2 In Europe/ Expat Life/ Netherlands

Living In The Land Of The Tall

One thing that I have to got used to, since I’m just the average height, is that I am constantly looking up to the tallest people in the world, even my partner is reaching 198cm. A research completed in 2014 showed that the Netherlands were 1st with the tallest men in the world, with the average of 183cm. As well as coming 2nd with the tallest women in the world.

When my partner first visited me, when I lived on the Isle of Wight, he was very likely the tallest person on the island. It was like walking around with a touristic attraction next to me, as everyone would look and ask how tall he was. It didn’t help that I was also much smaller at the average 165cm walking next to him.


It sure has been amusing over the years, also with other tall Dutchies at family birthdays or seeing random strangers hitting their heads on door frames or lamp shades. Theses days I’m more of a spotter. Spotting for low things that need to be avoided. Especially on holiday like the little book shop we visited in Norwich.


When we are walking in a crowd in the Netherlands, like shopping at the local markets or at a concert, and we lose each other, I can never find him as he blends in with everyone else. But I never have to worry as he can always find the small ginger girl. Being part of the 2% redheads has it’s advantage in NL! Unless I’m attending the Redhead Days in Breda.

hedge-mazeThere are many perks of living with a tall person, such as not needing to change a broken lightbulb, a personal shopper for the top shelf of the supermarket and having someone able to shake the duvet correctly without it dragging on the floor. But there are disadvantages too, especially when travelling. This includes needing to rent a car that isn’t too small or low and booking extra legroom on flights. Also when shopping for shirts, there is always a challenge to reach all three points of this triangle, with tall people getting only to choose two!


The tallest man in the Netherlands was called Rigardus Rijnhout. He was born and raised in Rotterdam in 1922 and died in 1959 when he was 237cm, with a shoe size of 62. Being so tall compared to other Dutchies that he was often asked “is it cold up there?”. He died aged 36 with a tumor that was the caused by his growth disorder. I stood next to him as a comparison!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Zoe | Together In Transit
    4th November 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Haha interesting. I have had to learn to walk faster just to keep up with my partner! Else I’m the slow one.

  • Reply
    4th November 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Wow he was so tall. I found in Leiden the taller the person the slower they walked. I’m a fast walker so it got annoying lol.

  • Leave a Reply