What to Buy From Netherlands: A Shopper’s Guide
The Netherlands, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes, is not only famous for its tulips and windmills but also for its unique and high-quality products. From traditional delicacies to iconic souvenirs, there is something for everyone to take home as a cherished memory. Whether you are visiting the Netherlands as a tourist or a seasoned traveler, this article will guide you through the must-buy items that will make your trip even more unforgettable.
1. Gouda Cheese:
When it comes to cheese, the Netherlands is renowned for its superior quality and variety. Gouda cheese, named after the city of Gouda, is a popular choice among cheese connoisseurs. With its creamy texture and nutty flavor, Gouda cheese is a versatile delight that can be enjoyed on its own or used in various culinary creations.
Delftware, also known as Delft Blue, is a traditional blue and white pottery that originated in the city of Delft. The delicate hand-painted designs on plates, vases, and tiles make for exquisite souvenirs. Delftware is not only a beautiful memento but also a piece of Dutch history and craftsmanship.
3. Dutch Clogs:
Dutch clogs, or wooden shoes, are iconic symbols of the Netherlands. These traditional footwear pieces were once worn by farmers and artisans and have now become a popular souvenir. You can find clogs made from various types of wood, each with its unique design and color. They make for a quirky and authentic keepsake.
Stroopwafels are a delightful Dutch treat that no visitor should miss out on. These thin, crispy waffle-like cookies are sandwiched together with a rich caramel-like syrup filling. Stroopwafels are commonly found in markets and bakeries, and they make for a delicious snack to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.
5. Dutch Gin:
Jenever, also known as Dutch gin, is a quintessential Dutch spirit that has been produced for centuries. Made from malt wine and juniper berries, jenever comes in various flavors and can be enjoyed neat or mixed into cocktails. It is a great gift for spirits enthusiasts or anyone looking to experience a taste of Dutch tradition.
6. Dutch Chocolate:
The Netherlands is home to some of the finest chocolatiers in the world. Dutch chocolate is known for its smooth texture and rich flavors. Whether you prefer milk, dark, or white chocolate, you will find a wide range of options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Look out for chocolatiers such as Van Heerden and Verkade for a truly indulgent experience.
7. Dutch Bicycles:
Cycling is an integral part of the Dutch culture, and it is no surprise that the Netherlands is famous for its bicycles. Dutch bicycles are known for their sturdy build and comfortable design, making them a perfect mode of transportation for exploring the country or commuting in style. Consider purchasing a Dutch bicycle as a practical and eco-friendly souvenir.
1. Where can I buy these products in the Netherlands?
These products can be found in various places, including local markets, specialty stores, and souvenir shops. Cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague have a wide range of stores offering these items.
2. Are these products suitable for vegetarians/vegans?
Most of the items mentioned, such as cheese, pottery, and chocolate, do not contain animal products. However, it is essential to check the labels and ingredients before purchasing, as some variations may include non-vegetarian ingredients.
3. Can I bring these products back home without any restrictions?
While most of these products can be taken back home without any issues, it is always advisable to check the customs regulations of your home country to ensure compliance with any import restrictions on food items or souvenirs.
4. Can I find these products outside the Netherlands?
Some of these products, such as Dutch cheese and chocolate, can be found in specialty stores worldwide. However, buying them in the Netherlands ensures their authenticity and allows you to explore a wider range of options.
5. Can I order these products online and have them shipped to my home country?
Yes, many Dutch specialty stores offer online shopping and international shipping options, allowing you to conveniently purchase these products from the comfort of your home.
6. Are there any other traditional Dutch products worth buying?
Apart from the items listed, you might also consider purchasing Dutch ceramics, Dutch beer, Dutch herring, or traditional Dutch clothing like clogs or traditional costumes.
7. Can I get a refund on VAT (Value Added Tax) when purchasing these items?
Tourists from outside the European Union (EU) can claim a VAT refund on eligible purchases made in the Netherlands. Look for stores displaying the “Tax-Free Shopping” logo and inquire about the process during your purchase.
In conclusion, the Netherlands offers a plethora of unique and authentic products that are worth purchasing as souvenirs or for personal enjoyment. From delicious cheese and sweet stroopwafels to charming Delftware and iconic clogs, these items will remind you of the beauty and culture of the Netherlands long after your visit. So, explore the local markets, indulge in Dutch delicacies, and bring a piece of the Netherlands back home with you.