Whether you are visiting friends in the Netherlands, on business in Amsterdam or just for funtravelFor a holiday, a good way to get acquainted with Dutch social norms and customs is to avoid faux pas and feel relaxed knowing you're behaving in a way that doesn't offend the locals!
The Dutch are friendly and pragmatic people who are not burdened by the complex etiquette or social customs of many European nations. They are also very direct and straight forward. So if you put your foot in, you'll find out quickly!
To give you a few hints and tips, we have put together some of the frequently asked questions about behavior in the Netherlands.
DDo people tip in Amsterdam?
First of all, perhaps the most frequently asked question on this subject – “Do you tip in Amsterdam?”. That question is pretty easy to answer - the Dutch don't have as entrenched a culture of tipping as the English-speaking world. In a bar, restaurant orprivate boat tour in Amsterdam, assuming the service was good, a tip of around 10% is appreciated but not automatically expected. you type inAmsterdam nightlife? At a coffee shop, nightclub, or bar, it's okay to round up the bill or leave some loose change (if there's a tip jar, you can just throw your tip in).
Do you tip in Amsterdam taxis? The answer to this question is that people generally don't tip their drivers. However, when you receive great service, rounding up the bill is well received. When it comes to tour guides or other people working directly in the tourism industry, tipping is expected more often (provided the service was of a high standard). If you are unsure, it is always best to tip around 10% - this way you don't offend anyone, but don't pay too much either!
This is probably not a bridge for you to cross as a visiting tourist, but for those who would like to make friends with some locals, the Netherlands, like much of Europe, has a culture of social kissing between friends. A handshake is usually the normal greeting when you first meet someone. If you meet a friend, it is traditionally three kisses. However, in cities like Amsterdam it's very common (especially among younger people) to greet each other with a single kiss or a hug - maybe this is because Amsterdam is so multicultural and it's easier to do so.
Can you smoke on the streets in Amsterdam?
Given Amsterdam's reputation as the cannabis capital of the world, you might think that strolling the streets with a joint in hand is perfectly acceptable. While you might see groups of tourists doing just that, at the very least it's frowned upon and you might be asked to say it by a police officer, or fined in many areas. Although you probably won't have any problems in very touristy places like the red light district, it's best to enjoy the convenience of a cafe or smoker-friendly bar.
However, when it comes to smoking cigarettes, the answer is completely different. For many Amsterdam visitors (particularly from the US or Australia) it comes as a surprise how many people can be seen smoking cigarettes outside of restaurants and bars. Although bans are beginning to come into force and indoor smoking areas are due to close next year, lighting up on a patio is perfectly acceptable and most tables will be fitted with ashtrays.
Do I need to learn some Dutch?
Assuming you're only visiting for a short period of time, this isn't necessary - you just need to learn a few words, e.g. B. "Thank you" ("ThanksAlso’) or good morning (Good morning) will be greatly appreciated! Unlike in other countries, you are very unlikely to encounter language barriers when speaking to Dutch people. Over 90% of the Dutch speak English (this is higher in Amsterdam and the big cities), around 70% speak German and many speak French, Spanish or other languages.
made a faux pas? No panic…
Had an embarrassing moment and accidentally kissed someone on the ear? Confused your hot piece of jewelry with a thank you? Have you over-tipped or under-tipped your waiter, barman, or tour guide? Don't stress it too much. The Dutch are a pretty laid back bunch. Just remember to use the usual pleasantries you would use anywhere else in Europe and you will be absolutely fine.
For more practical information about Amsterdam, check out this blog about themost frequently asked questions.