Het Ballonnetje Coffeeshop is located on Roetersstraat, just behind the University of Amsterdam. It is on the east side of the city, in a neighborhood know as the Plantage. The is one of Amsterdam's "green neighborhoods". It is noted for its lush parks, including the beautiful botanical gardens (Hortus Botanics). The Artis Royal Zoo (Natura Artis Magistra) is also found here, which is one of the oldest zoos in mainland Europe. This section of the city is slightly outside of the city center, and the pace seems just a bit more relaxed here. Given its proximity to the University, it is also a noticeably youthful neighborhood, with a high density of students.
The name of this shop translates in English as "The Balloon". Het Ballonnetje is one of the oldest coffeeshops in the city, first opening its doors in 1978. So, this is a historic place. It is also one of the more quintessential Dutch-local establishments. There are not a lot of frills here. The decor is clean and well maintained, but basic. Wooden chairs and tables provide comfort inside. Outside, an additional section of small tables, benches, and chairs.
The decor in Het Ballonnetje is on the artistic-side, however. Featured is a beautiful large hand-painted mural of a person hovering over the city in a red balloon; pretty cool. The lighting is funky, and the other art and pictures add to the decor. So let us be clear. While we consider the furnishings basic, this shop is also "real"... artistic without being an over-polished tourist shop. Don't worry if you are a tourist. Being a historic shop, plenty of people make a special trip here, and the shop is known to be especially friendly to visitors.
For a coffeeshop that is frequented highly by locals, the menu selection at Het Ballonnetje tends to be more contemporary than you'd probably expect. The management here seems to be into their cannabis more so than many others, particularly the flowers (weed). While you can expect to find some old school strains here, you should also expect to see modern favorites, including some popular West Coast USA strains. The hashish side is quite robust, as well. In addition, they have a large list of pre-rolled joints here, as well as some basic Space Cakes for edibles.
- Connoisseur Menu
- Tobacco Room
Het Ballonnetje is a historic coffeeshop in one of Amsterdam’s beautiful green neighborhoods. This is what we regard as a very “real” shop. It doesn’t have a lot of frills, yet is genuinely a cool place to hang out. This coffeeshop is frequented mainly by locals, who likely find favor in the lack of touristy extras, as well as progressive fairly-priced menu. This is an excellent establishment, well worth a visit if you are in the area.