Living in The Netherlands is known as the Gateway to Europe as a result of its waterway network, which links Belgium, France and Germany. With a population of approximately 16.6 million people, it is a very densly populated place to live and is one of the most crowded places in Europe.
The Netherlands is extremely flat with a staggering 27% of the entire country being built on reclaimed land. This has led to the immense sprawl of dykes throughout the country, for which it is now famous.
The Netherlands is culturally rich and has many of the world's most famous artists including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Mondrian.
The Netherlands is a fairly popular location for expats, the majority of which are able to adjust quite easily to the Dutch way of life. Expats are so welcome here that those with residency status are permitted to vote in local elections.
The biggest challenge Expats face when living in the Netherlands is the beauracracy. Guidelines and rules are applied to almost everything and expats often find it frustrating trying to cut through the red tape, and its associated long waiting times, in order to achieve what seems like basic tasks.
The cost of living in The Netherlands has risen steadily over the past few years but despite this it still remains lower here than it is in many other European countries and in the 2012 Mercer cost of living survey the city of Amsterdam featured in position 57 on the list of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live.
The Netherlands has a high population density and this impacts property prices in the country. Foreigners are only eligible for free-sector apartments, which means the highest rates will be paid for the smallest apartments. Tax rates are also high. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. The proliferation of low cost supermarkets entail that Groceries remain fairly cheap and medical services can also be accessed at a reasonable price.
If you are considering moving to Amsterdam please see our guide to living in Amsterdam. It contains a comprehensive section on the cost of living in Amsterdam and provides up to date pricing lists for everyday items and services across a range of different lifestyles.
Dutch (official), Frisian (official). English is widely spoken and understood.
Temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
It can be very challenging to find a job in the Netherlands if you are a foreigner. The majority of jobs require good Dutch language skills and there are also restrictive regulations regarding the employment of non EU/EEA citizens. Finding a job is easier for those who are living in The Netherlands and looking for work in retail, restaurants/bars or teaching foreign languages.
A significant source of employment within the Netherlands is within the services industry and the majority of jobs exist in areas such as business services, health and welfare services, trade and transport and communications sector.
Expat Info Desk currently has a city guide available for living in the Netherlands; living in Amsterdam. This exhaustive guide contains everything you need to know about relocating to this city and will assist you to:
Unlike a book, our guide to living in Amsterdam is regularly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the information is accurate and reliable and because the guide is written by a real expat who lives and works in Amsterdam, you can be assured that you are accessing the information that you need as written by someone who really is in the know.