Since we’ve already established that the Netherlands is not only the only place that people of all nationalities can legally toke up in a coffee shop (and where the word “coffee” is at its most gloriously euphemistic), the question is where to get the best buzz. Here are the best spots for when you feel like...
Keepin’ it classy...
Nobody said smoking pot had to be a total hippie fest -- Easy Times matches its modern-Arabian-style lounge look with loud dance music for a Miami Beach vibe without all that pesky sunshine.
Yes, board games. You’d be surprised how many coffee shops have these bad boys tucked away, but the two-story La Tertulia places them right out on the tables and offers the perfect atmosphere to get down and dicey on a rainy day.
Prix d’Ami is the largest coffee shop in Amsterdam, and thus the world. Half of the top floor is dedicated to pool tables, while the other half is a 3D-movie lounge.
Fish-watching in the floor...
First prize in this hotly contested category goes to the Green House Lounge (the chain’s Haarlemmerstraat location) thanks to their see-through floor in front of the dealer counter, with big koi swimming underneath.
Grey Area is the city’s smallest weed shop, and it’s also known as “The American coffeeshop” because it was started by two State-siders, and’s the only place in the city you can buy weed by the eighth. (Everywhere else sells only by the gram.) Plus there’s a clock where every hour of the day is labeled “4:20”. Willie Nelson and a slew of other stoner celebs are fans, and (bonus!) the best cheese shop in the city hands out free samples all day right next door, which is unfairly good marketing.
Eating, drinking & smoking at the same time...
There are other (cheaper) places to pull off this combo, but nowhere will you get a bigger selection of food, cocktails, and more in a toker-friendly setting than Barney’s Uptown. (Note: you have to buy your weed across the street in Barney’s Coffeeshop.)
Smoking in the real oldest coffee shop...
The Bulldog coffee shop in the Red Light District claims on its sign to be the oldest, but everyone pretty much agrees it’s not. (Plus, it’s super-touristy.) Most say the real oldest was Mellow Yellow, but others argue it was De Tweede Kamer (named after the Dutch parliament) or Rusland (“Russia”). You should probably just try them all to be safe*.
*(But not on the same day. Please.)
Toking on (former) police property...
First it may not quite be, but the owner of The Bulldog did go to jail a whole lotta times so you wouldn’t have to. Later, he bought the police station where he was usually kept and turned it into the giant Bulldog Palace on Leidseplein. The side of the building still says “Politie” and there’s a sign at the dealer counter downstairs: “Officer on duty”.
Connecting with your inner Tarantino...
Did you know Tarantino wrote most of Pulp Fiction in the Betty Boop coffee shop? Well, now you do. You’d think that’d make it a landmark, right? Nope. This shop is on the chopping block for July thanks to new rules about being too close to schools. Their plan? To buy out the school near them (with 12 other shops). Good luck, guys.
Connecting with your inner Pitt and Clooney...
More movie stars who love Amsterdam: this lady-lovin’ duo cliched De Dampkring's popularity as one of the best in town when they chose it for a scene in Ocean’s Twelve. Don’t know what scene I’m talking about? The shop usually plays it on repeat.
Sitting under the sea...
The basement of The Dolphins is painted like you’re sitting at the bottom of the sea. Stoner paradise.
Scarfing iced banana spacecakes...
Just about every coffee shop sells chocolate spacecakes (Dutch “special brownies”), but the frosted banana variety from Hill Street Blues is way better.
Nabbing a spot on the terrace...
The loung-ey sidewalk space of Oosterpark’s recently renovated Smoke Palace is far from the only terrace in town, but its easterly location makes it one of the more likely spots to actually land a smoker-friendly seat in the sun. (Full? Oosterpark is your oyster.)
Toking a winner...
Amsterdam’s full of winners, in Cannabis Cup terms, but the current holder of the crown is The Green Place for its Rollex OG Kush.
Getting a good deal...
Bluebird sells bags at fixed price points: €7.50, €12.50, and €40 mostly. Then they stuff the bags fuller than most shops would. Plus, the staff speaks a ton of languages, so you can zone out listening to them in tranquility.
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1. Coffeeshop Easy TimesPrinsengracht 476, Amsterdam
2. Coffeeshop La TertuliaPrinsengracht 312HS, Amsterdam
3. Prix d'AmiHaringpakkerssteeg 3, Amsterdam
4. Green House LoungeHaarlemmerstraat 64, Amsterdam
5. Grey Area CoffeeshopOude Leliestraat 2, Amsterdam
6. Barney's UptownHaarlemmerstraat 105, Amsterdam
7. Barney's CoffeeshopHaarlemmerstraat 102 1013 EW, Amsterdam
8. BulldogOudezijds Voorburgwal 90, Amsterdam
9. Coffeeshop Mellow YellowVijzelgracht 33HS, Amsterdam
10. De Tweede KamerHeisteeg 6HS, Amsterdam
11. Rusland CoffeeshopRusland 16, Amsterdam
12. The Bulldog PalaceLeidseplein 15, Amsterdam
13. Coffee Shop Betty BoopNieuwezijds Kolk 12HS, Amsterdam
14. De DampkringHandboogstraat 29HS, Amsterdam
15. The DolphinsKerkstraat 39, Amsterdam
16. Hill Street BluesWarmoesstraat 52A, Amsterdam
17. Smoke PalaceLinnaeusstraat 83HS, Amsterdam
18. The Green PlaceKloveniersburgwal 4, Amsterdam
19. BluebirdSint antoniesbreestraat, Amsterdam
This dispensary and smoke shop matches its modern-Arabian-style lounge look with loud dance music for a Miami Beach vibe, without all that pesky sunshine.
This two-story coffee shop in the Jordaan 'hood offers a chilled vibe for a relaxing day, especially if you take advantage of their numerous board games placed throughout the tables.
Prix D’Ami is the largest coffee shop in Amsterdam, and thus the world. Half of the top floor is dedicated to pool tables. The other half is a 3D-movie lounge.
This award-winning coffee shop is one of the most popular in the city, due to both its high-quality products and because there are fish in the floor!
Americans will feel a little more comfortable in this coffee shop, simply because it's an American coffee shop that still has all the comforts and products of an Amsterdam one.
A descendant of the original Barney's Coffeeshop, Barney's Uptown features decadent all-day munchies as well as a full bar.
Probably one of the most famous coffee shops to grab a bite, you can't go wrong with a little fun and a tasty meal at Barney's.
This classic Amsterdam coffee shop is often considered by many as the first in the city to receive a green and white license to chill that so many coffee shops in the city have now.
This Amsterdam coffee shop is a chill place to pop some coinage into the juke box, grab a drink, and enjoy the fine products that they provide.
The biggest rule at this coffee shop: you gotta take off your hat. Abide, and this sister shop of Dampkring will happily dole out to you some of its finest herbal supplements.
One of the oldest coffee shops and dispensaries in Amsterdam, there's a number of reasons Rusland has had the ability to be so popular throughout the years, whether it's their quality of products or solid customer service.
Located in Leidseplein, this massive coffee shop is owned by the same folks running The Bulldog, and besides their sizes, the main difference between the two popular shops is the fact that the Palace was originally a police station. True story.
A popular coffee shop in Amsterdam, you'll see the iconic cartoon character throughout this place. And fun fact: Quentin Tarantino wrote much of Pulp Fiction here.
One of the more popular coffee shops in Amsterdam, Dempkring has earned so much acclaim that scenes from Ocean's Twelve were filmed here.
This comfy Leidseplein coffee shop is a perfect spot for both veterans and rookies alike to enjoy an afternoon or night, with a helpful staff and a variety of enjoyable products. Oh, and the basement is painted like you’re sitting at the bottom of the sea...
Looking for a coffee shop in which you can chill out, partake, AND eat some delicious munchies? You gotta check out HSB and their sweet sweet banana cake.
The loung-ey sidewalk space of Oosterpark’s Smoke Palace is far from the only terrace in town, but its easterly location makes it one of the more likely spots to actually land a smoker-friendly seat in the sun.
This De Wallen coffee shop is an easy and smart choice to visit in a town full of options. Why? They're a winner of the Cannabis Cup, which means they're REALLY good at what they do.
The staff at the Bluebird can cater to just about anyone who comes through the doors, thanks to the wide range of languages they speak, so if you find yourself on the Eastern side of the Red Light District, stop by this two-story shop no matter what language you speak and they can probably talk you through their wide selection of products.