15 Unspoken Rules About The Netherlands That All The Locals Know

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Dutch locals: vote up the rules that all tourists should know before they visit.

Prepare to see the land of tulips by reading up on these Netherland tourist tips. The locals have given up all their best secrets so you will know what to do in the Netherlands. More importantly, you'll learn what not to do in the Netherlands so you don't out yourself as a clueless tourist.


  • 1
    175 VOTES

    Hostels Aren't For Everyone

    From Redditor u/RogueBaneling:

    Hostels in Amsterdam are particularly rowdy. If you aren't into that go to a hotel.

  • 2
    121 VOTES

    If You Hear Bells, Get Out Of The Way

    From Redditor u/DistractedByCookies:

    Don't:

    Smoke pot in very public places. It's not cool, it stinks to high heaven, and it's not appreciated. Be discrete.

    Try to pee in a canal while drunk or whatever. If you fall in you can [perish]. 15 a year, on average. You won't be found until weeks later.

    Ignore the bells you hear behind you. It could be a cyclist (bad enough) or it could be a tram (worse, potentially lethal). Pay attention to what is going on around you!

    Throw your trash on the street. With thousands of you tourists doing it it really messes up the streets. Try to find a bin.

  • 3
    147 VOTES

    Ride, Don't Walk, On The Bike Paths

    From Redditor u/GeraldoOfRiviara:

    Don't:

    Walk on the (oftentimes colored in red) bicycle paths

    Think you don't look like a [jerk] smoking pot in public

    Fall into one of the canals

    Rent a bicycle and then ride it too slowly blocking other people.

  • 4
    137 VOTES

    Enjoy The Canal Tours

    From Redditor u/2nd_law:

    I have done the canal tours a couple of times as a local with friends and I always enjoy it. You get to see the city from a different perspective and if you get a cool skipper you learn a couple of new things. Sure renting your own is also great but that is a completely different experience and I wouldn't recommend that to tourists just visiting and don't know a thing of how the city is laid out.

  • 5
    110 VOTES

    Don't Forget The Cheese Market

    From Redditor u/kevnl:

    Places to visit that are often overlooked:

    Batavia Werf (Lelystad): Don't be fooled by the outlet center next to this 1:1 replica of one of the most interesting pieces from the VOC history of the Netherlands. Located about 30 mi northeast of Amsterdam, this ship/museum tells you the way the Dutch roamed the Seven Seas during our Golden Age.

    Cheese market (Alkmaar): A short train ride north from Amsterdam, you find the only place in the world that still shows the typical trade of cheese. If you've never seen two guys in white overalls with a neckpiece and about 100 kg's in cheese between them, you are in for a laugh. This typical piece of Dutch tradition is one that will stay in your memory, and for good reason.

    Deltawerken (Southwest): This piece of Dutch craftsmanship embodies our struggle with the sea like nothing else can. After the big flood of '53 we finally realized that to end our struggle with the tide, we had to take matters into our own hands. The Deltawerken is a collection of numerous dams, sluices, wears and dykes, that deliver on the fact that the world thinks the Dutch know their way around the water.

  • 6
    72 VOTES

    Visit Gouda

    From Reditor u/daveboy2000:

    Gouda is a nice place to visit! Home of the famous Stroopwafels there is a small stand very close to our gothic-style town hall (we consider the new 'huis van de stad' an abomination) that sells freshly made 'superwafels', massive stroopwafels the size of your head and still warm, absolutely delicious!

    Our city center, in general, is a nice place to visit, with lots of gothic-style buildings, and lots of nice little places to visit!

    If you need anywhere to eat, I would recommend Buiten eten + drinken in the Oosthaven, their menu is very varied and the times I've eaten there it was absolutely delicious, they have a really good chef who likes to experiment with the most delicious of ingredients. But other than that, there are many other great places to eat and drink, just take a walk and find a place yourself.