Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

23 fun facts about The Netherlands

The Netherlands, a country of weird and wonderful facts!

1 – Each year more than 12,000 bikes are pulled out of the canals of Amsterdam, which has become the phenomenon ‘fietsen vissen’ (bike fishing).

2 – The Netherlands counts more bicycles than people with 23 million bikes and 17 million people. There are twice as many bikes as cars and there are over 15,000 km of bicycle lanes.

Bike storage in The Netherlands

3 – Carrots are orange because of The Netherlands. Carrots used to be white or purple, until the Dutch farmers bred the orange carrot to honour king William of Orange in the 17th century. Orange is still the official national colour of the Dutch Royal Family and sports teams still wear this colour in honour of the country.

4 – 90 to 93% of the Dutch speak English, making it the number one non-native English speaking country in the world.

5 – The Netherlands is the world’s biggest flower exporter and the third largest agricultural exporter in the world. The Netherlands is also the world’s main producer of peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.

6 – After Mexico, The Netherlands is the second-biggest beer exporter in the world.

Beer and bitterbal in The Netherlands

7 – The grand café ‘De Drie Gezusters’ (The Three Sisters) located in Groningen is the biggest pub in Europe. Also, pubs and clubs in Groningen do not have a closing time, meaning that parties last all night long and every day of the week.

8 – New York (US) was first called ‘New Amsterdam’ during the occupation of the Dutch United East India Company, and was later called ‘New York’ by the Brits after the Duke of York. Then the name changed again to ‘New-Oranje’ during Dutch occupation and back again to ‘New York’ when the city was “traded” in 1674 for the South American Colony of Suriname.

9 – Dutch men are the tallest in the world with an average height of 182.5cm. The Dutch citizens (men and women combined) are the world’s tallest population, with an average height of 175.62cm.

10 – The Netherlands was the world’s first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Around 9% of the marriages in The Netherlands are same-sex marriages. The Dutch celebrate with a canal pride every year in most major cities.

11 – The Dutch greet each other with three kisses on the cheek. It does vary a little: The greetings with three kisses are only when you already know the person and when you are friendly with them, otherwise they give a firm handshake.

12 – At birthdays they not only congratulate the person who’s birthday it is but also the family and friends of this person by saying ‘happy birthday with <persons name>’. Some just shout in the  room ‘happy birthday everyone!’.

Sinterklaas in The Netherlands

13 – The Dutch not only celebrate Christmas but also ‘Sinterklaas’ on the evening of December 5th. This is not to replace Father Christmas but ‘Sinterklaas/ Sint Nicolaas’ is seen more like his distant cousin. Sinterklaas is based on the historical figure ‘Saint Nicholas’ (270-343) a Greek bishop from now called Turkey.

14 – In harsh winters when the canals of The Netherlands are fully frozen, the Dutch will ice skate wherever they can. They also have the ‘Elfstedentocht’ (eleven cities tour) which is a 200 km ice skating event where about 15,000 participants must collect a stamp in each city before midnight. The fastest time ever recorder was in 1985 by Evert van Benthem. He completed the event in 6 hours and 47 minutes.

15 – In The Netherlands prostitution is considered legal as long as the prostitutes are 18+ and the client is 16+. Also, smoking weed in The Netherlands is actually not legal. It is tolerated, only when you don’t cause any disturbance and have less than 5 grams on you for personal use.

16 – One-third of The Netherlands is actually below sea level.

17 – The music of the Dutch national anthem is the oldest in the world (1569-1572) making it the oldest national anthem, even when it actually only became the official anthem in 1932.

18 – The Dutch are big in the DJ scene, popular Dutch DJ’s are: Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Tiësto, Oliver Heldens, Afrojack, Don Diablo, R3HAB, Fedde Le Grande, Nicky Romero and Headhunterz.

19 – Internationally franchised television programmes like ‘The Voice’, ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Deal or No Deal’ are created by the Dutch television producer John de Mol.

20 – All around The Netherlands a test emergency air alarm goes off at 12:00 every first Monday of the month.

21 – Some of the most famous painters in the world are Dutch like; Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh and Mondrian. The Netherlands also has the highest concentration of museums in the world.

22 – The Netherlands was one of the six founding nations of the European Union.

23 – Holland is not the same as The Netherlands. Stay tuned to find out why! For now we will leave you with a photo of a Dutch Tompouce, don’t know what it is? Click here and find out!

Foods to eat in The Netherlands

Travelling Translated


Travelling Translated

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.