Looking For A Coffeeshop? A Few Tips For Choosing The Best Amsterdam Experience

What's New — By Anna Bandurska on September 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

It’s no surprise that many people come to Amsterdam to visit one of the city’s coffeeshops. After all, where else can you walk into a coffeeshop and not only order drinks and snacks (spacey and not), but also peruse a full menu of marijuana, arranged by potency and effect for your smoking pleasure?

There are so many coffeeshops to chose from, and the fact that they’re such popular tourist destinations have caused many to neglect quality of service in exchange for high customer turnover. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a coffeeshop, to make the most of your experience. And if you are looking for just a cup of coffee, you need to visit one of the city’s many cafes.

Comfy Seats
The most important factor to consider when choosing a coffeeshop is whether they have comfortable seating. If you see a coffeeshop with bar stools, keep in mind that without back support, they will become uncomfortable very quickly, and you probably won’t feel like moving after you sit down and have a smoke. Instead, go for chairs or couches, or padded booths.

Hill Street Blues on the Warmoestraat has couches and comfy chairs overlooking the Amstel, and is a great place to sit for a while and relax. It also has table service and a menu complete with milkshakes and ice cream, so there’s no reason to leave in a rush.

Mood lighting
Lighting is also important at a coffeeshop. Bright glaring lights are meant to make you tired and leave soon to ensure high customer turnover. Instead, go for soft or colored lighting.

The Tweede Kamer is a small, cozy cafe, with dim lighting, warm hues and a comfy home feeling; the quality of the marijuana is also known for being very high. The only down side of the Tweede Kamer may be its size; since it’s quite small you may not always be able to find a seat.

Pretty and Shiny
When you visit a coffeeshop you probably want to stay for a while to enjoy the experience, in which case it’s good to be in a place with something pretty to look at. Chose a coffeeshop with lots of colors and textures, and different colored lights.

The Dampkring (same ownership as Tweede Kamer) is a good example of a coffeeshop with eye candy. The walls are covered with colorful mosaic tiles, while the tables have bright patterns. This is also the coffeeshop that was featured in the movie Ocean’s Twelve.

A Room With A View
Some coffeeshops have great outdoor seating, or windows with an amazing view. This is also a good form of eye candy and will make your time more entertaining as you people watch.

The Old Church coffeeshop, despite being overpriced and notorious for poor service, makes up for these nuisances with it’s excellent view. Get up to the second floor and look out the window, or sit in the square; either way, you will be able to enjoy the view of the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam’s oldest church, as well as the bustle of the Red Light District.

Coffeeshops are the city’s most popular tourist destination, and with so many customers it’s no surprise that many exploit their popularity by providing lack lustre service. But if you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find a comfortable coffeeshop to make the most of your time in Amsterdam.

The Tweede Kamer, Amsterdam's quintessential coffeeshop experience.