Do you have time to shop in the Netherlands?

This is also what I did for the blog assignment, about shops’ closing time in the Netherlands 😀

By Galuh — “Sorry, we are closed!” is the answer you will get when you are trying to shop in The Netherlands after 18:00 most days of the week.

Shopping than window shopping (Photo by Carl Purcell)

Coming from Indonesia, a country where malls open until 22:00, the fact that stores in the Netherlands close at 18:00 is like eating bread for lunch. It feels weird. However, both cases are very normal in Holland. In fact, on Monday many shops will not be open before 11:00. They are allowed, mind you, to open until 22:00 from Monday to Saturday, but it seems the Dutch ignores that.

It got me thinking:

How Dutch workers manage to shop? Can the stores make profits?”

Enjoy time outside
But then again the Dutch really values time and this is one of the ways of showing it. Time cannot be rewind which makes it precious. Everyone has the right to enjoy their time outside of work, including store managers and staff. Too bad that in Indonesia time is not as appreciated as in the Netherlands. I would be enjoying a vacation in Spain if I received €5 for each and every “Sorry, I am late!” I got in the past year.

Time is priceless
I believe the Dutch understands that time is priceless and cannot be bought, even with a pair of nice leather boots! No, don’t get frustrated. Most towns have their own weekly shopping evening. Shops in Utrecht and Amsterdam open until 21:00 every Thursday. Tourist cities like Amsterdam and The Hague are allowed by the law to open every Sunday. My tip is to plan your shopping agenda well in advance. Otherwise you will only see the dress you like on the mannequin not on you!


Galuh is an editor for JOY Indonesia, a women lifestyle magazine in Indonesia. She is currently in the Netherlands and still adapting with its shopping hour.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Olivia says:

    you are such a good observer, and I love to read your conclusions! 🙂 Even after having lived here for 11 years, I still find myself (too!) regularly in front of a shop on Monday morning realizing that it won’t work to just quickly buy this or that …

    1. Thank you, Olivia for your kind words! Shopping time in the Netherlands is one of the “culture shock” that I had; since malls in Indonesia opens until 10 PM. Even you, who have been in Holland for 11 years! 😀

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