What to expect when moving to the Netherlands

Hello everyone,

Is there anything you wish you had known before moving to the Netherlands? For example, transportation, internet speeds, types of housing, aspects of the culture or social life.

In your opinion, what's the most important thing to know about the Netherlands?

When would you recommend someone should begin planning their move to the Netherlands?

What were the most helpful ways you found to get organised? For example, did you use a checklist, were there any particularly useful websites or apps?

What advice would you give to future expats preparing to move to the Netherlands?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Hi Priscilla wish i had a gem of insight but i just poked my bags and came .

Hello Priscilla,

I'm Martin from XXL Properties in The Hague. We see many issues relating to the people looking for apartments and being let down while moving to The Netherlands.

I must be honest and also put  myself in the "Let clients down list". Reasons are that we find people who have specific housing requirements but leaving it to the last minute before letting this info known. These requirements can be as simple as:

Having pets
Number of kids
Realistic budget
Ground floor/ 1st floor and so on

It is very important to really look into these things as early as possible. International towns like The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam are well known for the very high rental traffic in those areas. Now adding complexities like needing a specific school for your child, wanting to be close to a train station or working location, all add the the task of finding that ideal home.

Start your search early enough to give yourself time, starting first online and later while visiting.  Always ask how old are any photos you have seen as many could be as old as 10 years back and no longer
is a true representation of the place on offer.

So, for all who are moving, I do wish you much success. I would be happy to see if I can answer any of your questions regarding moving to The Netherlands. As an English man, I am now starting to look into this Brexit details to see how this will impact on my activities. If you have any info to share, also feel free to keep me updated.



1) You may not be able to rent an apartment from a company if you don't have a Dutch working contract. It doesn't matter if you earn money working remotely.
2) It takes one month to get an Internet in the apartment. You can reduce it to two weeks, if you specifically ask to expedite the delivery. But once you order without expedition, you cannot do anything but wait.
3) Get a Dutch number ASAP. Some of the sites, like IKEA, won't accept international number. And even if they do, no one likes calling them.
4) If you plan to paint your rented apartment, order all the paint online. The delivery will be probably free, and it will arrive in a day or two to your door.
5) If you're installing a stove, it will probably come without a hose. Even if you're ordering a technician, he'll expect that you have the hose already.
6) Get a Dutch debit card ASAP. A lot of stores, even big grocery networks, are not accepting international cards.

Hello Pricilla,
The Netherlands is a beautiful country with lots to offer. I would recommend checking out our Amsterdam City Guide to start.

It has a lot of information that you will find helpful.

Best regards,

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