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 densely 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.
Dutch (official), Frisian (official). English is widely spoken and understood.
Living in The Netherlands: Expat job and career opportunities
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.
Renting a property in the Netherlands
Online property portals are popular, and you can also find rental properties through letting agencies (verhuurbureaus) and advertisements in local newspapers, as well as classified ads and internal company websites. Commissioning an estate agent to find you a place will typically incur a fee equivalent to one month’s rent.
As most Dutch industries are relatively closely knit, even in the big cities, it’s best to only sign up with one agent or risk displeasing them all. Estate agents are obliged to work in the best interest of the tenant and should provide you with full information about the property.
Online property portals
- HousingXL (English and Dutch)
- Funda (Dutch only)
- Pararius (English and Dutch)
Specialised property portals
- Htel Serviced Apartments – furnished and short stay apartments
- Booking.com (40+ languages; short-term, furnished apartments and hotels)
- World Fashion Apartments – expat rentals with a personal touch of home
Cost of living in Netherlands
- Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district: €14
- Monthly ticket public transport: €83
- 2 tickets to the movies: €23
- 1 month of gym membership in business district: €31
- Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub: €45