Amsterdam has a long history of tolerance and liberalism. In the past centuries when other cities in Europe were being ruled with hatred and intolerance, Amsterdam was a haven for those whose thoughts were quite progressive. This liberal tradition has continued until today. A few decades ago hippies discovered that Amsterdam offered a magical haven to them, were drug use was not repressed as it was in other parts of Europe. That was the beginning of the legendary status of Amsterdam as an asylum for those who believe that marijuana and hashish are essentials in living a good life.
Although the city is trying to restrict drug use in some aspects, it is still a safe haven for people all over the world. Their coffee shops in particular offer more than just the regular beverage that you can find in cafes from other European cities. If you are planning on visiting Amsterdam any time soon, then here are the best Amsterdam coffee shops that you can drop by in:
1. In ‘t Aepjen- How many cafes can claim to have a history that dates back to 1509? Not many I guess, but this one can. This place is worth going to just for the feel that it can give you. They have tried to leave it as authentic as they can. They even have reproductions of some Rembrandts along the wall.
2. Café Alto- There are those who claim that Amsterdam was the entry point for jazz into Europe and that this café was at the centre of it all. The claim about Amsterdam being a jazz pioneer is highly unlikely but Café Alto was indeed at the centre of the jazz culture in the city. It played host to some of the greatest jazz artists to have lived. Duke Ellington and Count Bassie are just two of the jazz royalty who played there. Now they are still serving coffee and music there, though things can get a little crowded once the music starts playing.
3. Café Latei- You might have noticed that the coffee shops in Amsterdam have a tendency to serve more booze and drugs than actual coffee, but if what you want is a cup of nice Arabic coffee then this is the place that you should visit. This place also sells a ton of bric-a-brac. You are going to find it overloaded with stuff that you might find interesting.
4. Rokerij- Now this is the kind of coffee shop that has made Amsterdam synonymous to heaven in some parts of the world. You can take things easy here and just sit on one of the recliners that they have to offer to the customers. It is filled with exotic objects from different parts of the world. Just the right kind of setting for those who want to enjoy their opium in the right place.
These are just a few of the “coffee shops” that you can visit in Amsterdam. Be sure to visit these when you stop by in the city.