Living in the Netherlands


Moving to the Netherlands

Moving to a new country as an expatriate is an exciting and transformative journey. When relocating to the Netherlands, expatriates encounter a vibrant blend of cultures, picturesque landscapes, and a high quality of life. However, settling in a foreign land also involves navigating a series of essential tasks and adjustments. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the key steps and considerations for expatriates planning to make the Netherlands their new home.

From finding suitable accommodation and setting up utilities to understanding the Dutch healthcare system and enrolling children in schools, there are numerous aspects to address. Additionally, obtaining a Citizen Service Number (BSN), opening a bank account, and embracing the Dutch language and culture are vital for a smooth transition.

This guide will help expatriates embark on their Dutch adventure with confidence, offering practical advice and insights into the various aspects of settling down in the Netherlands.


  1. Finding accommodation:

    • Start by searching for suitable housing. You can do this through online platforms, real estate agents, or social networks.
    • Consider your budget, location preferences, and the size of the accommodation.
  2. Setting up utilities:

  3. Compare : Compare utilities

    • Ensure that gas, water, electricity, and heating (if applicable) are connected on time. You can typically arrange this with the respective utility companies.
  4. Arranging insurance:

  5. Compare : Compare Insurance

    Registering with the municipality (GBA):

    • Within five days of your arrival in the Netherlands, you must register yourself with the municipality where you will be residing. This is known as the "Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie" (GBA).
    • Finding a school for children:
      • If you have children, look for a suitable school for them. The Netherlands has both public and private schools. Inquire about enrollment procedures and arrange any required documents.
  1. Arranging car insurance (if applicable):

    • If you own a car, you'll need to insure it. There are different types of car insurance available, such as liability insurance (WA), limited comprehensive (beperkt casco), and all-risk.
  2. Getting a mobile SIM card:

    • Purchase a local SIM card from a phone shop or supermarket to use mobile phone services. You'll need a valid identification document to activate the SIM card.
  3. Household appliances (white goods):

    • If you need household appliances like a washing machine, refrigerator, or stove, you can purchase them from electronics stores or online platforms. Ensure you have the necessary connections and adapters.
  4. Opening a bank account:

    • It's convenient to open a local bank account to facilitate financial transactions in the Netherlands.
  5. Language and integration:

    • Consider taking Dutch language courses to aid in your integration and reduce language barriers.
  6. Citizen Service Number (BSN):

    • After registering with the municipality, you will receive a Citizen Service Number (BSN), which is essential for administrative matters in the Netherlands.
  7. Cultural and practical adjustment:

    • Take the time to learn about Dutch culture and customs, and familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations.

Establishing yourself as an expatriate in the Netherlands may take some time and effort, but with proper preparation and following the above steps, you can quickly feel at home in your new environment. It's also helpful to seek assistance from local expat organizations or other expatriates, as they often provide valuable information and support.