Coffee shops in Amsterdam: how does it works

Don’t be surprised to see a distinct lack of espressos in the best coffee shops in Amsterdam. The moniker trips up visitors every year, newcomers naive to the naming of Amsterdam’s joint-heavy cafes with marijuana menus. This city’s love affair with cannabis is well-documented, so settle in at one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam.


Coffee shops in Amsterdam
Coffee shops in Amsterdam


The term might be ‘coffeeshop’, but this denotes an alcohol-free establishment where cannabis can be purchased and enjoyed. As integral to Amsterdammer culture as its museums, restaurants and nightlife, the best coffeehouses in Amsterdam are heaps of fun and plenty of fascinating at the same time. There are more than 100 licensed coffeeshops in the city, but pay special attention to these.


Founded way back in 1974, when cannabis was still illegal, The Bulldog The First is the longest-running coffeeshop in the city. The whole place serves as a monument to weed culture, and its smoking lounge features heaps of memorabilia from the heyday of Amsterdam’s underground coffeeshops. World-famous and located in the heart of the Red Light District, The Bulldog The First tends to receive a lot of footfall, especially at the weekend.

In the shop you can see and learn its history and discover some of the many hiding places for cannabis during those days. Today The Bulldog The First is more than just a cellar, but a comfortable shop with an upstairs and downstairs, a souvenir shop and canal- side patio.


Bulldog menu
Bulldog menu



In not a frequent smoker, but in Amsterdam smoking is like visiting a museum… So don’t stress and if you want to try just follow those steps.

  1. Choose your coffee shop, I suggest you the bulldog because is very famous and they used tourism curiosity
  2. Choose a coffee shop with a terrace (there are a lot in Amsterdam) and take a cappuccino (are very good here)
  3. There is always a menu inside the shop with the type of weed, hashish and prerolled joints (and lighter if is necessary)
  4. You can try the edibles like muffins or cookies

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