What to know when you’re travelling to the Netherlands?

Stereotyps aside, the Netherlands is not all about smoking weed, red lights, bright flowers and wooden clogs; therefore knowledge about such things isnt everything when youre about to visit the country. In this article, Ill try to enlighten you with some very useful information you need to pack with yourself, so you wont get lost and nothing will surprise you on your way. Get ready, were starting!

 

  • Dutch are not rude, theyre just direct

And you should be too. Dont hesitate to tell your waiter if youre in a rush, hell take it into account for real.

  • Bikes first

If youre travelling around the country with a car, you always give a yield to bikes. Same applies if youre on foot. Also, never try to step on the bike lane, otherwise youll have a chance to learn some Dutch words very quickly!

  • Be polite

If you want to photograph something (farm, clogs, window), ask for permission. Plus, never take photos of ladies in the Red Light District in Amsterdam!

  • Do not try to buy stuff on streets

Although the Netherlands about this issue, you might well be arrested for buying drugs from local stoners on the street. If you really want to try some stuff, rather head to the coffeeshops. However, one more tip for you, if you have a Dutch friend, send him – a tourist is more likely to get quadruple the price the local would pay.

  • Prepare your cash

In most shops you wont be able to pay with a card, so rather prepare the cash in advance.

  • Lock your bike

Never leave your bike (even if its hired) unlocked! Use at least two locks, otherwise it might well end up as somebodys trophy!

  • Dress for occasion

Always be ready for sudden rain sprees and strong wind!

  • Get an OV-chipkaart

If youre planning to spend a little more time in the Netherlands, I highly recommend you to buy the OV-chipkaart transport card in advance. You can reload it any time you want (or you can set an automatic reload), and youll be able to travel by public transport way cheaper. Acquiring it online is easy, just search for OV-chipkaart, set your language, fill in your personal information, send a proper picture of you, and theyll send it to your address!

  • Never act racist

The Netherlands is rather open and tolerant country (with many LGBT monuments and marches), therefore never act racist! But generally….dont be a racist.

  • Dont worry about the language

English is very popular language in the Netherlands and many Dutch master it perfectly. Therefore you dont have to worry about the language barrier. Although most of them would be happy to hear you try saying some words. I have experienced it myself when I visited the country for the first time.

  • Keep an eye on your belongings

Youll encounter many signs saying “bewaar de zakkenrollen” on all the busy spots wherever you go. It means to take into account an existence of pick-pockets, so make sure you secure all your belongings properly.

  • Do not go out at the night alone

There is not a high toll of rapes in the Netherlands, however, high or drunk tourists can be pretty annoying and pushy.

  • Watch the opening hours

Most of the markets close very early, but once a week (usually on Thursday/Friday) are all the shops open until late night/midnight.

  • Carry hand sanitizer with you

Would you believe, that only 50% of all the Dutch wash their hands after the toilet? I personally think it refers to the fact that majority of Dutch taps run only freezing cold water. Who knows?

  • Dutch standards

The Dutch use euro (€) as their main currency, metric system as the way to express measures, and 230V as the standard voltage in the sockets.


I might be wrong, but I think Ive listed everything that can be handy when youre travelling to the Netherlands, havent I? I hope so!

Thank you for reading this article, theres going to be a new one, particularly dedicated to transport tomorrow!

Have a great day!

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