If you have ever visited the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, there is one thing you can’t deny. Especially when visiting the red-light district, you’ll find a coffeeshop on every corner. Sounds amazing, or better said, it is amazing. For that reason, we made a list of fun facts for you. Here is everything you need to know about coffeeshops in the Netherlands.

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How it all started…

The Dutch coffeeshop culture goes way back. Did you know it all started in the sixteenth century? Well, it did. Let us explain how it all began; Being a small country, we were always forced to deal with powerful neighbours. A fact that probably inspired us to stay neutral between all extremes. Perhaps also the realization that we had to work together to form a front, made us more aware of the need for social diversity. Due to its tolerance the Netherlands has always attracted people from many different nations and religions. Being a refuge for so many different people has been a very important factor for the country having such a tolerant attitude. Which attracted more people. Which made the country more tolerant. Which attracted more people…; you get where we’re going, 

Allowing coffeeshops came after decades of smokers and authorities trying to find a middle ground. There had been anti-narcotics laws for a long time. But by the time the sixties came, all the laws were up for change. The hippie movement was upon us. A decade wherein the usage of all sort of drugs was on the rise. The government decided it was time to intervene. It was clear they would have to distinguish between soft and hard drugs. The goal was to keep subcultures away and prevent smokers of soft drugs to take the step towards hard drugs. At the same time, it became more and more popular for dealers to sell weed in bars and on the street. Due to these factors the idea of the coffeeshop was born. After all, it was just a measure for the government to control, but also tolerate the use of soft drugs.

At coffeeshops you can drink quality coffee

When you think of coffeeshops, quality coffee would probably not be the first thing that pops into mind. Well, let us make it clear once and for all. A coffeeshop is called a coffeeshop for a reason. A bakery bakes. A creative person creates. And a coffeeshop? Well, they serve coffee of course. Especially in Amsterdam. The coffee capital of the world. And when you’re in Amsterdam and longing for some really good coffee, Hunter’s Coffeeshop is the place to go. This is where you’ll find good, and we mean really good quality coffee.

You can smell Hunter’s Coffeeshop from miles away. On every corner of the street. The aroma greets you as you walk along the canals. The strongest and most intoxicating is the smell of coffee while walking towards one of Hunter’s Coffeeshops. You’ll find them throughout Amsterdam, so no matter where you are or where you’re staying, there will always be a Hunter’s Coffeeshop or a Hunter’s Bar nearby. Isn’t that awesome?

Coffeeshops are smoker friendly

Coffeeshops have it all; Nice drinks, quality coffee, snacks or irresponsibly delicious brownies. And if you don’t care for food or drinks, you will care about the bar crawl babes and hunks most places have. But the best part of all: most are smoker friendly. Smoking indoors means you are allowed to smoke everything except for tobacco. 

Let’s repeat. Yes, you are allowed to smoke inside. When you are from abroad this may sound a bit strange. Due to the special rules, coffeeshop customers are allowed to smoke inside. But take note, inside only. Smoking in public is not allowed. But who cares, it’s better inside anyway. Most noticeable if you have ever visited Amsterdam during autumn or winter.

Selling soft drugs in coffeeshops is legal

Yes, that’s right. Selling soft drugs in coffeeshops is legal in the Netherlands. But very important to mention, this is subjective to some rules. Let us give you some insight to the rules:

  • It is not allowed to sell to a minor. 18+ only, so identification is required at all times
  • Coffeeshops are not allowed to advertise selling soft drugs
  • Only soft drugs like cannabis, you won’t find a coffeeshop selling hard drugs
  • The surrounding areas may not be affected
  • You can only buy 5 grams in total per person
  • A maximum of 500 grams in storage

You no longer need a weed card to enter a shop

For a long time the Netherlands made use of the so called ‘weed card’. A card to prevent tourists from entering the coffeeshops. It was basically a way to block the drugs tourism. The card was based on two elements: a compulsory membership and showing you are a Dutch citizen. By introducing this card, the government tried to keep tourists away. Fun fact: The Dutch also stopped going to the coffeeshops. They did not want to register. As a result: Empty coffeeshops and a large increase of street trade. 

To prevent the empty coffeeshops and street trade, the government decided to let municipalities choose whether they wanted to maintain the measure of the weed card. And since Amsterdam depends on its tourists, we can all guess what Amsterdam decided to do. In Amsterdam you are more than welcome. Especially at a Hunter’s Coffeeshop or Hunter’s Bar. At a Hunter’s Coffeeshop, you’ll find everything that will make your visit to Amsterdam unforgettable. Or that will make you remember nothing at all. Let’s hunt them all!