With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

What did you “do” in Amsterdam?

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 20, 2018

November 19th – 22nd, 2017

The short answer is

…not pot. I wanted to, but the circumstances were never right.

Let me start out with some information. It is legal to smoke, consume, and have small amounts of marijuana in the Netherlands. There are some conditions on buying and using weed though. Buying cannabis from some guy on the street is not allowed; neither is smoking on the street. You must buy marijuana from a coffee shop.

I don’t mean that you can just waltz into a Starbucks and light up. The coffee houses where you buy weed and smoke will have special green and white signs posted on the front window or door. Of course, you can take your stuff home and smoke it there, assuming your landlord is cool with that.

a pancake restaurant

We were staying at an Air BNB and our host didn’t want any marijuana in his house. We respected that, so the plan was to just get some pot brownies and eat them at a coffee shop. When I thought of a coffee shop, I went too literal in my mind. I imagined a nice place where little old ladies drank tea and got stoned. There would be lots of cakes and scones with tables and chairs covered in doilies.

As you’ve probably already guessed, I’ve never done drugs before. As a teenager, when most people do their experimenting, I just didn’t. I had no interest in it. My mother however, thought I acted strangely and had accused me several times of being high and bringing drugs into her house. “Why do you act so weird,” my mother would constantly ask me. “You dress so oddly. You’re always in your room with the door locked. And, you’re always listening to horrible music! You must be doing drugs.”

I don’t know how my mom made such leaps in logic, but I did nothing to dissuade her. I figured, if she already thought I was doing drugs, half my job as a teenager was done. I could take the money I would have bought pot with and buy more CD’s of terrible music. “That’ll show her!”

Do you have any “other” kinds of plants?

The plan was that Mark and I would spend most of the day sightseeing and then look for a nice coffee shop in the evenings. We looked online and found a few that sold edibles. But, when we actually went to them I had no interest in going in. The coffee shops all looked like that area at school where all the stoners hang out.

The coffee houses were all very crowded with many people sitting on the floor. Most people were smoking giving the place a very hazy look. And, 80% of the people there were young males who looked like they hadn’t seen daylight in weeks. Think dread-locked backpackers with dirty Che Guevara t-shirts. You know the kind who travel with a guitar.

People like us

“Where do respectable people in Amsterdam go to eat pot brownies,” I wondered. The last thing I wanted was to be cramped in a smoky room for several hours eating mediocre treats around sketchy guys all while my clothes took in the odors of pot and cigarettes.

I guess people like me, who live in Amsterdam, would just buy their brownies and take it home. I couldn’t do that. So I didn’t do anything. I just toured around the city then went home without any pot.

The coffee houses might have had a different look during the day. If we had gone around noon, they might not have been so crowded; I don’t know. But, that would have meant giving up a day of sightseeing. We weren’t in Amsterdam long enough to waste a day and I didn’t want to try pot that badly.

Maybe I’ll try some on my next trip to the Netherlands.


Visa Information:


  • 112 is the only emergency number in the Netherlands.







  • Only buy your drugs in the coffeehouses.
    • Do not smoke weed on the streets or in parks.
  • Stay out of the bike lane.
  • Watch out for trams and electric buses. They don’t make much noise so, you won’t hear them coming.

Our Lord in the Attic
(Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder)

Basic Information



  • € 10
  • Audio guide – free


  • Su 13:00 – 18:00
  • M-Sa 10:00 – 18:00



Statue of Anne Frank at the church near the Anne Frank House

Basic Information



  • 9 euro
  • audio guide – free


  • 9:00 to 22:00
  • closed on Yom Kippur




  • At the time of my visit, tickets could only be purchased online.
  • It is not allowed to take photos in the museum.

(The Dutch Resistance Museum)

Basic Information



  • €10
  • Free Audio guide


  • 10:00 – 17:00




  • There is a section just for kids. I guess adults can look through there too, but it’s child sized.

Don’t Miss:



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