Tourism: Amsterdam plans to ban weed in parts of the city centre

Amsterdam plans to ban weed in parts of the city centre

The red light district De Wallen in Amsterdam. photo

© Koen Van Weel/epa/dpa

Cities like Venice, Barcelona and also Amsterdam are in danger of attracting too many tourists. In the canal metropolis, stricter rules should now apply in some areas.

Some tourists still see Amsterdam as a drug paradise, but the city now wants to curb harassment in the center with a ban on smoking. In order to keep Amsterdam liveable for the residents and to protect against excessive party tourism, there should be stricter rules, the city announced.

The open and free character of Amsterdam gives many visitors the wrong impression that “everything goes and everything is allowed”. The measures mainly affect nightlife.

Gastronomy and window prostitution should close earlier and stricter action should be taken against bachelor parties and organized pub crawls. A “discouragement campaign” is to target international tourists who “want to let off steam” in the capital.

The planned weed ban in parts of the inner city does not target sales in coffee shops. Rather, the “Blowverbod”, like the existing ban on alcohol, is intended to prohibit consumption in the open air on certain squares and streets, otherwise there is a risk of a hefty fine.

The ban is part of a package of measures with which Amsterdam wants to defend itself against “overtourism”, ie the prospect that far more tourists will crowd into the city than is tolerable. More than 18 million visitors are expected in 2023. This means that the self-imposed limit of 20 million tourists has almost been reached, the municipality explained.

Amsterdam has 900,000 inhabitants. The tightened rules are to be decided by the city council shortly before Christmas.

Report City of Amsterdam


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