Cannabis social clubs in Barcelona vs Coffeeshops in Amsterdam

— 6
min read

Which is the difference and what is in common in the coffeeshops in Barcelona and Amsterdam ? How to get inside and which are the rules of those places?

More and more counties are legalizing marijuana but each of them is choosing their own rules. First of all, every city makes a description of drugs, its classification but at most of them where marijuana is legalized, it is possible to buy it in a special place, coffeeshops. All the people who want to sell you some weed at the streets – they are criminal and all the things that they are doing are illegal. So the best thing is to know the laws and the rules to enjoy your time in the city and spend it without any problems. Today we will see the difference between coffee shops in Barcelona and Amsterdam.

Coffe shop photo

First of all let’s see what is it, the coffee shops in Amsterdam. It looks like a usual cafe, with the signboard and it is the first difference with cannabis clubs in Barcelona, because in Spain, usually people could not see any name of the place outside, normally it is just a door so members of the club know where to go and it is not a problem for them, but people from the street will never see that here is the place with marijuana.

Is it legal?

One thing in Spain and Netherland is the same that marijuana is legal for personal use. Also, there are two groups, depending on their influence on health – soft drugs and hard drugs. Hard drugs as cocaine, LSD, morphine, heroin are forbidden in all the countries all around Europe. As for soft drugs which are cannabis, it is legal in a way of personal use, but not for a free sale. That’s why it is possible to buy it at the special places called coffeeshops. According to Amsterdam weed laws, every person who is more than 18 years could buy 5 gr of marijuana legally in any of Netherland coffee shops.

In Spain, coffeeshops have different statuses. In general, they called coffeeshops too but it is not so easy to go and buy some weed there. Here you have to be a member of the club because it is more like a social club where people with the same interests could have a good time together: smoking weed, playing video games or doing yoga. You have to be 18 or 21 years, depends on the place and you need to have an invitation to join the Barcelona weed community.

How much does it cost?

First of all, there are no official marijuana prices at any place: you will not see it on the websites of coffee shops in Barcelona or Amsterdam. It will be like an advertisement in that case and it is prohibited in all the countries. But everywhere it is possible to buy the joint with weed and tobacco or just weed. Also in Netherland, there are more varieties of any weed edibles. But the main thing is to be careful with the dosage and not to order all in one moment: cake and joint, for example, it could be too much. The price of the weed differs from the place where the coffeeshop stays and how many tourists usually have visiting it. Also, it depends on the quality of the weed: good things could not be cheap. But in general weed prices in Amsterdam are a bit more expensive than in Barcelona.

How to get into the Amsterdam clubs?

For getting inside you just need to have your ID and that’s all. Don’t forget that you can’t buy more than 5 gr of the weed. As for coffeeshops Barcelona you need to have an ID, an invitation and pay an annual fee (usually it is around 20 euros).

Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

How it is the weed clubs in Amsterdam and Barcelona?

Weed in Spain is a thing that creates a community around itself. So people not just come to have a joint but also to meet with people, watching football, listening to concerts or having some parties with a DJ. You can find here billiard, board games, etc. As for the clubs in Amsterdam, they mostly look like a cafe, without any special things. But in both cities, Barcelona and Amsterdam they are focused on the design, so you can find really interesting places. For example Weed Club Eixample.

How to pay in the social clubs?

Weed clubs in any country prefer cash. In some places, it is impossible to pay with the card. The difference is that to buy marijuana in Barcelona you need to put money on a special card of the club, you don’t use the money inside the place. But at the coffeeshops in Amsterdam, you can pay by cash for a joint, you don’t need to have some membership or special cards.

How is the quality and variety of the strains at the clubs of Barcelona and Amsterdam?

At the Amsterdam clubs, the quality of marijuana is very high, the same as Barcelona’s. Of course, we are talking about official clubs, not the weed from the street sellers. As for variety in the Barcelona coffee shop menu, it is possible to find more rare types of weed, according to the reviews of people who had been at the dutch coffeeshops and in Spanish clubs.

Where is it better to smoke weed, in Barcelona or Amsterdam?

It is not easy to compare because they have different systems of getting weed and in that case, it is a different community. In Barcelona marijuana is not the thing that you can easily get, you need to be a member of the community to get into the club, but on the other side you can really do a lot of things inside, so it is the social club, where people meet not only to smoke but also for its atmosphere.  Amsterdam is the city where coffeeshops look like a normal cafe so it is easy to come inside and buy a joint but you don’t have an experience as you are doing something special.

In conclusion, it has to be said that the system in both countries is different but the most important thing is that marijuana is legal in some way and people can use it without any fears but following with some rules (for example in Amsterdam you can buy it and take away, in Barcelona it is not allowed). So the time is changing and more and more countries make the status of marihuana legal. let’s see what will be in some years, maybe we could buy some joint at the supermarket?:)

Carla Gallego
Author — Cannabis enthusiast, researcher and editor of Cannabis Guide Barcelona