Coffeeshop versus Coffee Bar

Do not confuse a coffee bar with a coffeeshop. Coffeeshop means that this place sells weed. This doesn’t mean that weed is the only thing you can buy here. Coffeeshops also sell soft drinks – never alcohol – and snacks. However, if you want a cup of coffee look for the word Café or Coffee Bar when you are in Amsterdam.

Did you know that it is a misconception to think that possession of soft drugs is legal in the Netherlands? They are decriminalised, and that’s all.

Coffeeshop versus Coffee Bar

A coffee bar sells coffee and a coffeeshop sells hash and weed. As advertising marihuana is not allowed, you will have to ask for the menu, which shows a variety of weed and hash. Prices range from €5 to €15 per gram. It is a Dutch custom to mix weed with tobacco and smoke the joints in a coffeeshop. If on the other hand you just feel like coffee, sit down and ask for coffee. No one will think this odd.



Every person in the Netherlands is allowed to possess three weed plants for private consumption but weed plantations are illegal. Still, 50% of weed sold in Dutch coffeeshops is grown locally, the rest is smuggled in from Morocco and the Middle East. If you want to learn more about weed, hash and marihuana, visit The Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum or Cannabis College – true eye openers.


Take your Grandmother

Coffeeshops are easily overlooked as they look very much like coffee bars (except for the smell). No loitering in front of them because this is forbidden and if clients do, the coffeeshop’s license is taken away. There are no unsavoury types hanging about, there is no begging. Coffeeshops are safe places. So, why don’t you take your grandmother? She will certainly enjoy it and will have lots to tell her friends when back home again!

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