Let’s be honest, a lot of the tourists visiting Amsterdam not only come to see our majestic canal belt, visit world class museums or to experience where Anne Frank was taking shelter during WW ll. On the contrary actually, despite all the beauty that the city has to offer many of the people coming to Amsterdam are here for the coffee shops, smart shops (mushroom, truffles and more) and red light district! Having lived in Amsterdam for whole my life and considering all of this to be normal, I hardly realize how special it is to have so much freedom, tolerance and so many different drugs to experiment with openly without ending up behind bars! While working and communicating with tourists a lot over the last year, seeing their excitement for everything that is waiting for them in Amsterdam but also finding out many of them have huge question marks over their heads when it comes to the (soft)drugs usage, it is time to start sharing some of my own experiences!


What to expect?

Trying out something new is always a bit anxious and exciting at the same time, especially with drugs! You don’t know what to expect, how your body will react and of course all the bad trip stories out there don’t help too much either to start getting to feel comfortable with your upcoming trip. For me personally it has already been 5 years ago since my last magic mushroom trip. Quite a few things changed since then actually when it comes to selling and the types available in the shops about which I will explain more a bit further down the blog! I am drifting away from the topic ..

What to expect after eating the mushroom(s)? Let’s start with the first stage: the consuming part. I never was a big fan of mushrooms since the very childhood so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the eating part of my trip. The worst part is that it doesn’t make sense to swallow them fast. To make sure you make everything out of your trip you need to chew on them endlessly until they get all mushy and you get all the psilocybins out of them. Then its time to swallow the mushy stuff!  Another way of making sure the trip will kick in fast is to eat the mushroom(s) on an empty stomach! Don’t expect to start tripping right away though. It normally takes 30 to 60 minutes before the fun really starts. The first thing that you  will mention is that things around you start to gain more contrast and you start paying more attention to them. All your senses are starting to get a huge boost now. Everything you feel, see or hear will be so much more beautiful compared to how you normally experience them. When everything goes well you start to feel high and euphoric. Some people prefer to lay down,  close their eyes and drench themselves into a warm bath of colors, unlimited thinking and happiness. Others prefer to keep their eyes open and to look at all the magic happening around them. It will look as if the whole world is coming alive, things will start to change form, you will see colors and light doing the craziest things but in general in a very soothing, calming and mind blowing way. To me it never was frightening. The intensity of the trip will go up and down and can last for more than 4 hours. The best part is that you will be fully aware of everything happening and will keep feeling a sense of control.

Frame of Mind series. Composition of human face wire-frame and fractal elements with metaphorical relationship to mind, reason, thought, mental powers and mystic consciousness

Almost banned

Since December 2008 they banned magic mushrooms in the Netherlands. Possession and selling them became illegal. In a couple of cases where a man killed his dog, a young girl jumped down an overpass and another guy going insane in a bar, being under the influence of magic mushrooms was believed to be the cause of all these tragedies. Eventually politics adjusted the legislation and banned them.  There always was a lot of skepticism regarding the true cause of these incidents. Later it was proven that there were no traces of magic mushrooms in the blood of both the girl and the man killing his dog. Luckily the politics only put up a list of mushroom types that they banned but not the psychedelic compounds psilocybin and psilocin! When people started to realize this, the hunt for new magic mushrooms started and mother nature didn’t disappoint them. Politics overlooked one type that was growing underground: the truffle!


Magic Mushrooms or Truffles?

When you visit one of the smart shops in Amsterdam you will see different types of truffles. A couple of the well know ones are:  Mexicana’s, Hawaiians, Dragon’s dynamite, Mushrocks and Tampanensis. Some of them quite obviously named after their banned cousins! :) All of them provide the same intense colorful psychedelic trip and feelings of euphoria. Some of them are stronger and require more experience than others. In general smart shop re-sellers are very helpful when it comes to explaining all the different types and give you some decent beginner advise.  Don’t be afraid to ask!



Amsterdam has many different smart shops but here is a list that I know is reliable and have good experiences with!

When nature calls: Very decent and beautiful shop on the corner of Leidsestraat and Keizersgracht. Great variety of different products and very helpful staff.

Magic mushroom gallery: Cool shop in Spuistraat. Hard to miss the Mario look a like sign outside their shop!

Kokopelli: Very close to the red light district in the Warmoestraat you will find this very curious smart shop. Even if you are not interested in tripping this shop is worth a visit.


Do’s and dont’s

Obviously no drug is completely risk free. From my own personal experience I found mushrooms a very cool , nice and warm experience. Mushrooms are a product from nature and of course no chemical components are added. They are being consumed for thousands of years by tribes all over the world and praised for their spiritual capabilities. To make sure your trip is going to be an unforgettable one please keep the following in mind:

– Consume them with people you like.

– Be in a place you feel safe and comfortable.

– Don’t consume them if you feel sad, anxious or down.

– It is a product of nature. Try to get as close to nature as you can for a mind blowing experience. Go to a forest, park or other beautiful place with nature nearby.

– If the trip is getting to intense eat or drink something with a lot of sugar. You will come back to earth soon! :)

– Get decent advise from the smart shop and don’t start with the strongest ones.

This post is also available in: Dutch