7 things that the Dutch kind of suck at

So, what do the Dutch kind of suck at? Well we have brought you what the Dutch are great at and why the Dutch are so happy. As a result, we decided to ask what our DutchReview readers thought about what the Dutch suck at.

If you want to want to grab your pitchforks in anger, don’t shoot the messenger 😉 Here are 7 things the Dutch kind of suck at, with love from our readers.

Being polite (keeping in their opinion)

The Dutch don’t say sorry, and they can be incredibly direct in telling their thoughts. So do the Dutch suck at being polite by being too direct? Probably. Sometimes it can come across as rude and not necessary. However, this is coming from a Brit who wouldn’t dare even slightly imply criticism. Sometimes it would be good to tone it down, some of us have delicate little feelings. 😉

The Dutch are never subtle about their opinions. Image: Jelleke Vanooteghem/ Unsplash 


So some of us love a good queue (especially the Brits). It gets stuff done systematically and sometimes, even, swiftly. The Dutch, however, don’t always like to queue. Especially when things such as public transport come into play. Hell, no way are they queuing for that, it’s a free-for-all, you force your way in.

In some instances you earn your place to come first, it is not just assigned to you. It could be worse, we could be in Germany — where queues don’t seem to exist at all.

Birthday parties

If you’ve ever been to a Dutch birthday party, you’ll know why this one is on the list. The awkward circle of death that greets you as soon as you walk in the door… do I have to? Of course you do, and it’s bloody awful too.

Parties also tend to finish early and stick to a strict schedule. There’s no room for spontaneity in a Dutch birthday party and it would be rude to ruin their carefully planned schedule. Maybe we all need a bit of spontaneity in our lives or maybe just no circle of death.

celebrating your child's birthday in the Netherlands
Imagine your family sitting in a circle, anyone else feel awkward?? Image: AlainAudet/Pixabay

Having a variety of gourmet food

A lot of people complain that Dutch cuisine is almost non-existent. If you are after a bite to eat then a lot of food is fried — especially if you go out for food. Of course gourmet food does exist, but it is few and far between in comparison to some other places. Maybe it’s because the Dutch are renowned for not splashing the cash? Who knows… but it’s never a bad thing to gourmet! Maybe we should add more delicious delicacies to our lives.

FEBO_NL_Lars Plougmann_Flickr
That ever giving wall of delicious fried delicacies – but not quite gourmet. Image: Lars Ploughmann/Flickr/CC2.0.


Anyone who has ever lived in another country will know that Dutch supermarkets are tiny! In some shops, the variety isn’t great and what you could do in one shop easily, you’d have to do in 3 separate shops. The American’s (especially) are used to superstores: everything under one roof and cheap as chips. A lot of people also complain about the huge amounts of little shops (like Albert Heijn To-Go), which sell items at ridiculous prices. Thank the lord for Aldi and Lidl.

I admit, even I did find it strange having to go to multiple shops for one shopping trip. Some people like it and some people don’t!

Driving and parking

Okay, so admittedly there are many countries out there that are far worse, but there has been whole Reddit threads and twitter accounts dedicated to the driving and parking skills of Dutchies.

The fact the car insurance nearly always rises (due to the amount of claims, so they say) is a good indication too. Parking is always a funny one because it’s almost as if they pull up into a space and go “ah, that’ll do,” even though they’re somehow blocking two spaces.

At the gym, on a number of occasions, notices were given out to customers to tell them to park properly. The car parks were filling up because people were taking up two or more spaces and parking terribly. Not great when there is a shortage of parking overall.

Tailgating is also a wonderful game in the Netherlands and if the person in front is driving at 15km/h, they’re probably playing around with their phone. Not good!

Telling the world that the Netherlands is not just ‘Amsterdam’

The Netherlands has so much to shout about. It’s not all about Amsterdam and we should all embrace that and shout it from the rooftops! Naturally, Amsterdam is going to be the most heard of, and of course its got a lot going on. After all, it is the capital city. However, it is never spoken about enough.

We’re probably quite guilty of talking a lot about Amsterdam in the past (changing this now, don’t you worry) and it makes people believe that Amsterdam is the only place to be in the country. Let’s start a movement to make the Netherlands great again! (This joke gets less funny as the years go on.)

Okay, so sure Amsterdam is amazing, but what about everywhere else? Image: neshom/Pixabay

It’s okay, our readers were just being direct, they all love you and all of your quirks really 😉

What do you think the Dutch suck at? Let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to join our Facebook group – so you don’t miss out on all of our best bits! 

Feature Image: Halacious/ Unsplash
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2018, and was fully updated in September 2020 for your reading pleasure. 

Emma Brown
A familiar face at DutchRevew. Emma arrived in Holland in 2016 for a few weeks, fell in love with the place and never left. Here she rekindled her love of writing and travelling. Now you'll find her eating stroopwafels in the DutchReview office since 2017.


    • Ever been on a train or bus in another country? Like, for instance, Spain?
      Not that loud in the Netherlands of compared…

      • LOL. Nope, I find trains in Spain much quieter than trains in NL. This one of the many reasons I finally left the country!!! It is so much more civilized in Spain. Pretty much everywhere else I’ve traveled on trains it’s been quieter than NL.

        I miss NL, but I’m glad I moved to Spain, life is more normal here. Everything in NL is affected by the lack of space/overcrowding: trains, supermarkets, etc.

    • You haven’t been on a plane with Swiss people. I think – before telephone – they had to shout from one valley to the other and they kept this habit…..

    • I have seen German tourists on several occasions in my country speaking aloud too. Apparently, it is epidemic everywhere in continental Europe! (Italians excluded?!)
      I am an stranger in the Strangerland but only Brits, I presume, do not yell when they talk to you or to each other! Is that so?

    • Totally agree, the Dutch are far more undisciplined, rude, loud and unruly compared to other European countries commonly considered more.. “chaotic”.
      The fact that everything is super tiny makes it even more horrible.

      • God you should hear the 4 different Dutch neighbors we have… their *normal* speaking voice is louder than my shouting… us expats in the ‘hood have discovered that it must be developed through the Dutch idea of “the louder it’s said the more right it must be” (corresponding to the Dutch philosophy of “I think therefore I’m right”).

        They’ll stand on their balcony until 4am or later at this high level and we’re unable to sleep… continuous asking them to quiet it to a normal speaking doesn’t do a thing (though for a Dutch person knowing they’re bringing you down lifts them up :/). Fortunately as an engineer I’m building a dB and voice recorder that will post their conversations (e.g. about how good their cocaine is) and the decibel level in our bedroom to a website. Then I’ll give the the link and let them know I’ll be complaining to the city with this evidence… oh and also building a narrow focus transmitter that’ll totally mess-up their Wifi in their house for the hell of it….

        • Yeah it looks like that the culture is the less you care about others the better in here..I feel your pain with your neighbors.. I have horrible ones too.. but at this point I think it’s unavoidable in the NL..

          • i think this has a looot to do with where you live in nl tho…. i lived in the south limburg and brabant for 5 years and never had any problems with my dutch neighbours!

  1. I must say, that I agree on certain things. but about the food that is totally ridiculous, there is a wide variety of foods, even at Albert Heyn. and there are Tokos everywhere, that sells delicious snacks.
    and I do not know what kind of people the writer of this article associate with, but when I was growing up my parents gave a lot of parties, my mom cooked for days, and the rug would be rolled up and my parents and their friends would dancing, and when I was teenager I had house parties and I went to house parties all the time, and we danced the night away on these parties. I guess, the Dutch have become boring people, in my absence from my country. No more swinging house parties, I live in California now, and we still have parties, with lots of food and live music and dancing, maybe because I am part Indonesian and I stick to the Indo culture, every party is with tons of food, and dancing on live music. And there are tons of snacks, just to name a few smoked eel, kroketten, loempia, pasteitjes etc etc.

    • Our traditional cuisine is potatoes and (vegetable/kale) mash. We like our fried stuff, that is true. But most people really eat very diverse here. We are a lot slimmer than say the people in USA, while you’d think otherwise (considering you can get fried food everywhere). Well isn’t that an eyeopener.

      People should stop visiting the green heart and Amsterdam and come to rural places of the Netherlands instead. Crowded Holland sucks, rural Netherlands rules.

  2. You’ve added a picture of a AH to GO which is positioned on train stations and crowded cities only for small groceries or a small snack. Try a AH XL supermarket and it will change your opinion.

  3. Having lived in the Netherlands for 45 years before moving to Canada 13 years ago, I really don’t recognize anything in the story to be true, accept definitely the directness, something I sorely miss here in oh so pc Canada. At least you know where people stand! And about The Netherlands being bigger than Amsterdam, that is exactly what we try to tell everybody but nobody knows anything else than Amsterdam. Not our fault, maybe lazy tourism? Oops, there’s that directness.
    In any medium town in the country you can have really good gourmet food in restaurant from all different ethnicities and I know a lot of very good cooks who go way beyond fried food, myself included. Again laziness in not trying or looking beyond the obvious??? Anyway, talking about lack of gourmet food, from a Brit? 😉

  4. Some points I agree with, but most I do not. It should be alist of thinkgs that stand out for Dutch people, but it is not. There are far worse in a lot of these points.
    2. Queuing: the Germans are far worse in it, especially in supermarkets. I know, I live in Germany already 7 years.
    3. Birthday parties: I have no idea to which birthday party you went, but the ones I go to are spontaneous and fun. Talking about going outsie the planned schedule: the Germans can not handle that…..at all.
    4. Gourmet food: there are loads of good restaurants and the Netherlands is famous for the variety of foreign restaurants. The Dutch cuisine is quite simple and basic, maybe….. but a Brit should not critisize that…. 😀
    5. Supermarkets: OK, for an American they might be small…but they are not tiny. Pricing is good and they have a good variety. AH To Go: that one is only for something you forgot or if you swant to have a bite on the train etc.
    6. Driving & Parking: I know the Dutch are worse with driving thant I was used to before. But the Germans are far worse with overtaking just to be 1 more car ahead…. And I am not even talking about France, Spain or Sout America…..!!!
    7. YES: I keep telling that a lot! and also that I am not from Holland…. I am from the Netherlands (Friesland, to be exact…)

    • I live here in Australia – migrated from the Netherlands when I was 8 yrs old. I noticed here we had a large problem on what city was the capital. Social Studies books actually printed that the Hague was the capital. Had to write to the Education department, as a 10 year old to correct their school books to Amsterdam as the capital. It seemed that who ever wrote those education books did not have a clue. I think they corrected it eventually.

      • The Hague is our government capital. Amsterdam is our national capital. To make it even more complicated: Haarlem is the capital of the same province where Amsterdam is located.

  5. We can definitely be direct, but, also in relation to your last point, it varies per region! Especially in the south people tend to be a bit less direct. Regarding the supermarkets: well, congratulations, you’ve just literally found the smallest type of supermarket in the entire country..

    But yeah, queuing sucks and old people’s birthdays do look like that 😀

  6. I am Dutch but am sorely irritated by the fact that Dutch people never can say they are sorry. I definitely agree with that. In my family the birthday parties are set up exactly as depicted in above photograph. The Dutch are extremely cheap, counting pennies all the time. My sister wanted to charge me 50 euro for a used mattress that in her eyes was new. Actually it was 1 year old with a big stain. She called it “having good business sense”. And.. what about a landlord keeping the house temperature at 17c in mid winter. There is little generosity of spirit in the Netherlands.
    People do rush to the newly opened cash register with a vengeance. Is there still a sense of humor in the Netherlands?

    • Dutch are not very openminded they live for themselfs (ieder voor zich) that results in extreme anti-social behaviors it’s very hard as an outsider to get along with them
      I went for a drink with a few dutch friends they paid for me then after we where done and i left at home the guy who paid did send me a TIKI mobile Cashtransfer to his bankaccount (i where like wtf Dutch ppl and money!)

      • That happened to me once and I was really surprised. The guy I was with (army buddy) bought me a drink and when we went back to the base, he said I owed him the price of that glass of beer. This is not common where I’m from, Brabant. They guy was from Rotterdam and when I tell this anecdote to friends or family (all from Brabant and Limburg), they are all in awe that someone would do that.

      • This is in HOLLAND, not the Netherlands. Most of the stereotypes are based on HOLLAND, not the Netherlands as a whole.

        Like the whole west coast, is like all these stereotypes (except for birthday parties for the age of boomer+, that is spot on).

        In Brabant and Limburg, they are a lot more social and generous compared to everything above the rivers.

        We even have this saying: “Die mensen boven de rivieren”.

  7. If you thought you were amidst a mortal battle between the forces of irritating and rude….you’re just in holland

  8. I don’t think Dutch people are direct as they are overly ‘politically correct’. Go to the Eastern Europe, then you will see what a true directness is (I’m a Czech native so can compare).

    • I am also from the Eastern Europe and, similar to many people in both West and East, I value directness but dislike rudeness, with ‘disliking’ being an euphemism.

      In relation to the Dutch, when compared with other westerners, they do stand out as quite rude in my eyes. Am saying this without spite or negativity. It is just my personal comparison of how HR people from various western European countries communicated with me. So, unless this page is the product Dutch hating trolls, I believe such a large number of comments could mean my impression was not totally unfounded.

      Second thing about the Eastern Europe being rude, I agree that people can be rude here but I disagree that on everage they are ruder than western tourists. When I see westerners (not only Dutch) in transport here I often find them disrespectfully loud, and aggressive when told to behave properly. But aggressive that is before some local confronts them and teaches them good manners 🙂 Having lived in the West, I can know how people behave in their home countries and I agree that this has nothing to do with the way they behave abroad, i.e. here.

  9. I can not take this seriously from a Brit, who obviously don’t know much of the Netherlands. I live in Rotterdam and uou can eat any food you want, international cuisine and obviously gourmet!
    Calling rudeness for people being honest and direct whe the brits cowardly smile in front of others and talk badly behind each other backs? Is gossiping polite?
    This person is just too limited to understand other cultures.
    You can not understand a culture by comparing it with other but by simply understanding it as it is.
    I’m portuguese and live in the netherlands btw, which are two opposite ways of living.

    • I have lived in the Netherlands for 9 years I agree with some and disagree with some of it – I am a Brit who sadly lived next to a Portaguese guy who was always moaning about the the Dutch so there you have it – was polite to faces and was the biggest back stabber out there – So before you critize others maybe think about your fellow countryman- from where I stood it was ugly

  10. I agree with the rudeness. I lived 4 years in this country and found the people not only rude but also not very interesting for the most part. They say they are direct bit speak behind each other’s back at a shocking level. Honestly, I’m glad I left this country.

    • I noticed this aswell as a Canadian who lived there 7 years
      Hard to get along with them not very open minded culture all closed books
      always did have a slight feeling they just purposely try to stab each other 🙂

    • I suppose that everybody was glad you left! if you think that! Dutch people are open in speaking their mind, I consider that a good thing, better than gossip behind your back! Almost all people welcome you if you drop in and make you feel welcome! Better than in a lot of other Countries, where people don’t visit much because if you want company you have to go to a coffeeshop to meet each other! Give me the ” gastvrijheid” of the Dutch. As for the birthday parties, what would you expect? To sit outside and have a barby? Europe has a total different climate and a big time of the year it is to cold outside! So what are they suppose to do, sit outside and freeze your but of or go to a cafee, witch is very expensive and not much fun! I find those comments as stupid as they come! And a lot of this happens here too! At least Dutch people open their houses to everyone and are very gastvrij!

  11. A lot of them are such boring and smug know-it-alls. Love to lecture you about things they don’t understand half as well as they think they do. And not as liberal and tolerant as their image makes them out to be.

  12. In all honesty, The Netherlands is the most boring country I have been to. The kind of suck at that. It is just really ridiculously boring. I have lived in NL for almost two years, and I have a few months left before I leave.

    The worst part of this article is the last point, i.e. that there is more to NL than Amsterdam.
    Honestly, there really isn’t. Maastricht might offer something. But really not much. Definitely not enough to change one’s mind about how boring NL is.

    My tip.. come for a weekend, see Amsterdam and maybe Maastricht. Then get out. The rest of Europe has so much more to offer.

    • With that kind of attitude I’d say: Good riddance. Clearly you have not even tried to visit other places or get into contact with others, there is much much more to the Netherlands that meets the eye, but I guess it’s not for everyone to be seen. Or am I being too direct now?

      • After 10 years here I know he’s right… even my Dutch wife agrees (now that she’s traveled and seen the world with me)

  13. Yes..after 8 years of living among Dutch people and being married to one. This lack of politeness still pisses me off haha. They are just culturally crude. There is no excuse for it..Too late for me though haha.

  14. You left out talking with their mouths full. Being proud to be cheap and stingy. Producing crummy butchers. Thinking poo poo jokes are funny. No identifiable cuisine. No comedians that anyone other than a Dutchman can name. Embracing the faith that supported apartheid. Believe me, there are a lot more things.
    On the plus side, they tend to be tall. Oh yeah, there’s Rutger Hauer.

  15. I know lived there for 7 years
    Yes they are so rude live for themselfs and even don’t accept others
    it’s hard to get along with them i always say skip the Netherlands
    if u want to live in a other eu country with generally more open people 🙂
    Greetings Tom (Canadian)

  16. The health Care is really bad. If you have something serious (or not very serious) better go away while you can.

  17. No food. No space and lack of space planning. Inefficient housing. Drivers that are as bad as Africa. A non working medical system. No democracy. No police. Lots of crime. Everything is lowest quality possible. And no food. Like its all the same quality as dog food!?! And twice the price yet they pay taxes to subsidise the food?!? Criminals must run the country

    • What do you mean? A non working medical system? It is one of the best in Europe in my opnion. And I dont no where you have been but there is enough police, and lots of crime? Where did you get that from. Because there are no statistics or what so ever about that. And personally I can say there is almost no crime here. And no democracy is just non sense. But i think you probably live in the Netherlands so why don’t you leave if everything is soooo bad?

    • Dogfood? Have you actually tried cooking your own food.. Or do you buy microwave food, in that case.. Yes, that’s dogfood.

  18. Your forgot another one, that they always know better about everything. I’m from the netherlands and i think that the american people are right with this. I heard it before ‘Dutch people are direct’ they aren’t they are just rude and don’t have manners, and they saying it is totally normal. And even about me as a black person, they find our way of life weard because some colored people here in the Netherlands live differently than Dutch people and have other manners.

    You are so right! THUMBS Up!

  19. Dutch people aren’t very accommodating or open minded. It’s very rare that anyone I know here will be willing to try something for someone else. It’s really frustrating. I tried to convince a friend of mine to go bowling with me (she’s never been) and she said she didn’t want to go at the last minute because she doesn’t like it. It was for my birthday. Also, how do you know you won’t like something until you try it? Their relationships aren’t give and take at all, they’re more only meet in the middle. I’m fine with directness, I grew up with it, but there’s a difference between being direct with how you feel and being stubborn with how you feel.

    Besides this, it’s an okay place to live. Job wise you get treated way better and complete strangers will be incredibly friendly.

    • Here in Brabant I have a completely opposite experience. Dutch neighbours help me with small and big things, Dutch coworkers are helping out with both work and non-work things. It really is different from my Amsterdam and Haarlem experience before that.

      • Crowded cities and capitals in the Netherlands are a very bad example of what the Netherlands actually is. Brabant is a lot closer to Belgium and we (together with Limburg and Zeeland) share a lot of similarities of our customs and are more civilized than “Hollanders” in big cities.

  20. Let’s try some directness, they are just rude and selfish people, and they will never admit they are wrong, even if they put a shit show, they will go and hide it with some “directness” which is only a fancy word for being rude and too lazy to even try and change that, and will try to pass the problem like “oh you should try a german”, or “I don’t know what ppl have u met”, dude, say whatever you want, but when the river sounds, and like most of the ppl agrees… Ah yeah, they are also so racist, a friend from Colombia got asked about drugs every day for a month when he came to study here, but, well it was just joking, how about asking about if ur grandpa got shot or bomb 60 years ago by a nazi? is that funny? this ppl are only good to work with them for money, otherwise just stay away from them.

  21. As a Brit living in the Netherlands for 15 years now:

    Completely agree with point 5; Dutch supermarkets suck. They have very little variety. For example, go to the crisps (chips) and find that a huge portion of it is bland paprika flavour. I was so excited when I saw Space Raiders introduced to the Netherlands in AH a few years ago, until I saw they replaced all the cool UK flavours with just one crappy “Spacey Paprika” flavour. Like, why even bother?

    This leads into another point: There’s definitely more of a herd-mentality amongst the Dutch. I remember a few years ago when everyone suddenly needed to have outdoor kitchens installed (a fad that died out as fast as it started). It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that stores end up only selling the stuff that’s trendy. I recently went shopping for a couch and couldn’t even find one couch that had that I wanted to buy (they all had those awful high vertical arm rests that you can’t lie down on), because apparently what I’m looking for isn’t trendy. For comparison, it took me literally one minute of entering the first store in the UK to find one I liked! This herd-mentality restricts your options on everything: clothes all have similar designs (I end up having to order everything from Amazon), the chips are all paprika flavour, and you can’t get any spicy Indian curry sauces in the supermarkets because Dutch only like bland stuff (I’ll admit it’s getting better – supermarkets sold none at all when I first arrived here!). And those are just a few examples!

    The Dutch also suck at not having any casual dining options. You’re either paying €20+ (plus drinks) at a restaurant, or you get a Febo or a kebab takeaway. There’s no real middle ground; nowhere to go to casually sit down, eat a reasonably priced meal and relax with a drink or two. Dutch people don’t believe me when I tell them about my local Wetherspoons, where I can get a curry (with rice, naan, popadoms), and a pint of Guinness for £6.50.

    Maybe this could be mitigated with special offers (Dutch call them “Acties”), but nope, there’s always a catch. That “€5 starter and grand dessert” ends up being a €22 three course meal because it’s only valid with some cheap and vastly overpriced spare ribs. The “€10 discount on a €25 three course meal” actually becomes a €5 discount because it’s only valid for two people both having the three course meal. And that latter point means you can forget it if you’re alone; Dutch people hate people who are alone; some widely used Dutch restaurant reservation systems won’t even let you make a reservation for just one person!

    Speaking of things the Dutch don’t like; don’t bother ever trying to discus anything to do with video games with a Dutch person. As far as most Dutch people are concerned, games are only for children and are a lower form of entertainment than others, such as TV, movies, and books, and many people will look down on you if you happen to mention any interest in them.

    I don’t want to be completely negative about the Dutch, so I’ll finish this rant by saying I know a lot of Dutch people who are the exception to everything I wrote above, and overall I’d still rather live in the Netherlands than go back to the UK (but then, listing the positives would be a subject for another discussion than this one!).

  22. Health care here is hardly accessible here!!!! If u get sick high fever, bad cough and flu, the doctor tells you it will go away by itself just wait!! so what is the point of nursing care plan?!!!! They have a nature care plan here!!!! Its the nurse responsibility to make a nursing plan and fix the patient, not the nature responsibility. If this nature made me sick, so nature will not fix my body. cuz nature never studied healthcare and nature doesn’t have a brain and school degree to fix ppl ill body. Nature is a random thing. Ive been in so many countries but never seen ppl walk around the public with flu but only in Netherlands, every season most of ppl in the train and downtown have flu waiting for the nature that gave them this flu to fix their flu. Seriously?!!!! Sorry for being franky.

    • You don’t need anything for the flu unless you are a nurse, elderly or someone with diabetes. There is no reason to flu-shot if you don’t need it.

  23. I moved to Netherlands 4 years ago now from Australia after meeting my now wife whom i met in aus when she was on holiday i am 67 years old and Was born and lived my whole life in aus and was a bit worried about moving here some of the things you wrote in this article have a bit of substance the shops etc you always need to go to at 2 shops to get all you need but i find this not a problem
    As for the people here i find them very polite and obliging and always ready to help you as what you say about being stingy you should go to a party or someone’s house in aus if you don’t bring your own beer you wont get one if we go to someone’s house here we never bring beer
    I find the Dutch very tolerant and no where near as critical as people in aus they don’t get so bogged down with things
    Since i have been here i have had visitors from aus and they all love the way of life here as well just the weather could be better , when i was in aus everyone their says the arrogant Dutchman but i find this so far from the truth the people in aus are far more critical and less helpful than here
    I do agree Dutch drivers are always in a hurry tailgating etc they get in a car and every second counts but i have also experienced this in aus

    • Absolutely true. I have never known such a smug load of know-it-alls.
      I have lived in the Netherlands for 3 years, they are trying far too hard to sound like they know it all. Smug and arrogant on the whole. Food is a disaster, and restaurants just rehash other culture’s cuisines, and not that well. It is expensive for low quality. what is shocking is in every case of me meeting a new Dutch person, literally their second opening paragraph will be, ‘Oh, of course, I got a good deal’ or, ‘I only paid x for it’ Always on about ‘Korting’ or how cheaply they live. They may proudly consider it ‘good business sense’ but they do not realise how tasteless and quite dull it is to discuss such monetary issues with a newly acquired friend. It is also completely dull and tedious to hear them proudly proclaim how incredible frugally they live. They must be still living with the Methodist ideology of a simple godly life, good for them, but it is a,dull joyless conversation to sit through. I wish the Dutch the best of luck, they are good at what they do, they have their own rules, like eating at 6pm even at a restaurant. However, I cannot,help but,feel they are trying too hard. Parties all the time, big flags outside their houses, almost to make sure they are ‘such fun’ or maybe not German. They are a tiny country, once great, now not so great. Stayed out of WW1, wanted to also remain neutral in WW2. I sadly do not have that much respect for them myself, as they are dull, tight, money-obsessed, small minded, too direct and frankly tactless. I also never fully trust a country that has such a lack of,respect for cuisine. God love them, but let them get on with it in their painfully flat, small, grey country.

  24. I lived in Maastricht 45 years, worked for various Dutch companies and learned the language within 1 year.
    Also i have had 3 relationships (one married 7 years(( so know all about Dutch families and birthdays but also Xmas is a wizz here must say. I tried to introduce Xmas crackers during a Xmas dinner in the 90’s and that was a huge error. The whole dinner was ruined in a cloud of depression caused by the father of my then partner. Smoking then was bigger than now i don’t smoke but the whole family did, great for the birthday ‘events’ we had to arrange in our appartment. I opened a window to try and get fresh air oops too cold for them must close it, thanks i thought, for thinking about me and the pet rabbit.
    Neighbours mmm i live alone in a house now and i attempted to speak to all 3 who lived to the right of me (2 have moved) none of them attempted any contact with me unless it was to assist with a new fence etc or had anything to do with saving money. Backstabbing is frequent here they will let you talk then when it’s their turn they suddenly say nothing or smirk at you. Tip… when they tell you something which is obviously wrong, and i worked here many years (although now over the border 6 years in Germany) tell them, because if you don’t they will get away with it. They sometimes appreciate this as the Dutch have a hobby of telling you everything they think they know yet a lot of it is bullshit. Having said this i could tell much more but on the positive side use your brains, instinct dont be naive and be yourself. Being a Brit i know that there are a load of Nerds living there and i do disagree regarding health care as if i have a problem with my teeth i can go to the dentist tomorrow without fail, or doctor or hospital, and the hospitals are like shopping malls compared to the UK. Working now in Germany i could write a blog about them too but they, as well as the Dutch, could write a blog about me so its not all bad but had to be said tot ziens

  25. I was born in the Netherlands but now live in Australia. I have been back to visit and stay with my relatives. I agree that us Dutchies are very honest and direct as I get into trouble about that at times however at least people know where they stand with me. As for all the other points made, that’s pretty generalised and opinionated. I don’t agree with most of the points made.

  26. I’m from Chicago…lived here for 8 months now. It’s peaceful here…ridiculously peaceful. I don’t mind directness; but most people here are clueless to the world around them. I’ve had family from here visit me in Chicago…without me, in the wrong places…they would probably lose some teeth or get shot. I appreciate music…but they butcher it and seem to sing along as if they wrote it themselves (I’m being direct)…the concept of “diversity” is clueless and in 10-15 yrs…they’ll know some things don’t mix. My circles are in the climbing communities and in large cities where they can communicate in English. I do appreciate the country…but if you move from somewhere else; it will take time to acclimate. I LOVE the beer…hard to find a good steak with marbling…the cows seem to be on a diet here…oh yeah…flat lands…nothing outdoors to climb on except Groningen Excalibur 121 ft…Walabys is there version of six flags amusement park…I gotta say, they win on the roller coaster rides o_O (absolutely loved it)…language schools suck here…but if you can speak English and have the motivation; you can learn it yourself (Rosetta Stone)…I do appreciate the bike friendly environment…back home it’s possible but very uncomfortable. One pet peeve is the Dutch not embracing their culture…stick to cheese and beer, let America be America and you stick to being Dutch…even if that means wearing clogs and being ridiculously tall. Oh oh oh…the cuisine o_O…Pizza is not pizza here, burgers are not burgers here, sausages here on the spectrum of sausages, don’t even exist here…I’ve been to Germany/Poland and Belgium…would never want to live there even though they have rocks to climb…America and the Netherlands I can definitely live in…it’s peaceful here in NL…you can find annoying things anywhere you go…but peace is hard to find…I hope no one interferes with that peace like incidents that occurred in France. Hmmmm…what else…oh yeah the cheap thing…government funding for autistic children are just as difficult as the ones in Illinois, tipping doesn’t exist o_O…even though I did and sometimes still do ?…healthcare is interesting, the cost is the same but the care…I have a Dutch friend here with tick bites…trying to avoid Lyme decease…the medical “care” told her to come in 3 days later o_O…I here baby mortality is very good. Oh wait, TRAFFIC is a fucking nightmare here…parking is annoying and they think electric cars will solve everything (boy will they be surprised when it doesn’t)…I’ve been stuck in traffic on the A12 for 5 hour one way…it was a special day where a bunch of pissed off farmers congested and blocked roads with their tractors…makes me understand more and more why guns are difficult to own and purchase here lol One thing I especially appreciate here is the close knit families…at least the one I’m in…good place to raise a family…mainly because it’s still peaceful in comparison to Chicago…one more thing…you can drink the water from the faucet…Chicago has 20% lead in their drinking water ☠️

  27. I’ve lived here for 40 years and some things I will never get used to. People walk in front of you without saying anything – on buses, in the movie theatres, in the supermarket. In the states people always say excuse me if they are entering your personal space.There’s not much spontaneity, not like U.K. or U.S. Dutch are rude and pretty cold generally, not really interested in others but if you’re patient, sometimes they will become more friendly. it takes time. I wish I’d left long ago. Also the chewing gum on the sidewalks. Gross. Especially Amsterdammers have the attitude: ikke ikke, de rest kan stikken. me me, the rest can frig off.

  28. I can’t believe all the negatives, you people must stop generalizing!! There good and bad in every country!! I am Dutch and disagree with most of what has been written.

  29. I do not agree with a lot of these comments. You are making out the Dutch such awful people yet I was raised in the Netherlands. Love my family and the meals were great. There is a lot of variety as far as meals go. Also a lot of Dutch people are welcoming family and friends for dinner at their house. It is not all bad. I have been living in Canada now for many years and I love the people here as well. Life is what you make of it. Patience, help people be kind and you will go far.

  30. I came in 1959 to USA from NL. Once i went to a upscale men’s store in Lansing MI. The salesman started to talk to me because of my Dutch accent. He told me he was used to working in the Dutch populated city of Grand Rapids MI. He said it was

    very hard to make a sale in that town , but once you got them you have them for life. I think that says it for the Dutch.

  31. I have to say that I agree with all that the writer wrote…
    I have lived in several different parts of the world and have NEVER EVER seen people as mean , cold, harsh, and cruel … as these people …
    They can VERY staunch and unloving people …

  32. 1. Reckoning that Nederlands is a fiscal paradise
    2. Being aware that Dutch private debt is huge and dangerous
    3. Reckoning that the Dutch are one of the lasiest people in Europe (they work much less than any other country in Europe).

  33. I don’t agree about the driving and parking. I’ve seen a few bad examples, but I’ve come over from BC Canada, and terrible driving and parking is standard there.
    I also don’t agree about the supermarkets. I love Albert Heijn. Even the XL is a lot smaller than a Canadian supermarket, and I can’t buy club sized anything, but I really don’t need to.
    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the terrible Zwarte Piet. Everyone I’ve ever met from outside of NL who has heard about this thinks it’s absolutely appalling, and when you try to reason with Dutch people about how terrible it is, they give the most feeble defences. ‘Oh, it’s traditional, the children love it, the black-faced, large red-lipped, curly wigged white people aren’t being racist, because ZP is a chimney sweep from the 19th century.’ All garbage.
    The other thing I’ve found dreadful here is the ridiculous attitude to fireworks. At New Year, the whole country goes insane and all let off thousands of Euros worth of explosives at the same time, so there is no display, just a frenzy. And although it’s illegal, the whole firework thing starts in September and carries on until February, so pets, wildlife and the environment are all harmed for months and the police and more to the point parents, do absolutely nothing about it, in fact parents will give that same excuse, ‘Oh, the children love it.’
    I agree about the general loudness, lack of awareness of surroundings, smoking, never apologising, assuming they’re right all the time, and lack of critical thinking. But I also agree that these are generalisations. I have Dutch friends who are not guilty of these things.

  34. I would also add that the Dutchies are terrible at small talks or chit chat. I don’t think it’s because their lack of English skill as they are the best non-native English speaking people out there. I also don’t think it’s lack of interest because most Dutchies I initiate a small talk with (eg, at the lift, the bar, the queue etc) are very eager to respond and reciprocate to my friendly quips. I think it’s simply lack of practice because it’s probably not in their culture. They tend to respond with awkward facts, lame jokes and various cringe worthy exchanges. But hey, I like that at least they try and stay open to it!

  35. Directness IMO is the best thing about the Dutch. You always know where you stand, and in business especially it is so efficient. Not to mention there is none of that nice to your face but really hate your guts behavioir. We live in the North so maybe it differs. Coming from southern Europe, and having lived in Asia and the UK, where no one ever says what they mean, I find it so refreshing and easy. They are definitely stingy, but they are consistent – they are stingy both with themselves and with others, saving money for the sake of it it is part of the culture. In part I like that they can be happy with little and have no need for splurging or showing off. In comparison to many other places the NL has amazing work life balance, class differences are not as pronounced, and I find the regular schools to be very good – it is great that one doesnt need to dish out tens of thousands for a good school, like in the UK for example. It is not perfect, no place is, but I am surprised by some of the overtly negative comments here.

  36. Christina October 6, 2020 At 16:35
    Absolutely true. I have never known such a smug load of know-it-alls.
    I have lived in the Netherlands for 3 years, they are trying far too hard to sound like they know it all. Smug and arrogant on the whole. Food is a disaster, and restaurants just rehash other culture’s cuisines, and not that well. It is expensive for low quality. what is shocking is in every case of me meeting a new Dutch person, literally their second opening paragraph will be, ‘Oh, of course, I got a good deal’ or, ‘I only paid x for it’ Always on about ‘Korting’ or how cheaply they live. They may proudly consider it ‘good business sense’ but they do not realise how tasteless and quite dull it is to discuss such monetary issues with a newly acquired friend. It is also completely dull and tedious to hear them proudly proclaim how incredible frugally they live. They must be still living with the Methodist ideology of a simple godly life, good for them, but it is a dull joyless conversation to sit through. I wish the Dutch the best of luck, they are good at what they do, they have their own rules, like eating at 6pm even at a restaurant. However, I cannot help but feel they are trying too hard. Parties all the time, big flags outside their houses, almost to make sure they are ‘such fun’ or maybe not German. They are a tiny country, once great, now not so great. Stayed out of WW1, wanted to also remain neutral in WW2. I sadly do not have that much respect for them myself, as they are dull, tight, money-obsessed, small minded, too direct and frankly tactless. They seem to also be rude in the fact they are not sorry when they have upset you or made a mistake, and seem to never be wrong. I also never fully trust a country that has such a lack of respect for cuisine.

    I hasten to add that this is my personal experience of living in the south of the country (Limburg) for 4 years. I have worked with Dutch people and got to know about 60 of them. So, of course I am speaking for the entire nation. This is just my personal opinion from my experience. I have also lived in 10 cities in the UK, in the countryside in 7 places in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and America. I feel have I have got a good hold at the age of 56 years of what makes a friendly, kind, culturally rich citizen. Also a secondary school teacher for 35 years. God love them, I will continue to make the most of it whilst I am here, and I LOVE the cycling, it is really special here, however, the Dutch need to get on with it in their own particular way, that does not suit me. Good luck to them in their painfully flat, small, grey country.

  37. My experience of NL is that things are never what they seem.

    We are told Dutch are direct and speak their minds. However where I work I have noticed how many lies I deal with on a daily basis. Also lazy people at my office that do virtually nothing all day except sit in meetings and act like they are so smart.

    One day a coworker of mine showed me the company whatsapp group. I noticed how many people were off sick or couldnt make it in. Son is ill. Builders are at home. Staying at home today etc etc. I was shocked. This contradicts the good old fashioned Dutch efficiency we hear about.

    What about meetings that start on the dot? Yes that’s true. You cant be 10 seconds late for a meeting as this is “efficient” and “business-like”. But what about the content of the meeting? all talking, people showing off, all a pile of crap. People who do nothing all day trying to clean the greasy pole. Be aware that if you are the type of person who gets things done and hates all the BS you are in for a shock as you’ll end up with all the work which the Dutch can then pick to pieces.

    Generally speaking at my office, people do whatever they like. They run away from work and focus on picking holes in anything they set their eyes on. I think this is some control-freak mindset. I know of projects that have never been finished and people just say “oh i dont have time” then bugger off and leave it for someone else to do. Add to this the fact that their bosses know it’s going on but cover for them (more lies.)

    Closed books? Yes that comment is correct. I’ve given up trying to chat to people as they will just ignore you. You will find when you are new person, they come and chat to you about themselves and ask you questions too. It seems nice but often that’s just “the rules” and after that they will blank you when you pass them in the corridor.

  38. The Hague is our government capital. Amsterdam is our national capital. To make it even more complicated: Haarlem is the capital of the same province where Amsterdam is located.

  39. Holland and the Netherlands are 2 different places.

    Most of the Netherlands despise Holland as a whole, which is why you can’t call our country Holland. If the Netherlands liked Holland or Hollanders, they wouldn’t have minded you calling the country Holland.

  40. Whaaaat is this what the NL is known for wth

    If someone shouted at me i’d just be like ‘hey dude pls dont shout at me’.
    In the NL you have the oppurtunity to say it when someones beaviour doesnt suit you, thats the whole point of being direct, we don’t see it as being mean, i appreciate it when someone tells me how they want to be treated.

  41. Norwegian here, married to a Dutch woman.
    2 Dutch children.
    8 years living in the Netherlands.

    Scandinavia & the Netherlands are quite similar yet worlds apart in terms of certain culture norms.

    My two cents:

    It’s not the directness that can be bothersome. I appreciate directness.
    Rather, it’s the petty know-it-all attitude commonly displayed by a large portion of the Dutch population. That is not directness, but arrogance. A ‘betweter’ attitude.

    There seems to be a culturally promoted standard whereby thinking before one speaks is somehow discouraged or seen as weak, no matter how meaningful (or meaningless) ones words may be; reeks of the Dunning-Kruger effect (“the world is my Duck-pond”).

    It’s the total opposite of Norway and Sweden: we speak our minds too little, the Dutch too much.

    There is also an “iederen vor zich zelfs” attitude that has shocked me – a lack of common courtesy.
    Examples of this:
    1. Not giving up ones seat to pregnant women on public transport.
    – I never saw this happen in France, UK, Norway or Sweden.
    – I’ve seen this multiple times in NL. I had personal experience of a young healthy man retorting “Ja,het is niet mijn schuld dat ze zwanger is. Ze is niet ziek toch?”
    2. Not picking dogshit.
    – I guess Dutch people don’t like to walk/run across the grass with their kids?
    3. Smoking at bus stops and playgrounds.
    – I smoke but I’m not going to impose it on others.
    4. Not queuing for busses or trains.
    – This is sacrilegious for a Norwegian.

    Also Dutch people stare. A LOT.
    Scandinavian children are taught from an early age that this is rude.
    Also, in the UK one is likely to get into a fight staring at the wrong person for too long.

    But hey, I’m just a buitenlander. What do I know.

    • There are fools are arrogant people in all countries.
      There are positive and negative cultural norms in all countries.
      By no means am I saying that all Dutch people are like what I described above.
      I fell in love with a Dutch woman after all.

      However I have never in all my life encountered so many selfish, arrogant people as I have in the Netherlands. Then again, that is from my foreign perspective.
      Obviously these things are not considered rude by the majority of Dutch society.


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