Exploring Coffee shops in the Netherlands - Part II Our favorite shops in Amsterdam, NL
While we spent a bunch of time in Haarlem, Netherlands we also made a few day trips to Amsterdam to explore the coffee shops that are known around the world. Amsterdam is filled with plenty of coffee shop action from right when you exit their train station you begin to smell the cannabis pouring from the corners of the streets. One of the closest shops to the train station is a little place called Babylon (located in the red light district) this place was expensive, but if your in a time crunch and can’t go hunting down the other shops check out Babylon it’s down the first street in Amsterdam catty-corner from a once-was shop called the Grasshopper which can be seen across the canal as you walk down Amsterdam’s main avenue. Below is the google map for - Babylon Coffee shop
I can’t stand behind this place as they hustle you and seems like one of those ‘tourist trap’ coffee shops – keep reading for some more quality experiences in Amsterdam.
By far one of our favorite coffee shops in Amsterdam was the Bulldog (pictured above) this place has great vibes, nice buds and hash, great coffee drinks and even a great selection of space cakes / brownies / edibles if your trying to eat your high instead. A little background on the Bulldog it was Amsterdam's first coffeeshop and because of this we knew we had to plan a visit to the very first shop. With some seating outside and limited seating inside (neat cow covered stools) grab a seat, grab a cappuccino, grab some buds and prepare for lift off. We purchased a gram of their hash and it was probably some of the best we discovered while in the Amsterdam area. The staff was friendly as long as your not acting like a total ‘noob’ when I say that be sure to read our first post on Coffee shop so you understand the etiquette in these place – oh yeah don’t forget to tip your budtender as well. After enjoying one visit here we stopped back later in the same day to grab one of their infused brownies (a treat for my birthday) which was mediocre in strength (not something I recommend for new users) but the packaging was awesome and it looked much better than a variety of space cakes we had seen else where. Seek out the Bulldog here’s an image from the inside with a google map underneath – click here to go to the Bulldog’s main site.
Around the corner from the Bulldog Rockshop is another really iconic coffee shop called Dampkring – if you’re good with movies you should recognize the interior of this coffee shop as they filmed a scene from Ocean’s 12 in here. Dampkring has a really cool vibe to it – they serve up some unbeatable milkshakes and coffee drinks – we also saw them selling plenty of space cakes from behind the bar. The budtender here was really kind to us and let us smell about 5-7 different strains before choosing he then told us ‘If they don’t let you smell it, then don’t buy it’ which is a great rule of thumb. There are a lot of poor coffee shops in Amsterdam that purely care about your money – so make sure you do your research and smell that green before you buy it so you know what your getting into. Also this is a good indicator if the shop is genuine or not – we enjoyed our chat with the budtender here at Dampkring and after grabbing some buds, and a milkshake we enjoyed a smoke at the bar with their friendly shop cat. Here's a collection of images from their Instagram - and below is a map of where Dampkring is located on google maps - click here to go to their main site DAMPKRING & the Oceans 12 clip here!
Here's a short list of coffee shops in Amsterdam we did not like, did not feel welcome in and we can't recommend these places to tourists because they weren't worth it in our opinion: the Dolphin (claims to be one of the best in the area - we felt otherwise) and Coffeeshop The Otherside (not good vibes from the bud tender).
By far one of our favorite places to visit was the Abraxas coffee shop – probably the most visually appealing shop in all Amsterdam – imagine falling asleep into a stoner’s imaginary dreamland and then waking up inside the Abraxas tree house style coffee shop. Abraxas is located down in a more hidden area in Amsterdam (see google map pin below text) we found the souvenir shop before locating the coffee shop, which is connected next door. When you think of coffee shop – we imagine Abraxas… spiral stairs leading up take you to different smoking areas I believe it has 3 levels and a tree has been incorporate into the interior design which adds that extra hippie feel to every corner you turn in Abraxas. Grab some buds at their main counter when your first walk in, grab refreshments from the bar then climb the stairs to a mysterious corner in their tree house like shop – a great places to mingle with other backpackers this seems to be a second home for many hostel visitors and out of towners. We felt at home inside Abraxas chatting with some Americans to our left and watched as copious amount of people walked up and down the spiral stairs looking for a spot to chill (the seating can fill up and clear out in an instance so just be patient). If you want to take a small piece of Amsterdam home with you check out their souvenir shop next door which has some really neat leather rolling trays, bud containers, grinder cards and more fun stoner paraphernalia. Abraxas nailed it out of the park for me as a globe trotting pot enthusiast – the vibes were perfectly hazey, yes it can seem busy at times but be patient a space will clear, but if you want the true Amsterdam coffee shop experience take our advice and check out places like: Abraxas, Bulldog Rockshop and Dampkring.