/ The Amsterdam Guide

Coffeeshop De Tweede Kamer

Coffeeshop can only mean one thing in the Netherlands: a place where cannabis is openly smoked and sold. You will have no problem in finding a coffeeshop, because Amsterdam has about 300 scattered over the city. A numbered green shield showing a marihuana leaf against a green and white background indicates a licensed place. If you think that buying and selling marihuana is legal, you are wrong. Soft drugs are tolerated.

Hidden away in a narrow alley, off Spui, is de Tweede Kamer Coffeeshop, a favourite of locals and tourists alike ever since its opening in 1985.

The phrase Tweede Kamer translates as Second Chamber (of parliament), House of Commons in UK or House of Representatives in US, and is a wink to the Dutch Parliament who made coffeeshops possible, or is it just a name?

The Tweede Kamer is a popular place and you may count yourself lucky if you find an empty seat. Soul, drum ‘n bass and reggae abound as do newspapers and magazines. They are all there for you to browse. You may mistake the place for a bruin (brown) café, a place where people from the neighbourhood come for a snack and a drink. Bruin refers to the dark often wooden interior and the smoke-stained walls. The Tweede Kamer is exactly such a place. The only difference is that they also sell soft drugs but no alcohol.

The Tweede Kamer is a homely place; deep burgundy curtains, comfortable seats and a casual atmosphere. Photographs and enlarged stamps covering the walls are unexpected alternatives to psychedelic art popular in many coffeeshops. The constant high quality of their marihuana and hashish is their trademark. Their menu lists Grape and Utopia Haze. NYC Diesel and Jack Herer are all time favourites. After a few puffs, you know why. The unique feature of their menu list is that it tells what kind of buzz you can expect.

If you do not want to enhance your mind, simply ask for coffee. Their espresso is a recommendation and some people just come for that.

WHAT: Coffeeshop De Tweede kamer
WHERE: Heisteeg 6 (map)
Monday –Saturday 10 am – 1 am, Sunday 11 am – 1 am

photo credit: personal collection

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Tags: coffee shop aka hash bar, Just a Bit Weird - Fun & Quirky Places

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