Written by Rhian Roberts 

From the 17th century trading giant of the Dutch Golden Age to the sprouting bohemian coffeeshops of the late 1970’s, for centuries Amsterdam has been a melting pot of the weird and wonderful. Today Amsterdam remains the go to destination in the Netherlands for many of us Brits, but many of us don’t venture far beyond the Red Light District or the Museumplein. While the relaxed drug laws may lure tourists to the picturesque capital for a few days of getting off your tree by a canal, just a short wander into some of the less tourist overrun areas of the capital, will make you realise that there is so much more to this unique city than what many of us experience on our messy weekends away.

If you do decide to head for the Coffeeshops when visiting Amsterdam, or any other major cities in the Netherlands, then don’t become too lackadaisical, remember that you are still in a foreign country and while The Netherlands may generally be considered one of the most tolerant countries in the world when it comes to drug laws, it is important to realise that there are still laws in place in relation to drugs, and that drug related offences can still be committed. The Netherlands Opium Act covers nearly all psychotopic drugs and states that drug trafficking, dealing and possession are all criminal acts.

If you’re after a unique sweet treat that won’t get you high, then I have to recommend Poffertjes, quintessentially dutch, these miniature pancakes alongside a bottle of Chocomel are a must have when visiting the Netherlands.