The booming days of smart shops in Amsterdam have long gone.
Ever since the Dutch government banned the selling of dried magic mushrooms (in 2008) and fresh magic mushrooms (in 2009) by law, many Amsterdam smart shops had to close and focus on online sales.
This means magic mushrooms are not for sale any longer, but powerful substitutes such as Dragon’s Dynamite (magic truffles) are easy to get at smart shops and online at their internet shops.
In 2008, over 40 smart shops in Amsterdam existed, selling so called ‘smart drugs’.
One of the most popular products were magic mushrooms.
Magic mushrooms (or ‘paddo’s‘ in Dutch), contain psilocin and psilocybin, substances that, when eaten, have strong psychedelic effects.
Magic mushrooms are considered to be safe and not toxic.
However, the effect can be quite overwhelming and young tourists coming to Amsterdam tend to underestimate the effects of the hallucinations.
In March of 2008, a 17 year old French girl famously died after jumping of a bridge in Amsterdam. Allegedly, the girl had been under the influence of magic mushrooms.
This was not the first incident and by December of 2008, magic mushrooms were put on the list of ‘hard drugs’.
Smart shops and head shops
Comparable to so called head shops elsewhere (like England) and grow shops, smart shops sell drug related paraphernalia like (water) pipes, rolling papers and tips, grinders, vaporizers, weed seeds and home grow kits for marijuana and mushrooms.
Although magic mushrooms are now forbidden, there are truffles available, also called Philosopher’s Stones, that contain the natural ingredient of psilocybin. When eaten, they have a similar effect as magic mushrooms.
Although the effects depend very much on the person who takes the drugs (expectations, experience) and the surroundings (noisy, quiet, secure). In general, sensatory feelings change and most people feel relaxed.
People who have bad experiences (a ‘bad trip’) can feel confused, irritated or suffer from panic attacks, paranoia and depression.
Duration of trip
So how long does a trip last? Well, the effects of truffles don’t last as long as mushrooms.
A magic mushroom trip starts with 5 hours and can last up to 7 hours. A truffle trip can last from 2 up to 5 hours.
Also the effects are somewhat more subtle and milder.
What they sell in smart shops
Apart from magic truffles, Amsterdam smart shops have products on sale such as the Peyote cactus, herbal XTC, energizers, aphrodisiacs, hallucinating seeds and pills to help you recover from alcohol and ecstasy hangovers.
Also there are appliances available with which you can test the quality of mdma (XTC) and cocaine.
Smart shops in Amsterdam
At the moment there are some 10 ‘real’ smart shops in Amsterdam. Most thrive on internet sales.
However, to sell herbal drugs, a special license is not required, so many cheesy souvenir shops have started to sell smart drugs as well.
Where to buy?
It is recommended to buy smart drugs in a real smart shop. In a good smart shop you will be extensively informed about the effects and dangers of these products, so as to be well prepared before taking these drugs.
Buying at online smart shop
If you are on holiday to Amsterdam it’s best to visit one of the smart shops named below. It is not advised to bring any smart product home with you on the plane.
Instead, you can buy magic truffles, grow kids, cannabis seeds, vaporizers and all kinds of chemical and herbal drugs easily online.
Azarius is an Amsterdam based online smart shop, one of the first.
Best smart shops in Amsterdam:
Azarius.net also has a real store, located in the Kerkstraat 119, Amsterdam (near Leidseplein).
Conscious Dreams was one of the first and best smart shop in the good old days. They now have two shops: Kokopelli and Dreamlounge.
Kokopelli is a large shop that doesn’t only provide smart drugs. It’s a place to enjoy a drink, surf on the internet or just lounge about. With books on spirituality, videos, art gallery, and spiritual music, this shop has a definite shamanistic atmosphere.
Kokopelli is located near Central Station and the Red Light District at Warmoesstraat 12. Open till 22.00.
Dreamlounge is located in between Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein at Kerkstraat 9. (Open from till 21 from Tuesday to Saturday, open from 12 to 18.00 on Sunday and Monday).
Magic Mushroom Gallery
Magic Mushroom Gallery also has two shops. The one in Spuistraat is by far the largest. All products are also for sale online. They advertise their home made ‘world’s strongest herbal XTC’.
Spuistraat 249 and Singel 524.
Open Thursday – Sunday 11:00 – 22:00 and Friday-Saturday 10:00-22:00.
Small, but with friendly staff who is happy to inform you, is Innerspace. They regularly serve party people locally with a stand at popular outdoor dance music festivals such as Dance Valley and Awakenings. Located at Spuistraat 108 and Staalstraat 5 (near Waterlooplein).