visiting hollandThere are many idiosyncrasies that sum up Holland (the Netherlands) that many people miss when visiting.  However, are never lost on a Dutch person coming home.

After a recent and brief visit, here are a few of my favourites:

You know you are back in Holland when:

  • The plane land so far from the airport and you spend 15 minutes being ferried all the way to your gate
  • You get off the plane and are met by Tulips, a Heineken café and flashes of bright orange – not necessarily in that order
  • You through and outside of the airport with little hassle in all of 15 minutes
  • Passport control says ‘welcome home’
  • The first beeline you make is to the Friettent – Fries Café, and the first thing you order is Frietje Oorlog, War Fries, Fries with Sate sauce, mayonnaise and raw onion, with a Chocomel (chocolate milk)
  • Even the bus stops at the airport are pretty
  • The second pit stop is G-star outlet, as serious there are no better jeans, and no better selection here or price
  • It’s drizzling in a way that you can’t call it rain, but it seems immune to umbrellas and you’ll be wet and miserable either way
  • The taxi drivers are all ruthless thieves which is why you take the train or bus which only cost a few euros
  • The buses are all electric and modern
  • You have to remember to swipe on and off all public transport
  • You outside and get run over by a bike
  • You stop outside and into dog poop, or in my case, my friends were warned via the apartment app there was poop on the doorstep – beware those without the app
  • You are no longer the tallest person in the room – the Dutch are excessively tall
  • Breakfast is sliced bread with an option of cheese or peanut butter – which is why you either take two slices or cut one in half, it’s a tough choice
  • When every coffee comes with a koekje (cookie)
  • You hope that one food truck the ‘Olliebollen Kraan’, is still around (often only before Christmas), so you can still get a deep friend bit of delicious dough an ‘Olliebolle’
  • People are a wee bit bossy and speak their mind without needing to try and be nice about it
  • The only stonners you see are foreigners
  • You are sad to leave, but also know that a short visit sometimes can be long enough
  • You know you’ll be back to visit all the places you missed soon

The last visit was a short one, for an avid traveller as much as I like to visit my country and reminisce and see my favourite haunts. I’ll be honest and prefer to visit new countries and experience new cultures.

But the beauty of living a literal hop, skip and jump of a short plane ride away, is that I can visit, even if just for a day.

I flew from London City to Amsterdam – which is a cheap and easy flight, both airports are easy to get in and out making a shorter trip hassle-free.

If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam be sure to check out my blog post insider’s guide which you can find here.



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  1. I had to laugh!! Recognised a lot of those!! I don’t know what a stoned is! But a frietje sate is my first meal when I arrive!! Well written!! Keep it up!


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