Author Topic: Netherlands etiquette?  (Read 6082 times)

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TaurusGirl

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Netherlands etiquette?
« on: January 16, 2012, 09:52:35 AM »
Hi all!
I'm hoping to get some help with ettiquete for an upcoming trip. In a few months The Hawk and I are going to Amsterdam for a week. We are staying at a bed & breakfast, and will be taking ourselves on walking tours of the city.
Are there any specifics of ettiquette we should keep in mind for Amsterdam? Tipping, public behavior, that kind of thing?
Thank you!!!

bopper

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012, 04:26:26 PM »
Keep in mind that coffee shops may not only serve coffee (they may also sell marijuana).

The Dutch are pretty straightfoward some might even say brusque people.

For some reason they don't open pancake houses in the morning.

mechtilde

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 03:48:57 AM »
Keep in mind that coffee shops may not only serve coffee (they may also sell marijuana).

In big cities, avoid the ones with signs in English- if you can find a Koffie Huis, it is a lot less likely to be full of stoned, obnoxious foreigners than a Coffee House.

As for Dutch etiquette- they aren't really sticklers in my experience. As long as you are friendly and polite they really won't pay much attention to any minor breaches of etiquette.
NE England

Kitty Hawk

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 04:16:25 AM »
It is quite obvious which Coffee Houses are which.  If nothing else, just look at the decor in the front window, and take a sniff.

And pancakes are not considered a breakfast food.


Steve

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 09:54:30 AM »
Also, if you go looking of a "Koffie huis" you will be searching a long time... if you want coffee: go to a "Cafe" (but there will be plenty of those in Amsterdam).

Tipping here is not like in the US. Waiters are paid a full wage, to you only need to tip if you were really happy with the service. Amsterdam will be expensive enough.

As for ettiquette: most Dutch are very accustomed to foreigners, especially in Amsterdam. Try to be friendly, that is all you will need.



WestAussieGirl

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 04:33:00 PM »
It's been a few years since I was in Holland but at that time it was not usual to tip (although not unwelcome). From memory we tipped in a similar way to what we do here in Australia i.e.tip in restaurants for exceptional service, round up to an even amount in taxis.

I do have a lot of Dutch friends and they are a relaxed bunch and not easily offended.  They are very, very direct and will ask or say whatever is on their mind. When you aren't used to it it can come across as rudeness to us while they see it more as being honest.  They are also very generous people and always bring something when they come to my home, even for the smallest visit.  If the B&B is rooms in someone's home, I would bring a small gift for the hosts.

One thing to be aware of is that they kiss 3 times in greeting. I always get caught with the pull-back too soon.


WillyNilly

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 05:37:42 PM »
My only tips are watch out for bikes!  If you are American you are probably used to A) looking first to your left, then your right when crossing and B) pedestrians having the right of way.  Not so over there!  Those bikes come from your right (well on streets without a canal down the middle!) and they come fast!

Also, if you are walkers, Amsterdam is just about completely walkable.  You can use the buses if you'd rather, but if you have the time and energy, hoof it.

And if you do partake in the marijuana be warned its much stronger then in the US so you get more stoned.  My advice is have a small street map and a pen and as you walk, every time you turn mark it on your map, so you can find your way back!  ;D

Tia2

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 05:57:17 PM »
It is quite obvious which Coffee Houses are which.  If nothing else, just look at the decor in the front window, and take a sniff.

And pancakes are not considered a breakfast food.

When I was there, pancakes also weren't what the US calls pancakes.  They seemed to be more like French crepes.

Bluenomi

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 06:04:12 PM »
It is quite obvious which Coffee Houses are which.  If nothing else, just look at the decor in the front window, and take a sniff.

And pancakes are not considered a breakfast food.

When I was there, pancakes also weren't what the US calls pancakes.  They seemed to be more like French crepes.

They were so tasty though!

I walked everywhere, it's so easy to be doing very flat. I also found pretty much everyone had a good grasp of english which helped.

I found Amsterdam was the only city in the world I got lost in though  :P

Portugal79

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 07:58:22 PM »
when visiting the anne frank house, please be respectful.


also in the red light district, never take pictures of the girls in the windows. 

also Hollanders are some of the mos relaxed people in the world, but never disrespect there county. also litter dropping is also frowned upon

lcmamom

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 09:40:03 PM »
If you are interested in seeing the Anne Frank Haus, go online TODAY and reserve your tickets.  They are very inexpensive and you can walk right in.  The line is VERY long.

We had an English interpreter take us into a special room.  She gave is a little speech and we got to see photos that were not in the museum at that point. 


blarg314

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 10:04:04 PM »

My personal experience with Dutch people is to not take it personally.  :)

I've found that among Western cultures, my Dutch co-workers and friends are among the most direct and plain spoken in general social interaction. In one case, I went from first meeting someone at work to discussing my breast size in about ten minutes.

It creates some interesting situations at work, when Dutch crashes up against Japanese....



Calypso

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 12:08:04 AM »
I'm not sure (can Netherlander Ehellions tell me?) but I think the Netherlands are one of those countries where you don't pick up food and eat it with your hands....sandwiches, hamburgers and so forth are eaten with a knife and fork. Of course, as PPs have said, they're so used to tourists that I'm sure no one would look askance at U.S. eating habits.

Also, marijuana tourism is on the way out----by the end of 2012, only residents with ID cards will be permitted to buy pot in the coffee shops. This is already the case in some cities, but I don't remember off the top of my head which ones.

Have a great time, TaurusGirl! Such a lovely place to visit.

Scottie

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 06:49:28 AM »
Lucky you! I love Amsterdam!

Having been there a few times, I would second the poster who said to watch out for the bikes! And always make sure you're not walking in the cycle path.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city but if you are going to tour the red light district then be aware of what is going around you at all times. There are a lot of drug addicts wandering around and DH and I were offered hard drugs a number of times by shady characters as they walked past us.

However, I think this is something you'd find in many cities and not exclusive to Amsterdam! Also be very careful of your belongings if your at the train station and avoid hanging around there at night.

As for the Dutch - I've never met a Dutch person I didn't like. They're a bit like Germans - but with a sense of humour ;-)

Oh - Amsterdam is also great for shopping!! Have fun!!

mechtilde

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Re: Netherlands etiquette?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 06:52:30 AM »
I'm not sure (can Netherlander Ehellions tell me?) but I think the Netherlands are one of those countries where you don't pick up food and eat it with your hands....sandwiches, hamburgers and so forth are eaten with a knife and fork. Of course, as PPs have said, they're so used to tourists that I'm sure no one would look askance at U.S. eating habits.

D'Oh! I forgot that one!
NE England