How To Stay Healthy in the Netherlands

  • The Netherlands has some of the best ‘tap water’ in the world. It is even considered to be of similar or better quality than natural mineral or spring water and is distributed to every household and controlled by ‘water authorities’. Food (either bought in a supermarket or eaten at a restaurant) shouldn’t pose any problem either. The health care system is up to par with the rest of Europe and most cities have hospitals where usually most of the staff speaks English (at least all medical staff). In general, it’s a case of common sense.
  • In summer, open air recreational (mainly fresh water) swimming areas might suffer from the notorious blue algae, a rather smelly cyanobacteria which when it dies, releases toxins into the water. When these occur, a signpost at the entrance to the area or near the water should tell you so by stating something like “waarschuwing: blauwalg”. If in doubt, ask someone.
  • When walking or camping in forests and dunes be aware of ticks and tick-carrying diseases such as Lyme disease. It is advisable to wear long sleeves and to put trousers into your socks.
  • Prostitution in the Netherlands has been legalized to a certain degree, but even when indulging into these practices at brothels or other locations in the Netherlands where sex is sold do always use a condom since STDs are still a problem in this industry.