18 Surprising Facts About The Netherlands

    Dutch much?

    1. Dutch men are the tallest in the world.

    2. The Dutch are the largest consumers of licorice in the world.

    3. Home births are popular in the Netherlands, and account for 20% of all births.

    4. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

    5. Most of Amsterdam is built on wooden poles 12 meters deep.

    6. French fries are served with mayonnaise.

    7. The Dutch have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance.

    8. Netherlands ranks as the top country for plentiful, nutritious, and affordable food, according to a 2014 Oxfam report.

    10. Lisse is home to Keukenhof — also known as the "Garden of Europe" — the largest flower garden in the world.

    11. Amsterdam has 1,281 bridges.

    12. De Drie Gezusters ("The Three Sisters") is the biggest pub in all of Europe.

    13. An emergency alarm goes off around the whole country on the first Monday of every month.

    14. The Schiphol Airport — the main international airport of the Netherlands — is actually located more than four meters below sea level.

    15. The Dutch greet each other with three kisses on the cheek.

    16. The Dutch usher in the start of spring with Rokjesdag, or skirt day, the day women start showing off bare legs and wearing short skirts again.

    17. On December 5 and 6, the Dutch celebrate a winter holiday known as Sinterklaas that is centered around St. Nicholas.

    18. Every summer, thousands of Dutch children and their parents participate in a four-day evening march called the Avondvierdaagse while slurping on half-cut lemons.


    Oops! Dutch men are the tallest in the world. An earlier version of this post said they were the second tallest.


    The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas on Dec. 5. An earlier version of this post misidentified Sinterklaas as Christmas.