Introductions and greetings

When introducing themselves, the Dutch shake hands and say their name (first and/or surname). If seated, it is polite to stand up before shaking hands. The Dutch use one hand to shake hands and typically let go after a very short time. Introduce yourself if no one is present to introduce you. The Dutch consider it rude not to identify yourself.


When meeting friends and relatives, the Dutch often kiss cheeks three times. Women will kiss women and men, whereas men kiss women but shake hands with other men.


It is polite for strangers to greet each other if they meet in a quiet location, especially in the countryside. This greeting is usually limited to a gesture or a simple phrase (e.g. ‘Hello’) and rarely involves conversation.