Moving to The Netherlands: How to evade culture shock

The cultural difference might not be so shocking when you are moving from a close by country to The Netherlands. And for as far as we know, we don’t have any crazy rituals.  But then still, you don’t want to be completely lost when you arrive here. You want to be prepared. In this blog you’ll find tips of what to keep in mind when you are moving to The Netherlands.
Alice van der Laan



  1. Bureaucracy

In The Netherlands everything must be on paper, rather yesterday than today. It helps to build a file with your savings, income, contract etc. That file will help you arrange your home, bank account and your insurance a lot easier.

  1. Opening and closing hours

When you’re from more southern parts of the world you’re used to shops, banks and municipalities to be open outside office hours. Here, everything is settled during office hours. So from 9 to 5. Some shops and municipalities have expanded opening hours one day of the week. Some say this is an obstacle, others don’t. You have to get used to this of course but when you are, this arrangement actually gives a lot of rest.

  1. Memberships/ sports culture

The Dutch sports culture is based on memberships. This means that it’s not always possible to just join a football- or a tennis club. The gym is an exception of course. Many football associations have expat teams though. Just Google: Expat football teams and pick one of your favour.

  1. Payment arrangements

It’s very important to keep this one in mind when you are moving to The Netherlands. The Dutch are very strict with payments. Per example, landlords often demand deposit payments for renting their house. When you do this to late, you might lose the house. No exceptions, so make sure you pay in time.

  1. Pinnen

You won’t experience any trouble obtaining cash from an overseas account using an ATM before you have your Dutch Bank Account. They dispsense money in several languages and accept a wide range of credit- and debitcards. Also note that the common method of payment is ‘pinnen’ using a debit card with a PIN code. Creditcards are accepted but not all and not everywhere. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly used in The Netherlands.

  1. Furniture

Please note that renting a furnished home means you are going to pay €200 or €300 euro’s extra per month. It’s usually cheaper to bring your own furniture when you are moving to The Netherlands. Especially if you are renting for a longer period of time.

  1. Pets

Note that you have fewer options when renting a house when you bring your pet. Better leave your pet at home or calculate extra time to look for houses where this is possible.

Thank you for reading our blog. If you have any questions, please let us know!


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