• Norway!

    Norway: Sunnylvsfjord. Go Now!

    Known for its natural beauty, Norway is home to isolated villages, fjords, and mountains that create a culture and landscape without compare. Begin Your Journey!

  • Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Macedonia!

    Macedonia: Traditional architecture. Go Now!

    Macedonia is a country still finding its unique identity, but its architecture is already one of a kind. Explore Macedonia!

  • Austria!

    Austria: Belvedere Palace. Go Now!

    Belvedere Palace (pictured) is just one of many palaces found in Vienna. The capital is a good start to Austria, which also features the Alps, the Lakes District, and incredible history & food. Go Now!

  • Spain!

    Spain: Guell Park and Gaudi architecture. Go Now!

    Fusion foods, lively music, historic ruins, and cultural events like the Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina make Spain and Barcelona (pictured) a favorite tourist destination. Explore Spain!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in the Netherlands


The Dutch are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment, or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; the Dutch view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and not doing the same can be very offensive.

As a visitor to the Netherlands, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Netherlands Dining & Food Page), and avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.


The traditional dress in the Netherlands is best known for its footwear, which are wooden shoes or clogs. These were primarily worn in the muddy low-lying fields as they lasted longer than other materials in these conditions and leather shoes were quite expensive. More than just the shoes, the traditional dress for the Dutch varied from region to region, but there were some similarities. For women the traditional dress included a long, loose-fitting skirt, a blouse, and an apron, while men generally wore long pants, a shirt, a jacket, and a hat. Most of these outfits consisted of darker colors, but most had color in them, although many of the pants men wore were black.

Today, these traditional outfits can only be found on certain cultural occasions, and even then are rare as few people wear them or even have them. Not even wooden shoes are popular today in the Netherlands as modern boots tend to do the trick just as well, if not better as they are tall and keep the mud from falling into the shoes. Modern western-styled clothing is the norm in the Netherlands today and styles vary from individual to individual.

As a visitor to the Netherlands you are welcomed to wear just about any western-styled clothing. The Dutch are also quite liberal so wearing tight-fitting clothing or more revealing outfits is acceptable, but not encouraged as the Dutch tend to deflect attention and anything that attracts attention is viewed negatively by most people. Just try to dress for the occasion, meaning dress more conservatively and formally in business settings, churches, and other formal locations, but wearing shorts and t-shirts is common if just wandering around a city or going for a bike ride, which is a popular past time.

This page was last updated: November, 2013