If you’ve ever looked into traveling to Amsterdam, you’ve no doubt come across a little bit of information regarding its famed coffee houses. Most notably, the coffee houses of Amsterdam are known for including legal marijuana on their menus, which naturally makes them popular stops for tourists, particularly from the U.S. But in addition to serving as weed cafés, Amsterdam’s coffee houses also provide comfortable, casual locations to sit and socialize, enjoy a treat or a beverage (or, yes, a smoke), and soak up some culture.
The only problem with them is that there’s about a million to choose from when you’re looking for a spot to hang out, or a tourist destination to check off your list. So to help narrow things down, here’s my list (in no particular order) of the 10 best coffeehouses in Amsterdam.
1. Old Amsterdam Coffeeshop
The Old Amsterdam Coffeeshop is one of the most popular shops on this list in terms of Amsterdam attractions, and because of that it can be on the more “touristy” side of the coin. The downside of this is that it doesn’t have the casual, hole-in-the-wall quality of some of the other coffee houses. The plus side, however, is an excellent selection of goods, a fun atmosphere, and an experienced, helpful staff.
Amnesia is a charming shop, situated on the canal ring and often noted for its outdoor seating and picturesque location. However, the main perk here is the menu. Read through the Smokers’ Guide reviews of Amnesia and you’ll find a number of people raving about the selection of items, which is updated regularly. Additionally, it’s not a bad place to have an actual coffee!
Siberie feels a little bit more like a commercial establishment than some other shops, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s clean and entertaining, often home to live music (as well as horoscope readings), and overall representative of the livelier side of Amsterdam coffee houses.
Undoubtedly one of the most unique coffee houses you’ll find in Amsterdam, Baba embraces largely Middle Eastern themes of design. As Amsterdam Tourist notes in its own very helpful rundown of the city’s coffee houses, Baba is strategically situated right in the famous Red Light District. It essentially invites tourists to explore Amsterdam’s most infamous revelries all in one go.
Bluebird is, essentially, no joke. It’s a little bit off the beaten path, popular with tourists and locals alike, and features a diverse but somewhat pricey menu. It’s a fun stop, and a popular one, but in ways a little more serious than some of the more picturesque or jovial coffee houses.
Abraxas is another coffee house that takes advantage of Middle Eastern decor, and the result is not only visually interesting but decidedly more comfortable than the majority of coffee houses. Open space, cushioned seating, and a reliable menu that occasionally involves some exotic twists all make for a nice experience.
Dampkring is a beautiful and spacious shop that’s one of the true highlights of this list. It’s also got one of the best locations of any shop on this list, on Handboogstraat, and about a 30 second walk from the city’s famous floating flower market, which is an attraction in itself. On their page about travel to Amsterdam, British Airways pointed to the flower market alongside the museums and canals as one of the city’s top things to see, and it’s very easy to combine a visit there with a stop at Dampkring!
For this one, I’m just going to refer you to the description posted at Time Out, because they make it about as delightful sounding as it could be: “located on a leafy street… this chill spot lacks the commercialism and crowds… run by a pleasant woman who bakes hot apple pie every day.” Enough said!
Greenhouse is almost like a tamer version of Bluebird, in that it caters largely to the true connoisseurs, albeit in a very welcoming fashion. It’s a relatively small, intimate spot where a top-notch and varied selection of cannabis is guaranteed, and generally it is more of a spot for active socializing than simply mellowing out.
Kadinsky stands out largely because of its physical design. It’s a narrow, three-story structure whose street-facing side is almost entirely made up of windows. Yelp has some good photos of the shop to give you a better idea of what it’s like, which is basically unlike most of the other shops on this list!
If you have something to add to the list of best coffee houses in Amsterdam, please leave it in the comments below!