10 tips
Moving and Relocation
Moving and Relocation
3 min

10 tips for Expats Planning a Move to the Netherlands

3 min

Moving to a new country is an exciting adventure, but it can also be a daunting experience, especially when you're unfamiliar with the culture and logistics of your destination. If you're considering a move to the Netherlands, commonly known for its picturesque landscapes, vibrant cities, and welcoming culture, you're embarking on a journey that promises both challenges and opportunities. To help you navigate this transition with confidence, here are 10 essential tips for prospective expats planning a move to the Netherlands.

1. Research Visa Requirements

Before making any concrete plans, it's crucial to understand the visa requirements for living and working in the Netherlands. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, you may need a visa or residence permit. Research the specific requirements applicable to your situation and start the Visa application process well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.

2. Explore Housing Options

Finding suitable accommodation is a top priority when relocating to a new country. Start your search early and consider factors such as location, budget, and amenities. Whether you prefer city living in Amsterdam or a quieter suburban neighborhood, the Netherlands offers a diverse range of housing options to suit every lifestyle.

3. Learn the Language

While many Dutch residents speak English fluently, making an effort to learn the local language, Dutch, can significantly enhance your experience and integration into Dutch society. Enroll in language courses or use language learning apps to familiarize yourself with basic phrases and expressions.

Dutch language chalk board saying spreekt U nederlands

4. Understand Healthcare Coverage

Access to healthcare is essential for expats settling in the Netherlands. Research the Dutch healthcare system and understand your entitlements as an expat. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to arrange private health insurance or register with the Dutch public healthcare system.

5. Use local apps and services

There are various apps that can make your life in the Netherlands easier, such as the 9292 app for public transportation, Tikkie for reimbursing friends, and Buienradar for keeping track of the weather.

6. Familiarize Yourself with Dutch Culture

Take the time to familiarize yourself with Dutch customs, traditions, and etiquette. From celebrating Kings Day to understanding the concept of gezelligheid (coziness), embracing Dutch culture will enrich your expat experience and foster meaningful connections with locals.

Cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands, with dedicated bike lanes and infrastructure making it a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Invest in a sturdy bicycle and explore the cities and countryside like a local. Not only is cycling a practical way to get around, but it's also a great way to stay active and immerse yourself in Dutch culture.

Bikes on a bridge in Amsterdam with a windmill

7. Connect with Expat Communities

Building a social network is essential for expats adjusting to life in a new country. Join expat groups, attend social events, and connect with fellow expats who understand the challenges and excitement of living abroad. Sharing experiences and insights can help ease the transition and provide valuable support.

8. Plan for Financial Matters

Managing your finances is crucial when moving to a new country. Research banking options, understand the cost of living, and create a budget to ensure your financial stability. Consider consulting with a financial advisor who specializes in expat finances to navigate tax implications and investment opportunities. Opening a bank account is essential for getting your salary paid.

9. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion

The Netherlands is known for its progressive and inclusive society, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds with open arms. Embrace the opportunity to connect with people from different cultures and perspectives, and contribute to the rich tapestry of Dutch society through mutual respect and understanding.

10. Stay Flexible and Open-Minded

Lastly, approach your expat journey with flexibility and an open mind. Moving to a new country inevitably involves unexpected challenges and adjustments, but it also offers countless opportunities for personal growth and exploration. Stay resilient, embrace new experiences, and savor the adventure of living in the Netherlands.


 Embarking on a move to the Netherlands is an exciting chapter in your life, filled with the promise of new experiences, friendships, and adventures. By following these ten essential tips for prospective expats, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the challenges and embrace the opportunities that await you in this vibrant and welcoming country. From understanding visa requirements to immersing yourself in Dutch culture, your expat journey begins with careful planning and an open heart. Welcome to the Netherlands!