Why Are Dutch Toilets Weird?

June 15, 2023

When you move to the Netherlands, there are some things you must get used to. Some might seem normal and others will be a bit weird. The toilet for example. Dutch toilets are known for being small. They are often equipped with spray air freshener to compensate for the lack of ventilation in these small spaces.

Besides this, there are also some quirks that might surprise you: a birthday calendar hanging next to the toilet paper and an ‘examination shelf’ where your poop will be placed. The latter is a bit disturbing as it leaves your excrements fully exposed to the elements and public view.

While a lot of the Dutch population will not see anything wrong with this, some expats do find it a bit gross and unnecessary to leave your own waste on display for everybody to see. Not to mention that it might be difficult to keep the shelf clean and free from feces.

Another interesting aspect of Dutch toilets is that they are mainly designed for men. A female who is caught urinating in the street will face a fine. In many cities you can find urinal curls for women but they are not always available. This male-focused design led to some heated debate in 2017 when a woman refused to pay a fine for not using a urinal curl designed for her.

Nevertheless, a lot of people are quite fond of the Dutch toilet and its little quirks. So if you ever have the chance, be sure to visit one of these toilets and experience it for yourself.


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