The Netherlands is a popular destination for many British ex-pats and making the transition between the two cultures is often fairly painless and uncomplicated. The Dutch are well-known for their liberal attitude in accepting different cultures and traditions into their society and the majority of ex-pats have found the country to be welcoming and tolerant in general. However, as with any relocation there are still a number of factors that need to be considered before committing to a life on the other side of the North Sea.
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and as a result apartment living has become commonplace. The benefit of this is that it is quite easy to find and rent an apartment if you move fast, and there are a variety of locations, prices and styles for you to choose from. The standard of accommodation within the Netherlands is also usually finished to a high standard as there is a large amount of competition for the vendors who are trying to rent their properties out.
When looking for accommodation however, ensure that you fully understand the terms of the tenancy before signing the lease. Properties are usually listed in three ways in the Netherlands; furnished, unfurnished or shell. If a property is listed as a shell it means that the tenant is responsible furnishing the entire apartment right down to the carpets and white goods. So, although properties listed as shells may be cheaper than others remember that there will be extra costs incurred to make it a liveable place.
One of the biggest culture shocks for those newly adapting to life in the Netherlands is getting to grips with the cycling culture. From an early age Dutch children are taught to ride a bicycle and there are thousands of miles of bike paths stretching the length and breadth of the country. Cycling is one of the easiest ways of getting around the country with the terrain also fairly flat and easy to navigate.
The Dutch are also fond of a national celebration and it may seem that any event is an excuse to hold a party. Be prepared for Dutch flags, orange banners and streamers covering the streets across the nation! New Year’s Eve is also particularly eventful as it is the only time the law allows individuals to use fireworks and the Dutch definitely make the most of this.
For more information about moving to the Netherlands, simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
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Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.