Dutch 101 – Useful Things to Know About the Dutch

During my time in Amsterdam I got to take a Dutch class and learn some everyday phrases. Since it took me a while to get used to the language and pick up some sayings, I figured I would share my knowledge with you!

Anyway, here’s my collection of important Dutch phrases, words, saying etc. I also added some other aspects of cultural life here, as I feel like language and culture always go hand in hand. So this is not only a quick language guide, but also a Dutch 101, where I tell you about the most important things about life here in the Netherlands.

  • achtenachtig prachtige grachten: a Dutch tongue-twister to practice the ‘g’ and ‘ch’ sounds.
  • Albert Heijn (AH): The most common chain of grocery stores across the Netherlands.
  • Anne Frank Huis: probably the most commonly known point of interest in Amsterdam. No explanation needed.
  • biertje: common way of saying ‘beer’.
  • Bioscoop: Cinema? Movie theater? Never heard of it! The Dutch like to call this place a bioscoop.
  • Bol.com: The Dutch version of Amazon, which offers super fast, next-day shipping throughout the Netherlands.
  • Carnival: is celebrated in the bible-belt of the Netherlands, as it is a rather Catholic festivity.
  • Den Haag: Amsterdam might be the capital, but Den Haag, or The Hague, is home to all major political and administrative insitutions of the Netherlands.

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  • Drop: literally the grossest piece of candy (if you can even call it that) the Ntherlands has to offer.
  • Etos: a common chain of drugstores. They even sell contact lenses and supplements.
  • festje: a party.
  • fiets: this is the one word you have to know when coming to Holland. The term bike surely won’t get you far!
  • gezellig: word used to describe a social activity.
  • Haarlem: a really cute city close to Amsterdam.
  • hagelslag: chocolate sprinkles you put on your toast bread.
  • heel: very.
  • hoor: literally ‘hear’ but kinda used as a filler in almost every sentence.
  • hoi: colloquial greeting.
  • iets: something
  • je/jij: you.
  • Kruidvat: a big chain of drugstores offering cheaper products.
  • kut: common Dutch swearword.
  • Kingsday: is celebrated all over the country on April 27th.
  • lul: common Dutch swearword.
  • Moco: a museum with a focus on modern art and an exhibit on Banksy.
  • Museumkaart: This card grants you access to all major museums in the Netherlands for a whole year at the cost of 64€.

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  • Negen Straatjes: the shopping streets in Amsterdam.
  • OV Chipkaart: the card you have to have in order to use Dutch public transport throughout all of the Netherlands.
  • PLLEK: literally one of my favorite cafés in all of Amsterdam. See my brunch here.
  • Rotterdam: the second largest city in the Netherlands, which is known for its modern architecture. Read more here.

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  • Rijksmuseum: the biggest museum of the Netherlands and home to many of Rembrandts masterpieces. Blog post about it here.
  • The Student Hotel: my dorm in Amsterdam that I was not too impressed with. You can read about it here.
  • tikkie.me: is a payment service that makes it easy to split the bill. It is only available for Dutch bank accounts though.
  • tokkie: a trashy person.
  • Utrecht: really cute city, about half an hour by train from Amsterdam.

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  • van Gogh: Dutch painter, famous for impressionistic paintings.
  • Willem Alexander: Not only is his birthday the biggest public celebration in the country, but his hair really lives up to the name van Oranje-Nassau.
  • Wibautstraat: The street I used to live on, which is surrounded by many nice restaurants.
  • Zaandvoort aan Zee: a lovely beach town about 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam.
  • Zaanse Schans: tiny, stereotypically Dutch village, which is full of tourists and good for a daytrip. More footage here.


That’s it for now, maybe if I come across more useful things, words or phrases I will add them to this list. If you have any suggestions please let me know!