The Netherlands is a country full of cultures!
The Netherlands is one of the most desired destinations in all of Europe. Known as the country of bicycles, canals, cheese and tulips, but with much more to discover.
The Netherlands is one of the main destinations among expats to move indefinitely, since it has one of the most solvent economies in Europe, is one of the happiest countries in the world and offers a great welcome to migrants.
Are you thinking of living an experience and working outside your country? Grab your bike and let’s discover the Netherlands together!
Requirements to live in the Netherlands
Citizens of the European Union can reside and work in the Netherlands legally, without needing documentation or a work permit. But keep in mind that you will need to organize and arrange some legal details in the town hall of the city where you are going to reside.
Once you arrive in the country and have your accommodation, you must go to the corresponding town hall and officially register in the city where you are going to live. You must do so during the first 5 days of your arrival in the country. The municipality will give you your citizen number (BSN) and your registration in the database of The Netherlands (BRP). At this appointment you must present:
-Passport or valid identity document.
– Birth certificate of the corresponding country.
– Necessary forms.
Likewise, it’s mandatory that each inhabitant have their own health insurance. In the Netherlands social security is private. We can find different insurers to choose from, and it usually costs between €100-120. In these medical insurance you can add extra services such as dentist, physiotherapy, ophthalmology…
Find accommodation in the Netherlands
Currently we have the challenge of finding a home in the country. As in most large cities in Europe, in the Netherlands there is the problem of high demand and low supply of accommodation.
The advice to find your desired accommodation is to start looking for accommodation well in advance or come to the country with a company that offers you accommodation included. Also, don’t focus only on a small area, look everywhere, many times leaving the city center will help you. You always have the bike or public transport to get around!
If you want to start renting a house, you should keep in mind that the price of the accommodation will depend on the area and type of accommodation, but so that you can have a few numbers in mind:
Center Netherlands Room €500-800 Studio €800-1000 1-room €900-1400 2-rooms €1100-2000
Other areas Room €400-700 Studio €400-800 1-room €800-1200 2-rooms €1000-1600
Transport in the Netherlands
You’ll not find a better communicated country than the Netherlands. The bicycle is the first means of transport. You’ll be surprised to see that everyone rides a bicycle, come rain, hail or shine, the Dutch do not stray from their pair of wheels. You’ll not hesitate to buy your bike once you are in the country, we assure you!
Compared to other countries, the Netherlands is very well connected by public transport. You can go from the north to the south of the country in a couple of hours by train. Also, public transport is efficient, you only need a card (OV-Chipkaart) for the train, tram and bus. Don’t forget to review all the discounts they offer, from 50% on your trips to tickets for large groups at very attractive prices.
Social life in the Netherlands
Living in another country, far from your family and friends, can be emotionally difficult at times. The best way to overcome homesickness and feel partly at home is to build relationships in the new country. Starting by meeting people, adapting to the climate and learning Dutch are the first steps to never wanting to leave the country.
We have always heard that people from the north are cold and reserved, and that they don’t welcome people from outside. But, quite the opposite! Dutch people are friendly, always willing to help in their own way. Almost all the habitants speak English, and it’s not a problem for them to communicate in a different language.
However, we found cultural differences, which is good to know in advance:
- Dutch people plan everything well in advance. We sometimes had activities on our agendas months in advance. So plan outings with them in advance!
- The punctuality. Dutch people are never late for their appointments, and even arrive before the agreed time. They don’t like to wait!
- Direct and honest people, it doesn’t mean that they are rude, but they always say what they think, which can be shocking for people from other cultures.
- Adjusted hours. Dutch families are very punctual with meal times, which are much earlier than in other countries. Food is served between 12-13 and it’s probably a soup or the famous broodjes (sandwiches in Spain); and dinner is between 17-19.
- Body language. Spaniards are active people and we use a lot of body language. However, in the Netherlands they are usually more distant for that. When greeting each other, they don’t give two kisses on the cheek. And be careful because when they are family or friends they give three kisses, it’s not going to be that you end up in a situation that you do not want!
- They always share the accounts. And it’s that in Holland there is nothing more famous than the Tikkie (Bizum in Spain). If you have an appointment, dinner with friends or an account to share, you’ll always have your Tikkie on WhatsApp at the moment.
But we know that it’s also good to interact with people from the same culture or from different countries, and that is also very easy in the Netherlands. There’re many expat Facebook groups in different cities, where you always meet a lot of people. The Netherlands is a country full of cultures!