Home FAQ Can You Drink a Tap Water in Amsterdam?

Can You Drink a Tap Water in Amsterdam?

by Rafal Sulowski

In some European countries, you can drink tap water, in others you can’t. So how it is in the Netherlands and especially in Amsterdam? Can You Drink A Tap Water in Amsterdam?

Yes, you can drink tap water in Amsterdam. In fact, you can drink tap water in the whole Netherlands, but water in Amsterdam is the cleanest in the country. Actually, Amsterdam has one of the cleanest and safest tap water in the world.

When I arrived in the Netherlands I wasn’t really convinced that drinking tap water is safe. It changed after some time and now I even have a habit of drink tap water when I go abroad and that’s not that good habit. Now I really appreciate the fact that in Amsterdam we have access to free clean and safe tap water. I think that this should be our priority to provide clean drinkable water to the whole world. Here in the Netherlands it obvious that you can drink tap water when in other parts of the world people don’t have clean water at all. I also appreciate it from the simple fact that I don’t have to buy bottled water. It’s better for the environment and for my wallet. It’s also really convenient. In this article, I will write some more on tap water in Amsterdam and in the whole Netherlands. I will answer your most frequent question such: “Can I drink a bathroom tap water” or “can I drink tap water in hotels?”

Tap Water in Amsterdam

It’s funny because people coming to Amsterdam often don’t believe that tap water can be safe and clean, so they still buy bottled water. I work in a hotel in Amsterdam and I often tell tourists that they can drink tap water. Look! I drink it! – and I show them my glass of water. They nod and say”ok” and then they go to the vending machine and buy bottled water 😉 You can drink tap water and if you do, you’ll be surprised how good it tastes.

If you grow up in a country where your mother always tells you not to drink tap water that’s quite weird that you can drink it in another country safely from the tap. At the beginning I used filters but now I don’t do this anymore. In my apartment water is perfectly clean. In some places, it may have a taste if you know what I mean, but it’s safe. It depends where it comes from. Water from different sources have a different amount of minerals and that’s the reason for a different taste. Even in restaurants, they serve water from the tap. In our hotel, we also serve water from the tap, of course for free.

You Can Ask For A Free Glass Of Tap Water in Restaurants – True or False?

Yes, this is true. You can ask for a glass of water and they will give it to you for free. I often ask for a glass of water, because I don’t drink alcohol, nor any soft drinks. So far, only once I’ve heard no. It happened in the restaurant La Place in Eindhoven Airport. They said that I can buy bottled water. It’s funny because if you think about it – you can just go to the bathroom and there is perfectly clean water that you can drink. Also, some people need to take pills and it isn’t nice to tell them “No” when we have access to safe tap water. I’ve been drinking free tap water in other La Place restaurants, but there they said no. According to Dutch Law, they are not obligated to give you tap water. However, they serve water for free in 99% of places.

Can You Drink A Tap Water in The Whole Netherlands??

Yes, you can drink tap water in the whole Netherlands?? The taste may be a little bit different, but yes, it’s safe and clean. It’s interesting that the water pipe network system measure together over 100 000 kilometers. So imagine that this is 5 times more than the length of Earth’s circumference. Impressive, right? Drinking water in Holland comes from the groundwater or surface water. The quality of tap water in the Netherlands improves constantly and that’s long term goal of the Dutch Government to have clean and safe water in the country. Dutch want to provide access to drinkable water for everyone and they do a great job. Imagine that 100 years ago nobody in Amsterdam has had clean water at home.

Can I Drink A Tap Water in Bathrooms or in Hotels?

The short answer is yes, you can. They belong to the same water pipe system and the same company(Waternet) which takes care of cleanness of this water. You can drink water anywhere from the tap in the Netherlands. If it’s forbidden to drink tap water you’ll see a sign, but it almost never happens.

Drinkwater Points

In the Netherlands, you can find water fountains with drinkable water. They are situated in the parks, where people run, or in the city centers. Water from the fountain is safe and on most of the fountains there is written “Drinkwater”. In Amsterdam itself, there are over 500 water points and that includes water fountains and water taps. If you have access to the Internet you can find the closest drinkable water point here. The first public water spots were opened in 1903. Back then people haven’t had clean water at homes. That’s why they created water points. They wanted everyone to have access to the clean water.

Photo Courtesy of Waternet || Waternet Website

Amsterdam Has The Cleanest Water in Europe

Amsterdam water is ranked 8,4 on the 1-10 scale. Thanks to advanced technologies Dutch turn surface water into perfectly clean, drinkable water with no use of chlorine, nor fluorine. In the Netherlands, you don’t really see people buying tap water in shops. Ok, they do, when it’s warm or when they want sparkling water, but for sure not as much as in other European countries.

After living for 6 years in the Netherlands I already have a habit of drinking tap water. That can be a little bit tricky when you travel, because in other countries, especially outside Europe, you just shouldn’t drink tap water.

1000 liters of tap water cost approximately 0.26 Euro and 1 liter of bottled water costs approximately 0.40 Euro

There is No Chlorine, Nor Fluorine in Water in Amsterdam

Tap Water in the Netherlands does not contain chlorine. It’s because chlorinated water is poisonous for people and we shouldn’t drink it. If you would like to learn more about the quality of water in the Netherlands you can visit the website of Waternet – link here. Waternet is a huge, technologically advanced company which provides clean water in the Netherlands. Daily they treat approximately 250,000 m³ of water. That’s about 100 Olympic swimming pools. They also check the quality of the water on a daily basis. If you have any questions you can call them or even ask a question on facebook or twitter.

Tips And Tricks

  1. If you drink from the tap that hasn’t been used for many days, it’s good to let the water run for a minute before you drink it. There can be some bacterias on the tap.
  2. I mentioned before that it’s fine to drink a bathroom tap water. Drink it only if you have a clean bottle where you can put it first. Don’t drink from your hands because probably you touch a handle before.
  3. Rarely happen that water isn’t good for consumption but when it happens you see a sign that it’s forbidden to drink from a particular tap. You’ll see a symbol such as this one below. But this almost never happens.

Wrap Up

Water in Amsterdam and in the whole Netherlands is perfectly clean and safe, so you can drink it for sure. Don’t waste your money on bottled water. The environment will be also grateful that you don’t produce any extra plastic. It’s already enough plastic on the Earth.

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