It’s Valentine’s Day in the Netherlands, you’re dating a Dutchie, and not sure what to do or to gift them? If you’re thinking “nothing, or maybe a card,” then you may not be too far off!
If Valentine’s Day isn’t your favourite day ever, you’re not the only one: The Dutch are not the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day either.
Since numbers don’t lie, we can tell you that one out of five Dutchies celebrates this day, while 90% of them consider it to be just commercial nonsense — an obligation rather than a celebration.
So yes, you could say that there’s some truth to the stereotype that the Dutch are not heel romantic.
How can you surprise your partner on Valentine’s Day in the Netherlands?
Keep it cliché (and cheap)
Let’s say you are dating one of those Dutchies that actually enjoy the celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. You don’t want to do anything too major, but you also don’t want it off your radar completely.
What are you supposed to get? What are you supposed to do?
We believe that even the tiniest bit of thought makes a gift memorable — so why not learn some Dutch pick-up lines to reignite that spark with your loved one? 😉
If you’d rather stick with the classics, then the Netherlands is the right place to do so: Approximately 57% of Dutch people offer cards to their partner on Valentine’s Day (if your lover gets you a card, relax, it’s just how they do it here!).
You’d also still be a great Valentine if you go for chocolates or wine, but your gift should stay around €15 euros, as that’s the average that the Dutch spend on Valentine’s Day.
But who knows, you might be part of the lucky 2% who get presents worth more than that!
Say it with flowers
Second to a card and chocolates? Flowers. Flowers from the market, flowers from the store, even the flower shop itself — they’re all flowers, and they’re all yours. 💐
However, where the French or the English might give their Valentine red roses, the Dutch are more into mixed bouquets, keeping it classy and colourful, and tweaking your expectations.
If you’re a florist, then this day is when you rake in all that sweet money. The number of pre-orders for flowers is enormous leading up to V-day.
According to Royal FloraHolland, they sell many more flowers in the early weeks of February than any other time of the year. Money jumps from 80 million euros to a whopping 125 million euros in flower sales across the Netherlands. 💝
Valentine’s Day activities in the Netherlands
If you want to do something a little special for V-day, there are a few things you could do.
For something a little extra, take a trip to the Dutch seaside, like Scheveningen, where we’ve compiled a whole list of activities that you could plan for your valentine. You could also try going out for an outdoor activity or a day trip, depending on your city.
As the true foodies we are, rest assured we have plenty of food suggestions for you here at DutchReview. And even if you’re in the mood for something a little low-key, you can opt for some home-cooking — maybe even go for a Dutch meal?
If you are planning on going to the restaurant, think ahead and make reservations. The Dutch might not spend the most on presents, but they sure enjoy a nice dinner date. 🍽️
The only thing you should absolutely not do on Valentine’s Day, is to send your date a Tikkie for whatever activity you end up doing (but we’re sure you already knew that!). 😉
If you’re still on the lookout for your Valentine, fear not — there are plenty of ways that you can find love in the Netherlands. In the meantime, let’s not underestimate self-care and treating yo-self to a nice solo V-day-date, instead of someone else. 🤗
READ MORE | Finding love in the Netherlands: 5 ways to meet your very own ‘schatje’
What are your plans this Valentine’s Day? Will you be celebrating at all? Tell us in the comments below!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in February 2019 and was fully updated in February 2023 for your reading pleasure!
Yep. My dutch wife is not a fan of Valentines Day. Have you ever heard of Wed & Walk in Amsterdam? I did it a few years ago with a friend for a laugh (before I met my wife). You get married for 24 hours on Valentines day with a mini ceremony, plastic rings and costumes. It was a good laugh (but a bit awkward when I had to kiss the bride).
I am enjoying your articles. I am a Brazilian woman dating with a Dutch man. Everything that you write it is true. About Valentine’s day I learned… Everything must be practical. So how in Brazil we celebrate Valentine’s day at June, I forget the day and he also… He’s said “Girl; I am Dutch Ok!” ??