One day there might be a museum dedicated to all things cannabis in every major city, but for now you’ll have to come to Amsterdam to visit the world’s first and only Hash Museum. With marijuana being (effectively) legal to buy and consume in Amsterdam’s many coffee shops, including dozens in this same Red Light District neighborhood, this is something they can get away with here, and it’s actually much cooler than you might think, so read below to find out why. This is one of the few RLD attractions that don’t involve sex or alcohol.
This is one of the many unusual museums in Amsterdam, which seem to thrive alongside the big and famous art museums that are also popular. There is an Erotic Museum AND a Sex Museum here, not to mention the new Vodka Museum, and plenty of others aimed squarely at the weekend party crowd.
A note to real potheads – Read the section about sampling below, and that will tell you why it’s not really the best idea to come here right after you leave one of the many coffee shops in the area.
What to expect
If you are a pothead or general cannabis enthusiast, this place is pretty much a must-visit attraction, but if you are just an occasional weekend toker or not even a smoker at all, you are better off skipping this place. It’s run by a family that takes the subject very seriously, so this isn’t some flashing-lights-and-psychedelic-posters trip into the rabbit hole. It’s filled with interesting displays regarding the history of cannabis use, including quite a bit relating to the “Reefer Madness” days of government misinformation.
There’s also various displays showing different smoking methods as well as plenty of information about the cultivation and processing of the plants into marijuana and hash. You’ll also get the story of the non-stony hemp plants and how the near-worldwide prohibition on cannabis is denying the planet of what could be its best source of energy, fuel, cloth, rope, and everything else, according to some people.
The greenhouse display
In what is probably the second coolest thing about this place (see below), you’ll have an opportunity to peer in on an actual growing operation behind the panes of glass. If you’ve never seen large and healthy plants thriving indoors under grow-lights, the novelty of this alone is strong for the true believers.
Sampling the goods
This part isn’t included in most descriptions of this museum, but it’s true – I shit you not. Just across from the greenhouse display you’ll often find a guy sitting behind a desk, who’s there to answer all your questions. And if you are nice about it, he’ll demonstrate the Volcano vaporizer with you. If you’ve never tried a vaporizer, this is the best place to give it a go, especially since he’ll pack the bowl for you with some of the finest weed or hash in the world. As long as things aren’t too busy, you’ll probably be able to take a few hits, so the admission price for the museum pays for itself right here. The samples are free, but it’s best not to march up and demand anything, because it’s sort of an unofficial thing.
The sign on the desk says the hours he’s there are Wednesday through Saturday, from 13:00 to 18:00 (1pm to 6pm), but he told me he’s usually there even more often than that. If this is a big deal for you, I suggest you come during those hours, just to be sure. And I also recommend that you visit the museum itself before you get stoned at all. It’s actually not as trippy as you might think, and this way you’ll be able to properly enjoy the vaporizer and feel the effect more purely.
This place is owned and operated by the Sensi Seed Bank, which is one of the biggest and oldest seed companies in Amsterdam. The seed company itself is just next door to the left, so if you are interested in buying some seeds, they’ve got you covered.
Admission price and hours
€7 for adults
€5 in groups of 10 or more
Free for under 13 accompanied by an adult
Open 10am to 11pm every day
Location and phone number
The museum is located along a canal in the Red Light District, and it’s actually quite hard to spot unless you are specifically looking for it. The signs are such that you can see them from the other side of the canal, but they can be hard to notice as you walk right by them on this side of the canal. There are no window prostitutes in this part of the RLD, so no one should feel too weird about approaching the place.
1012 DV Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 20 624 89 26
Map of the Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum
Check out the main map of Amsterdam page to see where the Red Light District is in relation to the rest of the city.