expansive range of options available for you to pick from, so don’t hesitate to ask the staff based on what type of experience you’re after.

The Bluebird coffeeshop can be found on Antoniesbreestraat street, where you will find plenty of space cakes and a great range of drinks available.

7) Tweede Kamer

This is one of the older options available, having been open since 1985, 2 years before I was born (a clue to anyone guessing my age).

Tweede Kamer translates to ‘House of Representatives’, which is the lower house of the bicameral parliament for the Netherlands. For this reason, the décor is quite different to some of the slightly more modern or psychedelic approaches to design others have gone with.

Apparently they still have the same owner, which I do quite like, being someone from Brighton where the bars and cafes change ownership each and every year. This is another household name you definitely have to tick off while in Amsterdam.

8) The Bulldog

Of course I had to feature The Bulldog, it’s such a famous coffeeshop, with the log appearing in T-shirt’s people are wearing all over the world.

They call themselves ‘the livingroom of Amsterdam’, which is quite a nice way to demonstrate the relaxed approach they want people to take, feeling like they’re in their own living room, smoking a bud and having a beer.

The bulldog truly started the coffeeshop craze and has now spread to other cities around the world, including Ibiza and Barcelona (when will you be opening in Brighton?!).

9) Original Damprking

Open from 8am till 8pm, this one is great if you’re heading out a bit earlier, or even if you just fancy a good cup of coffee before work or touring all the attractions Amsterdam has to offer.

This is a popular spot for tourists, so I’d avoid going at the lunchtime peak period or later in the evening, instead opting for those more quieter periods such as 10-11:30am or 2-4pm.

Whether you’re looking to smoke or eat some marble cake, they’ll have it all on-hand and can walk you through what strength to buy and how much to take.

10) Café Slijterij

Don’t ask me to pronounce this one! I’ll have to find out next time I visit. They have a great selection of beers on tap, including the always amazing Pilsner, plus plenty of spirits if that’s something you prefer.

The actual establishment has a really rich history, having stood for a huge length of time and apparently under the same family.

One factor in which you should judge a coffeeshop or café by is whether locals go and this certainly ticks that box.

I will look to update this over time, with plenty more to be added, so make sure to keep an eye out and if you have any top recommendations, let me know in the comments below.

By Tom Bourlet

Being based in Brighton, I have directly witnessed the CBD industry grow and prosper, albeit witnessing the difficulties around legislation and the lack of transparency. I therefore decided to become a neutral viewpoint offering genuine reviews, advice and guidance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *