I'm new to the Dutch course. I've always kind of been fascinated by the strong firmness of the Dutch language and I'm so happy to finally be learning it! And, I don't know why, but I love singing and hearing people sing in Dutch! It's so strong, lovely, and simply astonishing! Please, any tips you have for me about Dutch or the Netherlands will be gladly appreciated!
" any tips you have for me about Dutch or the Netherlands will be gladly appreciated!"
For if you want to visit the Netherlands:
Don't just go to Amsterdam. The Netherlands has much, much more to offer. Try going to Nationaal Park de Hoge Veluwe. It's beautiful. You could also visit one of the many castles around the country, or take the train route between Almere and Lelystad. (it goes right through "de Oostvaardersplassen". You won't regret doing this. Just make sure you go when it's light.) I f you're willing to spend money and time (a good amount of it) and are interested in fairytales or just beautiful stuff) you way also want to go to De Efteling.
Use a bicycle. But make sure that you know what you're doing. Nobody likes a tourist on the bicycle paths that doesn't know the traffic rules or even how to ride one properly.
Don't EVER walk on bicycle paths. You will probably get insults flung at you if you do that. (I'm not joking)
Get some good food. Try the stalls at the open air market (de markt) if you can find one. Some things you might want to try: Stroopwafels, drop, snert (in the winter), Hollandse nieuwe. (Herring- NL: Haring), kibbeling, Haagse hopjes, Gelderse rookworst. (go to a HEMA for that one), Frikandellen, kroketten, speculaas, oliebollen (at new year's eve), tompoezen, poffertjes and many more. (I hope I didn't make anyone too hungry by writng this (; )
Check out this list for some nice cultural tidbits: http://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/
I'd like to add on this, since I as a Netherlander (another name for Dutch or Dutchman) live there myself: if you want to visit the Netherlands or want to know more about it...
• Maastricht also is a great city to visit. It has a very pleasant atmosphere, and it's close to both Brussels and Aachen, two other great cities (latter is not Dutch, although they speak a dialect there that is close to Netherlandish). There are some great buildings there, and there's a charming nightlife, along with what some Netherlanders somewhat cynically call 'mountains'; the highest point - a whopping 320 m! - of the Netherlands is located there, at the Drielandenpunt, a point where we border with Belgium and Germany.
• Visiting small places is also nice. There is less tourism and a more true Dutch feel to it, and everyone - even there - is able to speak English. If you want to speak Dutch, you can just begin speaking in our language. Don't be down when we speak in English back - we love to show it off, haha. Just keep on talking Dutch or say that you want to exercise your Dutch, then they will do and help you if you don't understand something they said, if you ask.
• What Fire-ergens said, it indeed is of the utmost importance to not walk on bicycle paths. They're usually recognisable by having a pink colour instead of the grey asphalt. Also, almost no Dutch people bicycle with helmets on, because the land ... well... is really flat, and because there are separate bicycle paths that make cycling safer.
• Regarding food: Bossche bollen are great too, they're from Den Bosch/'s Hertogenbosch. If you want to find kibbeling, they're usually sold at the coast. At the moment, kruidnoten seem to be coming earlier every year as well. They're designed for Sinterklaas, and you should try them.
• Another site to throw in there; Invading Holland , an excellent site where an Englishman explains about everything in the Netherlands.
• If you come across something weird or unusual but where the Netherlanders seem to find it completely normal, then I'd just leave it be. Don't be afraid to say something about it though, we're generally pretty direct compared to other countries, but we don't mean that rudely. Just be nice to each other and you're OK. :D
Veel plezier met je Nederlandse cursus!