Zamnesia's Amsterdam Coffeeshop Awards 2018

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Best Coffeeshops Amsterdam

We want to hear from you! Which coffeeshops in Amsterdam do you like best? Vote today and help us select the top 15 Amsterdam coffeeshops for our 2018 Hall of Fame.

Welcome To Zamnesia’s Amsterdam Coffeeshop Awards 2018!

If you have ever been to Amsterdam, surely you have encountered quite a few coffeeshops during your stay. If not, imagine a beautiful city packed full of discreet little establishments scattered all over the place, each one offering its unique personality and vibe.

Each coffeeshop has a backstory. Many produce their own strains. They will feature different kinds of decor, colours, sounds, tastes, and smells. Some are noisy and dynamic, others are cozy and relaxing. Which ones did you find appealing and which were just appalling? We want to hear from you! Help us create Zamnesia’s Coffeeshop Hall of Fame


Zamnesia’s Coffeeshop Hall Of Fame

Last year, we made a quick and informal list of the top 10 coffeeshops to visit while you are in town, but this was not a community vote. We would like to change that.

Here are the rules of engagement for this year's round:

  • Voting is possible till 16-06-2018.
  • Don’t be shy and head over to our ballot voting system and pick your top 3 favourites.
  • The top 15 most voted establishments will be added to our Hall of Fame. These will be listed on our blog along will a full review including their flagship strain, pictures, videos, and even testimonials.


Will the previous top 10 be able to maintain their seat on the leaderboard? Or will there be a collective mutiny to dethrone them, making way for new contenders to be inducted into our prestigious Hall of Fame? It is up to you to decide.

Winners To Be Announced At The Cannabis Liberation Day Festival

Sunday June 17th is the day all Dutchies celebrate international cannabis culture. Cannabis Liberation Day hosts an annual festival, free to the public, where visitors can enjoy an excellent musical line-up, attend speeches by cannabis experts like Ed Rosenthal, get active in the 'Cannabis Olympic Games' and, of course, mingle with other like-minded spirits.

It is on the festival's stage that we will announce the ultimate winners of the Zamnesia Amsterdam Coffeeshop Awards. So if you happen to in Amsterdam on the 17th, do not hesitate to visit the festival, and root for your favourite coffeeshop.

Cannabis Liberation Day, 17th of June 2018, Flevopark Amsterdam



The Grey Area: Is Weed Legal In Coffeeshops?

Quite a legitimate precaution, this question needs to be addressed to deconstruct some of the myths and misinformation surrounding this issue. Is smoking weed legal in Amsterdam? Technically, it is illegal to smoke weed in Holland. Coffeeshops were an experiment to try and separate hard and soft drug markets and trade circuits. This is why today, authorities turn a blind eye to mundane cannabis aficionados.

Individuals are allowed to possess 5g of cannabis at any given time, while coffeeshops can only hold 500g before re-stocking. It is tolerated for you to smoke indoors in these designated places. Keep your behaviour civil, and you should face no penalty.

Are coffeeshops legal? In a nutshell, yes and no. This is the big grey area in Dutch law. Otherwise, how could some coffeeshops still be open for over 40 years now? Currently, there are somewhere around 175 of these establishments in Amsterdam alone, roughly half of which have been in existence since the mid-90s. Recently, a law was passed that prohibited coffeeshops within 250m of schools, which forced many to close their shop.

The legality debate is centered around cultivation, which is highly frowned upon in excess of five plants. Shop owners, therefore, have to source the product from external vendors to keep stock levels up, and can only conduct business inside their own premises. This makes no sense at all, as all it does is promote clandestine operations. Legislators are aware, and revision is a common theme in debates of the States General.


Plan A Coffeeshop Tour

If you are planning to visit Amsterdam, you really should plan ahead. Sure, it is fun to embrace adventure and let the randomness of events surprise you. Nevertheless, we are sure a little preparation will make you enjoy the city and its offerings to the fullest. We invite you to laser target your itinerary, become a proficient coffeeshop scout, come back, and vote for your favourite!

Here are some tips and pointers.

By far the best thing to do is get a copy of the Coffeeshop Guide Amsterdam. This comprehensive guide has all the relevant information you will need. Think of it as a cannabis version of Lonely Planet. This 168-page book is packed full of information. You will find practical maps, addresses, menus, and hidden treasures like shops away from the tourist center that local folk visit.

Coffeeshop Guide Amsterdam

Do not confuse “coffeeshop” with “koffiehuis” or “café”. A café is a place for soft drinks and snacks. A koffiehuis is an actual shop that sells coffee.

Every shop is unique. Sure, they all sell weed, but the magic of Amsterdam is in the finer details and individuality. Some shops are high in sensorial stimuli (music, arcades), while others feel more like chill-out centers. Some shops are just for dispensing and do not want you around for too long, while others are perfect for congregating with your friends.

Don’t order the unknown. Ask! Sometimes menus have fun names that seduce people into thinking a product is innocuous. A “Pineapple Express Shake” will not necessarily be just a refreshing beverage, and not all “space cakes” will transport you to the same planet!

Use moderation. Do not go binge buying weed products. If traveling in a group, share before buying more. Sharing is caring, and sharing cannabis is a form of love. The last thing you want to do is to dump lovely baked cakes or several grams of top-shelf bud into the dumpster before getting on a plane back home.

Do not play the hero. Especially with edibles. You may think you have a high tolerance because you smoke every day—but rest assured, every single toker that visits the city thinks the same, and more often than not, they are confronted with a whole new level of getting baked. Take it slow and let it grow.

Keep your eyes wide open! Holland is the place with the highest number of bicycles per capita in the world. Up to 99.1% of the population is a cyclist in some way or another. 27% of all transportation is made on one. They are extremely quiet, so be extra sure to look both ways as soon as you get stoned.


Go To Amsterdam!

Be like a pirate and set sail over to Amsterdam! Besides the weed, it is a magical place with stunning architecture. Cultural offerings are plentiful, the nightlife chaotically entertaining, and the Dutch people a joy to interact with. For the munchies, we recommend smoked cheese (seriously!) and, of course, the bazillion forms of cooked herring. Take some stroopwafel in your bag should you need a sweet blood sugar boost, or a kroket if you prefer a salty taste.

Embrace the adventure of finding your favourite coffeeshop, and be sure to vote and let us know. We really do want to hear from you.

Guest Writer

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

Find out about our writers

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