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What is the average salary in the Netherlands? What you need to know in 2024

Understanding the average salary in the Netherlands is important for professionals considering a move to this European country.

The Netherlands is known for its high quality of life, strong economy, and excellent work-life balance, as well as being one of the highest-paying countries in the world.

The Netherlands is known to have one of the best work-life balance in the world, thanks to fair pay. Image: Depositphotos

But what will your salary be? Well, the average salary in the Netherlands depends on a few factors, such as industry, work experience, and education level. 

Let’s see how those numbers stack up. 👇

READ MORE | 10 things to know before finding a job in the Netherlands as an international

What is the average salary in the Netherlands?

According to the Centraal Planbureau (Central Planning Bureau, or CPB), the median annual salary in the Netherlands for 2022-2025 is calculated to be about €41,000, or €3,400 gross per month

Some sources estimate a slightly lower or higher average salary in the Netherlands, ranging from between €39,000 to €42,000 per year (€3,250 and €3,500 per month, respectively). 

Just like the average Dutchie may cycle to work, the average person earns around €41,000 a year. Image: Depositphotos

Of course, a range of factors impact the average salary, including age, education level, and industry. So what’s the average for you? 

Average salary in the Netherlands by age 

One way to look at average salaries is by age, where 35 to 44-year-olds usually earn the highest median salary per month. 

AgeMedian monthly salary in 2024
24 and younger€3,146
25-35 years old€3,923
35-44 years old€4,635
45-54 years old€4,029
55 years and older€3,791

Children between the ages of 13 and 16 are allowed to work under certain conditions. They can also work for the minimum wage starting at age 15, earning €3.98 per hour.

Supermarkets are a common “bijbaan” (side job) for people under 18. Image: Jumbo

On the flip side, the average retirement age in 2022 was 65.5 years, which was slightly less than the Dutch state pension age. 

The statutory retirement age in the Netherlands has gradually increased in the last few years, reaching 67 in 2024

Average salary in the Netherlands by education

The Dutch education system is considered one of the best in the world, with 38% of adults in the Netherlands holding some form of tertiary education. 

Getting a university degree increases your chances of a higher average salary in the Netherlands. Image: Depositphotos

As expected, the average salary in the Netherlands increases by education level.

Education levelAverage yearly salary in 2021
Secondary school graduates€36,500
Course certificate or equivalent€32,695
University degree or higher€46,665
Source: Statista

The newest information from 2021 shows that people with a university degree earn an average of €46,665 per year. 

Average salary in the Netherlands by Dutch city

Amsterdamers earn the highest average salary in the Netherlands, taking home €53,000 per year on average. 

CityAverage yearly salary in 2024
The Hague€51,000
Source: Payscale

Amsterdam is a key economic centre for many international companies and industries, including finance, technology, and tourism. 

READ MORE | Finding a job in Amsterdam: the ultimate guide in 2024

Tech hub and home of Philips, Eindhoven nabs second place. The Hague takes third place, as it is home to many intergovernmental organisations, embassies, and NGOs.

Photo of the Binnenhof (Dutch Parliament building) in the Hague, the Netherlands.
The Hague takes the third place slot for the highest average salary by a Dutch city. Image: Depositphotos

Average salary in the Netherlands by industry and work experience

The most in-demand job sectors are finance, information technology (IT), (mechanical) engineering, and (public) healthcare.

IndustryAverage yearly salary in 2024
Finance (managerial position)€73,745
Source: Payscale

People working in finance at the manager level make an average of €73,745 a year, while engineers make an average of €43,945 a year. 

Gross salary vs. net salary

Once you’ve signed on to a new baan (job), your employer will offer you a salary. You’ll be given two figures, your bruto salaris (gross salary) and your netto salaris (net salary). So, what’s the difference? 

It’s important to keep track of how much money is actually going into your bank account each month. Image: Freepik

Well, your bruto salaris refers to the amount of money you make before taxes and other deductions — which means you won’t be keeping the full amount.

Instead, the netto salaris is what winds up in your bank account once all the deductions have been made. 

Income taxes in the Netherlands

In 2024, the Netherlands had two tiers of taxes: those who earn less than €75,624 and those who earn more. 

The rates and incomes change slightly from year to year, but as of January 2024, the tax rates are 36.97% and 49.50%, respectively. 

While you’re at it, stay on top of your taxes, too! Image: Depositphotos

That means, for incomes up to €75,624, you pay 36.97% in taxes. For any income above €75,624, you’ll pay 49.50%

When you receive your monthly payslip, your employer has usually already deducted the income tax from your salary (under payroll taxes), as well as any other contributions you may have to pay. 

Understanding your Dutch payslip

Employees in the Netherlands receive their payslips (loonstrook) from their employer on a monthly basis. 

Dutch termEnglish translationMeaning
PeriodePeriodThe relevant time period of work (weekly or monthly)
PersoneelsnummerEmployee numberYour employee ID number
SalarisSalary based on hours workedYour gross monthly salary
BrutoloonGross salary/wageGross salary before taxes and deductions
NettoloonNet salary/wageNet salary after tax and deductions; the final amount that goes into your bank
UurloonWageYour gross wage (usually by hour)
Burgerservicenummer (BSN)Citizen service numberYour Dutch social security number
Gewerkte urenWorked hours(Normal) hours worked that period
LoonheffingIncome taxThe amount of money deducted for prepaid taxes and contributions
SocialeverzekeringSocial insuranceThe social security contributions you pay for (and are covered by)

Social premiums and contributions

Your payslip may also include which social security programmes you contribute to and which ones you are covered by. 

Your employer often deducts social premiums and insurance from your salary before you get the money at the end of the month. Image: Depositphotos

Examples of contributions are your pension fund (Algemene Ouderdomswet or AOW), disability pension (arbeidsongeschiktheidspensioen or AP), unemployment benefit (werkloosheidswet or WW), and paid sick leave (zorgverzekeringswet or ZVW). 

Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, understanding the average salary in the Netherlands is important for anyone who plans to or is currently working here.

Have you worked in the Netherlands? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. 👇

Average salary in the Netherlands: Frequently asked questions

What is the average salary in the Netherlands?

What is the minimum wage in the Netherlands?

Surprise! Rain is forecast for the Netherlands this weekend (AGAIN)

With rain, rain, and yet more rain on the cards for this damp Friday morning, a good umbrella or waterproof poncho will likely be your best friend. 🌧

Summer vibes have clearly gone on holiday, with Weeronline reporting that most of us in the south will wake up to gusty rainclouds and grey skies.

Some regions may even see thunderstorms. 😬

Lucky ducks in the north should likely stay dry until late morning, after which time the rain clouds will have moved too far northwards for anyone to escape the dreary wetness.

Saturday: less rainy (unless you’re up north!)

Thankfully, tomorrow is predicted to be far less grey, bleak, and stereotypically Dutch. 🥳

@dutchreview “Summer” is testing us 🙃 #dutchlife #dutchmemes #learndutch #amsterdam #holland #thenetherlands #visitnetherlands #dutchreview #expatlife #Meme #MemeCut ♬ son original – Soso Phie

Although the day will start with a few rain showers, they’re expected to be light — and, for most parts of the country, will likely taper off by late afternoon.

For those living in northern coastal regions, however, a bout of rain showers could extend well into the late evening or night.

While those of us in the south may escape the rain, we’ll have strong winds to deal with. When the sun does manage to shine, temperatures will hit a maximum of 17 to 20 degrees.

Sunday: largely dry, with warmer temperatures

Living in the south? You’re in luck! Sunday is forecast to be much drier, with an alternating mix of sun and clouds.

The tail end of the weekend will bring temperatures of 22 to 24 degrees Celsius in North Brabant and Limburg — and highs of 19 to 21 degrees in the more northern regions.

How will you be enjoying this rather wet weekend? Tell us in the comments below!

Man dies and colleague hospitalised after cleaning NS trains in Utrecht

One man has lost his life, and his colleague remains in hospital after they both became unwell upon finishing their shift cleaning NS trains on Tuesday morning.

According to De Telegraaf, the cleaners were employed by Vebego to clean NS trains at Utrecht Centraal’s marshalling yard.

However, after finishing their shift, both colleagues fell ill.

A spokeswoman for the NS tells De Telegraaf that other employees witnessed this and called emergency services. Both workers then lost consciousness.

Yesterday, the news came that one of the cleaners had lost his life.

A complete mystery

What exactly happened to cause the colleagues to fall ill remains a mystery.

The NS has described the news as a “big shock.” However, they have already determined that the work environment is safe:

“We know that the workplace was safe. But it is now up to the police to conduct further investigation,” a spokeswoman tells De Telegraaf.

According to the NOS, trains are still being cleaned at the site.

Want the latest Dutch news to come zooming through the internet to your inbox? Dat kan! Subscribe to DutchReview’s weekly roundup 📮

The best hash in Amsterdam: ultimate high guide for 2024

Many people choose to smoke weed in the Netherlands — but forget about its great, mellow alternative: hashish. But where exactly can you get the best hash in Amsterdam?

Hashish is not quite as popular in the Netherlands as weed is, but as its THC-infused cousin, it’s definitely worth a try. Milder and more refined as a high, hash is well-suited for daily activities.

Ready to take a ‘trip’ to the capital to learn about the best coffeeshops for hash in Amsterdam? Read on! 

What is hashish?

Hash is made from the cannabis plant, but it’s obtained through a different process than weed.

For weed, you dry out the plant, and take the savoury buds, gleaming with pollen full of THC. 

There are several methods for getting the famous brown block we call hash. The Moroccan method, for example, uses a sieve to sift out the pollen from the dry bulb. 

This process is repeated again and again until the product that emerges at the end can be compressed into the famous hashish block. This means that hash is incredibly potent, especially boasting a high percentage of THC. 

Hash is well suited for being productive (with a bit of extra spice 😉). Image: Depositphotos

As a result, hash will give you a much milder high, and is therefore preferred by people looking to smoke but also engage in some sort of upbeat activity.

But first, a quick reminder: like any substance, hash needs to be consumed responsibly and with care. Be mature about it, consume it in moderation, and have a good trip!

The best coffeeshops and hash in Amsterdam

Now that you know how hash is made, you’re probably wondering where you can snag some of Amsterdam’s best. 

Amsterdam is full of coffeeshops, but it’s important to note that they’re not all of the same quality. Here are my top picks! 👇

🍫 White Choco from Coffeeshop Boerejongens

Amsterdam’s Boerejongens Coffeeshops are among the most popular in the city. Naturally, they serve the most popular hashish strain: the White Choco Block. 🍫

 As the love child of Chocolope and White Russian, this strain has a subtle ring of chocolate. With its subtle mix of sweet and spicy flavours and delicious smell, this bad boy is a definite favourite among customers.

Block of best hash in Amsterdam being cut on a wooden surface with a knife.
Just look at this choco goodness! Image: DutchReview

You can get this strain from the Boerejongens Coffeeshops, three of which are spread throughout Amsterdam. The locations are luxurious, and the staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and quick to help (and very elegantly dressed!). 

The White Choco Block is their well-known bestseller, and I highly recommend you give it a go! 

☘️ Strain: White Choco Block (mostly Sativa)
💨 Type of high: mild, cerebral
📍 Where to get it:
Coffeeshop Boerejongens Sloterdijk, Humberweg 2, 1043 AC Amsterdam

🎂 Fat Kid’s Cake from the Tweede Kamer

Next up, let’s head to the Tweede Kamer. No, silly, not the political one in The Hague (although, you wonder what they are smoking there sometimes) — but the coffeeshop in Amsterdam! 

READ MORE | Visiting a coffeeshop in Amsterdam: etiquette, tips and tricks for first-timers

Coffeeshop Tweede Kamer is not only a great coffeeshop for hashish but also a beautiful venue in a historic building, and one of the best coffeeshops in Amsterdam for your hash of choice.

Here, you should go for some Fat Kid’s Cake (again: not the one you think 😉).

man holding tray containing hash in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam
This great hashish comes encased in a little box that really makes you feel like you went to the actual Tweede Kamer. Image: DutchReview

This strong hash has an interesting flavour, as it has less of the earthy taste that hashish usually has, and instead has a very fresh flavour and smell. 

Be cautious because this strain is a knockout! Smoke in moderation, and you should reach the sweet spot of your high-ness. 🪁

☘️ Strain: Fat Kid’s Cake Block (mostly Sativa)
💨 Type of high: strong, mental high
📍 Where to get it:
Coffeeshop Tweede Kamer, Heisteeg 6, 1012 WC Amsterdam

🎨 Tbizla from CoffeeshopAmsterdam

Next on the list is one of my favourite coffeeshops in Amsterdam: CoffeeshopAmsterdam. Their Moroccan-bred hashish, Tbizla, is well-suited for all sorts of creative activities. 

It will give you a strong and uplifting high, and if used in moderation, you can enjoy this strain while doing all sorts of things.

box with hash with menu from coffeeshop in Amsterdam
The stash in its goodie box. Image: DutchReview

It has a smooth and earthy taste, akin to other flavours on this list. Prepare to feel green — despite its brown colouring! 😉

You can find this strain at CoffeeshopAmsterdam, conveniently located on the Haarlemmerstraat. This place is also a nice place to hang out and smoke, with great drinks, top staff behind the counter, and killer general vibes.

☘️ Strain: Tbizla (mostly Sativa)
💨 Type of high: medium strength, weed-like
📍 Where to get it:
Coffeeshop Amsterdam, Haarlemmerstraat 44, 1013 ES Amsterdam

🤎 White Choco Static from Coffeeshop Noord

Coffeeshop Noord is a stunning, newly-renovated coffeeshop in one of Amsterdam’s coolest neighbourhoods.

The interior of this place looks just as high-quality as their products. I really like their White Choco Static Block — a wonderful blend of sweet and spicy, while also retaining that delicious, smooth chocolatey taste.

One of the sleekest stores out there. Image: Supplied

Its high will have you feeling relaxed but not tired — making it a perfect strain to smoke during the day, or before you check out some of the cool things to do in Amsterdam Noord.

☘️ Strain: White Choco Static Block (mostly Sativa)
💨 Type of high: relaxing, creative
📍 Where to get it:
Coffeeshop Noord, Ooievaarsweg 10, 1021 GZ Amsterdam

Honourable mentions for best hash in Amsterdam

These may be some of the top places to get hash in Amsterdam, but, of course, the list goes on (and on)! Here are some more of my favourite hash strains in Amsterdam.

Ketama Gold from Coffeeshop Siberië

A short walk away from Amsterdam’s Central Station lies Coffeeshop Siberië.

Of course, a good Dutch coffeeshop is located in a stunning Dutch canal house! Image: DutchReview

Step into the inspiring shop, and enjoy the artwork with a side of some Ketama Gold, and ride an energising high.

☘️ Strain: Ketama Gold

Tidgin from Coffeeshop Sensemilia

Take a voyage to this fabulous shop in Amsterdam Nieuw-West and get some of that Tidgin Hash. It’s affordable and gets you right where you want to be.

The best part? Coffeeshop Sensemilia has a stunning view of the Sloterplas Lake, so you can relax while looking at some of Amsterdam’s best views.

☘️ Strain: Tidgin

Sour Diesel from Eerste Hulp Coffeeshop

The name of this coffeeshop translates to “first aid,” and indeed, Eerste Hulp Coffeeshop is here to help if you’re craving some high-quality hash. 

Good times guaranteed! Image: Depositphotos

Here, I’d recommend the Sour Diesel strain. Some smokers live for this particular strain, and it’s much sought after. Will you give it a go?

☘️ Strain: Sour Diesel

Super Silver Haze from Coffeeshop DNA

In the south of Amsterdam, you’ll find Coffeeshop DNA. This place sells an amazing Super Silver Haze Block, a great hashish strain with a sour, lemony taste. Lekker!

It’s in this coffeeshop’s DNA to serve good hash. 😏 Image: Supplied

Coffeeshop DNA also sells some of the best edibles in Amsterdam and has some great ganja paraphernalia. I love their pistachio-flavoured spacecake, which is not only delicious but can also take you on a wild high.

☘️ Strain: Super Silver Haze Block

Strawberry Banana from Coffeeshop The Stud

Last but certainly not least, Coffeeshop The Stud is a phenomenal place in the east of A’dam. 🍓🍌

My go-to hash here is the Strawberry Banana strain. Its name should say enough: you’re in for a relaxed time with some fruity flavours. Too bad it isn’t strawberry or banana-looking. 

☘️ Strain: Strawberry Banana

What else do you need to know about hash in the Netherlands?

Now that you’ve secured some of Amsterdam’s best hash, you might have some questions you have smoking it. So, let’s answer them!

Smoking hash vs smoking weed: how is it different?

First off, let’s talk about how hash is different from its cousin, weed: What does hashish give you that weed doesn’t?

Both hash and weed will get you high, that’s for sure. The main difference is that hashish will give you a milder high than weed. 

While weed is prone to give you that heavy, hazy high, hashish is better suited for doing activities and not (just) sitting on your couch.

My favourite activity to do on a hash high? Cleaning my house! Image: Depositphotos

The flavour is also a major point of difference, as hashish usually has a more earthy taste (although some hashes, depending on their quality, can be more similar in taste to weed).

Lastly, while hashish is generally milder than weed, it has much more THC compressed into it — so don’t add too much hashish to the joint.

(Or do, if you want to get really, really baked. 🤷‍♀️)

How do you know if hash is of good quality?

While cannabis flowers have clear indicators like aroma and crystal coverage, hashish doesn’t have any obvious clues to let you assess its quality. So, how are you supposed to know whether what you’re buying is actually good?

Of course, the first step to getting good hash in Amsterdam is to buy it from a reputable coffeeshop — like the ones on this list.

Naturally, you want only the most high-quality products. Image: DutchReview

It’s also important to check out the smell of your hash. High-quality, fresh hash should have a mild fragrance. Look out for a stale or mouldy smell (which indicates that the hash has been dried insufficiently) or a plastic-like smell.

In terms of appearance, high-quality hashish looks different depending on the type of hash you’re dealing with.

  • Moroccan hash (so-called “dry-sift”) should range from light blondish-brown and soft for lightly pressed types — to dark brown, shiny, and hard for heavily pressed varieties.
  • “Hand-rubbed” hash in Amsterdam should be smooth, black or brownish-black, and often sticky to the touch.

How do you choose the right hash in Amsterdam?

When it comes to choosing the right hash for you, it’s important to consider what effect you’re looking for.

The effects of hash can cary widely depending on the strain, Sativas giving more of a “head high” while Indicas provide what’s called a “body high.”

Know your hash! Image: DutchReview

When it comes to finding the “best” hashish, it ultimately depends on your personal preference and daily routine.

If you’re a daytime smoker, you may want to smoke Sativa to feel energised and complete tasks with full concentration. Need help falling asleep or relaxing at night? Then go for Indica.

If you’re not sure what kind of hashish to order at an Amsterdam coffeeshop, just ask your budtender! It’s their job to help you out, and they can give you advice on what may be best for you.

How do you roll a hashish joint?

Rolling a hashish joint is a slightly different story from weed, but don’t worry — it’s not (too) complicated. 

Most hashish is quite solid and hard to break up by hand. To prepare it for the joint, you need to heat it up a bit with the flame from a lighter. That will make it softer and easier to break. If your hashish is already softer by default, this step won’t be needed.

Once you heat it up, you can either put little crumbs of hashish in the joint or mould it into a thin, snake-like figure. 

If you use the “hash snake” method, be careful when you ash, because if you push too hard against the ashtray, you risk losing some of the contents of your joint.

Another thing to note is that, unlike weed, hashish will not burn on its own, so you need to add tobacco or some herb to make the joint burn. 💨

Tell me about the history of hashish

As you might guess by now, hash doesn’t grow next to tulips and cheese (also, cheese doesn’t grow, by the way). Instead, hash has a long and rich history spanning many different cultures, from India and Nepal to Egypt and Morocco. 

When hashish first arrived in Europe back in the 18th century, it was more of a curiosity than a daily habit of people. By the 19th century, however, hashish was widespread in certain literary circles throughout Europe. 

The international trade of hashish started later in the 20th century. Pakistan and Afghanistan used to be some of the major exporters of hashish, but after conflicts in the region, Morocco took over the international market. 

For a long time, until the ’90s, they managed to maintain a quasi-monopoly. Today, however, Afghanistan is considered the biggest producer of higher-quality hashish.

If you’re sceptical about hash and would like to try some alternatives, you can always check out edibles for a more culinary high experience, or just stick to the good ol’ marijuana.

Ready for your trip? I hope you enjoy it!

Have you tried any of these kinds of hash in Amsterdam on the list? What do you prefer more, hash or weed? Let us know in the comments!

The best hash in Amsterdam: Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between weed and hash?

Where can you get the best hash in Amsterdam?

What does a hash high feel like?

What the correct smoker’s etiquette in Amsterdam?

Here’s how to get the Dutch job of your dreams with Undutchables

Many people face challenges when it comes to finding their dream job in the Netherlands.  

It’s no secret that the job market is becoming increasingly competitive, but getting a job in the Netherlands doesn’t have to be difficult if you know where to look — or rather, who to look with.

That’s because if there’s anyone who knows about finding jobs for internationals in the Netherlands, it’s Undutchables

READ MORE | 10 things to know before finding work in the Netherlands as an international

This international recruitment agency has years of experience pairing expats with the Dutch job of their dreams — and you could be next!

Ready to find your next job in the Netherlands? Here’s how.

Why Undutchables?

As the top recruitment agency for internationals and multilingual professionals in the Netherlands, Undutchables knows more than a thing or two about helping internationals find the perfect job. 

They aim to connect eager professionals with reputable businesses based on their industry and needs and help build a good rapport with both candidates and companies in the Netherlands

Look for job opportunities that match your personal situation and preferences. Image: Freepik

Do you want to work hybrid or have flexible hours? Undutchables can match you with the right company. 

TIP: Are you looking for a job in the Netherlands in a language other than English? At Undutchables, you can filter job vacancies by language, so you can look for positions in French, German, and more! Have a look at their vacancies and find the right one for you. 

All of their recruiters are internationally oriented and trained to give professional advice to job searchers in any field. 

Rest assured, you’ll be working with experienced recruiters who know what it’s like to be an international looking for a job in the Netherlands. 

How does it work?

Ready to start your job search with Undutchables? Here’s how their recruitment process works: 

1. Register with Undutchables as a candidate in their database

First step: you have to register with Undutchables and join their extensive database. 

Equipped with your CV and professional profile, Undutchables’ recruiters can match you to the most relevant and fitting vacancies. 

Keep your CV up to date with all the important information. Image: Freepik

If you find an opening that seems suitable, you can also apply to vacancies on the Undutchables website yourself. 

Of course, your data and CV are fully confidential, so your personal data will only be shared with companies with your permission. 

2. Contact an Undutchables recruiter about a potential vacancy

Undutchables is always updating the website with new openings, and you can even sign up to get a job alert every time they post new vacancies. 

If you find a job in the Netherlands that matches your interests, skills, and language preferences, you can apply for it through their website. 

Applying to jobs in the Netherlands always takes time. Image: Depositphotos

Then, the recruitment consultant responsible for the vacancy can contact you to discuss the position in more detail. Appeltje eitje, toch? (easy peasy, right?)

An Undutchables recruiter can also contact you to apply for a vacancy that suits your profile, whichever comes first. 

3. Go for a screening with Undutchables

When you’ve applied for your dream job, or Undutchables has found you a matching vacancy, you’ll be invited to a screening with their recruiters. 

Geen stress (no stress), though — the preliminary interview will give recruiters an idea of your experiences, career ambitions, and overall suitability for the role. 


Make a good first impression with the recruiters at Undutchables. Image: Freepik

You’ll also have a chance to ask any questions you may have about the vacancy and about finding work in the Netherlands in general. 

Undutchables also offers insider tips for writing an excellent CV and doing job interviews

4. Connect with the potential employer

After your screening with Undutchables, the recruiter will prepare your professional profile and CV and introduce you to the company. 

Undutchables has built up quite the reputation for being a trusted recruitment agency for internationals in the Netherlands. Companies trust their recommendations, so you certainly won’t mind the extra advantage. 🤗

5. Have an interview with the company

If company recruiters or HR like what they see, they’ll invite you for their own interview. 

Time for another interview! Image: Depositphotos

Undutchables is still part of the process, providing you with all the necessary information, as well as some insider advice to make sure you smash that interview. 

From that point, companies will continue with their hiring process, which may consist of more interviews or some kind of skill assessment, depending on the job and company. 

6. Get the Dutch job of your dreams!

After a successful round of interviews and assessments, you’ll be hired by the company: Gefeliciteerd! (Congratulations!).

The type of contract you’ll get will depend on the company and job requirements, but the recruiters at Undutchables will keep you informed and help you with contract and salary negotiations with the new company. 

“Gefeliciteerd” on your new job! Image: Depositphotos

After all, you won’t want to get caught up with a company that doesn’t have a good sick leave policy. 

Now it’s time to work hard and play hard. 😎

Job-hunting can be a tedious task, and it can be especially daunting if you’re looking for a job in another country. 

It’s certainly nice knowing there’s someone knowledgeable and experienced in your corner who knows what it’s like to look for a job and work in the Netherlands.

With Undutchables, you’ll be able to navigate the Dutch job market like a pro and progress in your career quickly. 

Have you worked with a recruitment agency in the past? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

This Dutch city is building a swimming pool inside an old church (and it looks heavenly)

What do you do when you have a city with an empty church and no central swimming pools? The Dutch city of Heerlen had this exact problem — and the solution was simple:

You convert the church into a swimming pool.

That’s right, St. Francis of Assisi Church is over 100 years old, but now, the pews will be switched out for swimming lanes.

Construction is still underway, but a rendering of what the pool will look like is causing quite the splash.

Heerlen says ‘hallelujah’ to this solution

Once the diocese of Roermond decided to withdraw from the beautiful church building, the municipality saw an opportunity to fix one problem using another.

Heerlen was in desperate need of a pool that could be accessed easily, and this church was in need of a new purpose.

READ MORE | 14 forward-thinking things Dutch people do

Heerlen’s alderman for city development, Jordy Clemens tells Volkskrant about the decision:

“Here, in a special and serene atmosphere, you can swim laps in a 25-metre pool. That way, we preserve a national monument — and people who live in the city centre will once again have a swimming pool within walking distance.”

The pastors are in — literally

And the diocese has no objection to their church being repurposed. In fact, according to Clemens, “The pastor has already promised that he will take the first dip.”

Of course, some X users are making jokes about baptisms en masse.

Translation: “An opportunity for baptist movements to host splashy baptisms”

While this is certainly innovative, Clemens tells Volkskrant that this is typical Heerlen behaviour.

“In Heerlen, we often choose to swim against the tide. To do things differently than you might expect. That is absolutely the case with the choice of this location.”

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #13: Be innovative (and not be shy about it) 

According to the municipality website, that pastor won’t be able to take the first dip until 2026, but we’ll be right after him!

Want the latest Dutch news to come zooming through the internet to your inbox? Dat kan! Subscribe to DutchReview’s weekly roundup 📮

It’s all over for Oranje: England qualifies for the final with a late winner (and THAT penalty)

Dreams = crushed. Hearts = broken. Bottles = thrown. Fans = arrested. It’s all kicking off after yesterday’s disappointing 1 – 2 loss to England in the Euros semi-final in Dortmund.

Despite impressive support throughout the tournament, plus Links Rechts going viral, things turned sour for Oranje fans after the defeat, NOS reports.

In Dortmund, 26 people were arrested by German police.

Following the match, fired-up English and Dutch fans were involved in confrontations where bottles and chairs were thrown, and five people were injured.

Penalty? More like pain-alty

While the 100,000 Oranje supporters in Dortmund certainly made their frustration heard, they weren’t alone.

The entire country (and the world, if you count any anti-England supporters out there) feels betrayed by some of yesterday’s refereeing decisions.

Things started well with a fast goal by Holland’s Xavi Simons after no less than six minutes of game-time. But then came England’s penalty. 👀

Many football fans are debating the legitimacy of the equaliser, with the foul that led to the penalty causing most of the controversy.

But let’s move away from penalties and towards positivity: this Dutch team have given their fans lots to celebrate and look forward to. 🧡

Despite England’s Ollie Watkins scoring the winner in injury time, two Oranje fans told NOS, “We can be proud of what we have achieved”.

What do you think about yesterday’s result? Let us know in the comments below.

7 time-saving hacks for life in the Netherlands

Life in the Netherlands can be hectic and fast-paced — and navigating the daily hustle can be time-consuming. So, how can you make the most of your day and reclaim some of those precious moments? 

These 7 time-saving hacks for life in the Netherlands can help!

To bring you the freshest possible tips, we’ve teamed up with Factor. Their chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meals are a game changer when it comes to saving time in the kitchen, all while nourishing your body and working towards your health goals! ⚡️

This post might have affiliate links that help us write the articles you love, at no extra cost to you. Read our statement.

1. Use public transport apps 📲 

Although the Dutch public transport system is known for its efficiency, it can sometimes (and by that I mean often) be a mess. 

Workers go on strike; trains get geannulleerd (cancelled); buses are vertraagd (delayed) — you know the drill. 

The result? You find yourself standing on the platform, waiting for a ride that may never come, and wasting your valuable time. 

The solution? Handy-dandy Dutch public transport apps. 🪄

Save yourself a lot of time by keeping up with real-time public transport updates. Image: Depositphotos

Unlike trains, buses, and trams, apps like 9292 or NS Travel Planner are very reliable. They give real-time updates on your bus, train, or tram, with information on delays, cancellations, and alternative routes. They also often pick up issues that aren’t flagged by Google Maps.

This allows you to plan your journey more efficiently, avoid unnecessary delays, and stop wasting time by waiting.

2. Order nutritious ready-made meals 🥗 

I’ll make a confession here: I don’t like cooking.

It’s time-consuming, I’m not great at it, and the washing up takes me ages. So, what do I do? I eat bread — for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s simple, but it’s not good for me. 👀

One of my 2024 resolutions is to nourish my body properly. Still, I don’t always find time to come up with elaborate recipes, run to Albert Heijn, and cook myself proper nutritious meals. 

But there’s a solution for people like me: healthy ready-made meal services. 

With Factor, I can save time on cooking while also enjoying a healthy meal. 😎 Image: Depositphotos

Meal boxes from companies like Factor allow you to save time on meal prep and maintain a healthy diet by having pre-prepared, high-quality meals delivered to your doorstep. 

With Factor, each meal is carefully crafted by professionals, with all the most important nutrients you need to fuel your body. Starting at just €8.49 per meal, the weekly-changing menu offers variety and deliciousness — delivered from the kitchen straight to your doorstep. Get your first box now

READ MORE | Meet Factor, your fresh, chef-cooked meal delivery service

3. Swap out Netflix for Spotify 🎧

This point may come as a surprise, but don’t underestimate its efficiency! 

Did you know that you can save a heck of a lot of time by switching from binge-watching series to binge-listening to podcasts?

Your favourite podcast can make that dreaded run a lot more fun. Image: Depositphotos

Yup, swapping out Netflix for Spotify can save time in your day-to-day life by allowing you to enjoy entertainment while accomplishing small tasks, turning downtime into a productive and enjoyable experience. 

By combining productivity with enjoyment, you can “slaa twee vliegen in een klap” (kill two flies with one clap), as the Dutch like to say — and increase your overall productivity. Win-win!

4. Embrace Dutch cycling culture 🚲 

Embracing the magic of your fiets (bike) is another great time-saving hack for your life in the Netherlands. 

By immersing yourself in Dutch cycling culture, you’re not only integrating into society but also saving time, staying active, and getting some fresh air! 

Cycling from door to door, from your flat to work, for example, eliminates the need for transfers, helps avoid getting stuck in traffic, and scraps time wasted walking to and from public transport stops. 

Even the Prime Minister does it — and he’s a busy man! Image: Depositphotos

For example: on days when I feel lazy (or it’s pouring down rain), I take the bus to our cosy DutchReview office here in Leiden. Between walking to the bus stop, being stuck at red lights, and walking from the stop to the office, this can take around 20 minutes.

On days when I cycle, however, I can easily slash in half. *Checks Apple Watch*: when I bike, it takes me exactly 10 minutes and 9 seconds. 

That’s 10 minutes saved — twice daily — and valuable time I can use to snooze a little longer in the morning. 😉 

5. Hire a cleaning service 🧹 

Have you ever heard the saying “cluttered house, cluttered mind”? Well, research shows it’s very true. 

Neuroscientists have found that disorganisation in the home majorly affects our brains and can even cause a rise in our levels of cortisol, our stress hormone. 

A messy flat can impact us when we work from home, for instance, but it also affects our overall mental well-being. 

And yes, they’ll get all those spots you tend to forget about. 😉 Image: Depositphotos

So, why not clean up your home (and mind) by hiring a cleaning service? 

Getting help from a cleaning service can eliminate stress, free up valuable leisure time and, of course, ensure a consistently tidy living space. 

It’s a practical solution for those who prefer a clean home but have a busy schedule.

6. Negotiate your work conditions 🧑‍💻 

Find that you’re wasting time and energy on your daily commute to the office? Talk to your boss!

It seems scary, we know, but working from home or flexible hours can eliminate commute time and allow you to structure your day to maximise productivity ( — and we’re sure your boss will be happy about that 😉). 

Thanks to the power of video calls, it’s possible to work from home and save time. Image: Freepik

Even if working from home is not the norm in your company, you have the right to make a request to work remotely on certain days with your employer. 

Your request must be made in writing two months ahead of time, and can only be rejected for valid business-related reasons.

7. Automate regular purchases 🧻  

In our modern day and age, we should use technology to our advantage! How? By letting it do our shopping. 

Think about your home: what are some things you always need and run out of? For me, it’s toilet paper, my favourite cereal, and dish soap. For you, it may be cat food, eggs, and toothpaste. 

Never worry about your essentials again! Image: Depositphotos

Either way, the point is that you can save a lot of time by setting up subscriptions for certain things to make sure you’re always stocked. 

This way, you save time at the supermarket while eliminating the worry about essential household items.

To automate your regular purchases, find out:

  • What you can automate and where (e.g. Amazon, your pet food supplier, etc.), and
  • How frequently you need different items restocked

On Amazon, for example, you can use the “Subscribe & Save” feature on eligible products. Select your preferred quantity and frequency, and you’re all set! 

Whether it’s optimising your commute, outsourcing chores, or embracing the local culture, these time-saving hacks will help you reclaim precious time and simplify your daily routines. Will you try them?⌚️

Do you have any more tips for saving time in the Netherlands? Share them in the comments!

Video streaming services in the Netherlands: the complete guide

Looking for video streaming services in the Netherlands? Got a burning desire to put your feet up, rest your overworked mind, and find out (again) whether Ross and Rachel will ever get together?

We all know the struggle: Sometimes ‘Netflix and chill’ turns into ‘Netflix and scrolling for an hour trying to find something to watch’. If you’ve exhausted all your Netflix options, there are streaming service alternatives available in the Netherlands that are worth checking out.

So, we’ve rounded up the best video streaming services in the Netherlands, complete with pricing, free trials, and payment options (some of them don’t even need iDeal!).

A classic in the Netherlands: Netflix

Kingpin of Dutch streaming services in the Netherlands. Image: Unsplash

👀 Check it out free for: Sadly, Netflix doesn’t offer a free trial
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €8.99 per month for one screen
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, debit card, prepaid card, PayPal, gift card

We’re going to kick this off with the obvious choice, the darling of video streaming services worldwide and accounting for a massive 45% of the streaming service market share in the Netherlands: Netflix.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with the video streaming giant, from its worldwide domination to its stellar Netflix Originals content. The good news is that it is available in the Netherlands, and the content is comparable to most other countries — although, as always, it can differ due to regional licensing.

However, as of 2023, Netflix has been getting some hate. Why? They have announced that in many countries, including the Netherlands, password sharing is no longer allowed. This means that if you’re logging into an account from anywhere other than the home IP address, helaas pindakaas, you can’t log in.

If you’re looking for a streaming service that you’re familiar with and want primarily English content with just a few Dutch options thrown into the mix, Netflix will likely be your go-to streaming service in the Netherlands. But, there are also other worthy competitors below that you should check out too.

READ MORE | 7 series and films on Netflix to help you learn Dutch

Stacks of familiar content and high-quality Netflix originalsThe tiered pricing structure makes it one of the most expensive streaming services
Different pricing tiers for extra screensNo longer allows multiple users in the Netherlands
Primarily English shows and moviesNo free trial

Netflix better watch out. Image: Depositphotos

👀 Check it out free for: Sadly, HBO Max doesn’t offer a trial.
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €5.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, debit card, PayPal

Owned by WarnerMedia, HBO Max first appeared in the US in May 2020 and quickly gained popularity in other countries due to its killer price offers and wide range of movies and shows.

Bringing together HBO, WarnerBros, DC, and Max Originals in one streaming service, HBO Max has plenty of content for binge-hungry Dutchies and internationals. If you’re looking for a good TV show, there’s everything from the original episodes of Sex and the City to the internet’s newest obsession.

The closest alternative to Netflix in its interface and quality of content, HBO Max is a worthy contender for the streaming giant.

Heaps of classics as well as new releases and Max OriginalsNo ‘Recently Viewed’ section
Many brand-new releasesSubtitles can sometimes be a bit off 
Primarily English shows and movies 
Many brand new releases

For sport-lovers in the Netherlands: Viaplay

With Viaplay, you can watch all the football you can dream of. Image: Freepik

👀 Check it out free for: Sadly, Viaplay doesn’t offer a free trial.
💶 After that, you’ll pay: €15.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit and debit cards issued by a Dutch bank

The Nordic streaming service Viaplay launched in the Netherlands on March 1, 2022. While a Viaplay subscription is more expensive than HBO Max and even Netflix, the Scandi contender offers not just movies, shows, and Viaplay Originals but also live sports — including Formula 1, Bundesliga, and Premier League.

Suppose you’re a fan of Scandinavian crime shows. In that case, Viaplay has you more than covered — but don’t worry, the streaming service also offers familiar content such as The Good Wife and Normal People, plus reality TV content from Hayu. However, new releases (shows and movies) aren’t super prominent on Viaplay

What makes Viaplay unique amongst other streaming services in the Netherlands is its large offer of live sports. So, if you’re looking for a subscription that’ll satisfy all your viewing habits, Viaplay might be your new go-to.

Can stream live sportsThe most expensive option in the Netherlands
Primarily English but also Dutch and Scandinavian shows and moviesDoesn’t have many new releases
Easy user interface  

A streaming service specifically for reality TV: Hayu

What’s your guilty pleasure? Image: DutchReview

👀 Check it out free for: 7 days.
💶 After that, you’ll pay: €5.99 per month, €28.99 for six months, or €52.99 for 12 months 
🧾 You can pay with: Credit and debit cards

Reality TV tends to get a bad rep, but let’s be real — who doesn’t love other people’s drama? 

Now, the number one platform to fuel your (slightly unhealthy?) obsession with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Below Deck, is Hayu

The American streaming service launched in the Netherlands in 2016 and has become increasingly popular recently. After having carved out its niche in the sea of streaming services, it continues to be the only reality TV-focused service in the lowlands.

Hayu allows you to stream your favourite show on the same day as it airs in the US, so you won’t have to worry about discovering the latest drama on social media before seeing it for yourself. Oh, and did we mention they have a large true crime category? 

Content aside, what makes Hayu different from other streaming services is its pricing structure: You can save money if you subscribe on a half-yearly or yearly basis instead of monthly.

Have all the best reality TV-showsIf you’re not into reality TV, this isn’t for you
Primarily English showsCan’t pay with iDEAL
Stream the same day as a show airs in the USThe app design could be more user friendly
Easy web user interface  

The ultimate dutch streaming service: Videoland

Videoland is the Dutch alternative to Netflix — give it a go! Image: Freepik

👀 Check it out free for: 14 days.
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €4.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, PayPal

If you’re looking for the Dutch version of Netflix, Videoland is your closest bet — apart from actual Netflix, of course.

Owned by German media company RTL, Videoland features shows and movies from its owner’s television channels. Because of this, much of its content is very television-oriented: think reality shows like Love Island, Criminal Minds, and The Voice. Videoland has a pretty good selection of English content.

Suppose you’re looking for something with a little more substance. In that case, they have a hefty selection of movies, such as London has Fallen and Four Weddings and a Funeral and original television (hello Moccro Mafia!). With a prime position as a Dutch streaming service and over 130,000 minutes of pure Dutch content, it also gives you a good challenge to practice your Dutch.

Ultimately, when looking for an alternative streaming service in the Netherlands, it is well worth signing up for Videoland’s free trial.

A solid range of content for a fair priceNew movies or TV shows are limited
Easy enough user interface
You can pay with a credit card 
Watch on up to four screens at once 

Practicing Dutch? Stream all the Dutch channels in one place: NLZiet

If you’re looking for a streaming service in the Netherlands to practise your Dutch, NLZiet is a solid option. Image: NLZiet

👀 Check it out free for: One month
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €9.95 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, debit card, PayPal

The major advantage of NLZiet is that it’s a rare integration of three major television stations: NPO, RTL, and Talpa TV (formerly SBS). NLZiet attempts to combat the tough competition of streaming providers by making everything available on their eleven channels in one streaming app.

The major disadvantage of NLZiet, though? Its English selections are limited. There are some options, like Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, and The F Word, but unless you speak Dutch, you’re unlikely to get the most out of this subscription.

On the bright side, if you speak Dutch or want to practice your Nederlands, the Netherlands is famous for creating very popular international television shows, like Survivor and Big Brother.

For our top picks of NLZiet’s Dutch selection, see Utopia, where strangers are given a piece of land and challenged to build a new society. We also love Hunted, where 13 ordinary Dutchies must avoid a specialist team of investigators for three weeks.

Huge and varied contentPrimarily Dutch programs
Accessible priceContent only remains online for one month
Can live-stream televisionThe app is in Dutch

A huge streaming service in the Netherlands: Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video has a worthy selection of streaming titles in Holland. Image: Amazon/Screenshot

👀 Check it out free for: One month
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €4.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, PayPal

Amazon Prime Video made its first foray into the Dutch market in 2016 but took a while to gear up to its best offerings. Thanks to a push in the United States, Amazon’s main offering is their original content: series like Modern Love, Fleabag, and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel could encourage some viewers bored with Netflix to switch to Prime.

However, it’s not all original content — and that’s a good thing! Amazon hosts big-name series like Vikings and Hollywood-budget films like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

Lots of original contentContent tires quickly
Can bundle with Amazon Prime deliveryHave to filter out paid rentals in search
You can pay with a credit card
Easy to navigate 

A classic streaming service in the Netherlands: NPO Start Plus

NPO is the Dutch public broadcaster’s streaming service. Image: NPO

👀 Check it out free for: One month
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €2.95 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, PayPal

From the desk of the public broadcaster NPO, NPO Start Plus is their streaming service. Major selling point? The price. Major downfall? Almost no English titles (it is the Dutch public broadcaster, after all).

It does have a few options that might be enough to get you in for a trial: the historical drama Victoria, Eurovision, or nature documentaries like March of the Penguins 2.

We include it as an option because it’s quite popular among Dutchies, so if you have some handy language skills, it could be enough to take your fancy. If you’re disappointed in it, no big deal — it’s less than three euros a month.

If you have some favourite NPO series, it’s perfect for binge-watching those babies with no advertising. And, if something important is being covered on live TV, you can watch that too.

You can watch Live TVNot many English options (but a great chance to practice your Dutch!)
Excellent Dutch selectionApp controls are all in Dutch
Can watch Live TV 
Good payment options, including credit card and PayPal 

An exciting addition to streaming services in the Netherlands: Disney+

Disney Plus made its debut Dutch debut in September 2019. Image: DTCI Media

👀 Check it out free for: 7 days
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €10.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: iDeal, credit card, PayPal

In 2019, the crowd-favourite Disney+ became the newest addition to the Dutch streaming circuit. Not just limited to kids’ shows, Disney+ launched with superhero action movies from Marvel, galactic space battles from Star Wars, and some National Geographic for when you need to chill out.

Disney+ came in strong to the Netherlands, offering extensive free trials to the country while it tested the system for worldwide release. Now, it offers some of the best conditions of any streaming service: a good price, downloads on up to ten devices, and streaming on four devices at any one time.

Downloads on up to 10 devicesOnly Disney content may mean it won’t become your standard streaming service.
Playback on 4 devices at once 
Huge range of blockbuster movies and shows 

Video streaming services in the Netherlands: Apple TV

Apple TV Plus promises original and exclusive series, documentaries, and films. Image: Apple

👀 Check it out free for: 7 days
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €9.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: Credit card, most debit cards, Apple Pay, Pay Pal, iDeal

Eager to grab their piece of the streaming pie is Apple TV. Promising only Apple originals, it does offer some fresh new content — but the lack of shows may be enough to deter some viewers.

Regardless, Apple TV+ is in the game of boosting its subscriber numbers with unbeatable offers like free Apple TV+ for three months when purchasing an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV. That means if you’re in Apple’s ecosystem, you could get their premium TV offering for free.

Even if you’re not, at €9.99 per month, Apple TV won’t be breaking the bank. And its user interface is everything you can expect from Apple: clean, streamlined, and effortless.

Low priceDoesn’t have a huge offering
Seamless use across Apple devicesNo classic shows or familiar content
Brand new content, clean interface 
Free for three months if purchasing an Apple product 

Also available in the Netherlands: SkyShowtime

SkyShowtime is relatively new to the Netherlands. Image: Freepik

👀 Check it out free for: 7 days
💶 After that, you’ll pay: From €5.99 per month
🧾 You can pay with: Credit card, Pay Pal, iDeal

SkyShowtime launched in October 2022, making it one of the latest additions to the available streaming services in the Netherlands. This service is USA all the way, offering mostly blockbuster movies and some (honestly good) series.

Notable highlights among the series are the new making-of-the-godfather series, The Offer, Stallone’s Tulsa King, and Yellowstone. When it comes to the movies on offer, it boasts the big guns — such as Top Gun 2.

Offers blockbuster moviesA bit one-sided, offering content only from the US
Offers access to series you wouldn’t find elsewhere Easy-to-end subscription
Offers a free trial
 Easy to end subscription

Stream on the go: Ziggo Go

A girl sits in front of a TV with her phone, streaming services Ziggo Go Netherlands
If you already have a Ziggo plan, you can get Ziggo Go for no extra cost. Image: VodafoneZiggo/Supplied

👀 Check it out free: If you have a Ziggo plan already
🧾 You can pay with: Direct debit (from a Dutch bank account), iDeal

Ziggo is not a standard streaming service but an internet and television company in the Netherlands that offers a streaming option, Ziggo Go. The catch? You need to be signed up for one of their other services first.

However, if you happen to have your television or internet through Ziggo already, Ziggo Go is at your fingertips, allowing you to replay content from any of the TV channels that are part of your subscription. Remember, you only get seven days from when they were originally broadcast to watch them again.

If you have a Ziggo plan, it’s already includedYou can only play from channels subscribed to
Good user interfaceLimited to television content
Up to three screens at onceCan only play from channels subscribed to
 The app is in Dutch
 No credit card payment option

Which Dutch streaming service did you end up choosing? What do you think of it? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s note: All information in this article was correct when updated in July 2024, but boy, does technology move fast! If you’ve discovered anything inaccurate, we would love for you to bring it to our attention in the comments. 

5 ways the Netherlands is better than the UK according to a Brit

I landed in Amsterdam Schiphol glittery-eyed and raring for a new start in a beautiful new city. Since then, the Netherlands has hugely bettered England on a few fronts — here are five of the most significant.

Of course, I miss pints being the standard unit of beer measurement, and as a West Country girl, I miss vintage-matured cheddar cheese and ice-cold cider. But that’s about it.

And so: flip the UK the finger, side-saddle the back of my fifty euro bike, and let me pedal you furiously through just some of the pros, advantages, and utter gifts that come with the Dutch lifestyle.

Exhibit A: Bikes, bikes and more bikes

Cycling is top of most lists when it comes to the advantages of living in the Netherlands.

I used to have a bike in Liverpool (a hideously heavy thing I had to hunch over like Gollum to ride) which sat neglected and unused for a full year.

Why? Because cycling in UK cities is like a hellish nightmare on wheels.

READ MORE | 19 things the Dutch did to make cycling easy and attractive

If you’re not risking death by car bonnet, you’re tackling heinously steep hills which bully you into getting off and pushing, the ultimate walk of shame.

You also arrive at your destination dripping with sweat and looking like you’ve just jumped out of a plane.

Cycling is second-nature here. Image: Pixabay

But not here. In Amsterdam, you swan around in your work attire, never breaking a sweat unless you cycle over a bridge. Perhaps you even sneakily catch up with a friend on WhatsApp as you traverse a busy crossroad. You own that road.

Cars and pedestrians are second-class citizens, mere peasants to you. You’re in charge, and you get drunk on that pedal power.

Exhibit B: (Almost) reasonable rent

Yes, I mean it. I can’t speak for everyone because I understand that for most people, rent in the Netherlands is ridiculously expensive.

READ MORE | Housing & rental scams in the Netherlands: the ultimate red flag guide

And that is still true, but for me it still doesn’t compare to UK prices. To live on a houseboat in Amsterdam Centrum, I pay the same rent as I did for my flat in Toxteth, Liverpool, one of the cheapest cities in the UK.

It gets even crazier when you start comparing prices to living in London — the mind really does boggle!

Exhibit C: Liberal drug laws

Now, we’re getting a bit stereotypical here but it’s worth acknowledging!

smoking weed Amsterdam coffeeshop
The Netherlands is known for its liberal attitude towards drugs. Image: Abuzer Van Leeuwen/Supplied.

Despite marijuana being sold in a regulated environment via coffee shops, there are no 13-year-old kids huffing weed and whizzing around delivering to customers on their Halford’s mountain bikes. This scene is certainly prevalent in the UK.

People in the lowlands are given an inch and — generally — don’t take too much. Nor do they drink too much — the British “lad’s holidays” are probably more responsible for any significant alcohol consumption in the Dutch capital.

@dutchreview A daily struggle 🥲 #amsterdam #CapCut #expat #netherlands #dutchreview #voorjoupagina #Meme #MemeCut ♬ original sound – DutchReview

Exhibit D: Fried bar snacks

Forget scampy fries and pork scratchings or the packet of salt and vinegar crisps torn open on the table for all to share: Holland wins this one.

How? Bitterballen. In case you’re unfamiliar, I’d describe bitterballen as scotch eggs, minus the egg, with whizzed-up stew in its place.

Sure, it sounds slightly foul. But that’s part of their lore, as well as inevitably burning your mouth with the first bite. Check out a demonstration of the enigma of this fried favourite. 👇

Exhibit E: Refreshing Dutch honesty

The British are renowned for their, ahem, “politeness”.

What this really means is inwardly seething when someone pushes in front of them in a queue but resolving to audibly tut and sigh instead of telling you straight-up how they feel about it.

A busy and rude commuter could barge them at 100mph but they’ll be the ones to cry wildly, “Oh, I’m so sorry!”, despite being the innocent victim of a businessman-rhino attack.

However endearing I might find this painfully polite aspect of British culture, nothing beats Dutch directness. They say what they feel, and they feel what they say! And what a breath of fresh air it is!

So there you have it, this is one Brit’s recount of the best improvements expat life in the Netherlands has to offer. This list probably looks different depending on your experiences, and your taste for salty fried snacks or straight-talking Dutchies. 😉

What did we miss? What are your favourite things about the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

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