Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/acpaqzsg/public_html/rw_common/plugins/stacks/armadillo/core/displayContent.php on line 598

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/acpaqzsg/public_html/rw_common/plugins/stacks/armadillo/core/displayContent.php on line 598

Is Amsterdam about to ban tourists from the city's coffee shops?

Amsterdam's mayor has asked the city council to consider a new law that would limit the use of coffee shops to local residents. First of all, understand that when we're talking about 'coffee shops' in Amsterdam, we are not talking about the local Starbucks, which would be called a koffiehuis or a café. No, a coffee shop is a place to buy and smoke cannabis. Cannabis is officially illegal in The Netherlands, but the government allows licensed 'coffee shops' to sell amounts up to 5 grams (per person per day). The government also turns a blind eye to individuals possessing amounts up to 5 grams.

So why would the mayor want to limit access? Because the coffee shops attract a lot of tourists, many of whom come for no other reason than to buy and smoke weed. And more tourists is one thing Amsterdam does NOT need. One recent study by the Dutch office for Research, Information, and Statistics bears this out. Tourists between the ages of 18 and 35 see coffee shops as one of the main reasons they come to Amsterdam (57%). When asked what effect not being able to visit a coffee shop would have on their travel plans, 34% of tourists said they would visit the city less often, and 11% said they would not return at all. Among certain nationalities, 44% of British tourists, 45% of French tourists, and a whopping 50% of German tourists said they would not visit the city again. 

Coffee shops exist in towns all over The Netherlands and many have already placed restrictions on sales to non-residents, so this is not a novel idea being proposed. The city's mayor would like to see less tourism around the coffee shops and Red Light District, and more focus on the artistic and cultural heritage.

Show more posts

Compare Rental Cars

Find great deals on hotels


Eurailpasses and Train Tickets

A Single Stop for European Rail Travel

Hand Crafted Travel's Blog Archives

With over 40 years of travel experience, we are experts in many areas

Hand Crafted Travel respects your privacy. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.


Some offers that appear on this website are from companies from which Hand Crafted Travel® LLC may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Please view the Privacy Policy for more information.

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any advertiser or affiliated company. Any product claims, statistics, quotes or other representations should be verified with the manufacturer or service provider.

All content © 1992 – 2022 Hand Crafted Travel LLC

We love cookies. Most cookies are delicious, but those aren't the kind of cookies we're talking about. We use little files called "cookies" to make our website awesome for you. By using our website you consent to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.