orange flowers
body of water under white sky
three windmills by the lake under grey cloudy sky

Is Netherlands Safe?

The Netherlands is generally safe for travelers, with low risks of violent crime and terrorism. However, petty crimes like pickpocketing are common in crowded areas, so remain vigilant. The country experiences occasional civil unrest and protests, which may disrupt travel plans. Natural disasters pose minimal threats, but flooding is a risk in coastal regions during storms. Overall, exercising basic precautions ensures a secure travel experience in this welcoming nation.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

The Netherlands is generally considered a safe travel destination, with low levels of violent crime and terrorism. However, travelers should exercise caution against petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation. Scams targeting tourists are also a concern, so remain vigilant and avoid carrying excessive valuables.

  • Petty Crime: Pickpocketing, bag snatching, and theft from vehicles are common in major cities and tourist hotspots. Exercise caution in crowded areas, public transportation, and when leaving valuables in parked cars.

  • Scams: Tourists may encounter scams like bogus tour operators, overcharging for services, or fake charity solicitations. Research reputable service providers and be wary of unsolicited offers.

  • Civil Unrest: While rare, protests and demonstrations can occur, potentially disrupting travel plans. Monitor local news and avoid areas with large gatherings.

  • Terrorism: The threat of terrorism exists, though the risk is low. Remain vigilant in crowded public spaces and follow the advice of local authorities.

  • Disputes: Disputes over cultural differences or misunderstandings can arise. Respect local customs and laws, and avoid confrontations.

Overall, the Netherlands is a safe destination for travelers who exercise common sense and take standard precautions against crime and scams.

Health & Medical

The Netherlands has a high standard of healthcare and excellent medical facilities. However, travelers should still take some precautions to ensure a healthy and safe trip.

  • Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, and COVID-19 are recommended. No additional vaccinations are required for most travelers.

  • Common Illnesses: Travelers' diarrhea and respiratory infections are common. Packing over-the-counter medications and practicing good hygiene can help prevent these.

  • Air Pollution: Air quality in major cities like Amsterdam can be poor, especially during rush hours. Those with respiratory conditions should take necessary precautions.

  • Insect-Borne Diseases: The risk of insect-borne diseases like Lyme disease is present, especially in forested areas. Using insect repellent and checking for ticks after outdoor activities is advisable.

  • Medical Facilities: The Netherlands has a well-developed healthcare system with modern facilities. Most private clinics and hospitals have English-speaking staff, making it easier for international travelers to access medical care if needed.

Natural Disasters

The Netherlands is generally not prone to major natural disasters, but some weather-related risks exist for travelers. Heavy rainfall and storms can occasionally lead to flooding, especially in low-lying coastal areas. Thunderstorms are common during summer months and can disrupt outdoor activities. The country's flat terrain makes it susceptible to strong winds, which can cause travel disruptions.

  • Flooding is a potential risk, particularly in areas near rivers and canals. Travelers should monitor weather advisories and avoid walking or driving through flooded areas.

  • The Netherlands experiences occasional heatwaves during summer, which can be uncomfortable for visitors unaccustomed to the heat. Staying hydrated and seeking shade or air-conditioning is recommended.

  • Snowstorms and freezing temperatures can occur during winter months, potentially causing transportation delays and hazardous road conditions.

While the risk of major natural disasters is relatively low, travelers should still exercise caution and stay informed about weather conditions during their visit to the Netherlands.


The Netherlands boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation system, making it relatively safe and convenient for travelers to navigate the country. The rail network, operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), connects major cities and towns, offering a reliable and comfortable mode of travel. Additionally, the country's well-maintained road infrastructure ensures a generally safe driving experience.

  • Public Transportation: The Netherlands' public transportation, including trains, trams, buses, and metros, is considered safe and reliable. However, it's advisable to exercise caution against petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas.

  • Cycling: The Netherlands is renowned for its cycling culture, with dedicated bike lanes and paths throughout the country. Cycling is a popular and safe mode of transportation, but travelers should familiarize themselves with local traffic rules and wear helmets for added safety.

  • Road Safety: The Netherlands has a well-developed road network, with clear signage and traffic regulations. However, travelers should remain vigilant, especially in urban areas, as pedestrians and cyclists have the right of way in many situations.

  • Taxis and Ride-sharing: Licensed taxis and ride-sharing services, such as Uber, are generally safe options for transportation in the Netherlands. It's advisable to use reputable companies and avoid unlicensed or unofficial services.

  • Driving: While driving in the Netherlands is generally safe, travelers should be aware of the country's traffic laws and regulations, which may differ from their home countries. Renting a car from reputable companies and obtaining appropriate insurance is recommended.

Cultural Norms

The Netherlands is a culturally diverse and tolerant society. However, travelers should be mindful of certain customs and etiquette to avoid causing unintentional offense. Here are some essential tips:

  • Greetings: A handshake is a common greeting, even among strangers. Maintain eye contact and a firm handshake.
  • Punctuality: Being on time is highly valued in Dutch culture. Arrive a few minutes early for appointments or social gatherings.
  • Dress Code: The Dutch generally dress casually, but avoid overly revealing or sloppy attire in public places.
  • Smoking and Drinking: While legal, smoking and public drunkenness are frowned upon. Respect designated smoking areas and consume alcohol responsibly.
  • Cycling Etiquette: Cyclists have the right of way in the Netherlands. Be cautious when crossing bike lanes and avoid walking in designated cycling paths.
  • Tipping: Service charges are typically included in bills, but it's customary to leave a small tip (around 5-10%) for good service in restaurants and taxis.
  • Tulips and Windmills: These are national symbols, and visitors should respect their cultural significance.
  • LGBTQ+ Acceptance: The Netherlands is known for its progressive stance on LGBTQ+ rights. Public displays of affection are generally accepted.

By respecting local customs and being mindful of cultural sensitivities, travelers can ensure a more enjoyable and respectful experience in the Netherlands.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in the Netherlands are generally reliable and well-organized. The country has an integrated emergency response system that covers police, fire, and ambulance services.

  • Availability: Emergency services are available 24/7 across the country, with response times varying based on location and the nature of the emergency.

  • Reliability and Quality: The Netherlands has a well-trained and equipped emergency response force. Services are considered reliable and of high quality, especially in urban areas.

  • Tourist-Specific Services: While there are no dedicated tourist emergency services, the general emergency services are equipped to handle incidents involving travelers. English is widely spoken, facilitating communication.

  • Medical Emergencies: The ambulance service (Ambulancedienst) is efficient and well-equipped. Major hospitals have emergency departments that provide high-quality care.

  • Tourist Assistance: While not an emergency service, the Netherlands has a nationwide network of Tourist Information Offices (VVV) that can assist travelers with non-emergency issues, such as lost documents or general inquiries.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Netherlands safe for tourists?

The Netherlands is generally safe for tourists. However, it's advisable to exercise caution in crowded areas and be aware of petty crimes like pickpocketing. Avoid carrying valuables and keep an eye on your belongings. The country has a low risk of violent crime, but it's still important to remain vigilant.

Is Netherlands safe for solo female travelers?

The Netherlands is considered safe for solo female travelers. However, it's recommended to take standard precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being cautious when accepting drinks from strangers. The country has a low rate of violent crime, but petty theft and harassment can occur.

Is Netherlands safe for families?

The Netherlands is family-friendly and safe for families with children. The country has excellent public transportation, numerous parks, and child-friendly attractions. However, it's advisable to supervise children closely in crowded areas and be cautious when crossing streets.

Is Netherlands LGBTQ+ friendly?

The Netherlands is highly LGBTQ+-friendly. Same-sex marriage is legal, and the country has strong anti-discrimination laws. The LGBTQ+ community is widely accepted, and Amsterdam is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene. However, it's still advisable to exercise caution in certain areas.

Do you need a visa to go to Netherlands?

Citizens of most Western countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union, do not need a visa for tourist stays up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is required for all visitors. It's recommended to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality before traveling.

Can you drink tap water in Netherlands?

Tap water in the Netherlands is safe to drink. The country has a high-quality water supply system, and the tap water meets strict safety standards. However, it's recommended to use bottled water for infants and young children as a precaution.

What is the currency in Netherlands?

The official currency in the Netherlands is the Euro (€). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and emergencies.

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play