Pin It

Home » Europe » Drinking age in the Netherlands

Drinking age in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a sort of magical place, with a mystique all its own, because of its legal stance on soft drugs, its liberal culture, and its stance toward political ideologies. It’s a country with a very relaxed atmosphere, and it’s not surprising that they have very low drinking ages too. There are a lot of European countries that have drinking ages at 18 years old or younger. It’s a European norm to have drinking ages like that. It’s not uncommon to see youth drinking on the street when they’re graduating, and drinking all through the night as well, too. It’s wonderful to be able to go there when you’re 18 or older, and drink for the first time, if you’ve never been able to drink before in the states. It’s really fun for tourists to be able to drink once they’ve been all stowed away at home by their laws, culture, and parents. The Netherlands isn’t the only country that has a drinking age like that, though. There are several countries all over Europe that have that drinking age. It’s normal to have drinking ages that are much lower in Europe, and it’s 18 pretty much all over the world, except in the United States. In the United States, it’s actually much higher at 21, but it didn’t always used to be that way. Prior to the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, each of the states could set their own minimum public possession and purchase ages for alcohol. It wasn’t until afterward that the 50 states had to have a separate drinking age that was the national minimum drinking age in the United States, which was 21. In the Netherlands, there was never any such law. The drinking age was always 18.

The Netherlands have some very liberal drinking laws. You can buy wine and beer there when you’re 16 years of age or older, and you can buy liquor or spirits there when you’re 18 or over. Supermarkets can’t, however, sell liquor, and they’re only allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, wine, and beer, with a percentage of alcohol that’s less than 14 percent. Minors who are under 16, however, can’t buy any alcohol at all. They can, however, drink at home, as long as they have parental consent. However, that stipulation is not that unusual. Most countries have allowances that let minors drink at home as long as a parent gives permission. Minors can go into liquor shops if they are with an adult who is over 21 years of age. Those people who are selling alcohol are required to check a valid ID at the door. Driving under the influence is against the law, as it is in most countries. Those who are less than 24 years old, who have had a license for a time period of less than five years, are subject to a lot stricter laws. If you’re a young person in Netherlands, and maybe a tourist, this is a perfect place to drink because they have some of the best pubs in the world.



1 Comment

  1. The Expert says:

    Wrong! The legal age to consume or possess alcoholic bavereages USED to be 16 for drink below 16% ABV, 18 for drinks with more than 16 % ABV in Shops. Since January 1st 2014 the Drinking age was raised 18 by the federal government.


Leave a Comment