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Culture / Expat Life / News

What No One Ever Told Me About The Netherlands

The Netherlands

If you’ve ever visited The Netherlands then you’ll know what a pleasant surprise it is. There are amazing things to see and experience. Before visiting I imagined what it would be like. But, there were incredible, subtle things that nobody told me about The Netherlands.

No Chaos

People told me to keep an eye out for cyclists as they don’t mind pedestrians but it’s not the case.
Bicycle paths here are taken seriously. This means that there aren’t any garbage bins placed on them, or pedestrians strolling on them or crossing them before looking both ways. Traffic at busy crossings may seem chaotic at first glance but the locals are very efficient at navigating through them.

Independent Shops Preferred

If you’re from another big city you are then accustomed to the large shopping centres that are very popular with many people. This is not the case here. Local shops and town centres are simply stunning in The Netherlands. Independently owned shops are thriving. Relationships with shopkeepers become the norm.

It’s Beautiful

Amsterdam is a truly unique city but traveling outside the city through quiet and quaint villages is truly picture perfect. There are few cars and most citizens are cycling everywhere. Quaint houses, interesting and historic architecture, greenery and canals are never-ending. It’s not just one city or town but over-and-over again one will find beauty in this country.

Foot and Bicycle Paths are Endless

In residential streets walking and cycling is made very easy. In the city centre there are bicycle paths just about everywhere. Cyclists have priority by entrances and exits to side roads, both over vehicles and pedestrians. Some side roads blend in so well with the scenery that they are barely noticeable however cyclists don’t need to pay too much special attention as they have the right of way. Here cycling feels like a very different experience, in a very good way.

It’s a Very Social Place

It’s about people, not infrastructure. In comparison to many other cities The Netherlands seems incredibly social. While walking or cycling most people are chatting. Here you’ll even see couples holding hands while cycling. The streets are quieter due to less motorized traffic and this just makes conversation easier.


Everything is interrelated. Not one amazing thing in this country could exist on its own. Each amazing thing depends on another amazing thing. Here, one can experience the feeling of civilisation. Visiting The Netherlands is very difficult to describe in words. It really is like stepping into a wonderfully organized society where people know that interconnectedness matters. It truly is a breath of fresh air.

Enjoy your visit. And, take a camera.

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