25 Intriguing Facts About The Netherlands

Posted by , Updated on November 29, 2022

The Netherlands, literally “Lower Countries,” is a country of low land and a flat geography (with only about fifty percent of its land exceeding one meter above sea level). It is a small but densely populated country located in Western Europe. Visionary architecture, vintage fashion, and street markets selling rainbows of fresh flowers, caramel syrup–filled waffles, and delicious cheese are only some of the reasons people from around the world visit this beautiful and culturally rich country every year. The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, is one of the most popular tourist destinations thanks to its gorgeous architecture, liberal lifestyle, and intense nightlife. The city also has more canals than Venice and getting on the water is definitely a unique way to “taste” all Amsterdam has to offer. Though this useful information might motivate you to visit the Netherlands, it won’t teach you all you really should know about this amazing country. How many of you know that this country has more bikes than citizens? Or that Dutch people are the tallest in the world? Or that you should never mess with a Dutch kickboxer because he will most likely kick your butt? Want to know more? If so, then we’ve got good news, because we have 25 Intriguing Facts About The Netherlands.


Contrary to popular belief the Netherlands and Holland are not the same. Holland is largely the western coastal region of the Netherlands, comprised of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Leiden, and The Hague.

25 wSource: holland.com, Image: Wikipedia

The Netherlands is the most densely populated nation in Europe with 487 inhabitants per square kilometer.

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The highest point in the Netherlands, Vaalserberg, is only 323 meters above sea level. The rest of the nation is as flat as it gets. For example, Schiphol Airport is actually 4.5 meters below sea level.

23 commons.wikimedia.orgSource: holland.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The country is considered the greatest kickboxing nation in the world, with most of the best kickboxers in history being Dutch including Ramon Dekkers, Bas Rutten, Andy Souwer, Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Rob Kaman, and the most decorated heavyweight champion ever, Semmy Schilt.

22 wSource: Wikipedia, Image: Wikipedia

Worldwide, it’s common for women to give birth in a hospital. Well, that’s not the case in the Netherlands since about thirty percent of all Dutch births take place at home.

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According to The Brewers of Europe, the Netherlands exports the largest proportion of beer of any country in the world at approximately fifty percent.

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Australia and New Zealand were discovered by the Dutch in 1606 and 1642, respectively. Australia was named New Holland after a Dutch province, and New Zealand was named after the province of Zeeland.

Source: holland.com, Image: flickr.com, Photo by Chris SamuelSource: holland.com, Image: flickr.com, Photo by Chris Samuel

The earliest recorded working telescopes were the refracting telescopes that appeared in the Netherlands in 1608. Their development is credited to three individuals: Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, who were spectacle makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius of Alkmaar.

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The legendary Johan Cruyff, widely considered the greatest European footballer in history, became the first player to win the Ballon d’Or (the most prestigious individual award in soccer, awarding the best player in the world) three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974.

17 commons.wikimedia.orgSource: Wikipedia, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Even though the Netherlands is considered the world’s tulip capital, the famous flower didn’t originate there. They were imported from the Ottoman Empire in the seventeenth century and eventually became the country’s national symbol (alongside their windmills).

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There are more bikes (over eighteen million) in the Netherlands than there are people (16.8 million). No wonder you see them everywhere you go while you’re there.

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Amsterdam is entirely built on wooden poles eleven meters deep. This is due to its soil, which consists of thick layers of clay and fen.

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There are still over one thousand traditional working windmills in the Netherlands. Nineteen of these can be found at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kinderdijk.

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The Netherlands’ national football team is widely considered the greatest team to never win the World Cup. The team holds the record for playing the most World Cup finals without ever winning the trophy, finishing second in the 1974, 1978, and 2010 World Cup tournaments.

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The Dutch are the biggest licorice eaters in the world. They consume thirty-two million kilos of the stuff every year.

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After Scandinavians, the Dutch are the world’s second biggest coffee drinkers. They drink no less than 140 liters a year on average, which is about 3.2 cups a day! The Dutch definitely love their coffee.

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Over seventy-five percent of the world’s flower bulb production comes from the Netherlands.

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Dutch people are on average the world’s tallest; the average height of a male is 184 cm (almost 6’1”) and the average woman is 170 cm (5’7”).

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The Netherlands is home to some of the greatest painters of all time including Rembrandt and van Gogh. There are at least twenty-two Rembrandt paintings and 206 works by van Gogh in Amsterdam alone.

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The Dutch national anthem, the “Wilhelmus,” is the oldest national anthem in the world. Although it was not recognized as the official anthem until 1932, it has always been popular with parts of the Dutch population and resurfaced on several occasions in the course of Dutch history before gaining its present status.

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According to FAOSTAT, the United States exports only about 81,904 tons of bacon and ham, or fourteen percent of the world’s total, ranking it third. The tiny Netherlands ranks first, exporting 128,259 tons, or about twenty-five percent of the world’s total.

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The Dutch are widely considered to be the best in the world when it comes to keeping the sea and rivers back, from preventing the Netherlands from becoming another Atlantis. For that matter, the American government turned to the Dutch for help and advice during Hurricane Katrina.

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New York City was originally called New Amsterdam. In 1624 the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Fort Orange (present-day Albany). One year later Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for trinkets worth about sixty Dutch guilders and founded the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, which was surrendered to the British in 1664.

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KLM (also known as “Royal Airline Company”), the Dutch national airline, was founded in 1919 and is the oldest national airline in the world still operating under its original name.

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Last but not least, Netherlands is considered one of the most open-minded countries in the world and in 2001 it became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

1 wSource: holland.com, Image: Wikipedia

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