A guide to drinking outside in Holland
As just about every traveler over a certain age knows, attitudes and laws about drinking, especially when done outside, off the premises of a bar or tavern, can vary greatly from country to country and even county to county. Here Trippy.com members tackle the issue of drinking outside in Holland.
Q: Drinking outside in Holland?
Do you happen to know (and if so, could you tell me) what are the legislation's (and general public's) opinion about drinking (alcohol) on the streets or at the parks in the Netherlands (mainly in Amsterdam)? For example, could I set up a picnic to some park without getting trouble with the local police? :)
Laws and attitudes about drinking outside in Holland
Generally speaking, it’s not so much the laws you need to be concerned about in Holland, but the general feeling about drinking out of doors. The consensus is that consumption is fine but overconsumption is not.
“We are very tolerant, but there are laws about underage (16 years AND low alcohol percentage!) drinking.”
“Hey, I think drinking alcohol outside away from a pub might be illegal at some points (In my town in some of the parks you can't anymore) But I think it helps if you don't appear to be a bum, don't litter, and stay polite to the policeman if they come up to you. I think the punishment at the most would be turning in your booze. That's a risk you can take, what's nicer than a picnic on a sunny day! (are any of us invited?)”
“Drinking (alcohol) is not a problem at all. Being annoyingly drunk might be and getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking a lot is asking for troubles. To make a picknick (if you find clean and good spot) is absolutely possible and pouring a few glasses of wine will only be charming! It is however wished for to leave the spot as you found it. So ... have great fun and enjoy the atmosphere.”
“You certainly could!! Provided, of course that you won't walk around drunk. If you would have a picnic I would suggest going to the Vondelpark.”
“Legislation: Public drunkenness is prohibited by law since 1886 (art. 453 Wetboek van Strafrecht).”
Laws and attitudes about smoking outside in Holland
If you’re thinking about lighting up on the streets, that’s probably fine, too. Although there are a million other reasons not to, legalities aren’t something you should worry about.
“Outside smoking can be no problem as long as you don't litter.”
And as for uh, other substances? Here’s the general attitude:
“No one is angry if you walk through Amsterdam smoking grass, so no one would be angry if you drink alcohol.”
What to eat at your picnic in Holland
Although some of our members disagree on this one, mustamakkara, which is a black sausage is a big favorite for some (and not for others). Equally polarizing is kossu, a spirit that’s popular in Finland although not with this Trippy member:
“I dislike the taste of Kossu after all - especially with orange juice it tastes really horrible.”
So, basically, public drunkenness is frowned on, not so much actual drinking outside. As long as you drink responsibly and don’t act like the clueless tourist, you should be just fine!