How to Move to the Netherlands in 2020 [The Ultimate Relocation Guide]

How to Move to the Netherlands in 2020 [The Ultimate Relocation Guide]

We all love new opportunities. Everyone loves a chance at a fresh start, and when the opportunity presents, we are sure to grab it with both hands. A chance at a fresh start may include moving to a new country, and maybe residing there permanently for the rest of our lives. The Netherlands presents such an opportunity. Would you love to know everything you can about moving to the Netherlands? Why is the Netherlands called the land of clogs, tulips, and windmills? Are there job opportunities for you in the Netherlands? This we will try to answer while exploring everything we can about this lovely country.

You may have heard good tales coming from this country, and one of the most famous cities in the world – Amsterdam. Renowned for a lot of things, including wooden poles and canals and bicycles. And now you can’t wait to have a taste of this country, including what it has to offer you in terms of job opportunities, education, and lifestyle. That is why we have found it necessary to create a sort of checklist for everyone who intends to make this move.


Is the Netherlands a place for You? Understanding the basics

If you’re considering moving to the Netherlands, then it vital that you know if this country is for you. This will enable you to make your decision and plan your move. So, let’s quickly run over a brief history of this country, including its people, culture, and language.

The people who live in the Netherlands are called the Dutch. The Netherlands is a place with a fascinating historical background, spanning years of wars and battles, holding onto colonies and conquered lands, and having different tribes from various parts of Europe inhabiting its land and becoming natives.

The Netherlands has a population of 17,151,228 people . The Dutch constitute 76.0% of the population. Dutch is the official language. Frisian is spoken in the Northern province of Friesland. The other widely spoken languages include English, German, and French. A good number of the population are Roman Catholics (23.4%) . This is followed by Protestant Christians (14.9%) . Islam represents about 5.1% of the population . A significant number of the population are atheists (50.7%) .

The cultural life of the Dutch is varied and lively. It boasts of world-renowned paintings and crafts. The Dutch take pride in their cultural heritage. Wooden shoes, lace caps, tulips, and windmills are the symbols of the Dutch.

The Dutch are tolerant people, and most times, one can be ruffled by their straightforwardness. They expect you to be direct and unadorned in conversations. They are reserved in public. They shake hands at social and business gatherings. They are very punctual to business meetings, and lateness or missed appointments can ruin relationships. Generally, the Netherlands is a modern and egalitarian society.

Applying for jobs in the Netherlands

There are a lot of factors at play in finding jobs in the Netherlands. However, these factors could be used to your advantage when looking for a suitable job that matches your skillset in the Netherlands. The right information at your disposal is powerful; therefore, we intend to create an informative checklist that will answer to every query you have about jobs in the Netherlands

How to Find Jobs in the Netherlands

Research a job before coming: Most times, you don’t have to move over to the Netherlands before you can secure a job offer. Job Boards, recruitment agencies, job websites, and job forums have made it a lot easier for job seekers to receive employment offers before they move over.

  • Job Boards: If you’re looking for a job abroad, particularly jobs in the Netherlands, then a job site that focuses on international listings from that country can be one of the best tools you can use. You’re able to see jobs in any country of your choice, and also in the language of your choice. offers you such an opportunity. It is often cited as the number one job site in the world, with over 250 million unique visitors each month. It offers comprehensive listings of available job openings, in which users can search for using keywords, job title, industry, and level of experience.
    • Monster Netherlands : This is one of the top job websites in the Netherlands. It is the Dutch version of one of the world’s biggest website – Monster. You can search for jobs by location or your skillset. Job seekers are also able to post their resumes while employers can post vacancies. Get your dream job in the Netherlands via this job website.
    • : Often cited as the current leader in the Dutch labor market, more than half of active job seekers (54%) uses this platform [Intelligence Group]. It is used by jobseekers of all types of education and experience levels.
    • Zutzu : If you’re looking for relocation and want to find employers that are specifically looking for international labor, we recommend our job board, Zutzu, which is able to connect you with the right employers. Zutzu is a burgeoning job board that is designed for prospective job seekers hoping to land lucrative job offers abroad. With thousands of employers around the world using its service to recruit talents from abroad, you can join this platform to secure your dream job in the Netherlands.
    • LinkedIn : This is another major player in the Netherland’s job market. It is used by 26% of active job seekers who are majorly white-collar professionals
    • : This is the official job board of the Dutch Government. It is mainly used by unemployed individuals and people on benefits. Meanwhile if you’re from abroad, you’re better off using other popular job website.
    • : This job websites focuses more on highly educated individuals, who are usually at the upper echelon of the job market. The vacancies in this site is posted by selection and recruitment agencies.
    • : If you’re seeking for English-speaking jobs in the Netherlands, then this job website is for you. You’re able to browse for jobs across sectors such as IT, Legal, Administration, and Engineering. This job website is the ultimate website for jobseekers and employers.
    • StepStone : This is also one of the top job websites in the Netherlands. It is Dutch version of the world renowned StepStone. It offers variety of job listings. You can browse for jobs and also register your CV. Recruiters search for resumes registered under this platform and also post ads.
    • Vacuturebank : A renowned job website in the Netherlands whereby candidate can browse through various job listings through key skills, location or category. They offer career guides for job seekers and candidates are also able to register their resumes.
    • There are other notable job websites,,planet Interim,Jellow,,,Young Ones,, etc.
  • Recruitment agencies: Working with the right international recruitment agencies can help you find a job while also providing the right conditions to help you adapt to your new environment. Randstad Multilingual Recruitment , one of the biggest recruitment agencies in the Netherlands, specializes in the recruitment of multilingual candidates for a variety of roles. Jobseekers are able to find jobs in roles that require languages such as German, French, Flemish, Norwegian, Swedish, etc. Some companies have the reputation of only hiring international candidates that are vetted by a known recruitment agency. A reputable recruitment agency such as Undutchable can help with your career move. They are an expat-focused international recruitment agency operating in the Netherlands, specializing in the international job market.
  • Job forums: Job forums are very vital when considering your move abroad. They help you gather intelligence and access resources that would enhance the likelihood of your clinching suitable job offers. is one of such forums. It is a forum dedicated to life abroad, helping expats and would-be expats with free information and advice, and also inviting them to share their experiences.

Going the route of internships and volunteering

For recent graduates and individuals considering relocating to the Netherlands, internships, and volunteering is a way to try your hands on a new job without making a permanent commitment. It can allow you to gain the relevant job skill, knowledge, and experience in various fields, and in the end, you can decide to continue or opt-out of certain jobs. This route is recommended for young people just starting their careers and are yet to decide on what they want. For internationals arriving in the Netherlands, it is an excellent way to build a local network and improve their Dutch language skills. Some organizations may offer you free meals and accommodation during your period of internship or volunteering. Graduates in the Netherlands can find internships in these organizations:

Volunteers relocating to the Netherlands can find opportunities in:

  • Amsterdam’s VCA volunteer center. For more information, visit VCA
  • The Rainbow Group. They help organize orientation meetings for expats interested in doing voluntary work with the vulnerable. Visit the website of the Vrijwilligers Academie
  • ACCESS . A non-profit organization that lists English-speaking services for the international community, including news and events.
  • Amnesty International . They focus on humanity and human rights.
  • Friends of the Earth . A global organization dedicated to environmental issues
  • Humanitas . One of the leading social services and community building organizations in the Netherlands.

Requirements to work in the Netherlands

If you’re a national from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a residence permit to come to, stay or work in the Netherlands. However, for those planning to work, you will need to register with the personal records database in your local area and get a Citizen Service Number (burgerservicenummer or BSN).

If you’re a national of a country outside of the EU, you need a visa, residence permit (temporary or permanent), and work permit to get employed in the Netherlands. The requirements to obtain all of those depends on your stay. Expats who qualify as highly-skilled professionals do not need an additional work permission. However, self-employed entrepreneurs or freelancers need additional documentation such as business plan and market research to secure visas.

Nationals of the US, Australia and South Korea and other exempted countries do not need to apply for a Netherlands visa to immigrate. All they need is a residence permit, which they can obtain once in they’re in the Netherlands. Nationals of Switzerland do not also require visa nor residence permit. Their travel ID is enough documentation to live and work in the Netherlands.

Academic qualifications: The higher the level of your qualifications, the better the job opportunities that are open to you. The Dutch are known as highly intelligent and cerebral stock who are more likely to employ professionals that are well-versed in their chosen field. So, you must hold at least a bachelor’s degree. A master’s degree or a doctorate is an added advantage and can increase your salary by 29%. You can find out if your qualification is recognized or your profession regulated in the Netherlands by visiting the Nuffic website. You will also need the original copies of your testimonials and references to present to the interviewer; so, bring them along with you when you make your move.

Field of study: Your field of study will also play a role in how fast you’re able to secure employment. For a country hosting multinational corporations such as Shell, KPMG, Philips, Heineken, and also the regional headquarters of more than 3,000 MNcs, the Netherlands pays more attention to technological, engineering, and management-based fields. Professionals from these fields get employed easily, with better salaries.

Locations: Major cities such as Amsterdam or The Hague, and Rotterdam are home to the big corporate institutions, and offer more employment opportunities when compared to other cities. However, there are jobs scattered around other towns and cities in the Netherlands.

Job Safety

VCA is the occupational safety management system used by companies in the Netherlands. It is the abbreviation for Veikigheid Gezondheid Milieu Checklijst Aannemers (Safety, Health, Envionment and Subcontractors’s Checklist). The subcontractor’s checklist is a list of questions, the aim of which is to ensure the safety of all employees in the workplace.

The VCA system requires that employees and subcontractors are in possession of the VCA certificate. It is required by companies who perform high-risk jobs in the construction, petrochemical and other heavy industries.

Being in possession of the VCA diploma is a confirmation that an employee has knowledge of, and application of occupational safety principles, and it is seen as an official permit to commence works. An increasing number of companies require the VCA diploma.

So, for employees in the construction industry, blue-collar and white-collar, asides their academic qualifications, they still require this diploma, which is issued in the form of a green diploma and is valid for 10 years.

Employment market

The landscape of Employment Market

About jobs in the Netherlands: The Netherlands has grown to become a top export country in the world, and places fifth in the list of top exporting countries in the world, according to statistics from Statista . The country is an exporter of top commodities such as machinery, electrical equipment, mineral fuels, pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies.

This, alongside a generous tax system for international workers, has made the Netherlands an attractive destination for those who plan to move and work abroad. The country offers a liberal and appealing environment for professionals seeking to enhance their careers. The maximum working hours are 45 hours a week, with flexible work hour options like four days a week. High-skilled professionals are offered incentives such as a 30% tax ruling, healthcare, and reimbursements.

As home to some of the world’s biggest multinational corporations, job opportunities exist in these firms for international workers in various job roles.

The country has witnessed skills shortage in recent years. It has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, with figures dropping to less than 4% in recent years. It currently has the second-highest demand for engineers globally. In essence, engineering is within the scope of high demand jobs. So, no matter your specialty in the engineering field, you are assured of fewer hassles in finding a job in the Netherlands.

Other areas facing shortages include:

  • The IT sector, which needs qualified professionals to man critical ICT roles in line with the recent advances in ICT technology.
  • The education sector, where the rate of retirement of teachers is outpacing the number of qualified teachers replacing them.
  • The healthcare sector, which can no longer bear the strain of an older population seeking more healthcare due to longer average life expectancy, and a growing population.
  • Construction sectors: There are much need for blue collar workers such as masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, machine operators, etc.
  • Agricultural sector: As an exporting country, the Netherlands is in need of workers to drive its agricultural sectors. Skilled machine operators are needed to operate heavy-duty agricultural machinery, and other low-skilled jobs needed in the sector.

Trending Jobs in the Health Sector

The number of vacancies in the Dutch healthcare sector is increasing, and figures from the Government employment office shows that over 130,000 job openings will need to be filled. Occasioned by the health crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic faced by countries all over the world, the following job roles in the health sector are becoming increasingly in high demand with lots of vacancies:

  • HBO Nursing Somatics
  • Senior Physician for Elderly
  • Microbiological Analyst
  • Ambulance Nurses
  • Internist/medical expert
  • Psychiatrist
  • GZ Psychologist
  • Sociotherapist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Infectious disease control doctor
  • Consultant EPD
  • Product Development Chemist
  • Quality specialist
  • Senior Scientist Molecular & Bioassays
  • Scientist – Clinical Immunology – COVID-19
  • Lab Services Automation Specialist
  • Process Engineer Biotechnology

Trending Jobs in the IT Sector

The Netherlands is a knowledge-driven economy with lots of high-tech industries spread around the country, boosting the economy of the country and advancing productivity. The IT sector is amongst the fastest growing sectors in the Netherlands and is the number one in the Netherlands for emerging jobs, according to LinkedIn Data. The following jobs are the high-demand jobs in the Netherlands for the IT sector with lots of vacancies/openings:

  • Cybersecurity Support
  • Senior Back End Developer
  • Full-stack Developer
  • Senior Frontend Engineer
  • Cloud Platform Engineer
  • Applied Data Scientist
  • Business Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Developer
  • Php backend developer
  • QA Test Engineer
  • Deep Learning Research Engineer
  • Machine learning Engineer
  • IT Auditor
  • IT Cloud Architect
  • Business IT Applications Analyst
  • IT Risk Assurance Specialist
  • Remote Support
  • Cloud Security Manager
  • Functional Data Analyst
  • IT System Architect
  • Network & ICS Security Expert
  • Project & Portfolio Analyst
  • Regulatory IT Lead
  • Application Security Assessor

Trending Jobs in the Education Sector

There exist a lot of opportunities in the education and teaching sector in the Netherlands. In the primary and secondary level, the Netherlands is home to many private international schools, especially in the Amsterdam and Den Hague regions. To apply for these job roles, you will need a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. The following vacancies are open:

  • Academic Manager
  • Academic Research Writer
  • Manager – Education and Skill Training
  • Manager of International Student Programs
  • Foreign Language Teacher
  • Analyst (Higher Education Analyst)
  • Product Manager for Digital Education Solutions
  • Librarians
  • Instructional Coordinators
  • University Professors and Researchers

Trending Jobs in the Energy Sector

The Netherlands has a strong standing in the renewable energy, and have a leading position in natural gas in the world. These have made the country a hub for trending jobs in the energy sector. The following vacancies require suitable candidates:

  • Sustainability Developer
  • Civil Engineers
  • Environmental Scientists and specialists
  • Construction Managers
  • Systems software developers
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
  • Urban and Regional Planners
  • Electrical Powerline Installers
  • Geoscientists
  • Service Unit Operators
  • Wind-turbine Service Technicians
  • Solar installers
  • Solar PV Design Engineer
  • Mechanical & Structural Engineer
  • ICS Cyber Security Analyst
  • Metallurgy Specialist
  • Machinery Operator
  • Instrumentation & Automation Engineer

Trending Jobs in the Tourism and Hospitality sector

  • Front Office Receptionist
  • Resort Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Spa and Wellness Manager
  • Concert, Festivals, and Exhibition Coordinator
  • Travel Agents
  • Hotel Manager
  • Tour Operator
  • Tour Guide
  • Executive Chef
  • Sommelier
  • PR Manager

Trending Jobs in Social media

According to the Internet World Stats, nearly 90% of the Dutch people use the internet, and more than half of them use social media of some kind. These are trending jobs in the social media industry with a lot of vacancies:

  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Consultant
  • Brand Manager
  • Social Media Analyst
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Film/Video Editor
  • Video Producer
  • Public Relations specialist
  • Blogger/Vlogger
  • Art Director
  • Content Strategist

Trending Jobs in Logistics

  • Purchasing Manager
  • Inventory Manager
  • Supply-Chain Manager
  • Truck Driver
  • Lead Driver/Mover
  • Warehouse Assistants
  • Transport Managers
  • Distribution Manager
  • Planners, buyers, Inventory Controller
  • Expeditors

Trending Jobs in Agriculture

The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest agricultural producers, exporting 65 billion Euros worth of vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat, and dairy products each year. The Dutch agricultural industry is vast. Therefore, there are many opportunities in the formal and informal sectors of this industry. The trending jobs in this sector include:

Formal sector

  • Animal Geneticist
  • Food Scientist
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Agronomy Sales Manager
  • Bioinformatics Scientist
  • Biochemist
  • Agricultural Economist
  • Custom Applicator/Pest Control
  • Farm Manager
  • Agricultural Finance/Accountant
  • Hydrologists
  • Veterinarians

Trending Jobs in the Construction Industry

The construction industry in the Netherlands has continued to grow, in line with the overall Dutch economic performance. While the construction output decreased 1.70 percent in April 2020, there’s a forecasted growth index for the year 2021. The following are the trending vacancies in the sector:

  • Construction Managers
  • Elevator Installer/Repairer
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Carpenter
  • Equipment Operator
  • Mason
  • Glazier
  • Solar Installer

For the Professionals

  • Architects
  • Project Controller
  • BIM Coordinator
  • Surveyor
  • Design Engineer
  • Site Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Structural Engineer
  • Health/Safety Professional
  • Contracts Manager
Jobs with accomodation

Jobs in the Netherlands with Accommodation

One of the biggest worries of employees, when they think about accepting offers from abroad is their accommodation. Of course, you need a living abode to settle down and adapt to your new country. It might have been difficult getting a paid job with accommodation in the time past. This, however, is no longer the case with the influx of skilled workers moving abroad. Many companies are now taking the issue of their employees’ accommodation seriously, with the provision of topnotch accommodation options. The following are examples of jobs in the Netherlands have the perks of accommodation and other benefits:

  • Production Workers with Crown Uitzendgroep (Jobs in Pannigen)
  • Warehouse Operators with Eurojob (Jobs in Waalwijk)
  • Machine Operators with crown Uitzendgroep (Jobs in Tilburg)
  • Internship with Philips (Jobs in Amsterdam)
  • Associate/Director – Research Operations with Sustainalytics ( Jobs in Amsterdam)
  • Industry Strategic Innovation Executive with Salesforce ( Jobs in Amsterdam)
  • Global Communications Specialist with Trouw Nutrition Canada Inc. ( Jobs in Amsterdam)
  • Solution Engineer with Uberall

Workdays and Holidays

Working in the Netherlands entitles you to a fixed-term contract. Most employees moving over to the Netherlands are used to being automatically permanently engaged once employed – it doesn’t work that way in the Netherlands. First, you are given a contract with the option of an extension when the contract runs out. However, you can have no more than three contracts. When your contract runs out during the third phase of its extension, you would either be employed permanently or allowed to seek your future elsewhere. Why is this so? The Dutch labor laws make it very difficult for employers to fire their employees. The law is always on the side of the employees. So, to be employed permanently, an employer must be very confident that such an employee is the right fit for his organization.

Working days

The normal working days is five days a week. That means, as a full-time worker, you may be working between 36-40 hours per week. However, the average full-time Dutch worker works 38 hours. You can have a 30-minute break in between your shifts. On the other hand, it is illegal to work over 12 hours per shift and over 60 hours per week. Some other companies are into a 4-day working week


Statutory Holiday: We all need a vacation now and then. So, you’re entitled to one whenever the opportunity pops up. By law, every employee is entitled to four times holidays calculated as four times the number of working days, which in the case of a full-time worker is 20 holidays per year (4 x 5 working days a week).

Non-Statutory Holidays: These are additional holiday days every employee gets asides the statutory holidays. The non-statutory holidays vary according to the industry. On average, the non-statutory holidays is five. That makes the entire holiday per year for full-time employees 25 days.

Public holidays: There are also public holidays, and they include:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • King’s Day (27 April)
  • Christmas Day (25 December)
  • Boxing Day (26 December)
  • Liberation Day (5 May) – On Company’s discretion
  • Good Friday (Not an official holiday)

NB: Employees are eligible for an 8% holiday allowance.

Leave of absence

This is regulated under the Work and Care Act and gives employees the right to leave and the right to payment. They include:

  • Paternity Leave
  • Maternity Leave
  • Emergency Leave
  • Calamity Leave
  • Short-term Care Leave
  • Long-term care Leave
  • Unpaid Leave
  • Adoption Leave
Self employed

Being Self-Employed in the Netherlands

Instead of seeking a regular white-collar job, you could opt for being self-employed when you move to the Netherlands. And we would love to inform you that this would be such a great move. The Netherlands offers a conducive business environment for would-be entrepreneurs and freelancers who would rather take charge of their working schedules than have someone dictate to them.

So, you can either commence a freelancing career from home or set up a business or found an innovative startup. Each of the following routes demands different official documentation. Freelancers in the Netherlands are called ZZP’er (zelfstandig zonder personeel). It can be similar to the process of setting up a business. You would need to register at the Chamber of Commerce, having chosen a business name. After that, you would receive a VAT number from the tax authorities.

Next, you will need to apply for a VAR ( verklaring arbeidsrelatie), which defines your mode of business – a freelancer or an employee. While it is not mandatory to apply for one, some clients may require it before doing business with you, to prevent additional costs on their part. The VAR is valid for a year, and applying for it is free of charge.

Setting a business is an excellent option if you understand the Dutch market. You will require the necessary documentation to do this. Creating a startup is also another way to go. There are fewer hassles and paperwork required for a startup when compared to setting up a business.

While being self-employed does not entitle you to a whole lot of benefits enjoyed by full-time employees, such as paid holidays, severance package, minimum wage, and all, tax relief by the authorities, disability, prenatal and childbirth allowances, and the joy of actually working for yourself and doing what you love doing, is enough compensation in themselves.

Government Resources to Find Useful Job Information, And Businesses Associations You Can Join.

Relocating to the Netherlands means you would have to network with people of like-minds to attune yourself with the culture and atmosphere of your new country. Joining the right association can advance your career, strengthen your business connections, gain for you new clients, and give you access to job opportunities. The benefits are just numerous.

In essence, you have to join the relevant business associations that cater to your professional and personal needs. The following are the relevant business and networking associations/club you can seek membership:

Useful Government Resources

Self employed

The Average Salary and Wages in The Netherlands

According to statistics from Statista , the average annual salary in the Netherlands in 2018 was just under 34,700 euros, including bonuses. The average Dutch employee was expected to reach his highest annual salary between the ages of 45 and 49, pegged at 45,000 euros. This figure gradually decreased as the person becomes older and approached retirement.

Across Gender

The same research by Statista showed the annual salaries for men to be considerably higher than that of their female counterparts. Whereas the men grossed over 42,000 in 2018, women grossed 26,200 euros. This was brought about by the women working fewer hours than the men and not because of gender bias.

Across Industry

The table below shows the starting salaries by industry in the Netherlands in 2018



Mining and Quarrying

5,424 euros

Financial Institutions

4,414 euros

Electricity and Gas Supply

4,318 euros

Information and Communication

3,724 euros

Other specialized business services

3,633 euros


3,377 euros

Public Administration and Services

3,373 euros

Water Supply and Waste Management

3,341 euros


3,210 euros

Renting, Buying, Selling Real Estate

3,067 euros

Transportation and Storage

2,808 euros


2,686 euros

Health and Social Work Activities

2,165 euros

Other service activities

2,164 euros

Wholesale and Retail Trade

1,937 euros

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

1,844 euros

Culture, Sports and Recreation

1,751 euros

Renting and other Business Support

1,675 euros

Credits: Statista

Tax requirements

If you live in the Netherlands or receive income from the Netherlands, you’re required to pay income tax in the Netherlands. The income tax is deducted from your income, your financial interests in a company, and on your savings and investments.

The tax rate is very high in the Netherlands, can reach around 50%. The income tax is divided into different categories and taxed accordingly, depending on your type of income. However, the tax policy in place is made to be favorable to expat professionals. They are exempted from paying taxes for the first five years of their stay in the country.

Comparing Salary and Tax Structure Across Europe in 2018










































United Kingdom








































Czech Republic



































Credits: List of European Countries by Average Wage

Moving and arriving

Arriving and Moving to the Netherlands


the Netherlands is considered one of the most densely populated countries in Europe. This can make accommodation very difficult to secure in the country and at a costly rate, too. However, if you’re a very skilled professional, then there would be fewer hassles due to the jobs in the Netherlands with accommodation that solves this problem for these professionals. Nevertheless, moving to the Netherlands from another European country is much easier. The following are accommodation options available to you:

  • Hostels: If you’re on a short visit to the Netherlands, or pending when your permanent accommodation option is ready, hostels are an option. They are amongst the cheapest and most common types of accommodation for those on a budget. You can also to get to meet other people visiting the Netherlands or planning to relocate permanently. This is a temporary accommodation option and may not offer you all the facilities that you require.
  • Canal houses: Some of the topnotch properties in the Netherlands are canal houses, which are usually houses with a rich history overlooking the canals. The houses are narrow, tall and accessible only by stairs. Canal houses can also come in the form of bed and breakfast, hotels and apartment for rents.
  • Hotels and Motels: Just like other western countries, the Netherlands follows an international star rating, from basic to five-star hotels. There are various hotel chains in the country and the Golden Tulip Hotel is among the most popular. You can make a hotel your permanent abode through an extended-stay lease agreement or you can seek permanent accommodation option.
  • Air BnB: Air BnB allows you to rent an apartment at an affordable rate. It is a way of making yourself at home, and usually preferred to a hostel. You can visit the Air BnB website to make your bookings in locations you prefer.
  • Student accommodation: These are a suitable option for international students who plan on staying long-term for study. This type of accommodation is usually booked through the university or institution.
  • Lease apartments: if you’re aren’t in the Netherlands for study and you need an accommodation where you can feel at home, then the leased apartments are your best bet.
  • Company accommodation: This type of accommodation is provided by your employer.
  • Au pair: This is an accommodation option whereby you help to look after the children of your host while teaching them your native language. This can be aa well-paying job with free housing and food.
  • Former Monasteries and Convents: Throughout the Netherlands, there are historic buildings once used for religious purposes. They’ve been redesigned for lodgings and now expats can lodge in these places and experience the blend of the old and the new.

Useful Housing Websites in The Netherlands

  • Marktplaats : A marketplace where you can find almost anything you want, including the apartment itself, and furnishings for your apartment.
  • Funda : They are referred to as the big boys in apartment rentals in the country.
  • Pararius : A leader in the accommodation space, they provide listings for all apartment types.
  • Wimdu : A useful website if you’re looking for a short-stay apartment.
  • Expatica : This website provides detailed information on accommodations in the Netherlands.
  • Air BnB : You can get a good deal on short-term rentals here.

The best and cheapest place to live in the Netherlands

Generally, the countryside is usually less expensive to live everywhere in the world. The same applies to the Netherlands. Living in Amsterdam is costly, as Amsterdam is considered one of the expensive places to live in the Netherlands. The following are cheaper places to consider:

  • Groningen
  • Zeeland
  • Limburg
  • Randstad
  • Asperen

Travel costs and arrival details

Did you just arrive in the Netherlands and in need of a rental car or airport service? There are car rental services sprawled around the city, especially the big cities to meet your need.

  • Short rental: 1-30 days (cost varies according to car model)
  • Long rent: 30 days and more

Notable airlines to the Netherlands from around Europe

Traveling around in the Netherlands

Dutch public transport is topnotch and affordable. The following are the means you can travel around the Netherlands:

· Train – You can choose between first class and second class. It is the preferred method of intercity transport. You can pay using an OV Chipkaart, which offers different subscriptions and discounts

· By Tram: One of the cheapest ways to travel while avoiding traffic and congestion.

· Taking a bus: Again, you can use an OV Chipkaart to catch a bus ride.

· Taking a Metro: They have Underground metro stations for large cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

· Taking a ferry/boat: For a country surrounded by water, boat and ferries are another option.

· Renting or buying a bicycle: Here we go finally with the Dutch Stereotype – bikes and cycling. For a country whose number of bicycles surpasses its population, bikes should be a popular mode of transport in the country, of which they are—[fun facts: The Netherlands has 23 million bicycles ].

Useful rental websites for bikes

  • Bike Rental in Amsterdam
  • Volendam: E-bike rental with suggested countryside
  • Scooter and E-bike rental
  • E-scooter tour
  • Bike rental Volendam

Useful rental websites for cars

Note: These car rentals can be found in major airports around the Netherlands


First Things When Arriving

Paperwork when arriving – Getting your BSN

A BSN is a unique, personalized citizen service number. It acts as an all-round identification number. When you first arrive in the country, this is one of the first things you will need to apply for. To obtain one, you need to register at the municipality. You need a BSN for various official and administrative procedures in the country, such as getting a job, applying for housing allowance, and your salary.

Opening a Bank Account

You will need a bank account for various payments and transactions. It can be quite a challenging process. If there are no bureaucratic procedures to slow you down, then the language barrier can be a bit of a problem for people from English-speaking countries. However, many expats have found Bunq as the best in terms of their services.

To open a bank account, you need an identification document, your BSN, proof of address, and proof of income.

Top banks in the Netherlands include:


The Social System and Healthcare in the Netherlands

The Social Security System in the Netherlands

The Dutch social security system is amongst the most comprehensive in Europe. However, it is restrictive, and owning assets could limit you to some claims and benefits. As an expat in the Netherlands, you’re required to pay social security. This would entitle you to government benefits such as maternity and paternity leave, unemployment benefits, long-term care, sick leave, and disability benefits.


Dutch social security does not cover healthcare. You must enroll with a healthcare insurance provider at your own expense. However, your employer can take up your health insurance if it comes with your overall compensation package.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

For European citizens and residents travelling within the European Economic Area, they’re entitled to an EHIC, which simplifies the procedure when receiving medical assistance during their stay in a member country. There is a country-by-country summary, published on the Europa website , of how to access medical care using an EHIC.

Health Insurance Companies

There are about 60 insurance companies in the Netherlands, offering a range of insurance packages and services. Here is a list of the top ones to choose from:

Moving and arriving

Everyday Living in The Netherlands

Life style

The Netherlands is a pleasant place to live in. The Dutch work hard, and although they tend to work fewer hours, they know how to catch some fun.

There are some social conventions the Dutch are known for, such as punctuality. Showing up late to a business or casual meeting is a goof on your part, and can affect close relationships. They love their coffee, which has become a significant part of their lifestyle, wherein a particular time is set for it – between 10:30 am to 11 am, tagged koffietijd (coffee time). There is also a tea time in the late afternoon from 3 pm to 4 pm.

The Dutch are renowned at being blunt and direct during conversations, which can put off new arrivals to the country, at first. There’s equivocating with the Dutch.

Cost and standard of living in the Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands has increased over the years. In a survey carried out by CEOWORLD Magazine in 2020, The Netherlands place 15th in the most expensive countries to live in. The high density of the population has affected the prices of utilities, from accommodation to transport. Taxes are also relatively high. It would cost a family of four an average of €4,181 to live in the Netherlands, and a single person, about €2,262 [ Expatistan ]. Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam remain the most expensive places to live, while Enschede and Groningen remain the cheapest places to live [ Expatistan ].

Generally, the standard of living in the Netherlands is pretty high.

Social Integration – The Top Six Bars and NightClubs to Visit

The entertainment options in the Netherlands is awesome. Its nightlife – spectacular. There are top places to explore in the Netherlands for your entertainment needs:

  • Bitterzoet : This club offers one of the best nightlife in Amsterdam, playing all genres of music for every day of the week.
  • HC Bloendaal : Here, you get to cheer your favorite hockey club while sharing a couple of beers with friends.
  • ‘t Oude Pothuys : One of the topnotch restaurants in Utrecht, offering a combination of delicious cuisines and live music.
  • De Witte Aap : One of the best bars in the world, this bar, located in Rotterdam, is the perfect place to mingle for singles.
  • Havana : A classic restaurant in the Hague, that transforms into a nightclub during the evening hours. One of the best places you will love.
  • Bourbon Street : This is an iconic club in which top Jazz artists have performed. You will find it fascinating.

Some popular Museums

These are the top ten most visited museums by tourists and locals.

Shopping Hours

Retail stores can often have different opening schedules in a week. Many Shops in the large cities open on Sunday, and some that don’t, will open one Sunday in a most (usually the first Sunday in the month). The majority of shops open at 09:00 and close at 18:00, from Tuesday to Saturday. They open shop by 12:00 on Sundays, and close at 17:00.

The Dutch generally prefer shopping online. The biggest online stores in the Netherlands are the domestic players such as hypermarket, electronics specialist and fashion store These stores are more popular than Retail Giants such as Amazon.

Recommended Dating Apps

As with every other aspect of their lives, the Dutch approach romance with practicality and adopt a nonplussed approach. They love to keep things casual and easy-going. That’s not to say that they don’t give romance the seriousness it deserves.

Also, it is an open society where individuals are free to express their sexuality without discrimination [ The Dutch were the first to legalize gay marriage ].

Meeting new people is quite easy. There are clubs, bars, social events, and dating apps and websites to help you with this. The following apps might be useful:

Top 10 Places to Visit in the Netherlands

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • The Hoge Veluwe National Park
  • Keukenhof Gardens
  • Maastricht
  • The Old Windmills of Kinderdijk
  • Haarlem
  • The Hague
  • The Efteling
  • The New Dutch Water Line


Relocating to another country can be overwhelming. However, moving to the Netherlands doesn’t have to be stressful and complicated, especially when you’re moving to the Netherlands without a job. We’ve taken our time to create a handy checklist, hoping it would help you make your decision. Are you ready to make that move? You know that Zutzu is here to make that move easier for you, connecting you with the right jobs, while seeing you through the entire process. Let’s know what you think—looking forward to your comments!

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