What Do American People Think Of The Netherlands?

December 6, 2020

It is safe to say that the Netherlands and America both have extremely different cultures, governments, and overall ways of life. Visiting the Netherlands as an American might be a culture shock to most, but then Americans realize it is just the way things are in the Netherlands and it really is a truly welcoming and lovely place. It really is common for the Netherlands to leave a lasting impression on American travelers after they make their way through the spectacular country.

What do American think of the Netherlands? Americans think that the citizens of the Netherlands are very direct and up-front, down-to-earth, culturally artistic, environmentally friendly, and open in many aspects.

Today, we are going to go ahead and dissect exactly what it is that American citizens generally think of the Netherlands and how the country as a whole is viewed from their perspective.

The Directness of the Dutch People

One of the most common opinions you will hear from Americans is that as a whole, the citizens of the Netherlands are very direct and blunt when they communicate.

Why would Americans so widely agree that Dutch individuals are so direct?

To start off, Americans are generally very non-confrontational and passive people. They often beat around the bush and do not always say exactly what is on their mind out of fear of upsetting others.

Also, Americans tend to absolutely love small talk and speaking just to fill the silence. People in the Netherlands are typically the opposite of Americans in this specific aspect.

People in the Netherlands tend to only say something when it needs to be said and do not just speak random nonsense and small talk. Some Americans are highly sensitive, and they might take offense to this or even find it rude, but it is just part of the culture in the Netherlands.

If anything, it is the opposite of rude because the Dutch will only ask you a question if they are genuinely interested in your response, or they will only tell you something if it is factual or of importance.

If someone in the Netherlands asks you how you are doing, it is only because they truly care and want to know. Americans should keep this in mind before planning to visit the Netherlands, as it is just the way conversation is done in the Netherlands!

Americans Think the Dutch are Down-to-Earth

The next common view that Americans have of people in the Netherlands is that they are incredibly down-to-earth. Someone from the United States that is paying a visit to the Netherlands might find themselves surprised how humble the locals they come across are.

The Dutch do not often brag or boast about their material possessions and accomplishments, which is a welcome change of pace for someone from America. This is a big difference between the Dutch culture and American culture.

In the Netherlands, you will not find someone flaunting their money and expensive belongings to strangers, like Americans often love to do. Finding a culture that is so humble in their day-to-day lives is refreshing for many American travelers, as it is so rare to come across such a genuine group of people.

If you are American and visiting the Netherlands, do not be surprised if the remarkable down-to-earth nature of Dutch citizens leaves a positive lasting effect on you.

The Artistic Culture of The Netherlands

While the United States has many incredible museums and cities with unique architecture, the Netherlands just has a charm that cannot be matched. Americans who visit the Netherlands often find the country to be quite artistic, especially the city of Amsterdam.

The various museums scattered throughout the country are often towards the top of the itineraries of travelers in the Netherlands.

Van Gogh Museum:

The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most sought-after museums in the entire world. Vincent Van Gogh is from the Netherlands, so it is only fitting that his museum resides in Amsterdam. Here, you can find many of the spectacular life works of Vincent Van Gogh, such as Starry Night. Paying a visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a positively immersive experience.


The Rijksmuseum is also located in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands and it displays the wonderful history and art that has been present in Amsterdam for hundreds of years. The Rijksmuseum has been around since the 1700s and is truly a testament to the fascinating culture that the Netherlands upholds.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam:

Berlin or Amsterdam Which is Better - Pic #4

The Netherlands just has a special quality to it when it comes to architecture, history, and art. Americans are commonly impressed by this quality when they experience it for themselves, rightfully so.

Are you a true art lover and do you want to know what the best art museums in the Netherlands are? Then read our extensive art museum guide.

Americans Think the Netherlands Has an Open Nature

If there is one thing that the Netherlands is aside from being direct, it is their affinity for being so open and laid-back when it comes to certain things. America is often known for being very shy and closeminded about a ton of topics, such as drugs and sex. The Netherlands are completely opposite in their stance on these topics, and it has been that way for a very long time now.

Aside from the topics that are typically controversial in America, the Netherlands is also open in the sense that the people there are understanding and accepting of American travelers and are open to accommodating when it comes to speaking English. Americans are highly appreciative of this nature.

If someone from the United States visits the Netherlands for the first time with no expectations, especially Amsterdam, they will surely be in for a culture shock. Nudity and the consumption of marijuana are not taboo in the slightest in the Netherlands, as it often is in America.

While cannabis is becoming more widely accepted in the United States, there is still a long way to go. The Netherlands has allowed recreational use of the drug for over 40 years now, which is quite progressive compared to the rest of the world.

Many Americans enjoy the Netherlands for the reason that it is so open in nature, and they appreciate the open and laid-back nature when it comes to subjects that are typically not openly talked about or allowed in the United States.

Americans Think the Netherlands is Environmentally Friendly

The last opinion that Americans commonly have about the Netherlands is that the country is highly environmentally conscious. While the world is slowly becoming a more environmentally friendly place, there is still a lot of catching up to do to the Netherlands.

Americans are often very wasteful and not always aware of the effect that their carbon footprint has on the planet. The Netherlands lead by a wonderful example in this area, and when Americans come to the Netherlands it definitely does not go unnoticed.

When someone from the United States thinks about the Netherlands, the first things that often come to mind are windmills and bicycles. The Netherlands is so advanced compared to America when it comes to renewable energy, it is truly remarkable.

Aside from all of the renewable wind energy in the Netherlands, the country is known for the wide use of bicycles instead of cars. Dutch folk does not only ride their bikes for exercise or fun here and there.

A vast majority of the citizens in places such as Amsterdam ride their bikes to work, to school, or to run errands. When Americans see all of the bicycles the Netherlands has, their jaws drop.

It is honestly inspiring to Americans when they see just how environmentally friendly the Netherlands is. It is nice to see a country that cares so much about our planet and the future of it. America could take some notes from the example the Netherlands set in being eco-friendly.


While the Netherlands and the United States have so many vast differences, at the end of the day Americans highly appreciate the nature that the Netherlands embodies. There is hardly anywhere like the Netherlands in the United States, so it is fascinating to fully immerse in the culture there.

So, what do American think of the Netherlands? We have now learned that Americans think that the people in the Netherlands are very direct, they are very humble and down-to-earth, they are artistic, they are open in nature, and they are environmentally friendly. Hopefully, this article has helped you gain a better understanding of the views Americans typically tend to have of the wonderful Netherlands.

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Written by

Leo van den Berg
As a Dutchman I am extremely proud of the beautiful country in which I live. My goal is to convey my passion and love for the Netherlands to as many people as possible.

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