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25 Interesting facts about the Netherlands

25 Interesting facts about the Netherlands

Photo: Shutterstock

Are you looking for facts about the Netherlands? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a list of 25 Interesting facts about the Netherlands and the Dutch people that you probably didn’t know!

To make this even more fun, I want to give you a challenge. How many of these Netherlands facts did you already know before reading? Share your result in the comment section!

You can also read the answers to some common questions like “Holland vs the Netherlands”, “Is Holland a country?”, Who are the Dutch? and much more further down in this article. 

1. The Dutch Healthcare is considered to be one of the best

In the annual Euro health consumer index, the Dutch Healthcare system is always at the top, and worldwide they’re also among the top 5 countries with the best healthcare. The ranking differs a bit depending on which criteria that is taken into count, but nonetheless the Dutch Healthcare is always ranked among the best.

2. The Dutch People are the tallest in the world

According to the world health organization, the Dutch males average 183.8 cm, which is the tallest in the world and the female average height is 170.7 cm, which gives them a second place of the tallest women in the world.

3. The Dutch people eat more licorice than any other country

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the Dutch people love licorice because more than 32 million kilos of licorice is being eaten annually.

dutch licorice

Photo: Shutterstock

4. The Netherlands is the second biggest beer exporter in the world

A lot of Dutch people definitely enjoy a glass of beer, and especially craft beer. But worldwide they’re also famous for exporting beer, and Mexico is the only country in the world that exports more beer than the Netherlands.

You’ve probably heard of Heineken, Amstel, and Grolsch.

5. They are also the world’s second-biggest food exporter

Despite the relatively small size of the country, and a population of just around 17 million people, the Netherlands is the second biggest food exporter in the world!

6. Dutch artists

The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s biggest art museums such as Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Throughout history, some of the greatest artists are of Dutch origin.

Some of the best examples are Rembrandt, Vincent Van Gogh, M. C. Escher and Johannes Vermeer just to mention a few great Dutch artists!

rembrandt - dutch facts

The famous Nightwatch by Rembrandt

7. Cannabis is decriminalized and you’re allowed to smoke

Amsterdam particularly is famous worldwide for their Cannabis Cafes. Technically the use and possession of Cannabis drugs are still illegal, but there is a policy of tolerance from the Dutch law enforcement.

Certified cannabis suppliers, such as coffee shops must abide by certain codes to avoid sanctions.

8. The first country to legalize same-sex marriage

Back in 2001, The Netherlands took a huge step forward for the HBTQ-community when they became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

9. They drink the largest amount of coffee per person after the Nordic countries

Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark drink the most coffee in the world, but the Dutch People sure love their coffee too. On average each Dutch person drinks 2.4 cups of coffee a day.

kenya coffee

10. There’s a fake village for people who suffer from dementia

In the small town of Weesp, there’s a gated village called Hogeweyk that is specifically designed to take care of elderly people with dementia. Only patients categorized as having “severe cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease” are admitted to Hogeweyk

All in all, this village has almost every you can wish for in a regular town, but here they also have 24/7 nurses, caretakers, and doctors available.

11. The Netherlands was the most innovative country in 2017

Together with Sweden and Switzerland, The UN named these 3 countries as the most innovative countries in 2017.

12. Tulips may be a Dutch thing today, but they’re not native

Tulips were actually imported from the Ottoman Empire, but they thrived in the Dutch soil, and nowadays the country is famous worldwide for their tulips, and the Netherlands is also the biggest exporter of Tulips.

tulips - facts about the netherlands

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Liberalism, freedom, and multicultural

The Netherlands is famous for being liberal, independent and accepting towards other ethnicities. Amsterdam, for example, is home to more than 180 nationalities.

14. All Dutch electric trains are powered by wind energy

In total, the electric trains are serving about 600 000 passengers daily. And the trains are all powered by renewable wind energy!

15. There are more bikes than people

Did you know that there are about 1.3 bicycles per person in the Netherlands? That’s a lot of bicycles!

This is definitely one of the most interesting facts about the Netherlands since the bike is such an integrated part of the culture and everyday life.

bikes in Amsterdam - Netherlands facts

Photo: Shutterstock

Bonus Fact – King’s day (Koningsdag)

Every year, the 27 April, the King’s day is celebrated. Check out the video below to see what it’s all about.

5 x Fun Facts about the Netherlands and the Dutch people

  • A Dutch person will cycle 2.5 km per day on average and 900 km per year
  • Raw herrings topped with onions is a popular Dutch snack
  • They have been making cheese since 400 A.D.
  • 70% of all bacon comes from the Netherlands
  • The Dutch people are generally brutally honest and they don’t sugar coat the truth.

5 x Netherlands facts for kids

  • The Netherlands was one of the six founding members of the European Union
  • Many of the world’s tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers are exported from here
  • The color orange has long been associated with the Netherlands due to Willem van Orange
  • Willem-Alexander became king of the Netherlands in 2013 after Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne
  • The Lion and the Black-Tailed Godwit are considered to be the country’s national animals.

General information about the Netherlands

  • Total Population: 17 million people.
  • Capital: Amsterdam.
  • Biggest City: Amsterdam.
  • Highest Mountain: Vaalserberg (322.7 meters)
  • Land area: 41,543 km2
  • Biggest Lake: The IJsselmeer (1,100 km2)
  • National Day: 27 April (Koningsdag)
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Monarch: Willhelm-Alexander
  • Currency: Euro.
  • Official language: Dutch.
  • Member of Nato: Yes.
  • Member of EU: Yes.
  • National song: “Wilhelmus”
  • Official website: www.government.nl
  • Timezone: CET (UTC+1)[f] AST (UTC-4) + Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) AST (UTC-4)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +31
  • Country Code: NL

Biggest Cities

If you’re looking for facts about the Netherlands, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities.

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • The Hague
  • Utrecht
  • Eindhoven
  • Tilburg
  • Almere
  • Groningen
  • Breda
  • Nijmegen

amsterdam

Netherlands or Holland?

Is Holland a country?

No, Holland is not a country. However, in some countries, Holland is being informally used to describe the Netherlands. But officially, it’s not a country, but instead a region with the provinces of North Holland and South Holland.

Where is Holland located?

Holland is a region in the Western part of the Netherlands. The area of Holland consists of North Holland and South Holland where Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague is included.

holland map

Where is the Netherlands?

The Netherlands is a country with the biggest part located in Western Europe. But there’s also the Caribbean islands Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius that’s a part of the country.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands however also include Aruba, Curacao and Sint Marten as constituent countries within the Kingdom.

What Language do they speak in the Netherlands?

They speak Dutch. However, in the Caribbean parts, Papiamento and English are also recognized as regional languages.

Who are the Dutch?

Also referred to as the Netherlanders. “Nederlanders” are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. The Dutch are famous throughout history for their trading skills and are also considered to be the pioneers of capitalism.

Nowadays, there are about 28 million people of Dutch ancestry worldwide that can be found within the country as well as migrant countries worldwide such as the United States of America, Aruba, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Canada etc.

Netherlands Map

Here’s a map of the European part of the country.

netherlands map

Photo: Shutterstock

Flag of the Netherlands

Did you know that the Dutch flag used to have an orange stripe instead of red? It was William of Orange who chose the colors of the flag. The orange color was later changed, but it’s not certain why. Two popular theories are the fact that the orange dye fade to red after some time.

And some believe it was changed because of the 1654 English-Dutch defense treaty that prohibited any member from the House of Orange from becoming a Dutch head of State.

flag of the netherlands

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How many of these Netherlands Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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