Netherlands: Through Zahra’s Eyes


Where are you originally from?
The Netherlands


In one word or sentence, how do you describe your people?
The Dutch are tall, direct in communication, tolerant and nice people

On a scale of 1-10, how well does your country speak English?

Can you give a key phrase/word/expression that people in your country usually say?
When the Dutch order a cup of coffee. They will ask for ‘a little cup of solace’ (Een bakje troost).

How do I say “hello/thank you/please/sorry” in your language?
Hallo/dank je wel/alstublieft/sorry

Are you more like laid back or party people?
Party people, sometimes to much. Dutch people tend to misbehave themselves when abroad.


Best food? Weirdest food? Local food to try?
The Dutch do not really have their own cuisine. If you try one Dutch sweet treat, make it a stroopwafel. Two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup. At New Year’s Eve we eat ‘oliebollen’ which are fried balls of dough and in June is the start of the herring season. The herring is eaten raw with chopped onions and pickles.

Best drink? Local drink to try?
The local drink is of course Heineken. As I don’t drink alcohol I can’t recommend it and as it’s sold al around the world I can’t say it’s really special. Jenever is also a drink that a lot of the Dutch drink. It’s a distilled alcohol flavored with juniper berries.

How is breakfast served in your country?
Usually we have a very simple breakfast eating sandwiches and cheese or meat or jam. The craziest breakfast according to my UK friends are the sandwiches with chocolate sprinkles. Lots of dutchies are also fond of oatmeal in the morning.


The best festival to attend?

Which sport are you guys crazy about?
Soccer, the whole Netherlands is in tears about not attending the world cup at the moment.

What is the craziest thing to do in your country?
Visit the Poezenboot: A floating cat sanctuary on an Amsterdam canal.

What excursions and/or activities do you extremely suggest that visitors MUST do?
A’dam Lookout: swing at 100m altitude
Waddenlopen: cross the sea by foot
Cubic houses: visit inside the cubic houses in Rotterdam
Red light district in Amsterdam
Cheese market in Alkmaar
Volendam where you can have your picture taken in old fashion Dutch clothing

Are there any local customs a visitor should be sensitive to?
The Dutch are very private people.
They will not display their wealth.
They do not brag about their successes.
(Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg = act normal as you will already look stupid acting normal)


Where can visitors find the best beach?
Domburg as it has a wide sandy beach and is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Netherlands. If you arrive in Domburg, it immediately feels like a holiday, even if you only go for one day.

If I’m staying for less than a week, which city should I choose?
Partypeople: Amsterdam
Non-party people: Haarlem


In one word or sentence, how do you describe your country?
A country filled with tulips and cheese eating direct but friendly people.

How many days at least should a visitor spend in your country?
About 4 days is enough for visiting a city like Amsterdam.
If you want to see more you can easily spend 3 weeks here.

When is the best time to visit?
Springtime if you’d like to see the tulips in bloom. The autumn and winter can be quite cold.

Can you give an interesting trivia about your country? 
We eat chocolate for breakfast and pancakes for dinner.

What is your country’s most popular stereotype/cliché? 
We all wear clogs, we are very frugal people, we all smoke joints, we live in windmills


Are you a traveler? Which place is your favorite so far?

What’s your best travel story?
Before we had kids we would go to Italy by car and not book anything and wing it. Those holidays were the best. We visited the most beautiful places. One of my favorite places on one of those holidays is the island Elba.

Why do you love traveling? 
I love to explore new countries, new cultures, new food, new people and escape from everyday life (work)


Instagram: @culyzaar
Website/Blog: – my cooking specializes in Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa cuisine.