Marijuana in Europe: 2006
Ethnocentric Americans believe that because something is illegal in the US, it's wrong everywhere. However, many Europeans believe that marijuana is a recreational drug to be enjoyed by adults - much like alcohol. Those interested in "going local" with respect to marijuana during their European travels have few ways to compare notes. Let this be a forum for discussion. Was it safe to smoke? Did you feel comfortable? Did it add to your travel experience? Any pitfalls to avoid?
Editor's note: This board is monitored closely for inappropriate postings. If you would like to post a message, please read the topic introduction and our Spraypainters' Guidelines carefully. Solicitations to buy or sell marijuana, and postings concerning trafficking marijuana across borders, will be deleted. This board is for tips only.
Buds around Lausanne
Any coffee shops sellin bud in or around Lausanne, Switzerland? Or how would I find some?
Chicago, IL USA Tue 12/26/2006
Lausanne is a tough score. Head down the line to Montreux and look for Moracan guys down by the lake. Still, generally sketchy I'm afraid.
Maastricht, Tue 12/26/2006
Italy and France
Got a trip to various cities in Italy, and a couple days in France. These cities aren't like amsterdam, how should I go about finding some good buds? Just look for shady characters on the street?
Crunktown, USA Sun 12/24/2006
Horrible idea! Don't take drugs across any border! There is not a border guard in the world tolerant of something like that.
Cowtown, Mn USA Sun 12/03/2006
Question ppl. I'm going on vacation and want to bring some marijuana cookies with me on the plane. Yay or nay?
San Jose, CA USA Thu 11/30/2006
Marijuana the Show
Marijuana in Europe? Sounds like a great idea for a show. A smoker's tour of Europe. You can explain the different attitudes towards marijuana that exist all over the continent.
Jonestown, Hell USA Tue 11/21/2006
Dreaming of Amsterdam and Brussells
I've heard that is it safe to take a smoker's amount into Belgium. Is this a bad idea? I've known a couple of people who have had many falafel sandwiches while listening to a distant accordian being played after smoking leftovers. It is a shame that experiences like that are not tolerated in more places!
Long Live Rick Steves!
Brooklyn, NY USA Wed 11/15/2006
haze is the future
amnesia,barneys,dampkrieg,hunters and 420 are the five best coffeeshops in my opinion. all of these have a very good selection of the best hazes around especially hunters with there cambodian haze and dampkrieg with there massive hash menu
beverwijk, nl Mon 11/13/2006
Chill outdoor rave in Bologna, IT
I arrived in Italy on Nov 11 and wandered into an outdoor rave party in downtown Bologna near some train station. Everywhere through the crowd people were smoking weed. Not too far away were about 40 or so cops with riot gear on standby, who didn't interfere or mess with people leaving for the couple of hours I was there. Everything I read online says how all over the EU there's almost a zero-tolerance for drugs but last night it sure didn't seem that way.
NJ USA Sun 11/12/2006
Grey Area Si! Bulldog No!
Tampa Tim must have visited a different Grey Area in Amsterdam. I have visited 3 or 4 times and was always welcomed by Jon, one of the "chiefs". He rolled some of the best Grey Haze (a Cannibus Cup winner)and has a fine Grey Mist kif for your smoking pleasure. The establisment is tiny with 2 tables and 4 stools. It can get busy running a shop by your self. Don't be put off by one visit's folly. The quality stuff and the US hometown atmosphere is for real. Willie and Phish and all the rest can't be wrong. Their photos hang proudly on the wall. See the shop website for more info. BUT you gotta be kidding about the Bulldog. I guess if you like overpriced schwag it might be ok. Especially if you are drunk going in there. Too commercialized! Too touristy for my tastes! A big rip off on the stuff but you might buy a T-shirt. They have a nice gift shop kinds like the Hard Rock. Tell you something about what they are really selling? Tourist atmosphere is what they sell.
Palm Beach Paul
Palm Beach (of course), FL USA Sun 11/05/2006
What is the availability of smoke in ljubljana,Slovenia.
chicago, il USA Fri 11/03/2006
I vistited two in Amsterdam. While there is si much praise for the Grey Zone, I found the keeper more interested in the phone than me. I found the commercialized Bulldog waaaay more friendly, and better stuff. Smoke On.
duh, FL USA Thu 11/02/2006
Rotterdam Coffeeshop Suggestions??
Hey everyone. I am visiting Rotterdam in a few days. In and out, and definitely want to hit a coffee shop. Anyone have suggestions?
chicago, il USA Wed 11/01/2006
Please enjoy your smoke in Holland, just dont take any out of the country. Dont ruin it for all by giving the higher up more reasons to make it illegal. loose lips sink ships and there are plenty of things to do there besides smoke, be sure to find them.
Salem, NH USA Sat 10/28/2006
Traveling with weed
I've been to A-dam twice and love my smoke. However, I don't feel safe traveling with grass. It's not worth it to ruin a vacation for a little smoke. With that said I have managed to find weed in Paris, Bonn and Berlin without even looking. I strongly advise against taking weed out of Holland. People leaving Holland with drugs is giving a tolerant country a bad name and there is a lot of pressure on the country to criminalize weed.
carbondale, CO united States Wed 10/25/2006
I am planning a trip to celebrate both my and my husbands 50th Birthday. I would like to spend a few days in Amsterdam and then on to Brussels for a day or two. We will be traveling by train. Suggestions for taking a little weed with us would be appreciated. If the least bit questionable, we won't do it. How would I explain that to our conservative adult children?
Baton Rouge, La. USA Wed 10/25/2006
It is that time of year again. American's descend upon Amsterdam for the High Time's Cannabis Cup. Like minded individuals looking for a little freedom to light-up their favorite smoke and enjoy some Dutch tolerance instead of criminalization. People of all ages have paid $200 each to be a "Judge" for the cup. In reality the number of people who actually visit every coffee shop is probably less than 50% of the judges. Think about going for 4 days and trying 23 different coffee shops and being able to judge anything after visiting just one. Oh well it's fun. This will be my 4th after taking the last few years off. over 50 and still partying like I'm 25. Going solo this year.. Hope to see some of you there. -Chuck PS Never try to take this stuff out of Amsterdam. Enjoy it there.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 10/23/2006
Smoke pot in Amsterdam if you wish (and I have), but don't try to carry it across any borders. It's only asking for trouble.
If you ever go to Asia, be aware that many countries impose the death penalty or life imprisonment for importing recreational drugs of any sort. Be aware that some of these countries also have a "sting" operation, whereby tourists are enticed into buying drugs and are then arrested by watching police.
Carrying or buying drugs in these places could be considered to be "terminal stupidity".
Fairbanks, AK USA Sat 10/21/2006
I STEYED IN SWITZERLAND SINCE MARCH TO JULY. IT WAS REALLY GOOD CONTRY FOR SMOKES LIKE US. IT IS VERY EASY TO FIND IN THE STREETS. ZURICH IS A VERY GOOD CITY TO FIND A JOIN IN THE LAKE IF YOU DONT HAVE WEED. II HAVE BEEN IN AMSTERDAM AND I SMOKED THERE. THE QUALITY IT WAS GOOD BUT IN SWITZERLAND THE QUALITY IS THE SAME OR SOMETIMES BETTER.
SO LETS GET HIGH¡¡¡¡¡
TLAXCALA, TLX MEX Tue 10/17/2006
Finding marijuana in Berlin
I noticed that many of you are asking about finding marijuana in Berlin and on my third day there, I found it! A group of friends and I were taking the S-train to the eastern part of Berlin where a large chunk of the Berlin wall is still intact because of the art that was put on it and Cirque Du Soleil was performing across the street from it. Anyway, I noticed some "hippie" looking people on the S-train as well. I kept on thinking to myself that I should ask them if they have anything because the definitely looked the type that would have something, if not knowing someone who would have something. It is a good idea to know at least a little German of course, politely asking "Excuse me..." is "Einschuldegung" and then "Ich muchte..." ie. "marijuana" which is the same in English as it is in German. See Rich Steve's German Phrase book, it has a handy little section in there on smoking. Anyway, this group of people ended up getting off on the same stop as my friends and I. I waited for the right moment as they were walking past us and I stopped one of them and said "Einschuldegung... haben sie marijuana?" (Excuuse me, do you have marijuana?) And he shook his head and ran off to the rest of his friends. About 10 seconds later, one of them came running back to me and gave me the directions to a place where I could get some, what I had to do to remain discreet... and lo and behold, I found what I was looking for, and it turned out to be pretty good stuff too. On the train ride back to where my husband and I are living in Germany, I had no worries of customs, drug dogs or the Polizei because I wasn't leaving the country. Rolling papers can be bought just about anywhere of course... so there you have it. So if you're travelling to Berlin, I suggest going to the eastern part of it... there were lots of punks, goths, artists and that type of people around there. Kind of like a Capitol Hill of Seattle.
Auerbach, Bayern Germany Tue 10/17/2006
was it safe to buy
i am going to Paris / Madrid would really enjoy some smoke for fun, how do you go about approaching someone there or do i have to go to some un-sightly part of town to get a hookup?? i would just like a little for my own enjoyment.......what is the best way to be able to do this......does law enforcement try to trap americans... .i would hate to spend the holidaze in the lockup. any suggestions / tips are greatly appreciated!!!
Sacramento, ca USA Mon 10/16/2006
Coming back with weed but not by plane
So we're going to Amsterdam soon and we're returning to england by Hovercraft! Does anyone know how strict the customs are? Do they have sniffer dogs and suitcase searches etc. in Harwich, UK or in the Amsterdam port?
Norfolk, England Fri 10/13/2006
Just reacting to 'I am politie'. Basically the information is correct (although a little overly dramatic). You can get a lot of good weed in Holland, and it is good form to smoke either in a coffeeshop or indoors. The Smartshops legally sell a lot of things different drugs, including psychedelics. Mushrooms, peyote buttons, all kinds of cacti, ayahuasca kits, kratom, ibogaine and salvia divinorum are readily available for sale. Which is a living testiment against the King Kanutian notion of banning plants and plant products.
*If you're living in Holland*, you can even order them online. Check out:
The Hague, ZH NL Thu 10/12/2006
I am politie in Netherlands
I am member of politie from a town near Amsterdam. My only thing to ask is please, please do not transport any substances that may cause you problems due to local laws. The Netherlands has a policy of tolerance for low harm drugs like Marijuana. As a country we receive very much pressure to change our laws from the countries on Dutch borders because of illegal importation of drugs just as is suggested on this list.
Two things- please do not buy hard drugs- anything outside of coffee shops or smart shops- if you do it is very possible that Dutch law will change to allow only Dutch citzens to buy marijuana or a shift to totally illegal again.
Do not transport drugs from the Netherlands. We do check trains- with dogs, there are most certainly car stops as well. Do you know that the Netherlenads has more sobriety stops than most other countries- even more than the US. You take a risk and your reward can be a tough arrest, an international crime record that will stop you from entering many countries, and a situation that will require jail time, a local-expensive lawyer, and the end to any fun you could possibly have. It's not worth it- have fun in Amsterdam and come back- don't be foolish and play the craps game of smuggle and arrest.
I give you all of this advice only because we are a country of tolerance and it is often our job to spoil the lifetime vacations of many offenders.
Haarlem, NL Tue 10/10/2006
In reading the comments, I see much about not taking marijuana on planes and trains. If one is renting a vehicle and camping and traveling throughout Europe, I was wondering if the borders (such as they are these days) have people searching vehicles as well. We are doing that same thing and will be going along the oceanside of Europe surfing and watching other surfers - as well as numerous side trips into the interior of Europe.
Northern California, CA USA Sat 09/30/2006
Response to LA Woman
In reponse to LA woman..does the movie MIdnight Express ring a bell for anyone?? Please do not smuggle drugs out of Holland. The laws of the US cannot protect you. I am a cannibis advocate..but people should do things right as well..
NY, NY USA Wed 09/20/2006
Marijuana in Europe
Aaaahhhh... where do I start..If youre looking for super smoke start at the Grey Area, from there head towards Homegrown Fantasy or Dutch flowers. These are the only coffeeshops you need to visit!! Keeping away from places like Paradise and Baba is a good idea also. As far as food goes, just look around its all good brodgies and pom frits are everywhere. For a special night out eating hunt down a place called Prego, cozy and delicious I was licking my plate at the end of each course. For a fast bite look for Golden Chopsticks or Lucious Fish. I hope everyone falls in love with this wonderfull place like I did.
N.H. USA Sat 09/16/2006
Do not bring your weed with you!
My boyfriend and I were in Amsterdam on August 25th-28th and it was bliss thanks to a lovely couple renting out two of their bedrooms as a B&B near the train station. (A Rick Steve's reccomnedation)
My boyfriend is a big advocate of maryjane and he enjoyed many many shops all over town in A-dam. Despite my warnings and other of our friends warnings he chose to put a tiny bag of pot down his pants next to his scrotum and bring it to Italy with us. He felt safe until we got off the plane and went through a narrow corridor at the Venice Airport where two drug-sniffing dogs sought him out very quickly and the guards were soon going through EVERY PIECE of luggage he had. After going through everything numerous times my boyfriend offered to strip search to give up, but the guards declined for whatever reason and he was lucky enough to get off on the idea that the beef jerky in his bag excited the dogs, not drugs.
We both had a terrible and totally unnessesary scare from this event (I am NOT an advocate and you can imagine the duress of this incident on our semi-romantic trip) and we both want people to know that its simply NOT worth it to smuggle into other countries.
LA, CA USA Thu 09/14/2006
Nicole: We found that Siberie was a nice coffeeshop with a very laid back feel. Don't really remember what kind of music they played, so it definitely wasn't something that we didn't like! The address is 11 Brouwersgracht, near Centraal Station.
Previous Amsterdam Visitor
USA Mon 09/11/2006
Rick Steves - activist
Seattle Times revealed that Steves is a member of NORML.... umm, this is not exactly 'new' news... http://www.ricksteves.com/about/pressroom/activism/marijuana.htm - first entry: 04/2005
- updated: May 10, 2004
FL USA Sun 09/10/2006
Nicole, try Rick's suggestion of Paradox on the Prinsengracht (actually just off there, 1e Bloemdwarsstraat 2 www.paradowamsterdam.demon.nl). The owner was the most laid back guy you could ever imagine. It was never crowded, they had mellow music playing (I remember the Coldplay CD on for some reason), and it was neat seeing the locals coming home from work and stopping in to read the newspaper and have a smoke. The big sliding door was open to the quiet street, giving that perfect Amsterdam ambience.
MO USA Fri 09/08/2006
On my first and recent trip to Europe, Amsterdam was our first stop and one of my favorites. The people are happy and friendly, the many interesting coffeeshops are not rowdy or loud and I did not find the marijuana selling/smoking offensive, it was a cultural experience for me and I enjoyed it.
Lansdale, Pa. USA Fri 09/08/2006
Cozy Coffee Shops
De Tweede Kamer is a very nice, small comfortable place. The music is pleasant and the staff is friendly. For more of a bar atmosphere visit De Kuil, also known as Cafe 420 (to attract Americans) which is right off of Damrak. They play a lot of Frank Zappa and other classic rock. Many other coffeeshops tend to play house or trance music which is not to everyone's taste.
Cleveland, Ohio USA Thu 09/07/2006
Rick Steves is a pothead!
"A March 14, 2006, article in the Seattle Times revealed that Steves is a member of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He serves on NORML's Advisory Board and has given the keynote speech at NORML's 2005 conference. Steves admitted to occasionally smoking marijuana, but his busy schedule keeps such occasions to a minimum." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Steves
Camp Pendelton, CA USA Wed 09/06/2006
Cozy Coffee Shops?
Can anyone recomend a laid back "cozy" coffee shop? I am visiting Amsterdam for part of my honeymoon for 3 days and would like to check out the coffee shops, but I'm uncomfortable in lowd rowdy places. I would like to sit back and relax.
MD USA Wed 09/06/2006
Great place to enjoy yourself in Amsterdam
Kadinsky's in A'dam is a must. The shop is located just off the Spui. It has a great feel to it; very clean, good music and has a few great seats by a big open window facing a narrow street. Nothing beats having a smoke and a euro coffee while you savor the freedom. Best part about it, it looks like a normal coffeeshop as oppose to some JR Tolken scene. The staff is friendly, but it always helps to know your stuff. Sit back, relax, behave yourself and Amsterdam will always be glad to have you back.
Denver, CO USA Tue 09/05/2006
Berlin- Hemp Museum - and assorted experiences
Berlin is a very cannabis-friendly city, similar to though more open than my hometown, Portland. One place of note in Berlin is the small Hemp Museum. I wish I could remember the address, but basically, you can find it from Alexanderplatz. Come out the side of the train station where the trams run, turn left and walk past a bank and down a short pedestrian mall surrounded by large office-y buildings. Around 200 meters east of the station, you'll come to a major street. Turn right and the museum will be on your left in 200-200 meters. It's a small, modest operation- but here's some cool things about it:
1. It's government funded. The operators were on unemployment and came up with the idea of a hemp museum, which they suggested to the unemployment department, and somehow got a government grant to open the museum. Nice.
2. They serve hemp tea in the basement and I had the opportunity to share some good stuff with the owners, who shared stories about the German government's tolerance (varies from place to place- pretty much legal and open in the north, less tolerant in the south) and the outdoor weed fantasyland that is Switzerland.
Berlin is the greatest city in the world (next to Portland) and the Hemp museum is a great little treasure. Go smoke there, stay at one of the Circus hostels (great private rooms), and crusie the bars in that area. You won't believe the culture in this city just outside of the tourist centers, just inside the east.
Oh, and by the way, CW, your paranoia is part of the problem, not the solution. We need to be out and open and make it clear to authorities worldwide that there are millions of us- and there's no chance for enforcement of unconstitutional, immoral laws to succeed. What are they going to do, bust Rick Steves?
And, as far as the legal situation goes... let me share some experiences...
1. Vienna- illegal? Maybe. But I went to a head shop selling starter plants and the woman told me that several police officers are her best customers. One even popped by while I was there. Amazing.
2. Prague- people smoke openly on the Charles Bridge and in the square. I drank a tea drink there, commercially made in Austria, that had small traces of THC- that was sold to me at a bar.
3. Italy- Plants and seeds sold in head shops.
4. Portugal- Possession of all substances is legal (including white drugs)
5. The UK- In the north, every rock show is filled with reefer. Edinburgh has had an open, then closed, then open coffee shop near the waterfront area, but I haven't been there.
6. Netherlands- you know the story.
7. Belgium- legalized a few years ago, a member of parliament sparked up a fatty in celebration right on the floor
8. Sweden- watch out. Cops are not tolerant here and the government likes to hassle smokers.
I invite you all to check out the weed culture in Europe. It is far different than the US. It's a casual activity that many people enjoy, and it is much more often associated with art and literary experiences in Europe than in the US. The stereotypical dreadlocked stoner is far less prominent in Europe's pot culture. Each country has two or three pot magazines, and I saw free hemp news papers in Germany and Spain. It's a fascinating culture.
Portland Euro Stonerman
Portland, OR USA Wed 08/23/2006
Legal in Europe?
Rock - marijuana is not legal in ANY country in Europe. There is 'tolerance' in the Netherlands, but technically still not legal.
FL USA Fri 08/18/2006
RE cannabis in Berlin
check out this site: www.webehigh.com/city/detail.php?CITYID=Berlin
Hamilton, Canada Fri 08/11/2006
JUST WONDERING IF marijuana WAS LEAGLE IN ROME TUSCANY AND FLORENCE? THANX!
USA Fri 08/11/2006
The Netherlands isn't changing
Don't worry Cheech and Chong made a movie in the 1983 dedicated to getting high and eating space cakes in Amsterdam. It's called Still Smokin and the Dutch are still as free loving as ever.
Austin, TX USA Thu 08/10/2006
Re re Whatever
You write as if we are to wipe out Amsterdam off the planet by merely enjoying one of gods creations somewhere legal and preserved. I agree on parts on finding Marijuana "spots" in other countries should not be posted and this board takes them away when they are seen. But for me merely typing this paragraph to let you know that on September 12th 2006 at 10pm I will be in fact in Amsterdam smoking away with no intentions of taking or bringing will do nothing to me and the "government" will not bother and track me down and CW "this subject" does not scare me" Be free get out of your trapped world and live life. Smart people on here know what to type and what not. We americans are not destroying Amsterdam we are helping bringing in millions to their economy. Smoking is just one add to a most wonderful city. Obviously it is not the only reason we come.
Reno , NV USA Tue 08/01/2006
I disagree with Indian's comments regarding a quick smoke in Amsterdam between flights from India to the US. I have done this many times, but you have to plan carefully. Many people also buy space cake for the trip back.
USA Tue 08/01/2006
cannabis in berlin
any good places to go and smoke in berlin?
berlin, Tue 08/01/2006
As far as I know there is no law against writing about drugs on the net, we do have the freedom of speech do not forget. As long as there is the demand for drugs, there will be a supply, whether that is in Amsterdam, America, or Canada no matter if it is legal or not. But if you do go to Amsterdam I'm sure it won't be just to try their pot cause you can probably get it at home. In Canada it is easier for a teenager to purchase pot then it is alcohol. For people that live in Holland, they are very much so laid back that someone smoking a joint in a bar is no more dangerous that someone having a beer. It is just a way of life that tolerates all different types of cultures that other societies deem "wrong".
Toronto, Ontari Canada Sun 07/30/2006
RE: Unconscionable Acts?
Let's put things in perspective. It's no secret that Amsterdam has a tolerant attitude toward marijuana. What exactly is "Amsterdam as we know it?" Is it the numerous souvenir shops selling T-shirts with emblazoned with pot leaves or baseball caps that proclaim "I got stoned in Amsterdam"?
I seriously doubt that postings on this forum will have an undue effect on the varying attitudes of tolerance found across Europe. What does have an effect is how we behave while guests abroad. Forums like this serve to educate, and hopefully show people what is and isn't acceptable behavior.
Take the time to read the preamble of this message board, and it's guidelines. The purpose of this forum is to provide advice for those who choose to safely enjoy some THC while visiting Europe. To suggest otherwise brings us a bit closer to the xenophobia exhibited by those who oppose its usage.
Also, if someone spends thousands of dollars on plane tickets, food and lodging, and then buys $15 worth of pot in a coffeeshop, does that make them a "drug tourist?"
I doubt that even the most paranoid DEA or Interpol agent will get too worked up by the average 5 or 10 postings a month found here. If a tourist from Omaha is able to score weed in Christiana Denmark, chances are that it's no secret to the police who live and work there daily.
If you choose to indulge, have fun, and do so responsibly!
Reno, NV USA Thu 07/27/2006
Mandy, 3-4 hours stopover is not enough to go into Ams, smoke and come back to the airport. India is known for its Ganja so since you are going there........!
USA Fri 07/21/2006
Posting About this Subject May Be an Unconscionable Act
The earlier warning posted by CW (Citizen of the World) regarding people who post here as possible targets for criminal investigation by their host government, won't discourage most of you from contributing to this board.
I agree with CW that YOU shouldn't post any specific information about drug use or possession on this site, but not for the same reason. Most of us who live in the developed world know that it's highly unlikely that a cop will come knocking on our door for confessing a much needed toke in Amsterdam, but here's another thought to consider. There's a lot of chat on this board about how great other, tolerant and socially progressive, countries are (Spain, Germany and Netherlands, etc) when compared to our own, repressive one. But few of us consider the real implications of being a drug tourist, and spreading news of travel across the Internet.
Did you ever consider that perhaps by posting specific information to this site you may be contributing to the end of Amsterdam, as we now know it? The problem is not sharing information, it's sharing it on the Internet. As much as I love freedom and the Internet, this board and site is open to anyone, and that includes government agents who want to destroy the cannabis culture. They're not reading this site to bust you, the consumer. They gather information from this site, and sites like it, in order to influence the democratic process in other countries and provide details to law enforcement around the globe. I can't believe that their are idiots on this board that offer specific information about where to score, in countries like Denmark that have current anti-cannabis laws. Don't you know that you're busting the poor soul who was generous enough to sell you that gram of weed, never to sell again to anyone? Don't be naive about how doggedly persistent and efficient those opposed to YOUR lifestyle can be.
Places like Amsterdam are pearls. They need to be cherished, and protected by those who frequent them, or they will melt away into the same blandness and conformity of our own, less elevated countries, and then there will be no where else to go for a casual smoke.
Simon of the Dessert
San Jose, CA USA Wed 07/19/2006
Smoke in Spain?
I see nothing about Spain noted here in the forum. I understand that there are THC shops in Spain but is it sold anywhere? What is the current situation?
Sacramento, CA USA Thu 07/06/2006
Planning First Trip to Amsterdam
I agree with frequent contributor Al Bishop as regards the amounts of money to take along for the various activities. Oh, except for the window girls; as an aged hippie woman, I haven't had any experience in that arena! And I always book our hotel/flat before we go--very important to have a plan, dontcha know? But one other thing that I always enjoy is visiting the wonderful bookstores. Because trade laws prohibit Americans even from ordering many books published in the UK and Europe, it's lovely to be able to buy lots of tomes not usually available on our side of the pond. My husband and I always ship all the books we buy back to Florida, sometimes this can even be done from the shop itself, (as opposed to going to the post office, but we usually do that at least once, too.) It's also a great way to keep to Rick Steve's advice to carry only a backpack, so plan to mail your souvenirs to yourself as well. Of course, it goes without saying that nothing in the packages you mail should have anything illegal in them. You will get caught, and you'd hate to lose everything in one of your souvenir boxes just because you tried to sneak in a couple of doobies or seeds.
Have a great time--the food's good in Amsterdam, too, and we often buy carry out food in the supermarkets or specialty shops and take it back to our hotel to enjoy as that's a less-expensive way to go than restaurants for every meal.
Polly DeCann Wilson
Tampa, FL USA Thu 06/29/2006
Posting About This Subject May Land You in Big Trouble
What I am about to tell you is 100% true. Moderator do not delete this post. Everyone who is intending to post here should listen closely:
Governments and their agencies are actively searching the internet for posted information they deem to be of interest. Posting about this subject may be of great interest to governments and if laws are enacted you may be in big trouble. They will trace you. Don´t think this is true? Do a search and you will see in one large, democratic government a proposed law that would make it very serious for posting online about this subject. They can not do that you say? You are wrong. Its called "incitement" and things that are against the law that you promote (Hey everybody go to....)can land you in very big trouble. I say all of this to keep you all out of trouble my dear friends.
CW (Citizen of the World) Thu 06/29/2006
Planning First Trip to Amsterdam
Firstly book yourself as good a hotel as you can afford. Do not wait until you set foot in Amsredam to think about accommodation, do it before you leave home. Make sure your hotel is close to the centre of Amsterdam ( Amsterdam Centrum ). Choose a hotel that offers a room with a safe, or secure facilities. Put your passport, airline tickets, credit cards and cash into the safe. Only ever venture out with what you want to spend on any particular day. Amsterdam holds many temptations and they all cost. That having been said everything is for sale in Amsterdam and what you see is what you get, nobody will force you to part with money and there are very few scams operating in the coffee shops or with the hookers - it's bad for business and Amsterdam's reputation. The Dutch are proud of their reputation for honesty. BUT NEVER buy anything on the streets and never give money on the streets, no matter how sad and believable the sob story is. Remember the American guy who claims to be an ex marine down on his luck is a PROFESSIONAL beggar. Yes he is an American and for all anyone knows he is an ex marine - he has been selling that line to gullible tourists for years. Whatever is sold on the streets is being sold by a con artist.
If you are going specifically to enjoy the hedonistic side of Amsterdam allow yourself EUR15.00 per day for drugs, buy large baggies and make it last for three or four days, alternatively allow yourself a little extra outlay and buy small quantities and experience the wide variety of cannabis available add another EUR10.00 per day if you are going to be eating mushrooms. If you plan a visit ( or more than one ) to the girls in the windows of the red light district expect to pay around EUR35.00.
Eat well and drink wisely. Little and often are the watchwords. Do allow yourself some *straight time* to visit the sights like Anne Frank's house, the museums and a diamond factory. Take a canal trip both by night and by day.
Set aside at least one day to visit other cities. Use the train, it's inexpensive and reliable. Haarlem and Delft are well worth a look and a day return ticket doesn't cost much.
Make sure you use up all your drugs on your last day. If all else fails give them to the Englishman in the corner ( that'll be me, hopefully ). Don't be tempted to take any home.
Finally always use condoms, even if it's a one night stand with a fellow tourist. Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy.
Nottingham, UK Wed 06/28/2006
Planning First Trip to Amsterdam
I'm planning my first trip to A-Dam this winter. Just looking for a heads up on what to do and expect and rough estimates of how much currency is needed to enjoy oneself. This is a dream coming true and just want to do it right. Thanks in advance.
Arlington, TX USA Sun 06/25/2006
Smoking and Golfing in Amsterdam
Pretty funny story about smoking and GOLFING of all things, here: http://www.badgolfer.com/departments/features/amsterdam-golf-courses-coffee-shops-cannabis-trips-2548.htm
Jupiter, FL USA Thu 06/22/2006
Stopover in Amsterdam
I'm stopping over in Amsterdam on my way to India...I think my stopover is for 3-4 hours... would it be easy for me to leave the airport, go to a coffee shop and smoke and get back in time and not get in any trouble? any tips and advice appreciated!
Bloomington, Indiana USA Mon 06/12/2006
What's the story in Paris? I saw Steve's post below, but anyone else have info?
San Fran, CA USA Wed 05/24/2006
RE: Smokin in Amsterdam
Smoking in Amsterdam has not ceased. There are nearly 500 coffee shops in Amsterdam alone, as well as plenty in places outside of Ams. like Haarlem. While the increasingly anti-foreigner, conservative-leaning politicians are making a lot of noise the reality is weed and prostitution bring in tons of money, and it isnt going anywhere anytime soon.
As I understand it, the dutch national laws (the so-called "weed card") is mostly enforced in towns and cities that border other countries like Maastricht, which are increasingly used as centers for smuggling pot into Germany and other countries. It has become a very big problem. Indeed it had already travelled down the rail to Belgium - in Brussels folks were smoking it openly and in smaller shops that I visited in 2003. In Amsterdam proper I would wager if it is enforced, it is only done so very selectively, so dont sweat it - yet.
Nowhere, VA USA Sat 05/13/2006
Smokin in Copenhagen
Someone asked about weed in Copenhagen. The place to go to smoke was an anarchist commune in the middle of town called "Christiania." It is an area maybe no larger than an acre or two where lawlessness reigns. It was founded by a group of squatters in early 70s on the foundations of an old military installation and had endured periodic raids but at least until recently was tolerated by the local establishment. Forget about your camera here! The denizens are quite paranoid and you will see prominent no-picture signs everywhere. There are also a few suprisingly modern bars and a stage; lots of local and international acts travelling through scandanavia play here.
I visited in 2003 and found it very convenient since I was nine hours outside of Amsterdam. The vendors were right out in the open and sold about 5 varieties of weed and one or two varieties of hash. Its reasonably good quality but only compares to the more common, cheaper strains in Amsterdam. Nothing like Slide or Jack Herrer here.
Christiania has apparently hit the bricks this year, as pressure from the locals forced the government to pressure and eventually destroy the hash stands. Wikipedia says since roughly 2005 most of the overt trade has stopped, and its reported there are frequent raids now, so I doubt its nearly as friendly as when I was there. However I would wager the person-to-person trade probably persists to this day and if you are desparate in and in town this is probably your best bet. I dont know much about the Danish drug laws but from what I read previously and people I talked to, getting popped will probably be similar to Germany - a few days jail time and home you go. As always in other countries where the stuff is illegal, be discreet and careful.
Somewheresville, MD USA Sat 05/13/2006
My Amsterdam Experiences
Had a wonderful visit to Amsterdam last fall. I wanted to try the mushrooms and stopped in at a smart shop. I told the person what I was looking for (very strong) and he suggested a Hawaiian variety. I then asked him how much to take, and for any other advice he could offer. He have me a strange look and said, "Thank you." Apparently, lots of folks buy these powerful hallucinogens and don't learn some basics that will allow them to get the most from the experience. FWIW, he recommended having an empty stomach, expect it to take 1-2 hours before you start feeling it. He suggested a minimum dose to accomplish what I wanted and to see how that feels before eating more. He said that chocolate would tend to heighten the effects and orange juice reduce them.
Shortly after eating some of the mushrooms I stopped in at Popeye's coffee shop. They make a ganja chocolate milk that sounded interesting, so I ordered a cup, mentioning in passing I'd eaten some mushrooms. Upon hearing this, the clerk said "No chocolate milk for you!" He explained, "I have a very good customer, comes in one, two times a day for my chocolate milk. One day he drinks the milk and he falls down! 'What's wrong?' I ask him. He says he had eaten mushrooms, so since that day if you have eaten mushrooms I say 'No chocolate milk for you!" Very considerate of him, really.
The mushrooms turned out to be quite powerful, and I'm glad I only ate what I did. There was about three hours of a somewhat unpleasant body high that I spent in my hotel room, but that passed and I ended up with about six hours of super-lucidity. I walked around town four hours and had a nice Indian dinner. But if you haven't had much experience with mushrooms go light and get the low-down from your salesperson.
Thanks for the advice on taking it elsewhere in Europe. Sounds like it really isn't worth it.
Columbus, OH USA Fri 05/05/2006
Paris in April
Just got back from Paris. By the end of the week I was feeling crazy enough to approach two young gents enjoying their early Friday evening in the little park at Pt. St. Louis. They were kind enough to share, with remonstrances that 'it is forbidden' and suggestions for a day trip to Amsterdam. Later encountered some revelers down by the Seine who seemed to have Morrocan connections. What a great way to wrap up a trip--except for almost stepping in front of a Paris taxi in a daze on the way back to the apartment. Discretion in all things in Paris.
Issaquah, WA USA Mon 04/24/2006
I recently returned from amsterdam on the 10th of april. everything is still going strong my buddies overthere tell me that the goverment is getting pressure from other countries in the european union to stop open smoking in coffeshops. however the marijauna industry over their brings in too much money for their economy to cease what they currently do.
hialeah, florida USA Mon 04/17/2006
I hear that Amsterdam went "smoke free"...now you aren't allowed to smoke in the coffee shops. You can only buy it and then have to smoke outside. Has anyone else heard this??
denver, co USA Sat 04/15/2006
Marijuana in Europe
A word of warning to anyone who ventures further afield than Europe: Marijuana my be OK in Amsterdam, but do not try to obtain/carry/use it in Asia. Several countries still have the death penalty for drug smuggling. You may be offered drugs - do not accept, as sometimes this is part of a "sting" operation. This has happened outside Bangkok airport, in particular.
Seattle, Wa USA Wed 04/12/2006
Nice coffeehouse & hotel
Just returned from Amsterdam (March 2006) and enjoyed the coffeehouse experience. Barney's coffee house has expanded and there is a new location a short walk from Rembrant Plein right next door to the hotel we stayed at Seven Bridges, Reguliersgracht 31, (great hotel!!!). I would recommend this coffeehouse for a first time smoker or someone looking for a cool place to spend some time. Very nice upscale interior, good music and mellow vibe. While the original Barneys is famous for its breakfasts, this location does not serve food. Thanks to some posts here, my friend and I took your advice and purchased a gram of a "light" version of weed so that we wouldnt get too stoned and then spent the next two days smoking it all before our return to a less civilized society!!! I would advise not to attempt to bring weed out of the country although I have to say that I was surprised that I was not stopped at customs back into the US or at the train station back into paris - could be because Im a middle aged mom looking type!!! I think if you are a smoker and want a fun experience this is a great place to go. I would also advise that you do what we did - dont get stoned before going to Anne Frank house - its more appropriate for the Van Gogh museum!!!
Los Angeles, CA USA Fri 04/07/2006
Pot in Copenhagen
Thanks! I had no idea if it was strongly enforced or not. But now I know so I'll just stear clear andtake lots of trips to the neatherlands!
Eugene, OR USA Mon 04/03/2006
Pot in Copenhagen???
Firstly it is quite possible to purchase good quality cannabis in Copenhagen.
Secondly as someone who has smoked it on and off for nearly 35 years it would be very hypocritical if I started lecturing about it.
That having been said it is still illegal in Denmark and the Danish authorities do not turn a blind eye to foriegn students who get caught smoking it. If you do get caught there is a better than even chance your studies will be cut short and you will be sent home and your school board will be informed. The American police may also be informed and certainly your parents will be. It may affect your future employment options it may even lead to a criminal record.
The choice is yours.
Nottingham, UK Fri 03/31/2006
Pot in Copenhagen???
I was wondering if anyone had any information reguarding marijuana in copenhagen. I will be attending school there for 2 months and was wondering how accessable it was.
Eugene, OR USA Thu 03/30/2006
re: Inexperienced but Curious
Evidently, sugar helps take the edge off a high. It always works for me - if I get a little too much of a buzz, I'll eat the cookies, and use real sugar in my coffee rather than sweetner. I once had a reation somewhat like you, and the spousal unit just bought a Coke, and it took care of it.
We really take that first joint slow on our first coffeeshop visit on each trip - some of the pot in A'dam is just so much more powerful than what one usually gets in the U.S. And if it's a bit too much, we just eat a little, and wait for it to pass.
USA Thu 03/30/2006
Planning a visit to Amsterdam? Check out this site.
http://www.amsterdammarijuanaseeds.com/ It's an absolute hoot! Seems it would be fun to take a few notes, then try seeking out some of the more tempting varieties as you nose about the local coffee shops. Each and every cultivar looks potent enough to send a person into a mild bout of anxiety. If the toke is so big it makes you cough, expect to be too paraniod to rent self-guided tour phones from the Rijksmuseum for the next hour or so. All kidding aside, I have relatives there and am aquainted with quite a few native Amsterdammers. None of them frequent the coffee shops.
San Diego, CA USA Wed 03/29/2006
Inexperienced but curious?
It had been more than a decade since my college pot-smoking days, but on a recent visit to Amsterdam I dropped into a coffee shop to give it a whirl.
I wish the guy had reminded me that when I used to smoke a joint, there were other people helping me...
Instead, I smoked half the joint myself before stubbing it out. The room started vibrating and I realized I was as stoned as I had ever been. I staggered out and fell down the steps of the cafe, doing a faceplant on the cobblestones, cutting my head, smashing my glasses and getting a massive black eye.
So if you're alone and it's been awhile, buy one joint, take 2 or 3 hits MAX, ditch it and go for a stroll. Dutch weed is powerful. If a half hour later, you want a bit more, stop in at the next coffee shop (they're everywhere), buy another inexpensive prerolled joint, and repeat. They don't cost much more than a beer.
By the way, some very kind Turkish-Dutch guys helped me to my feet, wiped off the blood with a cloth, got me bandaged up and called a cab for me. One of them went inside and brought out some sugar pills, basically Rolaids-sized candy, to get my blood sugar back to normal.
I'd never heard of this and in my dazed state wondered if they were trying to do something bad. I clutched at my wallet pocket. But they seemed sincere and I could barely stand up, let alone argue. I have since learned from another Dutch friend who smokes pot often that this is a well known and common cure there for people who are over-stoned. Anyone heard of this before?
(The other moral -- Don't assume you know about Muslims in the Netherlands.)
Pittsburgh, PA USA Fri 03/24/2006
Here's a saying....
"I think if GOD put it on earth then smoke it ....." this goes to all the religous people who say god made everything on earth.
Madera, CA USA Fri 03/24/2006
Thanks, X. NORML is an excellent organization doing good work under difficult circumstances. I appreciate your suggestion.
USA Wed 03/15/2006
Russ, if you haven't already, check out Norml - http://www.norml.org/ . Even Willie Nelson is a member.
Amsterdam, NH NL Tue 03/14/2006
If you are a responsible, adult recreational marijuana user, and you vote, why not help to initiate change here in the US? Granted, visiting Holland, Switzerland, et al is great and SHOULD be done, but wouldn't it be nice, for so many people, if we had sensible laws here in our own country? Let's not be shy about having intelligent conversations, openly, about marijuana, our decision to use it, and our right to do so. The modern day prohibition we are currently suffering under is ridiculous, maybe together we can initiate real change. Worth a try?
USA Tue 03/14/2006
On leaving A-Dam with bud, bud
Just want to add my first-hand experience comments. Leaving A-Dam with any bud, although very tempting, is a very bad idea.
So, there I was in Amsterdam, at last! Got there in March 2005, found lots of snow on the ground and plenty still comin' down. Stumbled into Amnesia while looking for The Grey Area, the good folks there provided me a very helpful map listing all the coffeeshops in town, this also turned out to be a good general map of A-Dam, it's paper so get several copies. After a sample of some "intro" bud (at this point I'm in heaven) I was pointed into the direction of the Grey Area two streets away and to the left, found the Grey Area, did my shopping, headed back to Amnesia as it's a cool place to chill, I so agree with the recommendations I've seen on this site. Got to where I couldn't see straight and generally had a good time.
Few days later caught a flight from Schiphol to Luton, just Northwest of London, and I wasn't carrying anything other than the luggage I left the States with. Thought I'd land, grab my bags and be on my happy ass way, but it seems I fit the description of whatever they were looking for. Short hair and clean-cut looks didn't account for anything.
I was stopped by customs for having a passport that "looked a little new," so the friendly customs man said. My passport was confiscated, I was seated in their public holding area while they ran a background check. Squeaky clean, I thought, after that.
Got my passport back, proceeded from the friendly customs holding pen to the terminal, thought I'd made a clean getaway. Oh no, I was stopped again by an even friendlier female customs agent, who had me plop my bags on a table, open them up so she could swab them for any illegal drugs I might be carrying, again passed and was allowed to leave the airport. Whew!
I'm fairly certain their dogs got a sniff or two of my bags between me getting off the plane and exiting the airport. Had I been carrying any pot, I doubt I'd be back in the States writing this.
Now, you tell me if you think leaving Amsterdam with any bud is a good idea? Is it worth possibly screwing yourself out of what could be a great vacation and ending up a the European "cooler?"
If you still think it's worth the risk, read the Luton airport part again, then decide. Whatever your decision is good luck with it.
In my opinion, visit a country for what it has, partake in what you will, but leave only with photos, a few legal souvenirs and some good wonderful memories. You do this and you will get to do it again another time.
Texas USA Mon 03/13/2006
I'm living in Berlin and herb is tolerated for sure especially on the east side where it is regularly smoked inside of bars. If you want some you can pretty much ask any local and they will be able to help you out.
Berlin, Germany Germany Thu 03/09/2006
Re: Paul / Dogs
Paul - German bound trains have a heavy police presence on most routes AMS-germany with hounds etc fairly common. It doesnt really matter what youve got - - the dogs will pick up on it, even if you use the old mythical anti sniffer dog measures- expect little mercy from the German Border guards - Germany uses a hair test to prove useage of drugs & this is something you really dont want to start getting involved in as a visitor - Saying this, some Lander have a standard fine policy or those they catch & you may get a warning, but Importation is a different misdeameanor than possesion. Belgium is more relaxed, but along with France, if you get caught, you could be given a very hard time even of the offense may be fairly minor under each countrys statutes -Getting caught as a citizen of a country with hash is a diffeent ball game to a tourist bringing grass in.
Its up to you at the end of the day & the risk is reasonbably low - even if you get caught, any subsequesnt fine etc will be token & pretty low for any small amount of hash etc.
The worry is for for US citizens- the European governments/police routinely share this info with their US counterparts, so you may be blacklisted at your US port of Entry if you get caught - As we all know, having your name on an immigtation officers computer may cause many problems with future travel or even employment.
Its up to you, but remember you are a tourist & what goes for locals & residents may not be strictly applied to visitors. Keep in in the 'Dam you will be be OK.
OH USA Mon 03/06/2006
RE: First Time to Amsterdam
We've been to Amsterdam five times in the last three years, and found the best quality and good service at Amnesia, Bluebird and Grey Area. Amnesia was one of my favorites to purchase and just chill at.
I also enjoyed Abraxas. I think it's cool, and if I want a orange juice or need to check my email, that's one of my favorites. Another comfortable place to have a coffee and a smoke was Blue Dolphin. As a reference, I'm a 37 y.o. female.
USA Sun 03/05/2006
RE: Coffee shops near Schiphol??
I have looked in the past, and there just isn't anything near Schiphol - Amsterdam is only 15 minutes away by train and there are shops right by the train station. On our best day, with carryon luggage only, we arrive at Amsterdam Centraal about 1 hour after landing at Schiphol.
With that being said, I'm not sure if you'll have time to go to a coffeeshop during your layover. 1.5 hours is just not that long (considering you will need to go through immigration/customs on the way out, and security, etc. on the way back into the airport). If you went for it, it would be very tight, in my opinion.
If you had a three hour layover, you'd have time.
Best of luck...
USA Sun 03/05/2006
i returned home form A'dam late last night and boy was it a blast. my rick steves a'dam travel book pointed me in the direction of the greenhouse effect and the grey area. it was everything i had dreamt it would be. thank you rick.
pensacola, florida USA Fri 02/24/2006
Marijuana in Italy
I've been hearing lately about this:
"The Italian parliament Monday voted final approval for a new drug law that reimposes sanctions for marijuana smokers and erases the distinction between "soft" and "hard" drug users. The law could subject pot smokers to loss of their drivers' licenses and passports, as well as involuntary drug treatment. As DRCNet reported last week, the bill calls for prison sentences of six to 20 years for drug offenses, including possession, although people caught in possession of very small quantities of drugs -- the amount is yet to be determined -- would not face jail time."
more info here: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/422/backward.shtml
not sure on all the facts though yet, if its true thats too bad. Similar actions are being taken in Australia too.
USA Fri 02/10/2006
Italy/ Turin/ Onympics
is it worth it ? In the past 2 weeks, 40 Brits have been arrested at Turin Airport carrying drugs with them as they arrive for the Winter Olympics.The police are cracking down on casual use this winter. Maybe you ought to think about respecting the laws of the country, rather than plan to break them before you have even arrived ?
OH USA Thu 02/09/2006
I am going to Italy for the olympics and was wondering what the bud situation was in that area. Is it accesssible, and if so how should I go about getting it.
NJ USA Wed 02/08/2006
Re: First time to Amsterdam
L.C. - I would suggest Amnesia (Herengracht 133) - nice relaxing place, and they have a great air filter so it is not overwhelmingly smoky for people that aren't used to it. As for what to buy - start out with the less expensive stuff - it gets more potent as the price rises. And take it slow - one puff at a time. A lot of people go too fast on A'dam smokes and can get a little freaked. Have a good time!
Boston, MA USA Wed 01/04/2006