The perfect autumn layover in Amsterdam

Book a tour for the perfect autumn layover in Amsterdam

Having a layover, transfer or stopover on Amsterdam Schiphol Airport can easily be turned into a city trip to the centre of Amsterdam. For the perfect layover it’s important to know what’s going on in town. Therefore we highly recommend booking one of our tours here. We know exactly what’s going on and we help you to optimise your stay in Amsterdam. See up to three times as much with us than going by yourself. We will have a bike, boat, a walking tour and the festivals ready for you.

Cycle, go Dutch

We, at can’t repeat it enough: make sure to cycle once you hit Amsterdam. The infrastructure for biking is excellent, cycle paths run everywhere and the country is flat. The cycle skill level is extremely high. You can see anything transported by bike: groceries, children, beer. Cycling is embedded into Dutch culture. When asking someone: ‘How far is the Anne Frank house?’ He’ll likely say: ‘It is 10 minutes’, which means that it is 10 minutes by bike. Want to read more about biking Amsterdam? Check out our blog post about bikes in Amsterdam here.

Go Cycling Amsterdam

Go Cycling Amsterdam

Go boating the canals

The Dutch live with and on water. Many people own boats and there are many houseboats. The canal belt is together with the Jordan District listed on UNESCO Heritage. Boating the canals gives you another perspective of Amsterdam. Want to read more about the canals? Check our blog here.

Go boating Amsterdam

Go boating Amsterdam

Amsterdam Dance Event October 18 to October 22, 2017

The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is a five-day electronic music conference and festival organized by The Amsterdam Dance Event Foundation. There is a full program of daytime conferences at ADE Pro, ADE Tech, HDE, ADE University, ADE Next, ADE Beamlab and ADE Green, alongside the nighttime ADE Festival which features 550 speakers, 2,200 artists, 140 venues and 375,000 people from all over the world to the city, making Amsterdam one of the busiest clubbing cities in the world.

Amsterdam Museum Night November 4th 2017

On Saturday the 4th of November more than 50 Amsterdam based museums are open from 7PM until 2AM for the annual Museum Night. Apart from seeing the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions there is plenty more to see and do, also for non-Dutch visitors. On this 18th edition you can enjoy live music, DJ’s, dance, performances, film, special tours and food & drinks in the many museums of the city.

Lunch break concerts Western Church every Friday till October 27th

Enjoy a free ‘lunch break concert’ in this 17th century church. The concerts are every Friday at 13.00h and last half an hour. The Western Church is a famous landmark in Amsterdam and remains the largest church in the Netherlands that was built for Protestants. The church is located close to the Anne Frank House where diarist Anne Frank, her family and others were hid in the ‘Achterhuis’ from Nazi persecution for two years during World War II. The Western Tower is mentioned frequently in her diary – its clock-face on the tower could be seen from the attic of the Achterhuis and Anne Frank described the chiming of the carillon as a source of comfort. A memorial statue of Anne Frank is located outside the church at Westermarkt. Famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn was buried in the church. The Church is located on the Prinsengracht, close to the Jordan District. All in all, worth visiting!

Programme Western Church

Programme Western Church

Western Church Amsterdam

Western Church Amsterdam

Halloween in Amsterdam October 25 till October 31 2017

This Halloween, Jigsaw meets Barbie and Chucky comes out to play as your childhood toys unleash their bloody revenge in Toyland. That’s the Amsterdam theme of Halloween this year. Check out the Halloween Amsterdam website and full program here.

Do you want to experience Amsterdam during a few hours? Book your tour here.

Houseboats, unique in Amsterdam

Why so many houseboats in Amsterdam?

The Netherlands is geographically a very low and flat country, with about 26% of its area located below sea level, and only half of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. The Dutch learned how to live with water. In Amsterdam ships with merchandise used to be unloaded in the city harbour to smaller boats and brought through the canals to merchants. Do you want to know more about the canals? Read ‘A brief history on the canals in Amsterdam‘.

Nowadays Amsterdam is host to 2400 houseboats. They do not move and cruise the canals, but can be moved by a tow boat. Most of the houseboats (750) are located in the central canal ring and are connected to the normal power and sewer system. Read further to get to know why there are so many houseboats in Amsterdam. Do you want to see houseboats during your few hours or layover in Amsterdam? Book a tour here.

Houseboat neighbourhood

A neighbourhood consisting of only houseboats in Amsterdam

Houseboats not for the poor anymore

After the second world war, old transport vessels became the answer for the housing shortage in Amsterdam. Living on a boat might have been uncomfortable, it was cheap and you would have at least a place to live.

Romantic as it may seem now to be living on a houseboat in Amsterdam, it is certainly not cheap. It used to be for the poor, but no longer poor people live on houseboats. The houseboats in Amsterdam are extremely popular and only for the wealthy few.

Luxurious looking houseboat

Luxurious looking houseboat

Houseboat looking like it needs maintenance

Houseboat looking like it needs maintenance

Two main types of houseboats in Amsterdam

Houseboats in Amsterdam are generally not motorised. They are moored to a fixed spot in the city. Arks are houseboats built on a floating pontoon made of concrete. We call this a modern ‘ark’. The arks arrived in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century. Of the older and probably more charming kind are the old metal ships that have been transformed into a houseboat. Some are still capable of sailing. We call them ‘house ship’ (woonschip). Some houseboats are very modern, with all possible luxurious items inside. While living on a houseboat may seem romantic, it will also take up a lot of time doing maintenance on your boat.

Houseboat Ark on concrete pontoon

Type one: most common houseboat, ark on concrete pontoon

Houseboat 'old vessel'

Type two: houseboat ‘old vessel’

Wrecks on the water and houseboats that need maintenance

The problem of trying to live on a houseboat is not the houseboat itself. It’s trying to find a place to permanently stay. You can’t just moor the boat somewhere and live there. You need a special permit, ‘ligplaats.’ There are limited ‘ligplaatsen’ in Amsterdam and there is a high demand for them. City council policy states no new permits will be issued. Now even wrecks with a permit sell well, while a luxury houseboat without a permit is worth little.

Houseboat wreck

Houseboat wreck in Amsterdam

Houseboat needs maintenance to

This houseboat could need some paint

Houseboat needs maintenance too

This houseboat could need some maintenance

Self made Houseboat

This houseboat looks like it’s self-made

Houseboat wreck

An empty houseboat

Huge houseboats and actual houses on the water

Outside the inner ring of the city centre in Amsterdam you will find bigger houseboats. Some of them really look like they could house complete families.

An actual house as houseboat

An actual house as houseboat

An actual big house as Houseboat

If the water would be removed from the picture you would say it’s an actual house

Big houseboat

Huge houseboat in the houseboat neighbourhood

Houseboats with gardens

When living in a houseboat it’s of course nice to have a garden as well. Many of the houseboats have therefore a roof with for example grass, or gardens and a terrace on them.

Flower Houseboat

Flower Houseboat

Houseboat with garden rooftop

Houseboat with garden rooftop

Modern, design and art houseboats

Some houseboats look really modernly design and some even like pieces of art.

Modern houseboat

Modern houseboat

Arty Houseboat

Arty Houseboat

Houseboat looking like surmarine

Houseboat looking like surmarine

Houseboat design

Design houseboat

The houseboats in Amsterdam are extremely popular. There are whole neighbourhoods of houseboats. Do you want to experience this hype during your few hours or layover in Amsterdam? Book a tour here.


A brief history on the Canals in Amsterdam

First: Canals to fortify the city – History canals amsterdam

The canals were initially built to fortify the city. But when the city grew the canals were within the city walls and therefore lost their function to protect the city from intruders. The function quickly changed to waterway transport hubs. Warehouses were built alongside the canals and goods were shipped to anywhere. During the ‘Dutch Golden Age’, in which the Dutch Economy flourished more canals were built to transport goods. In 1612 the municipality started a plan to expand the city which made Amsterdam four times bigger within 50 years. The canals built in this period are, together with the Jordan District, since 2010 listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Amstelveld - A brief history of the Canals in Amsterdam

Prinsengracht (Amstelveld) – A brief history of the Canals in Amsterdam

Second: Canals are waterway transport hubs – History canals amsterdam

During these times living on the canals was seen as a sign of poverty. Many goods were shipped on the waterways, the water was polluted and smelled awful. In the last century the canals lost their function as transport hubs and the quality of the water became better. The warehouses were transformed to big and chic canal houses.

Third: Canals are replaced by roads – History canals amsterdam

In this same 20th century almost half of the canals were removed and transformed to parking places and roads. You can see this from the street names as for example: ‘Lindengracht’, ‘Elandsgracht’ ‘Palmgracht’ or ‘Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal’. The Dutch suffix ‘gracht’ and ‘wal’ means canal. When you go to these streets you’ll find wide streets, but no canals, they have been replaced.

Lindengracht - history canals amsterdam

Lindengracht street sign with suffix ‘gracht’ meaning canal

Lindengracht used to be a canal

Lindengracht used to be a canal, now it’s a wide street with a local market every Saturday

Fourth: Living on a canal a sign of wealth – History canals amsterdam

The old warehouses on the canals and the house boats are now a sign of prosperity. The water in the canals are cleaner than ever before and people even swim in them. Many locals have small boats to cruise around on the canals. Besides the canals popular restaurants, bars and terraces can be found. The Canal Festival, Amsterdam Pride and Amsterdam City Swim are the biggest events attracting many to Amsterdam.

Pride Amsterdam celebrations

Pride Amsterdam celebrations on Prinsengracht

Amsterdam fairy tale city

This blog post is written by Maria from Peru. She couch surfed a few days in Amsterdam during the summer of 2017. 

Most fun and charming – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

Our visit to Amsterdam was the most fun and charming. We arrived on a Friday night and got lost on the way to the city. Fortunately, a group of policemen did not hesitate to help us, between laughs and jokes, the language did not stop them from making us feel at home.


Grimburgwal, Amsterdam

Rooftops and multiple windows – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

Amsterdam is a fairy tale city, with magnificent roof-top constructions and multiple windows, all together in front of the canals make this city a delight for the eyes.

Canal in Amsterdam

Canal in Amsterdam

Photograph every corner – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

That weekend we walked to most places, it was inevitable not to photograph every corner and not to linger on each bridge to see the view they have.

Choose your style of art – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

We passed the Vondelpark, immense green spaces making it impossible not to take a break in front of the beautiful lakes. Meters ahead is the museum area, an open space where you can choose what style of art you want to see, and recommend not to miss any.

Bikes bikes bikes – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

But my experience would not be complete without talking about the bikes, protagonists in each of my photographs and emblem of the city, there are thousands of colours and sizes, impossible not to ride on any of them and enjoy everything that Amsterdam offers.

Cycle path in Amsterdam

Cycle path in Amsterdam

Boat the canals – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

Boating on the canals is an experience I could not have and for which I would definitely return. Being able to enjoy an aperitif with friends and with the incredible views of this great city, would be the perfect end.

Bikes and Canals in Amsterdam

Bikes and Canals in Amsterdam

Magic – Amsterdam Fairy tale city

Amsterdam is an infallible destination on the list, in the short time we were there, we fell madly in love with the magic of every corner of the city and the friendliness of its inhabitants, always with a smile making us feel at home every moment. A place that deserves a second visit and that will continue to surprise you with new spaces to discover.

Rokin in Amsterdam

Rokin in Amsterdam


Do you want to optimise your short time in Amsterdam? Do a tour! Ideal for people wanting to see local life in Amsterdam within a few hours. Book a tour here.

Pride Flags Amsterdam

Pride Amsterdam 2017

This blog post is written by Raisa from Peru. She couch surfed a few days in Amsterdam during the Pride Amsterdam 2017. 

Something I will never forget – Pride amsterdam

I’ll start by telling you that I had the opportunity to be in Amsterdam during gay pride and it was something I will never forget. It was amazing to see how Amsterdam dressed in colours to show the world that they support love and freedom. In every building, shop, restaurant and square you could see the feel of this city, where they do not care about your nationality, race or sexual choice because they simply celebrate, respect and enjoy life. It was almost magical to walk down the street and see the multicoloured flags fluttering, the different decorations and people in colourful costumes, with lovely makeups, all happy enjoying the party that was lived, because that was it, the party to celebrate that we can choose how to live.

GayVB - Gay Pride Amsterdam

GayVB – Tram in Amsterdam during the Gay Pride

Street parties – Pride Amsterdam

Each night was more fun than the previous one with the parties that were offered all over the city, with the beats that came to sound even in the distance attracting people and driving the dancers crazy.

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2017

Prinsengracht during Gay Pride Amsterdam

Canal Parade – Pride Amsterdam

I loved seeing how everyone gathered to go to the Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, you could see the crowded streets of people singing, dancing and sharing, like a big family, where adults, children, locals and foreigners had a great time. Meanwhile, on the canal, each boat was paraded, each one offering a different show, with the music blaring and the joy even higher. On the streets by the canal there was a party on every corner.

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2017

Wester Church during Gay Pride Amsterdam 2017

Local feeling – Pride Amsterdam

I can say that from now I look forward to returning to Amsterdam because it was very laid back. It was very easy to feel that I was from there, that I could live there. I would return for the joy I felt from the first moment I stepped in the city, for food, for parties, but above all for people who were like from another planet with such kindness and joy that was contagious.

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2017

Gay Pride Amsterdam 2017

Raisa stayed a few days in Amsterdam during the Gay Pride. Do you want to experience Amsterdam during your Layover and get the same local feeling? Book a tour!

Top 12 Free Things The Dutch Love

There is nothing that the Dutch love more, we’re talking about free things. Which free things do the Dutch love most?

1. Free public Toilet

In the Netherlands it’s normal to be charged €0,50 to go to the toilet when you’re not a customer at a place. For this reason the Dutch value it even more to pee for free. In Amsterdam you’ll find many public toilets, for free. What a relief!

Public toilet at Nieuwmarkt - Free things the Dutch love

Public toilet at Nieuwmarkt

Public pop-up toilet at Dam square - Free things the Dutch love

Public pop-up toilet at Dam square

2. Free Sample cheese

The Dutch are real cheese eaters as well as producers. Gouda, Edam, Beemster, Leerdam, Maasdam you might have heard of them as cheese brands. These are all cities in the Netherlands. Most Dutch buy their cheese in the supermarket, some on a local market like on the picture below in the Jordaan District. Sometimes you may even try the cheese before buying it. Yumm!

Noorder Market, Jordaan District - Free things the Dutch love

Noorder Market, Jordaan District

3. Free Drinking Water

Throughout the centre of Amsterdam you’ll find tap water points. Don’t worry this water is even cleaner and better than the water you’ll buy in the supermarket. Some even say it’s the best water in the world.

Drinking water at Wester market - Free things the Dutch love

Free drinking water at Wester market

4. Great views

There are no real skyscrapers or tall buildings in Amsterdam. Most authentic building in the city centre are four stories tall. There are a few number of buildings taller than this and this results in amazing views from these places.

View over Amsterdam from the Weesperflat, a 7 story - Free things the Dutch love

View over Amsterdam from the Weesperflat, a 7 story

5. Sunshine

Sunshine is rare in the Netherlands. As soon as the sun is shining everybody tries to catch at least some sun rays.

Dam square sunshine - Free things the Dutch love

Dam square

6. Street Art

In Amsterdam you’ll find street art everywhere, wanted or unwanted by local authorities. And the Dutch love it!

Street Art de Pijp - Free things the Dutch love

Street Art de Pijp

Street Art Jacob van Lennepstraat - Free things the Dutch love

Street Art Jacob van Lennepstraat

Street Art Binnengasthuisstraat - Free things the Dutch love

Street Art Binnengasthuisstraat

7. Great history

The Dutch love old but good looking buildings. It creates atmosphere and brings the city to life. Old mansions at the canals often have a date on their facade, like ‘Anno 1646’. It’s like walking through a museum all day!

The canal belt was dug in the 17th century

The canal belt was dug in the 17th century

8. Public BBQ Spots

In some parks in the Netherlands you’ll find public BBQ spots, like in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. They are not the cleanest barbecues, so make sure to bring something to clean the griddle first.

BBQ Westerpark - Free things the Dutch love

BBQ Westerpark

9. Public Playing grounds

Moms and dads love public playing grounds, like here in Amsterdam West.

Play ground in Amsterdam West - Free things the Dutch love

Play ground in Amsterdam New West

Play ground in Amsterdam West - Free things the Dutch love

Play ground in Amsterdam West

10. Free candies when paying your bill

The Dutch love free candies when paying their bill. They will never leave any of them.

Free candies - Free things the Dutch love

Free candies when paying your bill

11. Free ferry to Amsterdam North

There are no bridges or tunnels for pedestrians or cyclists to  go from Amsterdam Central station to Amsterdam North, that’s why there are ferries going back and forth, 24 hours per day. And the best thing is that they are free!

Free Ferry GVB - Free things the Dutch love

Free Ferry GVB

12. Public parks

In Dutch cities people in general have no (big) gardens, but they like to go outside. That’s why there are parks everywhere in the city. Vondelpark, Oosterpark, Westerpark, Beatrixpark, Erasmuspark, Sarphatipark, Park Frankendael, Flevopark, Rembrandtpark and Sloterpark are the most famous and biggest ones.

Westerpark - Free things the Dutch love

Westerpark, Amsterdam


Do you want to experience Dutch culture during your layover here in Amsterdam? Book a layover tour today!



We are looking for bloggers living in Amsterdam

Are you blogging about life in Amsterdam? Interested in reaching more people around the globe? No writing portfolio needed. E-mail in Dutch or English to

Als Hoofd – Blogger voor ben jij verantwoordelijk voor het schrijven van kwalitatief goede en interessante blogs voor op de website. Wat doet biedt tours aan transferpassagiers aan voor de tijd dat zij tussen twee vluchten hebben. Dit doet op een manier zoals locals in Amsterdam leven. Dat betekent dat wij travellers niet naar de Heineken Experience, maar naar Brouwerij ‘t IJ meenemen. Heb jij interesse om blogs te schrijven voor, is jouw schrijfvaardigheid in het Engels goed? Vraag naar de mogelijkheden!


Amsterdam the ‘Venice of the North’?

UNESCO Heritage

Amsterdam has more than one hundred kilometers of canals and 1,500 bridges. The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht are dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age. They form concentric belts around the city, known as the ‘Grachtengordel‘.

Alongside the main canals are 1550 monumental buildings. The Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Jordaan were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010, contributing to Amsterdam’s fame as ‘Venice of the North’. Do you want to know more about the history of the canals in Amsterdam? Check our blog ‘A brief history of the canals in Amsterdam’

It’s truely amazing to cruize or wander around on the canals and we highly recommend doing it, especially on sunny days.

Bridges – Canals UNESCO Heritage

There are around 500 bridges to see in the centre.  Nicest are the arch bridges and the draw bridges but of course there are also simple beam bridges, cable stayed bridges, suspension bridges and truss bridges.

Draw bridge, view from Amstel River

Draw bridge on the Nieuwe Herengracht, view from Amstel River


Prinsengracht crossing with Reguliersgracht

Arch bridges at Prinsengracht crossing with Reguliersgracht


Amsterdam from a different perspective –

Canals UNESCO Heritage

When boating the canals you see many things you haven’t seen before. Even the locals see new things from the water like bikes hanging over the railings of the canals, hidden street/canal art, swans and their breed or a boat to park your bike on from the water.

A bike hanging over the railing at the canals

A bike hanging over the railing at the canals


A boat to park your bike on

A boat to park your bike on

Swans on the canals, next to Central Station

Swans on the canals, next to Central Station

Stand Up Paddling on the Canals of Amsterdam

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) on the Canals of Amsterdam

Street art – Canals UNESCO Heritage

Street art can be found anywhere in Amsterdam and some people do not know that you may even find it along side the canals.

Street Art at the back of the Flower Market

Street Art at the back of the Flower Market


Amstel Dam – Canals UNESCO Heritage

Most guides will tell you that Amsterdam is called Amsterdam because they built a Dam into the River Amstel around 1270 AD. Historians are opposing this now because decades earlier there was a small settlement in the Amstel Delta which was already known as Amstelledamme. In this version of the story Amsterdam would mean ‘people who have settled at the dike along the river’.

One thing we know for sure: the Amstel River was and still is of great significance to the city of Amsterdam.

Boating the Amstel River

Boating the Amstel River

Cycling Amsterdam, a must!

The Netherlands is famous for the amount of cyclists. We literally cycle everywhere! There are 19 million bikes while the population is almost 17 million.

If you are wanting to experience real Amsterdam life, cycle through the city. At you will get a normal bike, so people will know you are a local. Don’t worry about not being able to cycle like the Dutch: there are special cycle paths everywhere which means it is fairly safe to cycle through Amsterdam. We will cycle over the prettiest canals and pass the main squares on our bike ride.

Cycling in Amsterdam is truly amazing (when sunny). Something you have to experience in your life.

Bikers waiting for an open bridge in Amsterdam west

One of the most common excuses in the Netherlands to being late is ‘the bridge was open’. And it’s true, in summer time the bridges do open many times for passing boats on the canals and waterways.

Bikers waiting for an open bridge - Bikes Amsterdam


Bikes parked on a bike boat

There are so many bikes in Amsterdam that parking spaces are hard to find. Therefore the municipality has created these boats for bikes close to the main squares.

Bikes parked on a bike boat - Bikes Amsterdam


Tourists on yellow, red or green bikes

Many bike rental companies have chosen a colour for their bikes. This way the tourists are easily spotted. At you will get your own local bike, this way you will be treated like a local on the roads.

Tourists on yellow bikes - Bikes Amsterdam

Kids cycling through Amsterdam

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.

Kids cycling through Amsterdam - Bikes Amsterdam


The Dutch even move their furniture on their bikes

You may see anything transported by bike in the Netherlands: groceries, children, beer, another bike or even furniture in this carrier cycle or in Dutch: ‘bakfiets’.

The Dutch even move their furniture on their bikes - Bikes Amsterdam
















Waternet removing bikes from the canals

Each year thousands of bikes are thrown into the canals. In 2016, 8893 people reported that their bike got stolen, though the real number of stolen bikes is probably much higher as many do not report that their bike got stolen. Each year around 14.000 bikes are fished up from the canals like the picture below.

Waternet removing bikes from the canals in Amsterdam - Bikes Amsterdam

Bikes in front of a coffeeshop

When going to the nearest coffeeshop people walk, or cycle towards it as driving while being stoned is forbidden and not the best idea.

Bikes in front of a coffeeshop - Bikes Amsterdam

Bike hanging on the railing of the canal – not a rare catch

There are so many bikes that it’s hard to find a place to park your bike. Someone might get annoyed by how you parked your bike and then do this to your bike. Fortunately this owner attached his bike to the railing of the bridge.

Bike hanging on the railing of the canal - not a rare catch - Bikes Amsterdam

The Dutch take their bikes everywhere

When going for a boat trip and wanting to move fast later on it’s wise to take your bike. Yes, even on a boat we take our bike.

The Dutch take their bikes everywhere - Bikes Amsterdam

What’s local Dutch food?

Local Dutch food

Bitterballen and kroket, hutspot, stroopwafels, tompoezen, kapsalon, hagelslag, pannekoeken, oliebollen, erwtensoep, gehaktbal, drop, haring and kruidnoten are all traditional Dutch cuisine gastronomic delights.

What are all those Traditional Dutch meals and snacks? Here a list with Local Dutch food.

Bitterballen and kroket

Bitterballen are round mini krokets, so mini deep fried gravy bites. The Dutch eat them often in a bar while drinking beer or at the so called VrijMiBo (the Friday after work drink). The kroket is made from the same thing and also deep fried. At tourist places in for example Spain where you’ll find many Dutch you’ll aswell be able to buy the the kroket.

Stamppot or Hutspot

Stamppot or Hutspot is a dish the Dutch eat often in winter time. It is essentially potatoes and vegetables mashed together with gravy sauce and a smoked sausage.


A stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. Dutch people love it. You can buy them freshly made at any local street market or at any grocery store in the Netherlands.

Stroopwafel - Local food Amsterdam

Stroopwafel – Local cookie in the Netherlands


The tompoes or tompouce is an iconic, rectangular pastry. It has two layers of puff pastry and always has the same rectangular form and is mostly pink or orange (during Kingsday or other Dutch National holidays). The filling is sweet, yellow pastry cream.


A kapsalon, translated into English is ‘hairdressing salon’ it originates from the inventor of the dish: a hairdresser in Rotterdam. The dish consists of fries, topped with döner or shawarma meat, grilled with a layer of Gouda cheese until melted and then covered with a layer of dressed salad greens. The dish is often served with garlic sauce and sambal.


Dutch hagelslag (sprinkles) is used on bread. Most of the time butter is spread out so the hagelslag does not fall off your bread. They were named hagelslag after the weather phenomenon ‘hagel’, hail in English.

Pannekoeken & Poffertjes

A pannekoek is a Dutch Pancake which are usually larger and thinner than their American or Scotch pancake counterparts, but not as thin as French Crêpes. A Dutch pancake may contain slices of bacon, apples, cheese or raisins. Plain ones are often eaten with syrup (appelstroop) and powdered sugar. When eaten they are sometimes rolled up and eaten by hand or with cutlery. Another variety on the Dutch Pancake are the real small ones called ‘Poffertjes’. They are near to always eaten with powdered sugar and also delicious!


Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling. A certain amount of dough is scooped and this douch is dropped into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges. Oliebollen are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve. In wintertime, they are also sold in the street at mobile stalls.

erwtensoep or snert

Erwtensoep or snert, is the Dutch version of pea soup. It is a thick stew of green split peas, different cuts of pork, celeriac or stalk celery, onions, leeks, carrots, and often potato. Slices of rookworst (smoked sausage) are added before serving. The soup, which is traditionally eaten during winter time.


Meatballs are called gehaktbal and are often served with boiled potatoes and vegetables. They are usually made out of mixed beef and pork minced meat, eggs, onion and bread crumbs. They are associated with Wednesday because of the Dutch saying woensdag, gehaktdag (Wednesday, meatball day).

Small Dutch meatballs

Small Dutch meatballs. These are served on for example birthdays. The ones served at dinner time are usually bigger.


Herring or raw herring is called haring. The fish is very popular among Dutch people and can be bought at any fish stand in the street. It is mostly served with onions and sometimes pickles. ‘Broodje haring’, means that the herring will be served on bread. The fish is traditionally eaten by holding it by its tail and letting it slide into your mouth.

Kruidnoten or pepernoten

Kruidnoten are small cookie sweets eaten during and around Sinterklaas which is celebrated in the beginning of December. You may buy them in the supermarket or in a bakery from October onward and with big discounts after the 5th of December when the Dutch have celebrated Sinterklaas.


Licorice is called ‘drop’ in Dutch and is eaten throughout the year. The Dutch eat the most amount of licorice per capita in the world. The sweet comes in a variety of different flavours. The primary kinds of drop are: soft and sweet, soft and salty, hard and sweet and hard and salty. Drop can be bought in any supermarket.

Traditional Snackbar Febo in Amsterdam. Faster than fast food

Traditional Snackbar Febo in Amsterdam. Faster than fast food.


You know you’re Dutch when

When you recognise yourself in this list, you know you are Dutch

  1. You’re not German
  2. You’re not English
  3. You’re not French
  4. You’re not Spanish
  5. You understand all those languages but nobody understands yours


  1. You do not mind political leaders admitting smoking pot every once in a while


  1. You think the Black servant (Black Piet) with his White master (Sinterklaas) is not racist


  1. You let dogs shit in the middle of the pavement
  2. You laugh when someone steps in dog shit
  3. You complain about stepping in dog shit


  1. You have the right to terrorize tourists on your bicycle
  2. You can always get a job as a circus performer by riding a bicycle while holding an umbrella to keep you, your phone and your groceries dry, while driving your children through busy streets ignoring all traffic signals, expecting everyone to get out of your way and texting your wife you’ll be there in five minutes


  1. You can be gay and nobody cares


  1. You are proud about colonies while ignoring the enslavement of millions


  1. You value sunny days
  2. You always have this friend with a boat


  1. You always have a spare bike when yours breaks down


  1. You pay for what you consumed rather than instead equally split the bill


  1. You paid at least 2000 Euros to get your driving license, while in Belgium it’s (almost) free
  2. You could have bought a car twice as big in Germany for the same price