Amsterdam is famous for its canals, bicycle culture, tulips, cobbled streets, distinctive Renaissance architecture, rich history of art, being a haven for world-changing philosophers and freethinkers, Ajax Amsterdam (the city’s exciting and glamorous football team), a rich and deep maritime legacy and, of course, having a liberal and open-minded ethos.

It is due to this liberal, open-minded ethos that cannabis has been legal in the city for over two decades. The city’s coffee shops sell high quality herb in various forms to locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere in these coffee shops is friendly, open and relaxed, with people sitting around, conversing, communing and bonding amidst the sweet scent of high-quality herb.

Amsterdam is a one-of-a-kind city, and its coffee shops are uniquely relaxing places that need to be experienced to be understood. Here is our BUCKiTDREAM list of eight of Amsterdam’s coolest coffee shops.

Boerejongens The two Boerejongens coffee shops are the classiest in town. With heavy marble counters and hardwood floors, they have a very upscale feel. The staff are passionate weed experts who are regularly taking educational courses, and so are fully up-to-date with what’s what in the world of marijuana. The weed and hash the Boerejongens coffee shops stock is the finest quality you will find anywhere in Amsterdam.

Address: (West) Baarsjesweg 239, 1058 AA Amsterdam / (Center) Utrechtsestraat 21, 1017 VH Amsterdam 

Grey Area This is a very homely coffee shop that’s been open for over 20 years. It is a specialty shop that is famous for its Silver Bubble, Grey Haze, Evergrey, Greybone, Grey Scout Cookies and Grey Mist Crystal strains, and it has won multiple prizes over the years. There is an exclusive feel to the place – there is only a limited number of seats, and it is frequented by celebrities, musicians and actors like Snoop Dogg, who is a bit of a regular! Grey Area is run by a passionate group of US-born cannabis connoisseurs who personally test the quality of all the products they sell in store, so great weed is guaranteed.

Address: Oude Leliestraat 2, 1015 AW Amsterdam

Barney’s Coffee Shop There are several Barney’s coffee shops in town – Barney’s Lounge, Barney’s Farm and Barney’s Uptown – and are all worth a visit. But the original Barney’s is in a 500-year-old townhouse in the Westerpark neighborhood, and it is the best of the bunch. It has won multiple ‘High Times Cup’ awards over the years. The owners have been selling weed for over two decades, and the place has a quaint apothecary vibe, with drawers of green goodies on the walls and a lovely old, long counter. Its staff are friendly and highly knowledgeable cannabis experts. 

Address: Haarlemmerstraat 102, 1013 EW, Amsterdam

Paradox In the heart of the Jordaan district of the city, Paradox is a favorite with Amsterdam locals. They serve excellent coffee, delicious juices and milkshakes, and a host of tasty, freshly baked treats. Paradox has a very artsy, bohemian vibe and the weed is top notch, so local connoisseurs swear by it. Another highlight: it’s not brash and the quality speaks for itself. It is almost Amsterdam’s best kept secret.

Address: Eerste Bloemdwarsstraat 2R, 1016 KS Amsterdam

Green House United This cool coffee shop won the ‘High Times Cup’ in 2014. It is unique in that it has a huge aquarium under the floor that spans almost half the seating area. That means while you smoke, you can stare at exotic fish swimming beneath your feet – how cool is that?! They have a great food menu that includes pancakes, toasted sandwiches, burgers and steaks, and cool, delicious chocolate milk. So, your munchies will be well catered to at Green House United!

Address: Haarlemmerstraat 64, 1013 ET Amsterdam

Mellow Yellow Having opened in 1972, Mellow Yellow is Amsterdam’s oldest coffee shop. Its gaudy black-and-yellow-striped exterior is not subtle or particularly beautiful, but it is certainly iconic, making it a true Amsterdam landmark. It has a loyal, regular clientele, and the staff are extremely laid back, with a ‘seen it all before’ attitude. There is a diverse selection of high quality strains on offer. The pool table, pinball machine and Foosball tables are a nice touch and provide hours of dreamy fun!

Address: Vijzelgracht 33, 1017 HN Amsterdam

Dampkring This cozy coffee shop near the Amsterdam Flower Market has a resident cat named Bowie, and their hot Belgian chocolate milk is the best in town – yum! It has a very cool pine-wood exterior that looks like something from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The interior is dreamlike, with excellent psychedelic wall paintings. The very friendly clientele are all genuine Dampkring super fans – this coffee shop inspires real loyalty in its regulars – which is a great endorsement.

Address: Handboogstraat 29, 1012 XM Amsterdam

The Bulldog – The First The Bulldog has a number of coffee shops around the city, but the original, suitably named ‘The First’, is surely the most famous and unmissable coffee shop in Amsterdam! This place is a big favorite with locals, tourists and visiting celebrities, and is packed every day and night. The entire exterior is daubed with multicolored artwork and its distinctive blue, yellow and red electric-lit sign is a quintessential Amsterdam sight; a siren beckoning weed-lovers from miles around to its smoky shores! On the bank of a canal in the heart of the Red Light District, The Bulldog – The First has a great menu, enthusiastic staff and an amazing, energetic vibe.

Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 90 1012 GJ Amsterdam

So, that was our BUCKiTDREAM list of the smokiest coffees hops in Amsterdam. Whether you are sampling the highest quality cannabis in Boerejongens, having a blast with fellow travelers at The Bulldog, or chatting to Bowie the cat at Dampkring, you will surely have an experience you will never forget!

Craving more coffee during your travels? Find out How to Spot a Good Coffee Shop When You’re Abroad and Top Coffee Shops to Explore Around Europe.