There are many clichés about the Dutch. Some can be damaging, some are downright wrong, and some have a grain of truth to them.
After living here for a year, I have narrowed down to five clichés about the Dutch that are, in most cases, absolutely true. 💁
1. They are super frugal
Ever heard the expression “going Dutch?” While not all dates turn out this way, you’re more likely to end up paying for at least some of your own meals if you date a Dutchie.
Being goedkoop (cheap) is frequently seen as a big selling point for many products and services in the Netherlands.
Dutch people love a bargain (but who doesn’t?), and sometimes this trait doesn’t always come across so well.
READ MORE | 14 downright stingy things Dutch people do
However, some people might just see this as being more frugal and less materialistic than other nations.
And it certainly doesn’t have to mean that they have less fun! Perhaps not spending as much money leaves more room for other ways of enjoying life.
2. They are obsessed with bikes
Ahh yes, the bicycle is another cliché about the Dutch.
Although not invented by the Dutch (it was German inventor Karl Drais who invented the precursor to the modern bicycle in 1817), this two-wheeled mode of transport is a hallmark of the Netherlands.
Perhaps it’s because it’s so small and flat and, therefore, relatively easy to manoeuvre with two pedals.
Or, perhaps it’s because bicycles save space and are environmentally friendly.
But the point is, if you want to fit into Dutch life, you should probably get a bicycle.
This can be a good thing if it is making exercise and freedom more accessible for those who are less mobile.
READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #3: cycle more than they walk
It also means that older generations are suddenly much speedier than they’re used to, so keep your wits about you.
3. Frank Dutch uncles are a real thing
Ever heard of a Dutch uncle? No, I don’t mean a tall, distant relative called Jan or Matthijs.
This is another stereotype from abroad, which is noticeable if you come from a polite-to-the-point-of-passive-aggressive culture like the UK.
The Dutch are direct, blunt, no-nonsense people. They won’t pretend to like something just because they think it might offend you.
On the one hand, it is very “refreshing”, as you will know exactly where you stand — but it can also come as a bit of a shock.
It might seem a little harsh at first, but you should get used to it if you plan to spend any amount of time in the Netherlands.
4. They love — and I mean LOVE — cheese
I love cheese. I have always said, “I could be a vegan if it weren’t for cheese.”
Maybe I thought I would fit right in, and in many ways, I do, particularly when it comes to kaas.
But be warned, if you are a strict vegan, the yellow stuff is everywhere: from delicious kaassouffles (cheese souffles) to boterhamen (sandwiches), you’d better get used to it because the Dutch put it in pretty much everything.
5. They are ridiculously tall
This is probably the most obviously apparent one of the clichés about the Dutch when you arrive in the Netherlands.
Many of us come to the Netherlands being average or above average height, but here…we’re dwarfed in comparison to the average Dutch person.
Of course, not all clichés and stereotypes are true, but we’ve found that these five are accurate across the board.
Do you think these clichés about Dutch people are true? Tell us about it in the comments below!