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Amsterdam Coffee Shops / Brown Cafes

The coffeeshops or "brown cafes" as they are often referred to are like the "Marmite" of Amsterdam - you either love them or hate them. Around since the 1970s, these are "licensed" premises where small quantities of all types of cannabis may be bought and smoked. They are called coffeeshops (one word in Dutch) as they are not allowed to serve alcohol.

The concept is simple: Go in, order yourself a coffee or whatever you fancy from the menu and then take a peek at the other menu which will have any number of varieties of cannabis - Afghan, Moroccan Skunk, Purple Haze and many, many more. You can buy the raw stuff and roll your own joints or you can buy pre-rolled (and pretty potent!) joints. Remember that you should only buy what you intend to smoke yourself during your stay. Selling or exporting of drugs is most definitely illegal and will land you in big trouble.

As well as the joints, you will be able to buy all sorts of cigarette papers and smoking paraphernalia. You can even buy hash cakes which whilst they may look like something granny might bake, they are very strong indeed - so be warned! The keyword is always - act responsibly...