Eight ways to recognise a Dutch tourist on your holiday

Eight ways to recognise a Dutch tourist on your holiday

So you’re taking a break from the country with a well-deserved holiday? Beware, the Netherlands just might be coming with you!

Common Dutch habits

Of course, most Dutch tourists, like any holiday goer, will keep to themselves and not particularly stand out. When they do stand out, however, a few common habits can pop up. Here are eight ways you might recognise a typical Dutch tourist on your holiday:

B.Y.O. Hagelslag

Many Dutch tourists pack bread and spreads from home, making sure they don’t spend all their money on dubious foreign foods that might not taste good on ontbijtkoek at all! A typical Dutch suitcase will also include toilet paper and Dutch candy, like liquorice.

They get everywhere!

Don’t be surprised if you drive for hours over scary narrow mountain roads in an obscure area, end up in a remote clearing and take in the glorious view with a great sense of accomplishment, only to hear "Zo, da’s mooi!" (Huh, that’s pretty) behind you.

Turn around, and a full Dutch family complete with a newborn baby will be standing there looking like they just happened to find this spot on their morning hike.

Not fazed by rain

What do you mean, typhoon warning? Most Dutch people are used to walking, driving and cycling through the rain with three shopping bags on the handle bars. They won’t be fazed by rain too easily, and head out when others prefer to stay inside.

Travel by car

Besides the standard airplane option, many Dutch people head out into their own or neighbouring countries in cars and caravans. Popular destinations are camping sites and holiday cabins.


Who’s that braving the jellyfish-infested waters, leaving their bags on the shore without someone to guard them? It just might be a Dutch tourist! Research has shown that the Dutch are generally more fearless than other nationalities when travelling.

Dutch manners

On the one hand, locals from various countries get annoyed by some Dutch tourists being loud, blunt and messy. Queueing in particular seems to be a trick they refuse to get the hang of. On the other hand, the majority of Dutch tourists are quite tolerant of others’ behaviour, and accepting of customs and habits that might not be similar to their own.

Speaking multiple languages

Most tourists from the Netherlands stick with their Dutch-speaking fellow travellers, but can easily pull off a conversation in English if needed. Don’t be surprised either if, when the need arises, they suddenly switch to German or French!

They’ll tell you

The easiest way to find out if a tourist is Dutch is simple: they’ll tell you. Many Dutch people love talking about where they’re from, and explaining about their home country.

Find out about each other

In general, there’s a good chance a Dutch person on holiday will ignore you and avoid eye contact at first, but once you manage to strike up a conversation you can easily spend a fun evening finding out about each other’s customs.

What is your experience with Dutch tourists abroad, or have you noticed something about tourists from your own country? Let us know in the comments below!

Alexandra van Kampen


Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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