In need of a cigarette in the middle of the night while in Amsterdam? It happens to all the smokers I know regularly and they all hate it. ‘Where to buy cigarettes in Amsterdam at night?’ might be one of the most frequent questions visitors ask locals here. In general, in the Netherlands, you can buy cigarettes at supermarkets, newspaper stands and gas stations. However, where to go at night?
In Amsterdam, you can buy cigarettes at night convenience stores like Avondwinkel de Schelde, as well as at 24/7 gas stations. There are also many cigarette vending machines in bars and clubs. The price of cigarettes is the same everywhere in the city, no matter where you buy them (including the airport).
The article will give you a pack of useful information where you can buy cigarettes at night, as well as some general regulations on smoking in Amsterdam. I’ve also added some extra details about the best cigarette shops in the city and some facts and stats on smoking in the Netherlands.
Places to Go At Night When You Want to Buy Cigarettes in Amsterdam
In general, it’s not very hard to buy cigarettes. They are easily available at supermarkets, newspaper stands, and gas stations. You can also buy them in some vending machines in clubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes. Sometimes cigarettes are also available at the bar in pubs. When it comes to supermarkets, most of them also offer cigarettes. Among the others, the cheapest chain supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi. If you suddenly feel you need to buy some smokes, it’s not very difficult, even in the very middle of the night. There are many options to choose from, especially if you’re staying close to the center of the city. Take a look at the table below to see some exemplary spots-to-go when you run out of smokes at night. These are the ones I would recommend if someone asks me where to go.
|Type of venue
|Avondwinkel de Schelde
|Mon-Sat 6pm – 1am Sun 6pm – 12am
|Avondwinkel van Wou
|Van Woustraat 243
|Mon-Sun 5 pm – 2 am
|De Wittenkade 90-96
|Mon – Fr 4pm – 12 am Sat 3pm – 12 am Sun 2pm – 12 am
|Total Gas Station
|Mon – Sun 24 hours
|Mon – Sun 24 hours
|Mon – Sun 24 hours
Convenience Stores and Gas Stations
As you can see, the best option is probably to find the nearest convenience store. A ‘convenience store’ (for those who aren’t familiar with the name) are small shops where you can buy almost all the things you need, even at night. Very often they offer quite tempting deals on alcoholic drinks. Even if such stores don’t have much in assortment, they seem to have to look everything you need around. Smokes, cookies, chocolate, beer, sometimes a bottle of champagne? Yes, yes, yes. More convenience stores needed! Unfortunately, because of some government regulations, they cannot be open 24/7 but 2 am is still quite ok. On the other hand, a gas station is always a good choice. For many people, they look safer than convenience stores and I cannot blame them. Besides, gas stations are usually open 24 hours 7 days a week so to me, they are more attractive than convenience stores. Just perfect for cigarette runs, huh? And, correct me if I’m wrong but in my opinion the atmosphere there is usually much friendlier than in convenience stores.
Which Ones Are More Expensive?
As far as I have noticed while traveling to various European countries, cigarettes, in general, are very expensive in the Netherlands. It’s because of taxation. However, the good news for smokers is that prices are controlled which means they are exactly the same everywhere. There’s no difference where you buy your favorite cigarette, even if you buy them at the airport. They cost 6 – 8 euros per pack of 20, depending on the brand.
Sales of Cigarettes in the Netherlands
Of course, the Dutch government discourages smoking. This is why some crucial regulations have been worked out, mainly in order to reduce the sale of tobacco products. First of all, you can only sell cigarettes to people aged 18 and older. And if someone wants to buy tobacco products for minors, it’s also considered illegal. Every time the ID check is mandatory. Not only do buyers have to be over 18, also employees who sell tobacco have to be 16 or older. On top of that, you cannot advertise tobacco products and electronic cigarettes. It’s prohibited. Same as giving away tobacco products and electronic cigarettes free of charge.
There are even regulations on tobacco products vending machines:
- Such machines have to be locked.
- They can only be unlocked in order to make a sales transaction.
- They have to be located indoors and can be seen by the owner or staff.
- You mustn’t smoke in trains and train stations – smoking in all trains, stations, waiting areas and on platforms in Amsterdam is strictly prohibited. However, there are some special smoking areas to use, or designated ‘smoking pillars’ where you can smoke. The fine for smoking is 25 euros. If you throw your cigarette butt on the platform though, this will cost you 40 euros.
IMPORTANT INFO FOR SMOKERS
Currently, you can buy tobacco products in most types of stores and in gas stations. As the Netherlands is part of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, regulations against smoking have been introduced on a regular basis in the last few years and the anti-smoking policy has been expanding. Due to these changes, from 2020 supermarkets are allowed to display cigarettes and tobacco products anymore (and other retailers, like kiosks, gas stations and convenience stores and drug stores – two years later). Vending machines selling cigarettes in bars and restaurants are prohibited. Starting from 2022, only specialist tobacco stores will be allowed to display smoking products.
Average Prices of Cigarettes in the Netherlands
The latest research shows that the average price of a pack of cigarettes in the Netherlands increased by nearly 70% between 2005 and 2019. In 2005 a pack of cigarettes costs around 4.60 euros and now it costs around 7 – 8 euros. What’s quite interesting, the price of cigarettes has been growing much faster than the CPI and annual inflation rate. Currently (data for 2019) a pack of Marlboro costs around 6.50 euros and a pack of tobacco (Drum, 40 gram) costs around 8.50 euros. As mentioned above, the price of cigarettes in Amsterdam is the same everywhere. No matter where you buy them, due to taxation you will pay the same amount everywhere. The chart below shows how the average price of cigarettes has been changing in the last fourteen years.
Do Dutch People Smoke Much?
Of all Benelux countries, Dutch people spend the most for their smokes. The average price of a pack in the Netherlands is higher than in Belgium and Luxembourg. Dutch people’ expenditure on tobacco products reached over 4.5 billion euros in 2018 and almost 3 billion came from the sales of cigarettes. An average Dutch spends around 150 euros on cigarettes which is around 20 packs per person per year. Fortunately, as more and more people have been declaring the healthy lifestyle, the number of heavy smokers has been slightly decreasing .
The Best Cigarette Shops in Amsterdam
I am not a connoisseur but foreign tourists very often want to know where the best cigarette shops in the city are, both to enjoy a relaxing smoke and bring some cool souvenirs home. As far as I know, the following cigarettes shops are appreciated by Amsterdam’s smokers:
- P.G.S. Hajenius located at Rokin 96 (city center). A well-equipped shop with cigarettes and cigars. Each top shelf is full of vases which makes me feel like it’s a very old store. It’s isn’t but the general view is very rustic, like the cigars were stored back in the old days.
- Sterk Amsterdam located at De Clercqstraat 7 (West Amsterdam) – they have so many cigarettes and cigars and on top of that, they also offer a wide variety of wine and champagne. If I was a smoker, this would be my heaven.
- Bom Sigarenmagazijn located at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 234 – recommended mainly because of their knowledgeable staff – they know everything about cigarettes and cigars and always give great advice. Besides tobacco products you can also buy snacks and soft drinks there.
- Hartman Cigars and more located at Leidsestraat 58 – a huge selection of tobacco products. And the atmosphere is unbeatable – it smells fantastic inside and the owner is really friendly. They also have an online store with the best cigars from South America and Holland. From their Amsterdam locations they ship to the UK, USA, Scandinavia, Germany and Belgium.