The Netherlands are a beautiful country. I’ve been there twice since June 2016. I’ve visited Amsterdam, Utrecht and a place called Bunnik. And yes, I’ve seen the tulips and tried on some wooden shoes. They are far more comfortable than they might seem.
I’ve also made some Dutch friends. I even understand some Dutch words and phrases, but I struggle to speak that language.
I really loved it there, and I will definitely return. So here are a few tips to help you get along.
- Get yourself an OV chip card. This card is used as the main payment for public transportation. In fact, it’s the only way to board a bus, train or tram. It’s valid all over the Netherlands, and that’s what makes it convenient to carry one. Downside is, that in order to board a train, you need to have at least 20€ on your card. And don’t forget to check out when you leave your transit. I have about 15€ left on mine, and it’s valid until 2020.
- It’s easier to get around with public transportation than it is with your car. Some streets even have extra tram lanes.
- You should definitely rent a bike, called ‘fiets’ in Dutch, and get around like a real Dutchman/ Dutchess. It’s the best way to explore the cities and the countryside.
- Obay the speed limit. Tickets are quite expensive. The speed limit in cities is 50, and on the Dutch Autobahn it’s 100km/h.
- There are several famed museums in the Netherlands, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House (just to name a few) and many more just in Amsterdam.
- Visit a coffee shop. You can actually get coffee (and tea) there.
- Buy some cheese in a cheese store. Preferably Gouda. There are plenty variations of it, including some more exotic ones. My favourite is a Gouda with green pesto.
- Try on some wooden shoes. They are called clogs in the Netherlands.
- If you’re in Amsterdam, visit the EYE film museum.
- And definitely go see the tulips.
- There are plenty good options on AirBnB (> click here). When I first came to Amsterdam, I had a booking with the Urban Campground. It was quite a thing at that time. But sand got anywhere.
- There are some fine hostels as well, if you want to safe some money.
Links to the Urban Campground:
- The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro.
- ATMs are located at banks and some train stations.
- Some supermarkets (for example some locations of Albert Hein) accept card only. No cash whatsoever.
- Always have some small change on you (10,20,50 cent coins), there’s a good chance that you have to pay for using the public restroom. But it probably will be cleaned regularly, said that’s worth paying for, right?
- You can get a lot of authentic Caribbean food in the Netherlands (Curaçao is Dutch after all). You should definitely try out some Roti.
- The Dutch like to deep fry stuff. You should definitely try try some frikandel, kroketjes and pataat (French Fries).
- Also try stroopwaffles (syrup waffles), speculaas (cookies) and Groninger Metworst.
- Dutch pancakes rule.
- There’s also plenty of fish specialties.