Erratic engineeress

A personal blog fuelled by caffeine and curiosity.

Travel Trivia: 6 fun facts about the Netherlands

I realised I haven’t done a Travel Trivia post in a while and since I am currently making my way through my Dutch memories, I figured we should all learn some fun facts about the Netherlands.

  • The whole country is totally flat and famous for its water canals and installations. About 26% of the Netherlands is below the sea level as a result of careful water management and land planning dating back to the medieval times. They reclaimed a lot of land from the sea along the coast and drained their interior lakes and marshes to turn them into polders via the construction of dikes and drainage systems which were first powered by men and animals and later by the famous Dutch windmills. The most extensive water control operations were conducted during the second half of the 19th century with steam pumps as well as with electric and diesel pumps later in the 20th century.
  • The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy and was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001.
  • The next fun fact is the most stereotypical one: there are in fact more bicycles in the Netherlands than people. In a country of about 17 million people, there are currently about 22 million bikes. Stealing a bike is also one of the most common crimes in the Netherlands. And yes, the Dutch are the world’s tallest people, on average. Some sources claim that their height is due to an excessive consumption of cheese and dairy products and I choose to believe that, because cheese is life.
  • However, my personal favourite is that we now eat orange carrots because of the Dutch. Naturally occurring carrots before the 17th century were purple, white or yellow, until Dutch farmers decided to mess with them through selective breeding in honour of King William the Orange. King William III. helped the Dutch win their independence from Spain and to this day orange is still the official colour of the Netherlands and the colour of their Royal family. Everyone wears orange on King’s Day, which is celebrated on the 27th of April, and if you want to get a purple carrot now it is considered a rare, gourmet breed.
Bikes and canal boats in Amsterdam.
  • Even though the Dutch are one of the world’s leading flowers exporters, tulips aren’t actually native to the Netherlands. They came from Türkiye in the 16th century and quickly became a Dutch favourite.
  • Surprisingly, home births are still very popular in the Netherlands and they have one of the highest home birth statistics in the developed countries. Home birth is even covered by the Dutch health insurance, although the numbers are steadily declining.

That’s it for today and I hope you liked this short Travel Trivia post with fun facts about the Netherlands. If you get the chance, you should definitely visit the land of tulips and bicycles and as always, let me know if I made a mistake somewhere.

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2 responses to “Travel Trivia: 6 fun facts about the Netherlands”

  1. Even though tulips aren’t native I think after 500 years they can be considered as such. Just my opinion, lol.

    1. I agree, but it’s still interesting that they became such a hype.

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