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Comparing Netherlands to Sri Lanka: A Closer Look

by Radhe

The countries of the Netherlands and Sri Lanka are both rich in cultural heritage, history, and natural beauty, but they are vastly different in many aspects, including geography, economy, culture, and lifestyle. In this article, we will take a closer look at these two countries and compare them in various aspects to help you understand the differences and similarities between them.

Geography and Climate


The Netherlands, located in Northwestern Europe, is known for its flat landscape, with around a quarter of the country lying below sea level. It is famous for its tulip fields, picturesque windmills, and extensive canal systems. The climate is temperate maritime, with mild summers and cool winters.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, an island country in South Asia, is known for its tropical climate, stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and ancient ruins. The landscape varies from rolling plains to highlands and coastal beaches. The climate is tropical, with distinct wet and dry seasons.

Economy and Industry


The Netherlands has a highly developed and diverse economy, known for its agricultural products, innovative technologies, and financial services. It is one of the world’s leading exporters of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. The country also excels in sectors such as renewable energy, horticulture, and high-tech manufacturing.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s economy is based on agriculture, tourism, and textiles. The country is known for its tea production, which is one of the major exports. Tourism plays a significant role in the economy, with visitors drawn to the country’s natural beauty, wildlife, and cultural sites. Sri Lanka also has a growing IT and outsourcing industry.

Culture and Lifestyle


The Netherlands is known for its liberal and progressive culture, with a strong emphasis on equality, tolerance, and individual freedom. The Dutch are known for their straightforwardness, pragmatism, and work-life balance. The country is also famous for its art, architecture, and cycling culture.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan culture is a rich tapestry of Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, and colonial influences. The country’s diverse cultural heritage is reflected in its cuisine, music, dance, and festivals. Family values, respect for elders, and hospitality are essential aspects of Sri Lankan society. The lifestyle is relaxed and laid-back, with a focus on community and traditions.

Education and Healthcare


The Netherlands has a well-developed education system, with a strong emphasis on research and innovation. The country is home to several top universities and research institutes. Healthcare in the Netherlands is of high quality and is based on a system of mandatory health insurance for all residents.

Sri Lanka

Education in Sri Lanka is free and compulsory up to the age of 16. The country has a high literacy rate and several universities and colleges offering a range of academic programs. Healthcare in Sri Lanka is a mix of public and private services, with disparities in quality and access between urban and rural areas.

Tourism and Attractions


The Netherlands is a popular tourist destination, known for its historic cities, charming villages, and scenic countryside. Amsterdam, the capital city, is famous for its canals, museums, and vibrant cultural scene. Other attractions include the Keukenhof Gardens, Zaanse Schans, and the UNESCO-listed windmills of Kinderdijk.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise with a wealth of attractions for tourists. From ancient cities like Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to cultural sites like Sigiriya and Dambulla, there is no shortage of things to see and do. The country’s national parks, such as Yala and Wilpattu, offer unforgettable wildlife experiences.

Food and Cuisine


Dutch cuisine is simple and hearty, with dishes like stamppot (mashed potatoes with vegetables), haring (herring), and stroopwafels (syrup waffles). The country is also famous for its cheeses, particularly Gouda and Edam. Indonesian cuisine, such as rijsttafel (rice table), has also influenced Dutch gastronomy.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its bold flavors, aromatic spices, and use of coconut milk. Curries, rice, and seafood are staples of the cuisine. Dishes like rice and curry, hoppers (pancakes), and kottu roti (shredded roti stir-fry) are popular. Sri Lanka is also famous for its tea, particularly Ceylon tea.


In conclusion, while the Netherlands and Sri Lanka may differ in geography, economy, culture, and lifestyle, both countries have much to offer in terms of history, heritage, and natural beauty. Whether you are drawn to the picturesque windmills of the Netherlands or the ancient temples of Sri Lanka, both destinations promise a unique and enriching travel experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the Netherlands a part of Scandinavia?
    No, the Netherlands is not part of Scandinavia. Scandinavia refers to the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

  2. Are the Netherlands and Holland the same?
    While people often use the terms interchangeably, Holland actually refers to two provinces in the Netherlands, North Holland and South Holland.

  3. Do I need a visa to visit Sri Lanka?
    It depends on your nationality. Many countries are eligible for a visa on arrival or an electronic travel authorization for Sri Lanka.

  4. What is the best time to visit the Netherlands?
    The best time to visit the Netherlands is during the spring (April and May) when the tulips are in bloom, or in the summer for mild weather.

  5. What currency is used in Sri Lanka?
    The currency used in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR).

  6. Is English widely spoken in the Netherlands?
    Yes, English is widely spoken in the Netherlands, particularly in urban areas and among younger generations.

  7. What are the must-try dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine?
    Some must-try dishes in Sri Lankan cuisine include rice and curry, seafood curry, hoppers, kottu roti, and pol sambol (coconut relish).

  8. Are there direct flights from the Netherlands to Sri Lanka?
    Yes, there are direct flights from Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Colombo, Sri Lanka, offered by various airlines.

  9. What are the popular festivals in the Netherlands?
    Popular festivals in the Netherlands include King’s Day (Koningsdag), Carnival, and the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

  10. Is Sri Lanka a safe destination for tourists?
    Sri Lanka is generally considered a safe destination for tourists, but like any other country, it is essential to take necessary precautions and stay informed about local conditions.

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