Did Amsterdam coffeeshops really end the drug war on cannabis? In retrospect, this may be their most lasting legacy. Amsterdam made this whole scene hip. And today, the world still wants to emulate this model.

In the meantime, tourists the world over still have to come to Holland to sample this peculiar Netherlandish specialty. There are coffeeshops here for days, with many riffs on a theme. Amsterdam, and specifically, Amsterdam’s Red Light District is home to some of the country’s most famous.

Every one of these establishments is just a bit different. They all have their specialties. This includes the strains and products they carry. Or extras. Like the food. Or the atmosphere. Or just the general “je ne sais quoi” of it all.

Here is a list of our top 10 faves. We have given you a sample of everything from hot tourist spots to popular, but out of the way local hangouts. Have you been to any or all of them?

1. BOEREJONGENS

This mini-chain is widely regarded as one of the best in the city. The branding? They carry only the best strains of both cannabis and hash. They are also designed to reflect the best of the city’s cannabis culture. All locations, while unique, resemble upscale lounges or wine bars. They come replete with hardwood floors and carved wooden cabinets.

The first store opened in 2007. Since then, it has proven itself to be so popular that it now has expanded in Amsterdam.

Boerejongens Center
Address: Utrechtsestraat 21
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7 am to 1 am
Weekends, 9 am to 1 am
Phone: +31 20 810 0025

Boerejongens West
Address: Baarsjesweg 239
Hours: Daily, 7 am to 1 am
Phone: +31 20 810 0025

Dampkring coffeeshop

2. DAMPKRING

This visually stunning stoner-haven is worth it purely for the aesthetic experience. Moulded walls, sculpted ceilings and caramel-coloured wood panelling make this look like a funky movie set. Be sure to look for Bowie - the feline mascot, who is something of a local celebrity. Not convinced this is a place for stars? The cast of Ocean’s Twelve were even filmed sampling the wares here, so it has a celeb vibe going for it. Expect cosy surroundings, star sightings and a great selection of drinks. Try the hot chocolate!

Address: Handboogstraat 29
Hours: Monday –Thursday, 10am-1am
Friday, 10am-2am
Saturday, 11am-1am
Phone: +31 20 638 0705

3. MR. K AND CO.

This simultaneously large and cosy living room-vibed joint is located in the Jordaan district. This is another oldie but goodie, founded in 1987. It was renamed in 2013 under its current name. The weed and hash on the premises is some of the best to be found. Source providers include Devil’s Harvest, a renowned local seed bank. The variety and quality, along with tasty nosh, is what keeps people coming back.

Address: 2e Laurierdwarsstraat 44
Hours: Daily, 10 am to 10pm
Phone: +31623704862

4. PARADOX

This is a small and cosy haven located in the Jordaan neighbourhood. Just walking distance from the city centre, it has convenience going for it. Located in an old horse stable for a firearms station, it is loaded with nostalgia. Even better, this joint attracts a local, down-to-earth crowd. The menu has a great selection of both flower and hash, including their unique signature - Alaska Ice Hash. The establishment prides itself on its coffee, tea, and fresh juices.

Address: Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 2R
Hours: Daily, 10am – 8pm
Phone: +31 20 623 5639

Mr K and C coffeeshop Amsterdam

5. SENSEMILLIA

Located just 15 minutes from the city centre, Sensemillia is one of the oldest coffeeshops in Amsterdam. It has a reputation for friendly and well-informed staff. This is a local joint, however - more than a tourist spot. If you are looking for local colour to go with your cannabis, this is a perfect spot. It’s also a good place for bargains. The store boasts lower prices on most of their products. The neighbourhood is also a great reason for coming here. The Sloterpark area overlooks the Sloterplas Lake, one of the largest in the city. The coffeeshop also has a branch in the Gilles Ledenberchstraat 135, just minutes from the city.

The website appears to be under construction, however the coffeeshop is in operation.

Address: Meer en Vaart 177
Hours: Daily, 10am -12am
Phone: +31 20 619 8846

6. SMOKE PALACE

This neon-lit hangout is another one of the oldest coffeeshops in the city. Originally established as Coffeeshop New York in 1990, today it has its neighbourhood following. The other major attraction here is the view. Located on the east side of the city, this superterranean coffeeshop looks out over a large patio overlooking tram lines leading in and out of the city. It is also almost exclusively patronised by locals.

Address: Linneausstraat 83
Hours: Daily 7am – 1 am
Phone: +31 20 468 7676

7. KATSU

This is another oldie, but goodie. Founded in the 1980’s, it quickly became a neighbourhood favourite. As the decades rolled on, international tourists have found their way here. Despite that, the establishment retains a feeling of a real Amsterdam secret. The location is also near the Heineken Brewery and the Sarphati Park. The great atmosphere of restaurants and nearby shops adds to the superb neighbourhood vibe. The space also doubles as a gallery to showcase the work of local artists. The well-informed staff are also a major attraction here.

Address: Eerste van der Helststraat 70
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 am to 12 am
Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 1 am
Sunday, 11 am to 12 am

Smoke Palace coffeeshop Amsterdam

8. TWEEDE KAMER

This iconic coffeeshop is another celebrated relic. It is still run by its original owners. That said, the interior has been completely refurbished and renovated. The crowd is fun, fresh and friendly. The menu is also very extensive, with up to 40 types of both hash and top-grade bud. If looking for a laid-back, non-touristy, but well-established venue, this is the place for you.

Address: Heisteeg 6
Hours: Daily, 10 am to 1 am
Phone: +31 62 188 3136

9. THE STUD

Founded in 1982, The Stud is located in Amsterdam East in one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city. This means that this is a big-time tourist hot spot. On the plus side, even if that is not your thing, the selection and fine quality of products are worth a sample. In fact, exclusive strains here like Kosher Kush and Shoreline are must-tries. The beverage and nosh food are good too. Definitely worth a stop, particularly if you are looking for a “scene place.” It can draw a crowd, so make sure you get there early.

Location: Molukkenstraat 581,
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 7am – 1am
Phone: +31 20 694 0983

10. KASHMIR LOUNGE

This place not only has a funky vibe, it also has its own podcast. Keep up with the joint even when you aren’t there. The location is dim, lit primarily with candlelight, and is a bit mysterious. Indian tapestries, zebra and cheetah print cushions, and a multitude of obscure corners and tables create an exotic yet intimate feel. This is also a good bargain spot. The location is a bit out of the centre, so prices remain on the low side. 

Location: Jan Pieter Heijestraat 85-87
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 1am
Sunday, 11am – 1 am
Phone: +31 20 683 2268

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