The Netherlands controls a few undesirables, such as who can share a house, where you can lock out burglars, and whether you can get an acorn from a forest tree. Don’t be too surprised because I’ll start with some pretty weird Dutch laws!
Weird Dutch laws 1: Bicycles have priority over both cars and pedestrians.
You are walking along a bike path and a bicycle hits you. In most cases in the Netherlands, cyclists are not necessarily liable because cyclists have the right of way, even if it’s not your fault.
The same goes for a car hitting a bicycle.
Weird Dutch laws 2: Burglar lock in your toilet? Illegal
Picture it like this: a robber breaks into your house while at home. You lock them in the bathroom in a rush of adrenaline and quick thinking.
Hurray, success! Oh no. By locking down that thief and taking away your privilege of stealing, you’re also taking away the thief’s freedom – and that’s against the law.
Weird Dutch laws 3: It is illegal not to have lights and bells on your bike.
In many countries, this is the other way around for obvious safety reasons. And of course, if you’re traveling with small children, they often have to bring some form of protection.
However, the Netherlands does not allow you to do that! You’re good to go as long as you have lights to show and bells to attract attention.
Weird Dutch laws 4: Grab a souvenir from the forest? That’s not allowed
Many of the Netherlands’ nature reserves are closed to tourists. And of course you are not allowed to take moss, mushrooms, leaves or even a fallen acorn.
You cannot legally get married in the Netherlands unless one of you is Dutch
The law is correct, but only if neither has household registration. For example, you cannot come here from abroad to get married, as others do at beach resorts worldwide.
So if you’re looking to hitch a ride on Amsterdam’s canals and neither of you are registered residents, forget it.
Technically, home-sharing is not allowed – strange laws Netherlands 2022
Technically, three or more young singles are not allowed to live together. This is to prevent housing sharing, a law rarely enforced, so it’s pointless and bizarre and certainly doesn’t help the housing crisis.
It is illegal to enter a coffee shop if you are under 18 years old
It is not illegal for individuals under 18 to enter a regular coffee shop or ‘coffee shop’. Coffee shops in the Netherlands sell weed, so you’re not allowed in if you’re underage.
Tenants have incredible protection when renting – strange laws Netherlands 2022
A good law for tenants and bad for landlords, tenants have excellent protection. The landlord cannot evict you unless the court rules that they can.
Trees must be reinforced to avoid subsidence along the canal.
Canal houses, including trees and other structures, must be reinforced so that they do not sink. So it’s not just the houses, it’s the trees!
It’s great that the trees are protected as much as the canal houses.
Even though they are divorced, they are still your family!
Let’s hope that the difficult mother-in-law isn’t the reason your marriage fell apart because the bad news is that in the Netherlands, they’re still your family – even if there’s ink on your divorce papers was dry.