When you are on vacation in Amsterdam you might want to explore the city. Wandering around admiring the wonderful architecture while enjoying a beer. Of course, you don’t want to get in trouble and might want some more info on this topic.

Can you walk around with alcohol in Amsterdam? It is forbidden to drink alcohol in a public space: on the street, in parks, on the sidewalk, on the stairs in front of your home. It is prohibited to have opened bottles or cans of alcoholic beverages with you. Violation of the alcohol law carries a fine of € 95.

Spend your € 95 enjoying your stay in Amsterdam! In this article, I will give some more info about drinking alcohol in Amsterdam and what to expect.

Alcohol in public places in Amsterdam

When does the alcohol prohibition apply?

When ApplyWhen not apply
In public spaces: on the streets, in parks,
on the sidewalk, on the
stairs in front of your house or in
the porch of the house.
On a terras at a catering
Day and night. On Kings Day (national
holiday 27 April) you are
allowed to carry one (light) alcohol beverage

In some areas, you may or may not drink alcohol in public. The district takes extra precautions by hanging signs that forbid to drink alcohol or smoking weed. These are mostly areas where it is easy and tempting to hangout and thus a bigger change that people can misbehave due to the alcohol, public intoxication.

Public intoxication, also called public drunkenness, is also prohibited. Yelling on the street, drunk talking, or simply not able to stand on your feet are ways you will get a fine.

What is the fine for drinking in public in Amsterdam?

For drinking in public or public intoxication, you will get a fine of € 95. In case of substantial public intoxication (obstructing traffic, disrupting public order, or threatening the safety of another) you can get a fine of € 380. Taking into consideration, you can also get a fine when you are not able to legitimize yourself with an ID. The fine for that is € 90.

How old do you have to be to buy alcohol?

Sellers are not allowed to sell alcohol to you if you are not 18 years. Also, the sellers risk a fine if they do. You are not allowed to have any alcohol in public places if you are younger than 18 years, even if it is light alcohol.

  • Light or weak alcoholic beverages: This has an alcoholic percentage under 15%. Examples: beer, wine, port, sherry, vermouth, mixed drinks
  • Strong alcohol: this has an alcohol percentage of 15% and higher. Examples: rum and liquor

If you buy alcohol in a supermarket, cafe, and such, you will always be asked for an ID if they have doubts about your age.

If you are under 18 and you are caught having alcohol in your possession, you will risk a fine or community service. If you are between 12 and 16 the fee is € 47,50. are you 16 or 17? the fee is € 95. These amounts are without administration costs.

Is alcohol expensive in Amsterdam?

I am surprised. According to European statistics, the Netherlands is not the most expensive country across the EU when it comes to alcohol and it is below average. Of course, buying alcohol in the supermarket or at a liquor store will be much cheaper than in a club, pub. and such.

In this example, you can get a beer for between 4 and 8 euro. It all depends on the location. The further you are from Amsterdam Central, the cheaper it gets.

On Friday Night Drinks, between 5:00 – 9:00 PM, I go with colleagues at this place where you find for as low as € 2,80, before heading to Amsterdam Central to party.

Can you drink alcohol in coffee shops in Amsterdam?

The first time I went to a coffee shop I had a “what the…..” moment when I asked for a beer. These coffee shops literally sell coffee and no alcohol. Understandable, if you are not a frequent drinker or a frequent smoker, a mix of both can kick in strong. If they did sell alcohol, imagine all the wasted people on the streets. Not to mention all those fines for public intoxication.

Do coffeeshops in Amsterdam take Credit Cards?

To avoid embarrassment it is best to have cash on you and always ask if Credit cards are accepted before ordering. Even supermarkets don’t accept Credit Cards. The majority of coffee shops don’t accept Credit Cards and are even cash-only.

Is weed legal in Amsterdam?

The Netherlands is often seen as a paradise when it comes to smoking weed. Despite the many coffeeshops in Amsterdam, weed is illegal but at the same time legal. The (opium) law, in general, implicates that the use of soft- and hard drugs is not punishable, only the trade and production of this. Contradictory to this is that it is illegal to grow weed but it is allowed to sell it in coffeeshops

Many popular or busy places and areas are prohibited by the district to smoke weed. This is more to control the excessive use of it and police tend to allow it if no one is bothered. A new trend is that in the excluded areas also the use of laughing gas is prohibited.

Toleration policy softdrugs and coffeeshops

Because of the fact that soft drugs are less harmful than hard drugs, soft drugs are tolerated. You are allowed to have 5 grams of cannabis (weed, hash) in your possession.

Coffeeshops are allowed to sell weed and pot under strict rules:

  • It is not allowed to sell more than 5 grams of soft drugs per day to someone
  • It is not allowed to sell hard drugs
  • It is not allowed to sell soft drugs to minors (under 18)
  • Minors are not allowed in the coffee shop
  • It is not allowed to sell alcohol
  • No nuisance may be caused in the area.
  • No access and sale to anyone other than residents of the Netherlands

Rules coffeeshop clients have to follow

If coffee shop owners don’t obey the law, they risk losing their license to sell cannabis. So as a client it is very important to keep that in mind and respect their rules. If possible try to follow the rules below:

  • Try not to get in trouble.
  • If there are smoking areas, use them. Don’t smoke in the shop.
  • Always have your ID or other documents that can confirm your age.
  • Don’t bring alcohol or food in the shop to consume.
  • Don’t buy weed or any drugs from street dealers. it is also for your own safety

Related Questions

Can you drink alcohol in Amsterdam Parks?
A park is a public place. The law is that it is not allowed to drink in a public place. Therefore it is not allowed to drink in a park.

Are there open container laws in Amsterdam?
It is prohibited to have opened bottles or cans of alcoholic beverages in your possession or in a vehicle, including the backseat and both passenger and driver’s side. Even if the vehicle is stopped or parked.