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  • Writer's pictureSean

The Pros and Cons of Living in the Netherlands

Updated: Apr 26

Living in the Netherlands is something that a lot of people consider doing because on the surface there are a lot of benefits to doing so. An affordable lifestyle and modern comforts to be expected from a European country would certainly seem to be enticing.


However, like any country in the world, there are things to consider for life in the Netherlands, and understanding what the drawbacks can be is key to making an informed decision.


If you require assistance with moving your household belongings to the Netherlands, Pinnacle Removals & Storage will be able to help you. Now, let's get started on the pros and cons of living in the Netherlands.


Pro - The Netherlands Has Affordable Healthcare


If you’re coming from the UK then the concept of healthcare you have to pay for is a little alien - we have the NHS and it works well.


However, the healthcare system in the Netherlands is a little bit different in that sense - it’s one you have to pay for but it is affordable and does work well. This makes it a good investment because you’ll never need to worry about bankrupting yourself just to get the care you need.


Con - The Credit Card Payment System Isn’t Universal

If you’re used to paying for goods and services using a credit or debit card then you might be in for something of a shock when it comes to the Netherlands. There are whole industries in the country that don’t allow credit card payments and instead do things the old-fashioned way - with cash.


Pro - Public Transport is Pretty Good


One of the best things about the Netherlands is the fact that the public transport system is fairly well-developed and usable by everybody. In most cases, you don’t have to spend money on things like a car because the public transport system can take you wherever you want to go. There are good links to all of the major cities, so it’s easy to commute for a job.


Con - Accommodation Can Be Expensive


Like a lot of places around the world, the Netherlands is currently dealing with a housing shortage. It’s hard to find accommodation because all of the available accommodation is quite expensive, especially when you try and live inside the city limits.


Unfortunately, most of us are familiar with the cost of living, especially in big cities, so this won’t come as much of a surprise if you’ve moved from somewhere like the UK. The best thing you can do to try and prevent spending a fortune on rent is to look for properties just outside city limits where it can be a little bit cheaper.


Pro - Public School is Great


Public education in the Netherlands is highly developed and your kids will, in all cases, get a good education that will prepare them for later life. It’s a solid collection of subjects taught by experienced teachers and it’s highly welcoming of new students.


The only thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to public schooling, you’ll normally be learning in Dutch, which is a bit of a tricky road to navigate at first. However, there are schools which have both English and Dutch-speaking teachers, so you can pick to suit your children’s needs.


Con - Life Isn’t 24/7


If you come from somewhere like the UK, then you’re probably used to a lot of shops and convenience stores being open 24/7.


However, this is not the case in the Netherlands. What you will find is that in most cases, the shops close in the evening and stay closed overnight, so you can’t get a quick pint of milk or a loaf of bread at 10 p.m. Once you get used to the idea, it’s easy to plan, but the transition can be a little bit jarring.


Pro - Most People Speak English


As we discussed with the education system, sometimes Dutch is the prevailing language that is taught to young people, so everybody grows up speaking Dutch. However, at the same time, being part of Europe, everybody speaks English as well as a second language.


Most densely populated cities and towns have a population who can speak English at least conversationally, if not fluently, which makes communicating a lot easier. However, you are naturally encouraged to learn Dutch as best you can as a way of integrating into the culture.


Con: Tourists Are Everywhere


The Netherlands is one of the most popular places in Europe to live and work, but it has a far greater appeal as a place that people visit for holiday. You will likely experience large numbers of tourists in all the big cities and even most of the towns, and this can make life heavily disrupted sometimes.

You will find that the numbers are at their highest during the summer when peak holiday seasons kick in, and tourists can take up a lot of space, make a lot of noise, and generally be disruptive. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the experience when it comes to living in the Netherlands.


The takeaway


Lots of people choose to move to the Netherlands, and it’s not exactly difficult to see why. There’s a lot on offer for anybody who wants to experience the culture and amazing atmosphere that the Netherlands is known for. However, it’s not a perfect place.


There are things to keep in mind because they will influence your experience, but if you are prepared to be open-minded, you’ll generally have a good time. You should be prepared to acclimate to the culture as soon as you can.


Getting a residence permit can be tricky, but once you’ve managed to achieve this, it becomes an exciting adventure to participate in. If you do want to move to the Netherlands, then you will need to make sure that the entire process is made as easy as possible. Finding a good European removal company that can help you move to the Netherlands is key. Pinnacle Removals & Storage will be more than happy to help, as we have considerable experience relocating across Europe from the UK.






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