The Netherlands is a small, western European country. The capital is Amsterdam and tulips, wooden shoes and windmills are well known all over the world as Dutch things. But there are other facts about the Netherlands that are lesser known… Today we will share 5 of them for those of you thinking about of moving here for a new job opportunity.

1.   One-third of the Netherlands is below sea level

 A big part of the Netherlands is below sea level. The lowest point in the country, at 6,7 meters below sea level, is the Zuidplaspolder. The highest point in the country is the Vaalserberg hill, it comes in at 323 meters above sea level. This might sound a little scary at first, but once you actually live here, the only time you realize that this is the case is when you have to walk or drive up the sand dunes to get to the beach and the ocean. The Dutch are very innovative engineers!

2.   There are more bicycles than people

 The Dutch go everywhere and transport anything and everything on their bikes. This results in a country full of bikes. There are an estimated 22 million bikes in the Netherlands, this means that for every Dutch person there is more than one bike (1,3 bike per person to be exact). Good luck finding yours!

3.   The Dutch have the tallest men in the world

 One thing you will notice once you move here: people are tall! And the Dutch men are the tallest men in the world. But if you feel a little intimidated by their stature, know that research shows that the country of giants is shrinking a little… 😉 

4.   Tulips aren’t native to the Netherlands

This one is a bit of a shocker, but the Dutch Tulip isn’t originally Dutch! The flower is actually Turkish. But in the 17th century the flower got really popular and there was even a so-called “Tulip Mania” where the flower bulbs fluctuated highly in cost. After WWOII the tulip was tied to the Netherlands for good as they used the bulbs as a food source. Ever since the country has built a flourishing tourism industry around the flower.

5.   Nobody actually wears clogs

 Another Dutch icon is the wooden shoe called clogs. They are very popular with the tourists. There are many clog products and there are huge clogs for tourists to take pictures with. But in real life, almost no one actually wears them anymore. Only in some smaller, rural towns you will still find people rocking the wooden shoe.