what is netherlands

10 Things that Make the Netherlands Known For

10 Things that Make the Netherlands Known For

(Last Updated On: December 14, 2023)

1) The tallest people in the world

It may surprise some, but the Dutch are known to be the tallest people in the world. On average, a Dutch person stands at about 6 feet tall. This has been attributed to various factors, including Dutch genetics, nutrition, and lifestyle. Dutch culture places a significant emphasis on healthy living, and many Dutch people lead an active lifestyle, whether cycling through a Dutch city center or exploring the country’s flat countryside. Historically, the Dutch have been known for their trading and business skills. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Netherlands was a significant economic power, and the Dutch were some of the wealthiest people in Europe, with Vincent Van Gogh being one of the renowned figures of the 18th century art scene. This economic prosperity and cultural vibrancy continue to thrive today, particularly in cities like Amsterdam, the largest city in North Holland, where art galleries showcase the works of iconic painters like Van Gogh. While the Dutch are known for many things, from famous cheeses to beautiful flower bulbs and their delightful Dutch Food, their height is one of their most unique attributes. So the next time you visit the entire country of the Netherlands, don’t be surprised to find yourself surrounded by a sea of tall, healthy, and happy Dutch people. And while you’re there, be sure to check out some of the country’s famous landmarks, like the Unesco World Heritage site Zaanse Schans or the most extensive flower garden in the world in the Dutch city of Lisse. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, sample some of the Netherlands’ famous beer exports in the capital city of Amsterdam.

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2) The Netherlands is home to the first stock exchange

In the 16th century, the Dutch were known for their business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. Unsurprisingly, the world’s first stock exchange was established in the famous city of Amsterdam in the 17th century. This allowed investors to trade shares in various Dutch trading companies, including the Dutch East India Company. Today, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, now known as Euronext Amsterdam, remains a vital part of the global financial market. The Dutch continue to excel in business and are also known as the world’s largest exporter of flowers, Dutch cheese, and tulip bulbs and a significant exporter of beer. It’s incredible to think that this all started in a relatively flat country with the tallest people in the world and a low level of corruption in the 13th century. The Dutch have come a long way, and their innovative spirit continued to thrive even in the 19th century.

3) The Dutch have the oldest remaining monarchy in the world

In addition to being the tallest people in the world, the Dutch also have another impressive distinction – their monarchy is the oldest remaining monarchy in the world. The House of Orange-Nassau has ruled the Netherlands since 1815, making it over 200 years old. The current monarch is King Willem-Alexander, who succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, in 2013. The Dutch monarchy is known for its tradition and pageantry, with events such as the King’s Day celebrations and the royal investiture drawing crowds worldwide. Despite being steeped in history, the monarchy remains relevant to the modern-day Netherlands and continues to be a source of national pride. The Dutch are also known for their contributions to the global economy. Today, the Netherlands remains an economic powerhouse, with a high-tech agricultural sector, advanced manufacturing, and a robust financial industry. Another interesting fact is that the Netherlands has the most significant number of museums per capita, with over 1,000 museums nationwide. And let’s not forget that the Dutch are the tallest people in the world, with the average height for men standing at 6’0″ (183 cm) and for women at 5’7″ (170 cm). This is likely due to genetics, the country’s high-quality healthcare system, and its emphasis on a healthy lifestyle.

4) The Netherlands is home to the most significant number of museums per capita

It’s no secret that the Dutch are known for their love of art and culture, which is reflected in the country’s impressive museum scene. With over 1,100 museums in the Netherlands, it’s no wonder it boasts the world’s most significant number of museums per capita. That means roughly one museum for every 7,000 people living in the country! From the world-famous Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the Rijksmuseum, the Mauritshuis, and the Kröller-Müller Museum, there is something for every art lover in the Netherlands. The Dutch also take pride in their many history museums, including the Anne Frank House and the Museum of the Dutch East India Company, which chronicles the country’s rich colonial past. But the Dutch love of culture goes beyond just museums. They also have a thriving theater scene, with world-renowned companies such as the Netherlands National Ballet and the Dutch National Opera. The Netherlands is home to the tallest person ever recorded, Robert Wadlow, who was 8’11” and was a circus performer.

So whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply soaking up the cultural vibes, the Netherlands has plenty to offer. No wonder this small country in Western Europe punches above its weight regarding artistic and cultural influence on the global stage.

5) The Dutch were the first to legalize same-sex marriage

This landmark decision followed years of progress in Dutch society toward LGBT rights and equality. The move was met with international attention and criticism from conservative groups, but it set the stage for similar legislation in other countries in the following years.

Same-sex marriage is legal in many countries today, but the Netherlands will always be remembered as the first. The country continues to be a leader in LGBT rights and acceptance, with Amsterdam being a popular destination for the queer community and the Dutch government providing protection and support for LGBTQ+ individuals. Legalizing same-sex marriage in the Netherlands was a significant moment in history, not just for the country but for the world. It was a bold move that challenged traditional societal norms and paved the way for a more inclusive future.

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6) The world’s highest concentration of bicycles

If you’ve ever visited the Netherlands, you’ve probably noticed the sea of bicycles everywhere. Cycling is a means of transportation and a way of life for the Dutch. It’s estimated that there are more than 23 million bicycles in the Netherlands, more than the country’s population. There are several reasons why cycling is so prevalent in the Netherlands. For one, the government is flat, making it easy to cycle. The Dutch have also invested heavily in cycling infrastructure, with dedicated bike paths and lanes. This has made cycling a safe and efficient mode of transportation, even in the busiest cities.

In addition, the Dutch government encourages cycling through various policies. For instance, companies must provide bicycle parking facilities for their employees, and the government offers tax incentives to those who cycle to work. Cycling is also affordable, with many cities providing bike-sharing programs and inexpensive bike rentals. Cycling has numerous benefits, both for the individual and the environment. It’s a great way to stay active, reduce stress, and improve mental health. It’s also an environmentally friendly way to get around, producing no emissions and reducing road congestion.

Overall, the high concentration of bicycles in the Netherlands is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable and healthy living. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, cycling is an excellent way to experience Dutch life. Read more about the business in the Netherlands.

what is the netherlands famous for

7) The Dutch have the world’s lowest level of corruption

One of the things that the Netherlands is known for is having the world’s lowest level of corruption. The Dutch are recognized for having high transparency, integrity, and accountability in their government and public institutions. The country’s success in reducing crime is due to several factors. Firstly, the Dutch government has implemented various anti-corruption measures to prevent, detect and prosecute corrupt activities. The government has also established an independent agency to investigate and prosecute unscrupulous individuals.

Moreover, the Dutch people have a strong sense of social responsibility and ethics, which helps prevent corruption. The Netherlands also has a highly educated and engaged population that actively participates in public life. The people are involved in civic organizations and regularly speak out against corrupt activities. Additionally, the Dutch legal system is highly efficient, and the country’s legal framework is considered one of the most robust in the world. This has made it easier to detect and punish corrupt activities.
The Dutch have shown that corruption can be successfully addressed with robust legal frameworks, anti-corruption measures, engaged citizens, and a social responsibility and ethics culture. It is a testament to their commitment to integrity and accountability.

8) The Netherlands has the world’s oldest still operating lighthouse

The Dutch have a long-standing relationship with the sea and a prosperous maritime trade and exploration history. As such, it is no surprise that they were also the first to build lighthouses in the early 16th century. Today, as the world’s oldest still operating, the lighthouse is the “Brandaris” on the island of Terschelling. Built-in 1594, it has guided countless sailors to safety over the centuries. What makes the Brandaris particularly unique is its construction, built out of wood, a material not typical for lighthouses. Despite the use of timber, the lighthouse has weathered many storms and remains a beacon of light to this day.

In addition to being a functioning lighthouse, the Brandaris has become a symbol of the Dutch people’s resilience and ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Despite being nearly 430 years old, it continues to fulfill its essential role in guiding ships to safety, a testament to both the ingenuity of its builders and the enduring spirit of the Dutch people.

9) The world’s leading exporter of flowers

The Netherlands, a European country renowned for its vibrant flower industry, stands as the leading global exporter of flowers, notably recognized for its iconic tulips. Originating from Turkey in the 16th century, tulips have flourished in the Netherlands, with the country producing over 4 billion bulbs annually. This flourishing industry, valued in billions of euros, sustains a quarter of a million jobs. Alongside tulips, the Dutch excel in cultivating various flowers like roses, daffodils, and chrysanthemums, showcasing their expertise in floriculture.

Aalsmeer, a major city in the Netherlands, hosts the world’s largest flower auction, a bustling marketplace where millions of blooms are traded daily. The auction, commencing at 6 a.m., draws global buyers who compete for these colorful treasures, creating a captivating sight within the expansive warehouse. This industry not only fuels the Dutch economy but also magnetizes tourists from around the world. Visitors throng the country, especially during the blooming season, to witness the vast tulip fields, browse through renowned flower markets in cities like Amsterdam and Haarlem, and wander the diverse botanical gardens.

The Dutch colonies and their historical influence have left an indelible mark on the nation’s floral heritage, infusing a rich cultural tapestry into the country’s floral prowess. Additionally, the Dutch language, spoken as the official language, reflects the cultural identity ingrained in the nation’s history. In the 20th century, the Netherlands continued to evolve, maintaining its status as a populated country and enhancing its global reputation for both its floral splendor and cultural heritage.

10) The Dutch have the world’s highest per capita consumption of ice cream

One thing that may surprise people is that the Dutch consume more ice cream per capita than any other country. It’s estimated that the average Dutch person eats 8.4 liters of ice cream each year! Ice cream is essential to Dutch culture, with ice cream parlors in every city and town. Some of the most popular flavors include vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, but there are also unique flavors such as stroopwafel (a famous Dutch cookie) and licorice.

In addition to traditional ice cream parlors, the Netherlands is also home to many innovative and experimental ice cream shops. For example, in Amsterdam, you can find a shop specializing in ice cream made from beer and another making ice cream using liquid nitrogen. One reason for the high ice cream consumption in the Netherlands is the country’s relatively mild climate. Even in the cooler months, it’s not unusual to see people enjoying an ice cream cone while strolling through the city.

Overall, the Dutch love their ice cream, and it’s not hard to see why. With a wide range of flavors and styles available, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So the next time you’re in the Netherlands, treat yourself to some delicious Dutch ice cream!


Why are tulips associated with the Netherlands?

Tulips are associated with the Netherlands because of their historical significance and the country’s role as a significant tulip producer and exporter. The Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century witnessed a “tulip mania” where tulip bulbs became extremely valuable and sought after.

Are windmills still in use in the Netherlands?

Yes, windmills are still in use in the Netherlands. While their primary function has evolved from grinding grain and pumping water to generating electricity, many traditional windmills are still preserved and serve as tourist attractions.

Why are bicycles so popular in the Netherlands?

Bikes are popular in the Netherlands due to the country’s well-developed cycling infrastructure, flat landscape, and cycling-friendly culture. Bicycles are commonly used for transportation, contributing to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

How extensive are the canal systems in the Netherlands?

Admission requirements may vary depending on the institution. Generally, they may include submitting an application form, a portfolio of your design work, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and sometimes an entrance examination or interview.

Is Amsterdam the only city with canals in the Netherlands?

No, Amsterdam is not the only city with channels in the Netherlands. While Amsterdam is renowned for its picturesque canal belt, other cities like Utrecht, Leiden, and Delft boast beautiful canal networks.

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