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Smoking in Amsterdam: The Do's and Dont's

Amy Wilkinson

Smoking in Amsterdam: The Do's and Dont's

Contrary to popular belief, you can't smoke everywhere in Amsterdam. Know when to light up, and when to look out.

We get it - you come to Amsterdam and almost everywhere you turn you can at least see, smell, or hear something to do with bud. You see people lighting up on doorsteps, at tram stops, and on the terraces of café's you pass. It's legal here - so you must be able to smoke anywhere, right?

Wrong.

For much of the city, you can go ahead and spark up without a single head turning. For some areas, you might get a look or two, and for others, you could even find yourself in a speck of trouble. So how to know where you can and can't smoke?

Bars, cafes, and restaurants

It feels important to state this first: you cannot smoke tobacco indoors in Amsterdam, and for any private-owned space that isn't a coffeeshop, you most likely can't smoke bud either.

When it comes to bars, cafes, and restaurants, Amsterdam boasts some pretty cushy outdoor spaces among its hospitality scene, with heated seating areas and huge terraces.

While smoking at many restaurant terraces would likely be a no-go, you wouldn't be judged for stepping around the corner to spark up and head back to your table between courses.

Terraces at cafes and bars are generally a little more relaxed if the environment is relaxed, but still some prefer people not to smoke there.

Our advice: Ask the staff where you're at if you're okay to light up, they'll not only be cool with you asking but most likely appreciate you sparing the thought!

Streets, parks, and public areas

credit: YenyenTV, Pinterest

While it might feel strange if smoking bud is illegal in your home country, you won't get pulled up by the Dutch police if you're simply smoking a joint in public and they see you.

Our advice: If you get the weather right, Amsterdam has many beautiful parks that residents typically love heading down to for a smoke.

Museums, boat tours, and private areas

As with bars, cafes and restaurants, any private areas or privately owned businesses decide their own rules when it comes to smoking on the premises. Typically for tourist spots, with a high number of visitors (smokers and non-smokers) it's often in their best interest to keep the peace by not allowing smoking on-premise, but some smaller, independent places are happy to let you go ahead, especially if they're quiet.

Our advice: Again, just ask! If you'd rather be somewhere a little more green-oriented, there are several boat tours and tourist providers that focus on green tourism and high tours.

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KvK-number: 33208556

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