Famous Dutch cheeses include Gouda (mild and creamy), Edam (smooth) and Leiden (with cumin seeds). Many come laced with unusual herbs and spices. Try the nettle cheese with its supposed anti-ageing properties.

Sweet treats

If you take a coffee break at a pavement café while exploring, make sure also put in an order for one of these Dutch delights.

Stroop waffels (syrup waffles) are wafer discs sandwiched with a cinnamon-flavoured syrup. Poffertjes are miniature pancakes drenched in icing sugar and melted butter. Traditional Dutch apple cake has an oozing custard centre between buttery pastry.




The Dutch love their beer. Heineken, Amstel and Grolsch are all famous alcoholic exports, but try a few local brews, particular to some Dutch areas.


If you’re a caffeine addict you’ll love the fierce brew the Dutch call coffee. If you’re more used to the milky kind, ask for ‘koffie verkeerd’ (wrong coffee) — wrong according the Dutch because there should always be more coffee than milk.



The tap water is safe to drink in the Netherlands. Some say it has a ‘processed’ taste but it is safe.