List of Most Popular Sports in the Netherlands

List of Most Popular Sports in the Netherlands

The Netherlands may be one of the flattest countries in the world, but that doesn’t mean their sporting scene is lacking in any way. Like many other European nations, the Netherlands enjoys soccer, tennis, and golf. However, due to its location and flat terrain, people in the Netherlands also widely participate in running and swimming, as well as both indoor and outdoor volleyball. The Dutch are very active and even find ways to get out during the winter months, as ice skating is one of the most popular sports in the country. One sport that sets the Netherlands apart is equestrian, which has over 140,000 participants in the country.


The most popular sport in the Netherlands is soccer. Just like nearly every other European country, Dutch people favor soccer above all else. The KNVB, the national soccer association of the Netherlands, has over one million members, making it by far the biggest sporting organization in the country. In addition, the Netherlands is home to three top professional soccer leagues where teams can move either up or down depending on their performance during the season. 

What is the most watched sporting event in the Netherlands?

The most-watched sporting event in the Netherlands is the World Cup. In 2019, the Dutch women's team made it to the finals against the American team. That match saw 5.5 million viewers from the Netherlands, almost 90 percent of the country’s entire population. The second-most popular sporting event ever for the country came in the same year when 3.5 million viewers tuned in to watch a kickboxing rematch between the heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and a top challenger, Badr Hari.

What is the national sport of the Netherlands?

The national sport of the Netherlands is soccer. With over one million national participants and matches that routinely draw tens of thousands of viewers, soccer is far and away the most popular and culturally-identifiable sport in the country. Both the men’s and women’s teams have had success on an international scale, with the women’s team reaching the World Cup Final in 2019.