How To Open A Bank Account In The Netherlands

If you are planning a move to the Netherlands, you will need to consider how you will handle your banking arrangements. Depending on your requirements, there are several options you can choose from.You may be considering maintaining your existing bank accounts, whether to pay bills, for direct debits, or simply so that they’re there if … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In The Netherlands

The Netherlands, a country in Northwestern Europe, is perhaps best known for its flat landscape, peppered with bright tulip fields, and its quaint, picturesque towns, with their beautiful, winding canals. The capital city of Amsterdam is home to a myriad of famous museums, as well as the more seedy and illicit spectacles that garner tourism … Read more

Hiroko, Amsterdam

Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Amsterdam in summer of 2019.The reason I wanted to try my next step abroad was I had this big dream of living and working outside of Japan since more than 10 years ago. Until this year, I had been scared to take risks to … Read more

How To Find A Job In The Netherlands

Citizens from European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries (as well as Switzerland) who are moving to the Netherlands are automatically entitled to Dutch work permission, which is essential to secure employment in the country. If you are from any country outside of these areas, it is likely that you will only be … Read more

How Does Dental Care In The Netherlands Compare With The USA?

Standards of dental care in the USA are particularly high, and dentistry in Europe — particularly in Britain — is the butt of many a joke by American comedians. If you are planning to move to the Netherlands but you are worried about whether you will receive the level of dental care you are used … Read more

How Does Cancer Care In The Netherlands Compare With The USA?

The Netherlands requires all residents to take out a health insurance policy, and insurers are not allowed to turn anyone away for basic cover, regardless of age or medical history. This can come as a relief to expats who have had cancer, since in many countries it can be difficult to get health insurance if … Read more

How Does The Quality Of Healthcare In The Netherlands Compare With The UK?

At first glance, the state of healthcare in the Netherlands looks very positive. The country consistently ranked very highly in the Euro Health Consumer Index, which ran from 2005-2016. The Netherlands took the top spot for several years, ending up in second place throughout the overall history of the index.The Netherlands tends to rank highly … Read more

How To Keep Your Health Insurance Costs Low In The Netherlands

The healthcare system in the Netherlands is made up of mandatory health insurance, run by private companies but regulated by the government. Everyone who is living and working in the Netherlands is required by law to sign up for a health insurance policy, with very few exceptions. There are three levels of health insurance in … Read more

How Much Do Health Procedures Cost In The Netherlands?

The Netherlands has a mandatory health insurance scheme, which is run by private insurers but regulated by the government. Anyone staying in the Netherlands for the long-term, and anyone who is employed by a Dutch company and working in the Netherlands, will need to take out health insurance. There are three types of health insurance … Read more

How To Register With The Dutch Healthcare System

The basic healthcare system in the Netherlands is known as basisverzekering and is dually funded from tax contributions and fees levied by insurers. Although the health system is run through private insurers, the government manages it and imposes certain rules and regulations on the industry. For example, health insurers are not allowed to turn anyone … Read more

The Best 2019 Music Festivals In The Netherlands

For music lovers and festival fans, the Netherlands is a great place to be. The country loves music and boasts an impressive list of popular DJs such as Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Afrojack and Nicky Romero. Even better, festival ticket prices are usually far cheaper than they are in the UK, where you’ll be looking at … Read more

What Do Amsterdam’s New Eco-Driving Goals Mean For Expats?

Famed for its vast population of cyclists, Amsterdam has been at the forefront of green technology for many years. Recently, the Dutch capital’s city council decided to elevate their eco-credentials further, announcing plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars, leaving only electric vehicles in the city centre by 2030.The motivation behind the proposed ban … Read more

Austyn Smith, Amsterdam

Who are you? My name is Austyn Smith and I’m a podcaster, blogger, and mother of four. Where, when and why did you move abroad? We moved two years ago (2017) from the United States to the Netherlands (just south of Amsterdam) for my husband’s job. What challenges did you face during the move? I … Read more

How To Find A Job In Amsterdam

In recent times, employers in Amsterdam have started leaning towards offering their employees non-traditional hours, shortened work weeks and remote employment.The Netherlands is considered one of the best countries for a work/life balance and overall quality of life according to the latest surveys. It is also a great place for English-speaking expats to find employment … Read more

Buy-To-Let Mortgages In The Netherlands: A Worthwhile Investment?

There’s so much to take into consideration when it comes to purchasing property, including a buy-to-let investment. You obviously want to protect your assets and see a good return on investment, with a preferable rental yield or profit that makes the purchase and hassle worth your while.The Netherlands is beautiful country to live in which … Read more

Why Are So Many Companies Moving To The Netherlands?

It’s no news to anyone that corporate Europe is in turmoil at present as a consequence of the UK’s decision to pull out of the European Union as well as the growing uncertainty around when Brexit will happen. But why are so many companies moving to the Netherlands? Which countries are they relocating from? And … Read more

Moving To Amsterdam With Teenagers? Here’s What You Need To Think About

As much as relocating to another country can be an exciting adventure, it can also be a challenge. For teenagers, whose lives are already filled with uncertainty and change, moving to another country can be incredibly overwhelming. Moving means changing school, making new friends and re-establishing an identity. However, moving to a place like Amsterdam … Read more

Lindsay Rubino, Limburg

Who are you? My name is Lindsay Rubino, and I’m a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey in the U.S. I’m 30 years old and have lived abroad for 6 years in total. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Belgium in August 2013 to join my boyfriend, who is … Read more

Living In The Netherlands As A Transgender Expat

Building a life as an expat is always a challenge – and being transgender can make everything more complicated. Pulling up roots and migrating to a famously liberal place like the Netherlands is a dream for many trans people facing persecution and discrimination elsewhere. However, living that dream means grappling with the difficulties of the … Read more

Is Amsterdam Finally Growing Sick of Expats?

Amsterdam may have made it into the top five cities for expats in last year’s Expat Insider survey, but the welcome they can expect may be waning.With English fast becoming a native language, rocketing house prices, and Dutch traditions such as Sinterklaas struggling for survival, some Dutch residents are feeling pushed out – and one … Read more

A Handy Guide To Making Friends In Amsterdam

So you’ve made the choice to move to Amsterdam. Visa? Tick. Accommodation? Tick. Employment? Tick. Friends? Hmm… if you haven’t quite fallen into your crowd yet, do not despair! Amsterdam is a bustling international city attracting people from around the globe, and one of the most exciting parts of settling in here will be getting … Read more

An Expat Guide To Work Permits In The Netherlands

Thinking of moving to the Netherlands for work, or looking to employ someone from outside the country? Here are our answers to the most common questions about work permits. EU/EEA members and Swiss nationals are entitled to the free movement of labour and do not require employment permits to work in the Netherlands.As the newest … Read more

The Student Hotel: Accommodation For Life-Long Learners And Explorers

In a former publishing house, east of Amsterdam’s city centre, the tip-tap of a table tennis game snaps back and forth through the air. There are comfy sofas, a retro photo booth, a shiny black foosball table and a curtained-off area with a TV that is never switched off. A launderette with a six-foot-high pin … Read more

An Expat Guide To Opening A Bank Account In The Netherlands

Get your finances sorted out early and you’ll feel as though a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Daily life in a new country is so much more manageable once you have a bank card in your pocket! Fortunately, setting up a bank account in the Netherlands is straightforward, so you should be … Read more

!WOON: Free Advice For Tenants And Owner Occupants In Amsterdam

“If I could end the need for my own job… I’d actually be a happy bunny!” says Dafna Eccles, renting consultant at !WOON’s tenant advisory services in Amsterdam South. If tenants knew the rules, and property owners stuck to them, there would be no need for !WOON, she explains, and the world would be a … Read more

A Guide To International Schools In Rotterdam

Despite being the second-biggest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam has relatively few international schools to choose from. It could be that this makes your decision easier if you have children and decide to move there!All English-speaking international secondary schools offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, but not all offer the Cambridge-administered International General Certificate of … Read more

How to Enjoy Your First Expat Christmas in Amsterdam

For expats who celebrate Christmas, being far away from friends and family can make the festivities feel somewhat muted, so it’s a good idea to create your own traditions in your new home. Here are ten ways to make the season special during your time in Amsterdam. Decorate A Christmas Tree What better way to … Read more

An Expat Guide To Health Insurance In The Netherlands

Starting life as an expat can get expensive: relocating your family and pets, finding a place to live, visas and flights all add up. Unlike many other countries in Europe, the Netherlands has no government-sponsored healthcare system. So if you’re moving there, you’ll have to add health insurance premiums to that expense.This isn’t just for … Read more

An Expat Guide To Bringing Pets Into The Netherlands

If you’re moving to the Netherlands, there is no need to leave your furry friends at home, since the country allows newcomers to bring their family pets with them. However, owners should be aware of the strict conditions relating to pet travel and complete the paperwork in good time. Check out our guide for answers … Read more

10 Scary Places To Get Goosebumps In The Netherlands

Fancy freaking yourself out? No need to miss out on a spook-fest while you are living in the Netherlands. Here are some creepy destinations to give you the shivers. The Prison Gate Museum, The Hague Just west of the Hofvijver, in the centre of The Hague, stands the foreboding Museum de Gevangenpoort, a thirteenth … Read more

Expat Centre IN Amsterdam: A One-Stop Shop For International Newcomers

Expat centres in the Netherlands are enjoying a radical restyle, and IN Amsterdam is leading the way. Expat Focus heads to its HQ in Amsterdam’s stylish World Trade Center to find out more about the rationale behind the new branding and the services that expatriates can expect from the centre.The friendly Anglophone office of IN … Read more

A Guide To Renting An Apartment In The Netherlands

Looking to move to the Netherlands? When it comes to finding the right place for you, that little flat in the hip part of town or that beautiful 18th century-built apartment overlooking the canals may be just around the corner.It can take a while to find something suitable within your price range, so be ready … Read more

Why Your Kids Will Love Living In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an exciting city with a friendly, family vibe and plenty for children to do. Here are 10 reasons why kids are happy here. Community You might not expect the words ‘community’ and ‘capital city’ to go together but, surprisingly, Amsterdam still enjoys a charming village atmosphere despite its size and stature. Though the … Read more

10 Dutch Festivals You Really Shouldn’t Miss

Want to party like the Dutch? Mark up your calendar with these ten fun festivals. New Year Known to the locals simply as Oud en Nieuw (Old and New), New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Netherlands are possibly the most exciting (and chaotic) in the world. The lifting of the ban on the sale of … Read more

An Expat Guide To Preschool In Amsterdam

Preschool (voorschool) is a government-subsidised schooling system for children aged 2.5 to 4. More structured than a playschool, the voorschool works in association with their local primary school (basisschool) and is designed to equip children – in a fun way – with the basic skills for school life.Attending a preschool is not compulsory, but the … Read more

10 Things To Love About The Dutch Way Of Life

Though the Netherlands may not be your homeland, it can still in time win your affections. Here are ten aspects of Dutch life which have found a warm place in the heart of many expatriates. Cycling When so many cities suffer from congested roads, and a public transport system that is caving under the strain … Read more

An Expat Guide To Childcare Options In The Netherlands

With family far away, finding childcare can be an added expense for international parents new to the Netherlands. Below are six common forms of childcare here and what you can expect from each service. Au Pair An au pair is a young adult aged between 18 and 30 who offers childcare services in return for … Read more

An Expat Guide To Learning Dutch

One of the comforts for newcomers relocating to the Netherlands is Dutch people’s friendly enthusiasm for speaking English. The Dutch love the English language and they revel in any opportunity to use it. They have even been rated the best speakers of English in the world.That’s extremely handy and reassuring in your first few months … Read more

De Balie: A Centre For International Culture In Amsterdam

Newcomers to the Netherlands seeking culture, debate and discussion in English can find a lovingly-curated programme of events at De Balie in central Amsterdam. The former district court, with its beautiful stained glass, doubles as a wedding venue when not hosting discussions and performances. In 2016, De Balie welcomed some 99,000 visitors to enjoy its … Read more

What Expats Need To Know When Moving To The Netherlands

Expats from another European Union country planning to live in the Netherlands for more than three months must register with the nearest Municipality Administration (GBA) and will need various bits of documentation to register. As with most countries, moving to the Netherlands will deliver something of a culture shock but expats will soon find ways … Read more

Netherlands – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at the Netherlands and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.Netherlands Expats Facebook Group With over … Read more

An Expat Guide to Working in the Netherlands

With around 95% of the population in work, and unemployment continuing to fall, the Netherlands provides good prospects for those seeking work. The average annual salary is around 48,000 euros and workers aged 15 and above are entitled to a minimum wage.Work culture in the Netherlands The Netherlands is well known for its excellent work-life … Read more

An Expat Guide To Having A Baby In The Netherlands

The Netherlands practises a calm and informed approach to pregnancy, which is deemed to be a healthy and normal state and not a medical condition which requires intense scrutiny. While this can be frustrating when you are trying to get a referral for something you are seriously worried about, it is also a welcome break … Read more

Choosing A Primary School In The Netherlands

With around 7000 primary schools to choose from, newcomers to the Netherlands need clear information to identify the best fit for their child. We answer the key questions on primary education options to help you begin your search.What do I need to know about primary education in the Netherlands? Most children will start school on, … Read more

How to Rent a Property in Amsterdam

Below is our guide on navigating the complex – and often competitive – process of securing a property. Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and find out about the laws which are on your side. What Is The Rental Market Like Right Now? Since 2014, property prices in Amsterdam have soared, with 2016 seeing an … Read more

Useful Tips For Expat Parents Moving To The Netherlands

When you make a list of the places that are among the best for raising children, the Netherlands is one name that is bound to feature near the top. This charming European country has become one of the most desirable expat destinations in the world for several reasons, which include its high standard of living, … Read more

Stuart Billinghurst, Friesland

Who are you? My name is Stuart Billinghurst. I’m an accident prone Englishman and the writer of, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to The Netherlands in the summer of 2001. I didn’t exactly plan to move. In fact, in many ways it was quite by accident. I had no plans … Read more

Amanda van Mulligen, Zoetermeer

Who are you? I’m British but the Netherlands has been my home since 2000. My husband is Dutch, and my three sons have both Dutch and British nationalities. I’m a writer and blogger and you can find my stories in expat anthologies such as Dutched Up!, Once Upon an Expat and Knocked Up Abroad Again.Where, … Read more

10 Dutch Dishes You Must Try When Living In The Netherlands

Dutch cuisine consists of hearty fare that is warming and wholesome, something that the locals greatly appreciate on account of the cold temperatures. Today we’re taking a look at some of the dishes you should try if you’re living in the Netherlands.Erwtensoep This thick pea soup constitutes a meal in itself. Made from dried and … Read more

So Just How Friendly Are The Dutch, Exactly?

The Netherlands has for a long time been one of the more desirable expat locations in the world. The fact that so many people want to live here isn’t surprising – this small European country has among the highest per capita incomes in the world and is widely acknowledged to be one of the freest, … Read more

Ten Dutch Festivals Expats In Holland Must Not Miss

Celebrations, especially communal ones, are a very important part of any culture, and the people of Holland enjoy an abundance of lively festivals all year round. These occasions range from being colorful to fun to quirky, and some of them may also seem a bit strange, especially to an outsider. Many of the events have … Read more

Melissa Adams, Amsterdam

Who are you? I’m an American freelance journalist who was born in Los Angeles but spent most of my adult life in Newport Beach, California (of reality show The OC fame). After graduating from UCLA in 1973, I launched my career as a travel writer for the American Automobile Club (AAA). Since 2012, I’ve shared … Read more

Anya Sokha, Amsterdam

Who are you? I was born and raised in Southern Russia (where tomatoes get special treatment from that natural sunlight that makes them taste like juicy candy; something like Italy, only Russian.) I bake good French bread plus cakes and cookies for a living and hold a degree in English Metaphor. I view myself as … Read more

Netherlands – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at the Netherlands and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there. Invading Holland An incredibly funny and often pathos filled account … Read more

Thinking About Moving To The Netherlands? Read This First

The Kingdom of the Netherlands, usually known simply as the Netherlands, is one of the most popular expat destinations around the world and particularly in Europe. This small country is among the most densely populated, but it’s also one of the most stable and well-developed. The Netherlands is famous as a liberal and progressive nation, … Read more

How To Celebrate Your Birthday Like A Local In The Netherlands

Birthdays, like all other celebrations, vary greatly around the world. The western tradition of a birthday cake and candles is now popular in almost every part of the world, but there are still quite a number of local traditions that survive and thrive. In a handful of cultures, birthdays aren’t really marked as important dates, … Read more

Is €20,000 Enough To Live On In The Netherlands?

The introduction of the Euro in 2002 raised the cost of living in the Netherlands considerably. The locals still talk about how expensive things have become in the past few years. Yet, this country ranks lower in terms of expenses compared to some other European nations. Like in any other country, larger cities in Netherlands … Read more

Review – The Devil Wears Clogs

Jennifer Burge is an American expat who has lived in a variety of European countries. Her memoir, The Devil Wears Clogs, predominantly focuses on her time in the Netherlands as a new expat trying to fit in with a culture that was very different from what she’d been used to before.A lot of accounts written … Read more

A Guide To Public Holidays In The Netherlands

Some of the public holidays in the Netherlands coincide with major festivals and celebrations. These are usually non-working days that commemorate some important cultural or historical event. Here is a guide to public holidays in the Netherlands. New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag)This day can be rather quiet with most businesses, post offices and banks closed. Very … Read more

A Guide To Tipping In The Netherlands: Who, How Much, When And Where?

Tipping can be among the more confusing aspects of living in a new country – expats everywhere often find themselves wondering, “How much should I tip? How do I leave the tip? Should I tip at all?” In countries like the USA, tipping has become an almost universal requirement, and it is not uncommon to … Read more

Useful Job Hunting Tips For Expats Moving To The Netherlands

There are lucrative job opportunities available in the Netherlands for the right candidates. The recent years have seen jobs open up in various economic sectors such as services, trade, telecommunications and information technology. Here are some useful job-hunting tips for expats moving to the Netherlands. Working in the Netherlands Nationals of European Union (EU) countries, … Read more

Lisa Jochim

Who are you? Lisa Jochim Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved from the USA in July, 2011 with my husband and youngest child who was 15 at the time. My husband took a new job with a new company. What challenges did you face during the move? The language difference is … Read more

An Overview Of International Schools in The Netherlands

Expats in the Netherlands have a choice of many good international schools for their children. The Dutch Ministry of Education partly subsidizes most international schools and these schools remain within ministry rules. Due to this subsidy, the schools are able to offer more affordable fees. Students eligible for admission into these schools include those from … Read more

5 Expat Clubs In The Netherlands You Should Consider Joining

It is often a challenge for expats to make connections with people in a new place. The good news is that there are ways to slowly and steadily meet new people and build fulfilling friendships and business relationships. One of these ways is to join any of many expat clubs and associations, which are present … Read more

Juliet Thompson Hochman, Amsterdam

Who are you? Juliet Thompson Hochman. Can’t quite let go of my maiden name. Where, when and why did you move abroad? We moved from Portland, Oregon to Amsterdam in the summer of 2012 so that my husband could take a job with Nike Europe. In truth, he came out to Amsterdam eight months ahead … Read more

Top Dutch Cities for Expats

With a dense population of 16.6 million, the Netherlands is widely known as the Gateway to Europe, due to its waterway access to Belgium, France and Germany. It is rich in culture, English is widely spoken, the cost of living is cheaper than in other European countries and the climate is mild. As well as … Read more

Dutch Driving Theory Test: Gehaald!

by Tiffany Jarman Jansen On July 22, 2009 at 9:55 am I took the train to Amsterdam Sloterdijk. I waited 10 minutes outside a bus waiting for the driver to finish his pause. I took the bus to the CBR building. The whole trip, I had my eyes glued to the Driving Theory Manual I … Read more

The Dutch Kitchen

by Martha Andrus The Dutch kitchen is pretty basic and mostly involves a lot of green vegetables, potatoes and sausages. A typical Dutch meal involves mashing potatoes and vegetables together and adding sausages. French fries can be found most anywhere and the favorite place to find the Dutch is at a French fry stand. If … Read more

Learning Dutch and How to Survive It

by Liz Cross, Crossover Translations Approximately 20 years ago, I was sitting on the Harwich-Hoek van Holland boat with two friends and a peculiar little guide book. We were taking turns to recite “Spher-ayhkt OO ng-gels ass-too-bleeeeft?” and other natty phases to each other. After a while, we began wondering if we were doing the … Read more

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

by Stuart Billinghurst Fiets (bicycles) are a very common sight in Holland. They are a popular mode of transport and it is estimated that there are more than 16 million of them in the country. This number may or may not include the mangled, rusting, one-wheeled, non-roadworthy bicycles found chained to lamp posts, bridges or … Read more

Amsterdam’s Red Light District

by Stuart Billinghurst I’ve already written about one of Holland’s well-known vices, the drug culture. There is of course another vice which the country is very well known for. Something that brings a particular kind of tourist to certain shady areas of the country, to indulge themselves in special ways. Yes, you’ve guessed it. I’m … Read more

Linda A. Janssen, The Hague

Life has taken many turns but it’s all led to where I am now, a writer and American expat living in the Netherlands. This adventure was a long time coming, and began three years ago when my husband took a position with an international organization here in The Hague. We came when our son was … Read more

Julie, Rotterdam

I’m Julie, 27 years old, French (Parisian). I moved to Rotterdam end of April 2011 to follow my partner who has been transferred over there. What challenges did I face during the move? I didn’t know I must register to the cityhall and give some papers to get the sofi number to be considered as … Read more

Stuart, Amsterdam

My name is Stuart. I’m an Englishman in his early 30s with a well documented reputation for accident proneness and bizarre situation finding. I moved to Holland to start working as a designer in the computer games industry. Originally this was only supposed to be a stay of sixth months but the tempting lure of … Read more

Tiffany Jansen, Utrecht

My name is Tiffany Jansen. Originally from the United States of America, I now live in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with my husband and our dog. I moved to Utrecht early December 2008 after marrying my Dutch husband. We were tired of the long-distance relationship and wanted to live together. He had the better job and … Read more

Arwa Lokhandwala, Rotterdam

My name is Arwa Lokhandwala and I am an Indian expat living in The Netherlands with my husband. We relocated to The Netherlands from India because of my husband’s work. It has been a little more than a year now. The initial paperwork was mostly hassle free but took some time. We arrived in Rotterdam … Read more

Anne Galloway, Bergen

My name is Anne Galloway and I’d like to share a small part of my story of becoming an expat for the first time in the hope that it can help and inspire other expat spouses. I am married with two children who were 10 and 7 when we had to move. I gave up … Read more

Anna Gilhespy, Hoofddorp

My name is Anna Gilhespy, I am 29 and I run my own business ( making handmade ornaments which I sell mostly online. I moved to Hoofddorp (just outside Amsterdam) with my husband in 2003 when he was offered a good job over here. There was little work where we were living in the UK … Read more