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Culture
Nightlife
Romance

The river Amstel is home to a compact, liberal and charming city of one million people and many tourists. Book a flight to Amsterdam and...

Ride a bike. Or take a boat.

More than 100 canals along the streets, thousands of bridges and boats compete with the façades of the buildings. The Dam Square is the place to be, before heading to the museums: from Rijksmuseum to Vang Gogh and the Hermitage. But there are also temples dedicated to beer, horror and cinema. Not to mention the commercial circuit of Nieuwendijk-Kalverstraat. And then, the coffeeshops!

Do the Nightwatch

Not only Rembrandt’s. The Red Light District is worldwide famous as a kind of amusement park for the sex industry. Rembrandtplein is also a place of gathering for young people looking for fun. But Leidseplein is the real nightlife centre, with a bar in every corner — besides theatres such as the Stadsschouwburg and the Boom Chicago, which display shows every night.

Culture and Business

On a business trip, knowing the culture and customs of the country you are visiting can have a big impact on the success of your business.

Before leaving

Make sure you have your identity card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time.

Climate

The climate is moderate, with temperatures ranging from 2°C to 6°C in winter and 17°C to 20°C in the summer. However, you should always have a coat and an umbrella with you as the weather can be quite unpredictable.

Time zone

GMT + 1

Geography & politics

The Netherlands are located between Belgium and Germany, and bathed by the North Sea to the north and west. They are a constitutional monarchy where the head of state is the king and the head of government is the prime minister.

Tipping & paying

The Netherlands are part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro (EUR). It is not common to tip in restaurants, as the bill already has a service charge added to the total. Nevertheless, if you are satisfied with the service you are welcome to leave some change or round up the bill.

Languages & useful phrases

Most Dutch who live in major cities also speak English, but learning a few Dutch phrases will definitely be useful: “hallo” = olá; “alsjeblieft” = por favor; “Dank u wel” = muito obrigado/a; “sorry” = desculpe.

What you should do

Be on time. Whether it is for a business meeting or a cup of coffee with a colleague, the Dutch are not often late. When going out for dinner or having a drink, it’s normal for each person to pay their share of the bill. The Dutch like straightforward people and appreciate direct eye contact when they talk to someone—do not be intimidated, it's normal.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t refer to the Netherlands as "Holland", as this name refers to a region. If you are a smoker, don’t assume that public smoking is acceptable—always ask first. Do not mix business with personal life, the Dutch like to separate these matters.

What to wear

Go for a more relaxed and unpretentious style. Wear a suit and tie for formal situations, but you don’t have to be very formal in everyday life. Depending on the industry, you may be expected to dress formally or not. For example, in the financial area, it is expected that you would wear a suit and tie (or the female equivalent), while in the tech industry, you can choose a more casual look.

First impressions

When meeting someone for the first time, greet them with a handshake. When meeting up with friends, it’s normal to give 3 kisses on the cheeks. If you’re invited to someone's house, take a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gesture.