Moving to the Netherlands: The aftermath

So, you made it! You moved to the Netherlands... Now what?

Assuming you’ve already found accommodation, registered at the municipality and did all the other must-do’s of moving here, now it’s time to get acquainted with the day-to-day life!

#1 Take your umbrella... Everywhere!

You’ve probably already noticed the capricious weather here. You look outside the window, the sun is shining on a perfect clear sky, and by the time you get out of your flat, it’s raining and hailing like crazy. You need some serious skills to know how to dress up properly for this kind of weather, but I promise you will get there! For starters, just try going for multiple layers of clothes, rather than for the one fluffy, thick sweater – this way, it’s easier to adjust to the moody weather. And most importantly, never leave your house without an umbrella! It’s truly the center piece of your everyday outfit!

#2 Frikandel, bitterbal, and kroket

Big part of getting acquainted to the Dutch culture is trying out all the deep-fried yummies at hand. Put aside those fries for (only) a moment and try the super delicious Dutch specialities: frikandel, kroket,or bitterballen. These goodies are all veal or beef based, mixed with different vegetables and usually served with mustard.

#3 Transportation: OV-chipkaart... Or a bike!

If you plan on using public transportation, make sure to get an OV-chipkaart as soon as possible. Buying tickets for every ride will literally cost you a fortune, considering that a 1-hour ticket costs around €3,50! With an OV, you will be able to travel by train, bus and tram in any city within The Netherlands. Just search on Google “Buy OV-Chipkaart” and you will get all the information you need in English! You can easily order a personal OV at your address or buy an anonymous one at most of the train station.

But if you prefer a healthier and more affordable option, just go for a bike! There’s a reason why there are more bikes than people in The Netherlands - almost everybody here uses bikes as the primary form of transportation (hence, the next level infrastructure). At some point, you’ll even notice there are more lanes for bikes than for pedestrian paths!

#4 Marktplaats and Facebook groups

Looking for a bike? Or for some furniture? Well, look no more! Marktplaats has it all covered. But what exactly is Marktplaats? Nothing more than an online peer to peer shop, where people buy and sell stuff they don’t use or need anymore - from bikes, to electronics, furniture, clothing, decorations… You name it! If you’re on a budget, checking Marktplaats is always worth a shot – some people sell items as good as new, but for a much more affordable price!

The same goes for Facebook groups. There are plenty of trading groups on Facebook where people sell and buy all kinds of items. Most sellers posting in these groups are generally people about to leave the country, who want to sell their stuff as soon as possible, so be fast if you find something you want!

#5 Never be afraid to ask!

Last, but not least – never be afraid to ask! People in Holland are generally very kind and helpful when being asked… well virtually anything! Even more, almost everybody here speaks English very well and they will not step back from a little chit-chat. So, speak up and ask for help when you need it!


written by Ana

I'm a cheerful and curious person, passionate about photography and everything that comes with it. As a fellow international, I moved to The Netherlands to study and decided to stay here after falling deeply in love with the culture, people and the beautiful Dutch cities and their canals!