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To do or not to do in a coffee shop

Amy Wilkinson

To do or not to do in a coffee shop

What should you do and what are no-go’s when visiting a coffee shop? Read everything you need to know about do’s and don’ts at coffee shops here.

Amsterdam is known for its open character and its freedom. Every year, many people come to Amsterdam to visit a coffee shop. If you have never been to a coffee shop, there are probably some things you don’t know. This can cause funny or uncomfortable situations, especially for tourists. We share a number of do’s and don'ts for your first visit to a coffee shop.

Which rules apply to a coffee shop?

People often think that weed and hash are legal in the Netherlands. However, it is not. These drugs are officially illegal, but they are tolerated when coffee shops follow all the rules. For example, a coffee shop may not sell anything to anyone younger than 18. Minors are not allowed to enter a coffee shop. In addition, the shop can sell to a maximum of 5 grams per person.


It is advisable to read about the rules of a coffee shop before visiting one. To some people it may seem just a bar with drugs, but there are actually etiquettes that you need to adhere to. Read here what to do when you visit a coffee shop for the first time.

Read the whole menu and ask questions

Just like in a normal cafe, a coffee shop has a menu with everything you can buy. If you have never been to a coffee shop before, it is advisable to read the menu carefully before you order something. If you are not sure about a particular species, don’t be shy to ask questions. Sometimes it is difficult to determine what the effect will be. Some products can be much stronger than you initially thought. The employees are ready to answer all of your questions.

Only buy what you need

Many people who visit a coffee shop for the first time immediately order a large quantity of a product. You often need less than you think. Be informed about the amount needed. The employees can advise you.

Stick to the rules

A coffee shop is a place that usually has a very relaxed atmosphere. Many customers are regulars and they would very much like you to behave and not stand out too much. Therefore, you and your friends must act normal when you visit a coffee shop. If there is a line, you wait until it is your turn.

Use your common sense

Even though the coffee shops in Amsterdam are usually not extremely expensive, only buy what you can handle. When you enter a coffee shop for the first time, it is not wise to immediately stock up and buy more than you will use.

Know the rules

It is wise to read about coffee shops in advance. For example, you can use the product inside the coffee shop, but not on the street. Also, in many hotels it is not allowed to use drugs. Did you know that you are not allowed to smoke products with tobacco in most coffee shops?


credit: YenyenTV, Pinterest

Apart from the do’s, there are also a number of don'ts. Using drugs is not harmless. That is why you should always keep your wits about you. It is also wise to always let someone know where you are. We have listed a number of don’ts for you that you should take into account when visiting a coffee shop.

Underestimate the effects

A common beginner mistake is to underestimate the effects. Certainly, if you do not know exactly what you have ordered, you do not know what the effects are. Therefore, always make sure that you read about the effects of the products. Let the employees inform you.

Think that a coffee shop is a café

Many tourists get confused by the name of a coffee shop. You can often get a cup of coffee at a coffee shop, but no alcohol. A coffee shop is not allowed to offer alcohol. Although consuming a drink is not the main reason for visiting a coffee shop, the shops appreciate it when you order something. For example, order a cup of coffee or a glass of soda.

Buy from a street dealer

Did you know that it is illegal to buy from a dealer on the street? When you are caught by the police, you will have to deal with certain consequences. Such dealers are not registered and they do not care about their customers. Often the product is a mix of different ingredients so you don’t even know what you are buying. Some of the dealers are pushy and force you to buy from them. Many people are being scammed by these street dealers.

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