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Life in the Netherlands

When living the Netherlands, getting used to the Dutch and their habits and will probably take some time. Allow us to explain a few typical Dutch things.


Social contact

The Dutch are more direct and informal than people in some other countries, and that can take a bit of getting used to. But after a while, you’ll surely come to appreciate the spontaneity and openness of the Dutch. It’s easy to make contact with people here and they’ll generally be interested in other people and happy to help you. Another bonus is that almost everyone speaks English!

Appointments and diaries

The Dutch are very busy people and are happiest when they’ve got their schedule lined up in their diary (or agenda). Tip: if you have an appointment or have arranged to meet up with someone, make sure you’re on time, as turning up late is impolite.

Dutch cuisine

The Dutch love to eat foreign food, such as Italian or Indonesian, increasingly opting for these cuisines over their own traditional meat and two veg dishes. One thing that may take some getting used to is lunch, which generally consists of sandwiches and a glass of milk! If you’re looking for a typical Dutch delicacy to take home with you, why not consider 'hagelslag', 'drop' or 'stroopwafels'?

On your bike!

With its mild climate and flat landscape, the Netherlands is the perfect country for cycling. Therefore it will be no surprise that you’ll see bike paths everywhere you go. The Dutch cycle every day, whether they’re off to school or work, or just out for a fun ride. Dutch children learn to cycle almost before they learn to walk. A lot of newcomers to the Netherlands often wonder why everyone cycles in normal clothes and no-one wears a helmet. Surely accidents happen now and then? Yes, they do, but if you have liability insurance, you’ll be well covered for injuries caused to third parties and/or damage to their possessions. Check out our student insurance. This affordable insurance offers a personal liability insurance, home content insurance and accident insurance

Stingy or smart with their money?

The Dutch have a reputation for being stingy, bringing food from home to take on holiday with them, for instance, and mainly shopping during the sales. But did you know that the Dutch don’t consider themselves stingy? They’re actually proud of their frugal habits, as they’ve learned to always save some money for a rainy day. That’s why almost every Dutch person has a savings account. They also like to keep track of their finances, sometimes using an online household account book.

Going Dutch

In the Netherlands, it’s normal to only pay for yourself, hence the well-known saying ‘going Dutch’. If you go out for a meal with your colleagues and don’t split the bill right away, you’ll probably get a Tikkie payment request soon after, asking for your share of the bill.

Online payments

Quick transfers using the Mobile Banking appcontactless debit card payments in the supermarket and online shopping. The Dutch like to manage their money online whenever they can and shopkeepers prefer online payments too. All these online payments mean there’s less need for cash, so it may take you a while to find an ATM if you want to make a withdrawal.


Moving to the Netherlands? Find out what you need to arrange

Moving to a different country can be very exciting. Especially when you do not have to worry about all the things to be arranged. That’s why we have put together a list of tips for you.


Studying and working in the Netherlands

Once you have decided, you probably can’t wait to start your study in the Netherlands. You will be busy finding a place to live, and maybe, you also want to find a job. Check on what arrangements you will need to make when planning to study and work in the Netherlands.