Dutch culture - bring friend to a party

FF – Can I bring my friend to a Dutch party?

FF - Can I bring my friend to a Dutch party?

FF : Every other Friday I tell you one of my ‘Fuck-ups’. Hopefully, this saves you from some super awkward and embarrassing moments.

I had just moved back to the Netherlands when I had ‘one of those parties’. A party, which is not really a party. It is more a gathering of people who want to be polite and don’t want to make up an excuse, why they 'can’t come to the party'.

Since I had just moved back and wanted to make ‘new’ friends, I decided to attend. In general, I'm okay with going alone to these kinds of things. Just to be clear, I prefer going with someone, but... I'm a big girl, and I believe it really helps to connect to new people, especially when you have to.. (Alternatively you just get wasted very quickly alone at the bar area, but that is a little sad too)...

On the day of the party, my friend Natalia called me, she was in the Netherlands (she lives in the U.S. but had to be in London for work and decided to come over to the Netherlands for the weekend). Fun!!! I decided to bring her to the party…!

Not a good idea...

My friend (the host) asked, who is she? And what is she doing here? Natalia doesn’t speak Dutch and the other people were all Dutchies (their English was limited).

Long story short... The host was okay with it and at the end, it was not a ‘gathering of people who want to be polite’. It was still lot’s of fun!

When I lived abroad, it didn’t matter if it was Turkey, Germany or Singapore. It was never a problem to bring friends to someone's party (maybe because these parties are often BYO*.  It really was “ The more the merrier”...!

So, can you bring your friend to a Dutch birthday party? Actually, No.


  • You asked the host if it is okay to bring a friend (and maybe explain why).
    • If this is okay, maybe bring something extra (if you were already going to bring a bottle of wine, bring an extra nice one).
  • If it is to an international party (with lots of expats this, in general, does not apply - and the answer is YES - 'The more the merrier').
  • It is a party in a public space, a bar, a park.. whatever. I would still recommend asking the host...

Better safe than sorry 😛

*Bring Your Own: This means that you bring your own drinks. Whatever drink you want to drink. Often you bring a little more. So instead of just 2 beers, bring some for the others as well. The host often provides some snacks and drinks too. But if you want to be nice, there is no harm in bringing snacks too! If it is a BYO-party, there is no need to bring a present. Although… it would (of course) be appreciated - even if it is small.

Veel plezier! (Have Fun!)

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