There are many things that the Netherlands is known for. These include coffee shops, windmills, tulips, wooden clogs, and much more. However, there is more to the country than meets the eye, which is why these various facts about the Netherlands are interesting to know.
Everyone wants to visit the country, as it is a land of beautiful people and landscapes. These Netherlands facts will help you understand the country much better.
General Facts About The Netherlands
Here are some common Netherlands facts that most people are familiar with and that you should know.
1/3rd Of The Netherlands Is Below The Sea Level
The translation of the Netherlands is actually the lowlands. As the name suggests, 1/3rd of the country is below sea level. Even the main international airport of the country is just three meters below sea level, and the highest point is only over 300 meters above sea level.
The Dutch National Anthem Is The Oldest Worldwide
The national anthem of the country dates back to the 16th century. Because of this, it is the oldest national anthem in the world. However, the national anthem was not official until the 20th century.
It Is One Of The Most Densely Populated Countries
The size of the country is small, but it is still one of the most densely populated countries in the European region. In 2019, the population was close to 17 million, and the number is only increasing. As a result, the population density of the country is 508 people per square kilometer.
It Is One Of The Happiest Countries
The World Happiness Report by the UN is released annually, and the Netherlands was ranked fifth in 2022. The country has maintained a consistent spot in the top 10 happiest countries of the world over the past decade. Many consider the Netherlands as a place with good quality of life.
The Country Is Known For Wooden Clogs
Of course, one of the most common facts about the Netherlands had to be about the wooden clogs. They are a symbol of the country as they used to be the most popular footwear.
These classics date back to the 13th century, but people don’t wear them anymore. Of course, the clogs continue to be a point of interest for tourists.
Fun Facts About The Netherlands For Tourists
As a tourist, you need to familiarize yourself with some Netherlands fun facts to make your trip memorable. Here are some of the things to know that will help you explore the country in the best way possible.
There Are More Than A Thousand Windmills In The Country
Apart from clogs, the country is famous for its windmills; which is why this had to be our first fun facts about Netherlands. Keep in mind that most of the windmills are not operational anymore because of the big buildings that block the winds.
Instead, you can now visit most of these places as tourist attractions. The best place to witness Dutch windmills is Kinderdjik. You will find over nineteen windmills here. This is one of the famous landmarks in the Netherlands.
You Will Find The Biggest Pub In Europe
Anyone that loves drinking and socializing will enjoy visiting the Three Sisters (The Drie Gezusters). The pub is located in Groningen, and it is the biggest pub in Europe, along with being a national heritage site. It has four buildings, twenty bars, and around five entrances.
Besides that, the pub can hold almost four thousand people. So, if you want a fun night out, be sure to check it out.
Drugs Are Not As Readily Available As You Might Think
The Netherlands is synonymous with cannabis consumption, but it is not as easily available as you think. Yes, coffee shops are permitted to sell cannabis, but there is a toleration criterion they need to follow. For example, they can’t sell more than five grams in one transaction.
Besides that, the shops are also not permitted to grow more than five plants of cannabis for personal consumption. You must understand these rules before you decide to purchase cannabis in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam Is Built On Over 11 Million Wooden Poles
Yes, Amsterdam is entirely built on more than 11 million wooden poles, and most people don’t know these fun facts about the Netherlands. All the houses and buildings are supported by these poles to ensure that the city stays above sea level.
The capital city is a popular tourist destination for good reason. Be sure to get familiar with 30 of the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Interesting Facts About The Netherlands
Here are some of the interesting facts about Netherlands that make the country unique and diverse.
Dutch Men Are The Tallest People Worldwide
Yes, the tallest people in the world are Dutch men, as the average height of men here is 6ft. Of course, no one knows why this is the case. There are many theories that state that height is because of great healthcare and genes.
It Was The 1st Country To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
In 2001, the Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. To mark the occasion, the mayor of Amsterdam married four couples on 1st April. Ever since then, many same-sex couples have gotten happily married in the country.
Dutch Invented Gin
Anyone that loves gin can thank the Dutch for this invention. They are the ones that invented this drink and then introduced it to the British. Even the word Dutch courage comes from here, and we bet you didn’t know these interesting facts about the Netherlands before.
There Are Over 1,200 Bridges In Amsterdam
One thing you will find a lot in Amsterdam is bridges, as there are over 1,200 of them. That is because waterways and canals take up most of the city, as it has to stay above sea level. Nevertheless, these structures are now some of the most famous things in Amsterdam. You can visit these bridges and soak in the views as most of them are historic and beautiful.
Facts About The Netherlands For Kids
Kids should be exposed to different countries, cultures, and ways of living. It broadens their horizons and makes them open to different perspectives. So, here are the top facts about Netherlands for kids you can teach them today.
It Was One Of The Founding Countries Of The EU
There were six countries that founded the EU back in the 50s. These are known as the Inner Six, and the Netherlands was one of them. The rest of the countries include West Germany, Luxembourg, France, Italy, and Belgium.
The Country Abolished Slavery In The 19th Century
On 1st July 1863, the Netherlands took an important step as it abolished slavery. It freed more than 33,000 slaves, and this was a historic moment for the country. Ever since then, slavery has not been part of the country.
Trains In The Netherlands Are Powered By The Wind
Since 2017, all trains in the Netherlands have been powered by renewable wind energy. That is because one windmill running for an hour can power a train for more than a hundred miles. You can catch one of these trains when you visit the country.
Cocoa Powder Was Invented Here
Finally, one of the favorite facts about the Netherlands for kids is that cocoa powder was invented in the country. In 1870, a man in the Netherlands was the one that discovered turning cocoa into powder. Ever since then, it has become a commercial commodity that we all use.
Facts About The Netherlands Culture
The culture of a country is a representation of its people, what they do, the norms, and much more. Here are some facts about the Netherlands culture that will give you a glimpse into the people:
People Still Do Home Births
Yes, home births are still a thing in the Netherlands, and the country has the highest rate of home births. That is because health insurance covers home births, but doesn’t cover a hospital birth without medical necessity. The midwives are highly trained and ensure safe and effective delivery at home.
People Here Own More Bicycles Than In Any Other Country
There are more than 22 million bicycles in the Netherlands, as many people own two bicycles. That is because cycling is an important part of the Netherlands’ life and culture. Fortunately, most of the country has flat terrain, so bicycling is incredibly easy here.
The People Are One Of The Healthiest In Their Diet
When it comes to diet, the people in the Netherlands are the healthiest. They have nutritious, affordable, healthy, and abundant food. The country is also the 2nd largest vegetable exporter, and you can truly see this in the diet, as almost everyone eats greens.
Be sure to tuck into the delicious dutch food in the Netherlands when you visit.
Physical Activity Is An Important Part Of The Culture
Working out is an important part of the Netherlands’ culture. People love to run, bicycle, and take care of their overall physical health. The people are not only tall and beautiful, but they are also incredibly fit and healthy.
Fun Facts About Holland For Visitors
Holland is one of the top regions in the Netherlands, and you need to visit it when you plan to go to the Netherlands. Here are some of the top Holland facts to get an understanding of the region.
The Netherlands Is Not Holland
Many people use “the Netherlands” and “Holland” interchangeably to refer to the country. However, you should not make this mistake. Holland actually refers to the region comprising the provinces Noord-Holland and Zui-Holland.
This used to be the nickname for the country, but in 2020, the government officially dropped Holland as the nickname for the country. Now you have to refer to it as the Netherlands.
This move was made by the government to rebrand the international image of the country. So, be sure to use the correct name to refer to it from now onwards.
Holland Has Narrow Buildings Due To A Specific Tax Law
Have you ever wondered why Holland has such narrow buildings? Well, there is a reason for that because of a specific tax law. That is because taxes on buildings were higher if they were wide and tall.
Of course, people wanted to evade this extra tax liability, which is why they began creating narrow buildings. As you explore Holland, you will find these narrow buildings to be incredibly breathtaking. They are the subject of many postcards and souvenirs.
That said, the region is also home to many beautiful palaces and castles in the Netherlands.
80% Of The Flower Bulbs Worldwide Come From Here
The Netherlands is one of the top exporters of tulips, which is why 80% of the flower bulbs around the world come from here. These flowers are sold at the FloraHolland auctions. It is the largest trading center in the world for flowers and plants.
The best part is that thousands of people from around the world come here each year. Anyone that wants to see the best of the Netherlands and these flowers can visit the Keukenhof Gardens. You will find an ocean of tulips here that will take your breath away.
Tulips Are Not Native To Netherlands
Contrary to popular belief, tulips are not native to Holland or the Netherlands.
During the 16th century, the country imported tulips from Turkey, and ever since then, it has become an important part of the country. Everyone started going crazy for tulips, and at one time, a tulip cost as much as a house.
Because of this, many farmers began cultivating this flower. However, the industry collapsed in the 17th century, and many people fell into poverty. Then, the people discovered that the bulbs of these flowers could also be used as a food source.
Bonus Facts About The Netherlands
Here are some weird and fun facts about the Netherlands that will boost your knowledge
Carrots Are Orange Because Of The Netherlands
What!!? Ok, this is one of the more debatable and fun facts about the Netherlands. Some legends have it that carrots were not always orange. In the 10th century, this vegetable was purple or white.
However, Dutch farmers started to cultivate orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange who helped the Dutch gain independence from the Spanish. This happened during the 17th century, and since then, carrots have been orange.
The Dutch Eat Licorice More Than Any Other Country
An average person in the Netherlands consumes more than four pounds of licorice each year. One of the most popular types of licorice is black licorice, but there are wide varieties that you can try. For example, salty licorice is also another popular variety that you can indulge in.
Be sure to try licorice here so that you can also understand why people are crazy about it. The country has the highest licorice consumption.
Art Is One of The Top Prides Of The People
One thing you will find in the Netherlands is the deep cultural heritage. You will notice that people take pride in their art history, which is why you can also learn more about it.
Some of the top artists from the country include Vincent Van Gogh, Bosch, Leo Buekeboom, Rachel Ruysch, and many others.
Visit all the museums and art galleries to take in the art and heritage that is an important part of the country. There is also an incredible culture of slam poetry. Artists will love visiting the country as the community is vibrant and thriving here.
Bringing Your Own Bag Is The Norm In Supermarkets
You will notice that locals bring their own bags inside the supermarket. That is because the country is reducing plastic bags and single-plastic use. Even the supermarkets will not provide you with plastic bags to keep your grocery.
That is because most of them are switching to plastic-free alternatives. On the other hand, it is always best to carry your own bag. It will allow you to shop for groceries with ease and blend in with the locals.
The Dutch King Flies For KLM
Willem-Alexander, the Dutch King is famous for his passion for flying. However, he surprised everyone in 2017, when he revealed that he was working for the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as a pilot for more than twenty years. Besides that, he was also flying on short-haul services from Schipol.
You will also be surprised to find out that the King likes to take control of his royal aircraft whenever he is on a trip. Clearly, he is not a boring royal, and we love to see his passion for flying in the media.
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Discovering More Fun Facts About Netherlands
These are some of the useful and interesting facts about the Netherlands that you needed to know. It is a beautiful country with happy people and places that will make for an incredible trip.
As you venture through the country, take some time to explore and talk with locals to understand their culture better. You will discover more fascinating facts about the Netherlands.