The Dos and Don’ts of an Amsterdam Coffeeshop
If you're the lucy winner of this years Crop-tober Fest from Banana 101.5, you could be spending a bunch of time in some of the great coffeeshops they have in Amsterdam. To make sure you don't make a fool of yourself while visiting these coffeeshops we put together a little guide to help you with the dos and don'ts of coffeeshops in Amsterdam. Read through these little tips and 'get right' the right way!
Don't: Confuse a 'Coffeeshop' with 'Koffiehuis' or 'Cafe'
If it's your first time visiting Amsterdam it could get a bit confusing by the terms used to describe different establishments. A joint that sells joints is known as a 'coffeeshop' -- spelled all one word -- they will also have a 'coffeeshop permit' in the window to let you know they sell the 'goods' (photo right.) Coffeeshops normally don't sell alcoholic beverages, but there are some that have the ability to do so. A 'koffiehuis' will sell coffee and light meals and a cafe is a casual restaurant and/or bar.
Do: Ask Questions About the Menu
Every coffeeshop has a menu -- either on the table, behind the bar or in a manned booth usually in the corner. Selections are divided into weed, hash, pre-rolled joints and sometimes 'spacecakes' -- think special brownie.
Prices will vary by quantity -- by gram, bags and individual joints -- also by the quality of the marijuana itself.
If you're new to smoking or just an occasional smoker, don't just walk up and point to a name that sounds good -- say Tangerine Dream or Juicy Mango Haze -- you could end up so blown out you have no clue who you are and where your at.
Ask the employees of the coffeeshop what the weed is, what type of high it is. The employees are friendly, knowledgable and used to giving tourist advice on what to smoke.
Don't: Buy Too Much
This could be your biggest mistake -- buying too much 'wacky tobacky.' The potency of weed in Amsterdam could be way stronger than the stuff you're used to. If you're new to smoking the good stuff, start out slow or you could end up in a world you've never been.
Another problem could come when you're getting ready to leave Amsterdam, if you buy too much you may have to ditch it -- you can't take it with you.
Do: Buy Something
You can always go into a coffeeshop and smoke something you bought at a different coffeeshop -- which is why you don't always have to 'stock up' at every coffeeshop you visit. But you should buy something from the coffeeshop; a drink or a snack would do the trick -- if you don't it is considered rude and you want to feel at place in a foreign country.
Most of these shops have great desserts and typical Dutch 'hapjes,' little bites popular at happy hour.
Don't: Underestimate the Effects
Even if you've 'took the pot' before, you should still be wary of Amsterdam coffeeshops' weed -- it could blow your mind. And if you're a noob definitely ask questions about the effects that you may feel and take it slow!
Pre-rolled joints are normally mixed with tobacco to cut the strength of the weed; pure weed joints are sometimes available as well.
If you going to indulge in a 'spacecake' be forewarned that eating weed is way different than smoking it -- it is described as more of a 'trip' that being high or stoned -- again, don't lose your mind while in another country.