Etiquette

  • Holland v Netherlands Do not call the Netherlands 'Holland'; Holland is two provinces (Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland) within the country.
  • Going Dutch When dining out, expect to pay your own way. Splitting the bill is common and no reason for embarrassment.
  • Marijuana & alcohol Don't smoke dope or drink beer on the streets.
  • Smoking Don't smoke (any substance) in bars or restaurants; since 2018 designated smoking rooms in bars and restaurants have also been banned.
  • Straight talking Don't be offended if locals give you a frank, unvarnished opinion. It's not considered impolite, rather it comes from the desire to be direct and honest.
  • Picnics in the park Don't litter. In parks, look for a plastic picnic-rug dispenser to enjoy your picnic on and scoop up your litter in one fell swoop afterwards.