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Grasshopper (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

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      09.04.2010 14:23
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      A place you cannot miss if in Amsterdam

      The Grasshopper is a coffee shop / restaurant / bar conveniently located right in the centre of Amsterdam, right on the edge of the red light district, just off Damrak, 2 minutes from the train station. There are 3 floors..... The top floor houses the toilets (for which you must pay 50c to use but for this they are always kept pretty clean) and also a seating area from which you can order food. The middle floor, which is actually up a few steps from ground level, is the 'pub' type bit. In here you are allowed to smoke, there was, a short while ago, a separated area behind glass doors where you could smoke but the last time I went they had removed that so it's open plan again. There are a mixture of bar stools with table and lower tables, plenty of seating for everyone. The music is usually general. chart stuff etc. The beer isn't cheap, especially bottles. A general rule in such places in Amsterdam is to try and stick to local beer, Heineken for instance, as if you are drinking Strongbow, for instance, the cost is sky high. It gets nicely busy in the evenings, especially at the weekends, so this is a good place to go if drinking, rather than smoking, is your thing in the 'Dam. The lower floor is kind of in the basement, down some stairs from ground level. This is the coffee shop part so as you would expect this is where people can purchase cannabis as well as hot and cold drinks. The area in which you can sit and smoke is separated from the 'bar' and the staff do not go in there so when you buy a coffee for instance it will be in a disposable cup and you must clear your table away afterwards. This was brought in since they tried to impose the smoking ban on Amsterdam a couple of years ago and this is their compromise which is fair enough. It is cosy and quite dark with green painted walls and lighting and paintings of grasshoppers on the walls. Again, like the bar it isn't cheap but this is probably one of the most famous coffee shops in Amsterdam and so you are paying for the name really. Having said this, my friends and I are in agreement that their coffees are amongst the best you'll get in Amsterdam, lovely and milky with a free biscuit!! There are at least two other Grasshoppers (other than this one, which is shown in the picture) in Amsterdam, another one which is just out on the centre and one which is down in the Leidseplein area (which is a lovely part of Amsterdam). It's a place you should certainly visit if you are in 'Dam but just remember it is costly and you will get much better value in some of the many smaller less well known coffee shops and bars.

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