What time should I arrive at a party?
Every other Friday I tell you one of my ‘Fuck-ups’. Hopefully, this saves you from some super awkward and embarrassing moments.
I was living in Berlin and my Italian friend threw a birthday party. It started at 8 pm (20:00) according to the Facebook invite and we would go out (to a club) after. In my opinion, 8 pm is a ‘normal’ time for a birthday party or pre-drinks to start. Maybe I need to make a little side note here, the ‘normal’ time to go to a club in Berlin is after 12 midnight (24:00).
I arrived around 8.30 pm. Guess what? I was the first to arrive. My friend (the host) was still preparing snacks and still had to get ready herself….
Luckily, it was a close friend so I just helped her to prepare the snacks. The other guests arrived around 10 pm (22:00). It all turned out fine at the end.. but the first 30 seconds I was like….
What time should you arrive at a party in the Netherlands?
It actually depends on what kind of party it is. Is the party around food, so a lunch or a dinner or is it just a drinks party?
Time to arrive at a lunch/dinner party
For a party including food, I would say that you should arrive on time. Or maybe 5-10 minutes too late, but not later. In general, lunch is between 12 noon and 2 pm (12:00-14:00). So just confirm what time to meet exactly. During weekdays the Dutch have dinner around 18:00. However, if you go out for a meal or you are meeting your friends for dinner. A usual time to meet is around 7 pm (19:00) or 8 pm (20:00).
Time to arrive at a birthday party
First of all, there are 2 types of birthday parties: 'circle parties' and let's call them 'normal parties'. I will tell you more about the 'circle parties' another time but believe me, you want to avoid them. The time to arrive at a birthday party is not as 'strict'. Let's say a party starts at 3 pm (15:00) in the afternoon, you can really arrive up to one hour later. Similar to parties which start at 8 pm (20.00) you can arrive at 9 pm (21:00) as well.
Of course, this all depends on how long a party is for. For instance, if a party is just 2 or 3 hours, arriving 1 hour too late might not be the best idea ever...
I hope you will be right on party-time!