Friday, January 10, 2014

8 Things to Know about the Netherlands

1. Cycle everywhere:
The Dutch love the bicycle. They have industrial strength padlocks and wonderful cycle paths that run the length and width of the Netherlands. Many can cycle while carrying the weekly groceries, children or a ladder, handling tricky tram tracks and swerving around unexpected obstacles at speed.

2. Obsess over the WC:
Though Englishman Thomas Crapper popularized the toilet, many modern toilet innovations are Dutch. The famed old school Dutch toilet with an “inspection shelf” is less prevalent these days, but still available. For women, the joys of a standing female urinal can be found in various popular locations. It's claimed to reduce queues.

3. Eat more pastries:
No event is ever complete without a cake or pastry. The Dutch don't just create any old pastries, though. There’s the appeltaart, the moorkop and the bossche bollen, best as dessert.
Other Dutch culinary treats include frit and mayo, stroopwafels (ideal with coffee and sold fresh at most outdoor markets) or saucijzenbroodje (Dutch sausage rolls with high meat content).

4. Go sailing:
The Netherla
nds is technically below sea level and stays dry thanks to polders and dykes. The Dutch are nearly as obsessive about getting out on the water as they are about cycling - plus they appear to navigate just as recklessly.

5. Pay only for what you consume:
“Let’s go Dutch” is probably the most misunderstood phrase associated with the Netherlands. To really go Dutch, you should only pay for what you eat or drink rather than split the bill equally. In the Netherlands, service is included your bill. But it’s still polite to tip.

6. Get that ‘gezellig’ feeling:
You know you're feeling "gezellig" when you skip work for a three-hour lunch. It's a word or concept with no direct translation but many meanings. You’ll often hear “gezellig” referenced wherever Dutch people gather. The word roughly translates to cozy, quaint, familiar or friendly.

7. Drink coffee with a special milk:
Long before coffee became a fashion accessory, it was a national pastime in the Netherlands. The Dutch have a special “coffee milk”, an acquired taste and definitely not advisable for use in tea or on breakfast cereal.

8. Go to a ‘brown café’:
Brown cafes are casual, often dark (brown) environments that support the regional brewed beer. Typically brown cafes serve: Amstel in the north Netherlands, Grolsch in the middle, Brand in the south. Most pubs also serve at least one Belgian beer on tap due to the enormous popularity of these heavier and stronger beers.

Information curtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment