10 Ways to ‘go Dutch’

going dutch, how do i do that?

Going Dutch - Windmill the Bloem in Amsterdam West

1. Cycle everywhere you go – Going dutch

When thinking about going Dutch we have to start with cycling everywhere. The infrastructure for biking is excellent, cycle paths run everywhere and the country is flat. The cycle skill level is extremely high. As soon as children can walk, they will learn how to cycle.

You can see anything transported by bike: groceries, children, beer or another bike. Also tricky tram tracks and other obstacles are no problem.

More impressive is the skill of being able to cycle under influence of alcohol: 68 percent of youth cycles under influence during weekends when measured around midnight.

Cycling is embedded in the culture. When asking someone: ‘How far is the Anne Frank house?’ He’ll likely say: ‘It is 10 minutes’. He means: ‘It is 10 minutes by bike.’

Traffic jam with cyclists

Traffic jam with cyclists

2. Go boating – Going dutch

26 percent of the Dutch territory is below sea level. Many European rivers start in the Alps and end in the Netherlands, at the North Sea.

The Dutch live with water. This is why 98 percent of the Dutch has a swimming diploma. And this is why the Dutch have extremely high developed knowledge about how to protect themselves against the water.

Many people own boats and there are many houseboats.

Go boating

Go boating

3. Pay for what you use – Going dutch

‘Let’s go Dutch’ means you should pay for what you eat or drink instead of split the bill equally. Oh you had a burger which was 2 Euros more, so you should be paying 2 Euros more.

I paid the last round of drinks, could you get the next one?

You did not have any consumption at our restaurant. The toilet is 50 cents without consumption.

When you’re not a customer you often have to pay for toilet usage in Amsterdam

4. Drink tap water – Going dutch

Tap water is perfectly drinkable in the Netherlands, and everybody does so. The water is the safest and cleanest of Europe (according to the European Union). The Dutch do buy water though, and most do so to have a new bottle to refill it at home.

Public tap water can be found on many places in the centre of Amsterdam

Public tap water can be found on many places in the centre of Amsterdam

5. Love things that are free – Going dutch

A free sample of a drink? Free cheese in the supermarket? Free sunglasses at a fair? The Dutch love it!

Really cool is to visit one of the free concerts that are given at the open-air theatre from the 5th of May till the 10th of September. Most performances are given on weekends. Check the program by clicking here.

Noordermarkt, Jordaan District - Sample cheese is often available at the market

Noordermarkt, Jordaan District –
Sample cheese is often available at the market

6. Go party on the street and at free festivals – Going dutch

The most famous ones are: Kingsday (27th of April) and The Canal Pride of the Gay Pride (first Saturday of August).

The Canal Pride of the Gaypride is completely free and so much fun. Just stand on the banks of the Prinsengracht or the Amstel River and watch 80 boats with DJs, different themes, plenty of boobs, smiles and crazy stunts. In 2017 this will be on the 5th of August from 14.00-18.00h.

Kings’ day is the celebration of the birth of King Willem Alexander. The night before is called Kings’ night and most parties take place during this night. The next day on the Kings’ birthday you’ll find flea markets on the streets and funny street games everywhere.

Canal Parade 2016

7. Get ‘gezellig’ – Going dutch

What exactly is ‘gezellig?’

The word has no direct translation. It is more a concept. When group of friends get together they will often say: ‘Gezellig to be together’. The word roughly translates to cozy.



8. Eat bitterballen during the VrijMiBo – Going dutch

The Dutch often go for a beer with colleagues on Fridays (VrijMiBo). Liquid dinner is not appreciated by many, so that’s why many eat a ‘Bitterbal’. Bitterballen are round mini krokets, mini deep fried gravy bites.

Going Dutch - Friday after work drink, VrijMiBo

Friday after work drink = VrijMiBo

9. Be direct – Going dutch

Don’t be flabbergasted when the hotel porter says to you: ‘I’ll carry your luggage. I can see that you are tired and had a long flight’. Or: ‘Have you been out yesterday?’ or: ‘You look ill, are you okay?’ Some might these phrases are rude to say. In the Netherlands it is shrugged off as Dutch directness.

10. Take priority in traffic – Going dutch

By law priority should be given to anyone crossing a zebra path. In Amsterdam and other bigger cities in the Netherlands, that’s different though. Priority is only given when you are actively showing that you are going to take it.

Going Dutch - Cyclists often take priority over pedestrians in Amsterdam

Cyclists often take priority over pedestrians – while here on this crossing pedestrians have priority (even over trams)


Do you want to go real Dutch? Do a transfer tour with LocalLayover.com in Amsterdam!


7 thoughts on “10 Ways to ‘go Dutch’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *