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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.



How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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  1. D.J. - The World of Deej

    April 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Great post…brought back some fun memories. Well, they are fuzzy, but still fun:)

    I agree with the spacecakes. I had a long debate with my friend about the viscous they produce. You eat one, you get hungry, you eat another, you get more hungry, and on and on:)

    • Cole

      April 1, 2012 at 8:46 PM

      Thanks D.J! We have debated about whether or not to post this or not but decided it would be better to educate some people as most are going to try it anyway! We never tried spacecakes but I was tempted.

      • Wyn Williams

        January 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Nice article, I go to the Dam a lot and your pretty spot on, defintly people new to AMsterdam should ask questions and guidance, that what the staff are there for 🙂 also try a few shops and if it is your first time do not go near space cakes

        Oh and yeah, smoking is back on with out any problems in Amsterdam !

        • Cole Burmester

          January 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

          Thanks Wyn for the update! Adela recently returned on a girls weekend too and confirmed you can smoke in Amsterdam 😉

  2. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    April 2, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    I was a big “head” in my early 20s. The fact that cannabis is illegal is ridiculous–- the result of decades of intense lobbying by the tobacco and alcohol industries, who stand to lose a fortune if weed was legalized. The truth is, weed is far less addictive or damaging to our bodies than cigarettes or alcohol. Thankfully, the Obama Administration had gradually slowed down “the war on drugs” here in the U.S. If you’re ever curious about the history of marijuana laws, I highly recommend a book called “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” It’s eye-opening, to say the least!

    • Cole

      April 2, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      Haven’t read the book but will look in to it. Thanks Bret.

  3. Natalie

    April 2, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    I can understand you debating whether to post it or not but at the end of the day, most people associate Amsterdam with this establishments anyway. Better to educate because like you say, if they are searching on google for info then they are going to try it anyway. Like that you put the warnings at the end and beginning. I think that adds a lot to the post

    • Cole

      April 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      That was our reasoning behind it as well Natalie. Hopefully our Mums won’t mind too much 🙂 We really wanted it to be educational rather than “go to Amsterdam and get high!”

  4. Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator)

    April 2, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Good post Cole – Yes, i would agree that drinking and smoking weed on an empty stomach never goes well. I like the reality on your post and the way you educate vistors visiting Amsterdam. My wife and I did go to Amsterdam and as we both are non smokers did not venture into these coffeeshops. Will certainly guide people to your post who do visit a coffeeshop for the first time in Amsterdam. Thanks for posting it – Cheers

    • Cole

      April 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Thanks Abishek for sharing it! Always appreciated. We were really worried about posting this as we didn’t want to come across as promoting drugs in anyway. We don’t smoke or anything ourselves but did try it in Amsterdam so thought it would be better to educate. Hopefully everyone sees it that way!

  5. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    April 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    O this reminds me of the time we had space cakes in Amsterdam. LOL. Good thing we only had one. I think it’s a great post to share. We wrote a similar one when we went in 2006. I don’t think you’ve promoted drugs in any way. Love that you included the warnings and how-tos for those looking for a safe way to experiment in Amsterdam. 🙂

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      Thanks Kieu! We were really hesitant about sharing it (and not sure what Mum and Dad will say haha) but feel glad that we wrote it now 🙂

  6. Laurence

    April 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Those hot chocolates look amazing! Just the sort of thing you would want after a bit of a smoke. This is a very informative post. I’m with Bret on this one. Cannabis is one of those things that really shouldn’t be illegal, particularly as tobacco and alcohol are just as bad if not worse. The other downside of the war on drugs is the negative light that other members of the cannabis tree get painted in. Hemp for example is an incredible natural resource that is seriously underused in our world, because of it’s associations with weed. It’s a messed up world!

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      Haha just like my reply to Bret, I am not going to get in to the whole argument about whether it should be legalized or not 🙂 But yup the hot chocolates were delicious 🙂

  7. dtravelsround

    April 2, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    These are great tips! I have been there twice, visited Bulldog twice. The thing to remember is not to go crazy with the smoking!

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Totally D! We are not experts so made sure not to over-indulge.

  8. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    April 3, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Haha, fun post, guys! We don’t smoke — but good to know!

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      We don’t either but felt that we had to try it since we were there. Made a good post in the end 🙂

  9. Kurt

    April 3, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Ha I so miss Amsterdam. For many reasons besides the bud, hash and canals.

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Amsterdam is actually a great city and it is kind of a shame it is only really known for smoking and sex!

  10. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    April 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Kali and I are heading to Amsterdam at the end of this month, and one of the things we’d like to try are the coffeeshops. We’re total noobs as well when it comes to weed, though, so I’m glad I came across this!

    • Cole

      April 3, 2012 at 8:37 PM

      Glad we could help Christy! We had no idea what to do either! We have heard that there are better places than Bulldog Cafe but for a start I am sure you will enjoy it! Enjoy the peep show too haha.

  11. Sophie HeadingThere

    April 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Ha, brilliant! I remember going to a cafe where the walls and tables were covered in graffiti. What was it called? Blue…something? I guess my head was a little fuzzy!

    • Cole

      April 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Can’t help you there Sophie sorry! Glad you enjoyed the post though. We were really worried about posting it and wondering what sort of reaction it would get.

    • Jonnhy

      December 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM

      Hill Street Blues Coffe shop

  12. Laura

    April 5, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    A friend of mine returned from Amsterdam and confessed to me that half of the money he had spent on that trip had been on weed. The funny thing is that at home he never touches the stuff. 🙂

    • Cole

      April 6, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Hahaha your friend sounds like the typical Amsterdam tourist! We never smoke at home either so it was a bit bizarre but the experience was still awesome.

  13. Bud Tender

    April 6, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Here are a bunch of actual coffeeshop menus, just for background information.

    Bud Tender

    • Cole

      April 8, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Thanks Bud Tender! Great list for our readers.

  14. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    April 8, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Brilliant! I do like the photos with the coffees and the hot chocolates… 😉 But I love Amsterdam, such a pretty little city with all the small cafés by the canals, heading there again next weekend

    • Cole

      April 8, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      Yea it doesn’t all have to be about the weed. Hopefully we will return again sometime but so many other European cities to visit!

  15. Erik

    April 9, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Good, helpful information! People are going to try it, it’s best they know what they are in for.

    I have been to Amsterdam quite a few times, and wether smoking in the coffeeshops is your main goal or not, it is important to make sure you see the city. I met way too many stoners who only went for the pot. I have no problem with that, but too many hadn’t seen any of the city. It seems to me that missing such a great city to sit around stoned all day is unfortunate. I always tried to tell them, don’t get so fried that you can’t at least enjoy strolling the beautiful canals.

    Agreed on the space cakes- I’ve seen way too many people freak out or just being way too uncomfortable after eating those- an experiment I’m glad I never tried!

    • Cole

      April 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      Cheers Erik. We were really worried about posting this but have had a good response so really glad we did in the end. Totally understand what you mean about visiting the actual city. So many tourists seem to stumble in and out of coffeeshops all day and miss out on some amazing sights such as Anne Frank’s house! We were warned about the space cakes as well so really glad we didn’t try them!

  16. cheryl

    May 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I love you guys for posting this! 🙂

    I don’t get why people think that having some weed at a coffee in the ‘Dam is such a bad thing. Do it, have fun. Why not?

    I may or may not have visited a coffee shop during my visit to Amsterdam.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Thanks Cheryl! We were really worried about posting this. Glad we did it though as the majority of people have congratulated us while others have asked why did we post it if we are not experts! And we are definitely not experts but like most people we like to experience different things so tried our best to write a beginners guide for it 🙂

  17. Steven

    June 11, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Thank you so much for the information. Do most coffeeshops speak English?

    • Cole Burmester

      June 12, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      No worries Steven. And yup pretty much everyone we met in Amsterdam spoke fluent English so you will be fine! Have fun 🙂

  18. Brenda Scott

    July 31, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    great places to enjoy weeds in moderation…hope every place or countries will allow that kind of venues for marijuana users…”legally”

  19. Colin

    September 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    The notion that foreigners cannot purchase weed in AMSTERDAM is utterly false until 2013 and the law may not even go into full effect thanks to loss of enthusiasm from the bill’s original proponents Onno Hoes (Mayor of Maastricht). The wietpass law has taken effect in southern Netherlands and cities like Maastricht but NOT Amsterdam yet. I’m not exactly sure where you heard that but verify stuff before you post it bro. Refer to the Bulldog’s website lol

    • Cole Burmester

      September 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      Thanks Colin for bringing that to our attention. We have amended our post and hopefully will hear from someone else that has visited soon to confirm whether they can smoke there or not.

  20. Felipe Cassity

    September 28, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic post.Really thank you! Fantastic.

  21. Eli

    October 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Thank you very much Cole for the interesting and informative read!! I am planning on going to Amsterdam in a few weeks and very excited to try this “strong” grass there 🙂 I also appreciate the fact that you stress to be responsible and not stupid and of course don’t fuck with the law haha

    Thanks again and stay high my friends,

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      Hahaha thanks Eli for dropping by! Let us know if you have any problems getting in “strong” grass while you are there. We are not quite sure of the laws at the moment, so any information would be great after your visit. If you remember it… haha 😉

  22. kbeth

    November 3, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Leaving in two weeks for Amserdam. I know the Cannibus Cup is going on. Will the coffeeshops be crowded because this event? Hope not to have problems. This is my 3rd time..but many years ago…So hoping all is cool..

    • Cole Burmester

      November 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      Actually have never heard of the cannibis cup. You will have to tell us how it goes!

  23. kbeth

    November 4, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    Here is the site. It is the High Times Magazines Annual Cannibus Cup.

  24. Kim Wild

    November 28, 2012 at 2:38 PM


    I thought I’d clear a few things up on here and other silly rumours on the internet.
    After some investigating a couple of months ago, I made a point of speaking to every coffee shop owner/employee on my visit – I went to 9.
    It’s fine to smoke weed in DESIGNATED smoking areas outside (these are clearly marked), you can still smoke tobacco in the coffee shops (I actually went to buy some herbal tobacco and they said it was fine to smoke my Golden V) and as for the crazy rumours and ‘reports’ about changing the law – every single coffee shop dismissed the idea. It would destroy their economy and tourist base. I honestly think its our governments trying to crack the control whip again.
    Also you may say you don’t condone drugs, but passive smoking will still get you high.

    Peace, one love – I’m going back to my commune… Sorry full time job 😀

  25. Patricia

    December 20, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Going on a transatlantic cruise in May, 2013, will visit Amsterdam for 2 days, any further details about the coffee shop ban for foreigners?

    • Cole Burmester

      December 21, 2012 at 6:39 PM

      Hi Patricia,
      On Adela’s last visit in November they were allowed to buy weed fine. Not sure what will be happening in May though sorry. We are not aware of any rule changes at this time.

    • Toby

      April 21, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Hi Patricia,

      I’m a local and can tell you that smoking weed in Amsterdam is still allowed, also for tourists. I doubt that it will change in the near future, if ever! Furthermore you are actually also allowed to smoke in public. Although it is very uncommon, the owner of a pub, bar or café may permit the use of cannabis in their establishment. However buying it is only permitted at locations with a so called declaration of tolerance (coffeeshops).

      I hope that the weather in May will be sunny. If so, buy some weed at a coffeeshop, go outside and sit on the edge of a Gracht (canal) or go chill at Vondelpark and enjoy the Amsterdam lifestyle.

      For more information check the official City of Amsterdam homepage:

      Enjoy your stay!

      • Cole Burmester

        April 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        Thanks Tony for your extra information 🙂 Always great to have more insider tips!

        • Toby

          April 21, 2013 at 10:56 PM

          Toby. 🙂

  26. Vincenzo Giuliano

    December 22, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Buying weed is still allowed, went to a coffeeshop last week and had mo trouble whatsoever.

  27. pat

    January 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    hi there,
    im going to holland soon
    i would like to know a place to go. a town.
    i will be there one day.
    i would like to smoke diferent kind of weed and try some mushrooms 🙂

    thanks for the infoooooo


    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Hey Pat,
      Best advice is to find a good centrally located hostel in town and then ask them to show you around! They always have the best advice 🙂

  28. Sean M

    February 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I guess I will just have to travel to Europe now! Thanks for the tips!

  29. Marie

    July 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    can we consume cannabis when we ARE 18 since you said OVER 18 ?

    • Cole Burmester

      July 27, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      Yes you can smoke weed in Amsterdam when you are 18 Marie.

  30. Lotte

    September 12, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Actually, it’s not illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. I live there and its totally fine to smoke.

  31. Alejandra

    October 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    I have a question, Is there some park or place different to Caffe or Bar for smoke weed without problems?

  32. angelica

    April 7, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I wish I had read this before going to Amsterdam. For those who don’t do drugs please don’t mix mushrooms and weed together. I did that big mistake and Omg had the worst experience of my life. I totally blacked out. I took 4 puffs and looked at my husband who wasn’t smoking thank God and told him I’m done. So he comes to me to comfort me, I looked at him and I told him I’m dizzy, once he put his arm around me I was DONE! he told me I closed my eyes and started shaking then fell on the floor. When I finally could respond I was sweating like crazy, I couldn’t see, but I could hear everyone calling my name and blowing on my face. I couldn’t feel my body at all. They took me outside to get some fresh air. I blacked out again a medic was helping me they we’re giving me water with sugar which I vomit 3 times, they were forcing me to eat a chocolate candy but my mouth was so dry I couldn’t swallow. They put some ice on my head multiple times because it was melting very fast. My heart beat was sooooo fast and then extremely slow. The medic was scared cause he lost a guy (died) doing weed and mushrooms . I could hear everyone talking and worried. I remember everything after waking up. All I could think about was “OMG I must look like shit” “My hair” I could tell you more of what happened but I was like that for almost 3 hrs. Anyways Amsterdam is a beautiful place. Don’t just go there for the weed. Please people who haven’t smoked before I strongly recommend you not to do it. If you don’t need it know you won’t need it later.

  33. Zeke

    May 13, 2014 at 3:16 AM

    Hey, great post guys, just wondering if you are still allowed to smoke marijuana in Amsterdam as a foreigner in 2014? Any ideas?

  34. Richard

    August 28, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    I know many people who have never been drug users. But it is literally impossible to visit Amsterdam and not to smoke some weed or eat a brownie. Anyway, thanks for an awesome guide!

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Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.




Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here



Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter



As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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