Known for being the land of windmills, tulips, and canals, the Netherlands is a magical country to visit in Europe. Those sightseeing in this beautiful region will also enjoy the fantastic vibrant cities, such as Amsterdam, home to iconic museums, including Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Moreover, the Netherlands is easy to explore by bicycle, with many travel destinations and major cities in the country providing free bikes for exploring the iconic sights. People visit the Netherlands to witness the charming Jordaan neighborhood and Amsterdam’s canals, behold the beauty of the tulip fields in Keukenhof, visit the Rijksmuseum, head to the historic Binnenhof in the Hague, and see Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht. Although the Netherlands is one of Europe’s friendliest countries and boasts the most liberal cultures on the continent, there are a handful of things that people should avoid doing when visiting the country.Related: Best Places To Stay In The Netherlands (That Won't Break The Bank)

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Here’s What To Know About Bike Lanes And Coffeeshops In The Netherlands

The cycling culture is an essential life feature in the Netherlands. For instance, the country has an infrastructure of paths and dedicated cycling lanes since the 1890s. This is why people will notice most of the roads in the country have separate bike paths alongside. These are known as fietspaden in Dutch. Some areas feature clearly marked lanes on shared roads. This is why pedestrians must avoid walking on bike paths. They should also always look in the left and right directions before crossing because bikes rule the road in the Netherlands. When tourists find themselves walking along a shared-use pavement, they should allow the cyclists to pass by walking on the left side.

The coffee shops people know about are not the same as the Coffeeshops in the Netherlands. These are instead the places where people can experience the most enduring cannabis cultures in the world. An old bakery that once served coffee used to operate as a “Coffeeshop” by selling other things in secret when the practice was still illegal. Although selling cannabis was decriminalized a long time ago, the name Coffeeshop is here to stay. Thus, people visiting the Netherlands must not make the mistake of thinking a Coffeeshop is a café.

Related: The Netherlands Is Home To Some Of The Best Cities In The World

What About Renting Bikes And Eating Space Cakes In The Netherlands?

For both cyclists and pedestrians, people visiting the Netherlands must get used to the cycling scene in the country. Thus, when renting a bike, people must learn about the local rules and expect to meet all sorts of characters, both mild and aggressive. When renting a bike, people must not step out of their lane or block the path of other cyclists. They are expected to follow all traffic lights and signs and park only where authorized. Hand-signaling before turning is also a must. Although most locals don’t wear helmets, visitors to the country are expected to keep their safety as a top priority and avoid acting like the Dutch.

When the marijuana isn’t rolled and lit in the Netherlands, it’s made into space waffles and space cakes. Visitors to the country must avoid falling into this a-bit-serious experience. This is because people new to cannabis culture underestimate the effects of these waffles and cakes because they are known to hit hard. Moreover, it is easier for them to eat these foods than to smoke them, which means they will be getting larger doses of marijuana. While cannabis-flavored lollipops and cookies are also available, these won’t make people high when consuming them. Casual smokers who visit Coffeeshops don’t usually eat space waffles and cakes because they know about their strength altogether. This is why visitors to the Netherlands must avoid buying these products on the street and must only consume them in trusted Coffeeshops.

Drinking Alcohol And Facing The Dutch Weather

Drinking alcohol in public is not allowed in some areas in the Netherlands. However, in Amsterdam, the police may give a pass to people during weekends, festivals, and in De Wallen and Vondelpark. Still, if one carries open bottles, gets drunk, and makes scenes in public, they will likely be spending their night at the police station.

Furthermore, people will be better off when they avoid smoking in public and do it only instead inside Coffeeshops. Patrolling police officers may warn people to respect smoking rules. At worst, they may fine smokers who refuse to obey the rules. These are in place to ensure the safety of everyone and reduce the likelihood of a smoker being hit by a bicycle when under the influence of cannabis.

People should avoid the mistake of not packing right for the weather when visiting the Netherlands. This is because it rains most of the time in the country. Thus, people must bring with them rainwear and waterproof clothing. If they forget to do so, they can buy clothes and an umbrella from the cities they’re visiting.