Amsterdam Coffeeshops FAQ

If you're planning on a trip to Amsterdam, visiting coffeeshops should be on the top of your list of things to do. Amsterdam coffeeshops are often the main reason most travellers visit the city, and when it comes to what we're used to in the UK, Amsterdam coffeeshops are a world away from what we've experienced.

What are coffeeshops?

Amsterdam coffeeshops don't just serve food or drink. In fact, they are most notorious for serving soft drugs, mainly cannabis, which is legal in Amsterdam.

To supervise the consumption and enforce certain laws and regulations, coffeeshops will not serve alcohol and will only retain up to 500 grammes of soft drugs on the premises. But don't worry if one place is running low in a particularly busy season; coffeeshops are dotted all over Amsterdam for locals and travellers to enjoy.

Can tourists visit?

Anyone over the age of 18 can visit coffeeshops. There has been some rumours that after January 2013 tourists will have to apply for a membership card to visit coffeeshops, but this law was not passed and tourists can still consume soft drugs in the establishments legally.

How much can I purchase?

You can only purcahse 5 grammes of soft drugs per day in each coffeeshop. Coffeeshops are prohibited from selling more than this to their customers. It is illegal to purchase soft drugs on the streets in Amsterdam. Usually, you may not be allowed to purchase soft drugs in one establishment and take it to another, but this works in the same way as you would not be allowed to eat food from another establishment in a restraurant in the UK.

Are coffeeshops the main attraction?

35% of tourists will visit Amsterdam coffeeshops during their stay. Although part of the culture, there is no reason to visit coffeeshops if you don't participate in any kind of drug use. Luckily, Amsterdam is filled with attractions and sights of cultural beauty and significance to visit if you're not interested in coffeeshops.

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