The Netherlands is one of the most interesting and beautiful places to visit or live in the world. There are so many opportunities for citizens and expats alike that once you start living there, it’s hard to move anywhere else. Of course, there are both pros and cons of moving to Netherlands and we are here to inform you about them.
Pros and Cons of living in the Netherlands
A country as beautiful as the Netherlands not just attracts tourists, but also people from all around the world to come and live there. Moving to the Netherlands from any western country is totally painless and the Dutch government totally supports everyone who does.
Many people are moving to the Netherlands from the US especially, because of the great living environment and benefits. Here is a detailed list of pros and cons of living in the Netherlands as experienced by expats.
Pros of Living in the Netherlands
Here are some positive sides of moving to the Netherlands.
Large Expat Communities
One great thing about being an expat in the Netherlands is that you will find so many others like you. Many people move to the Netherlands and as a result, it has become one of the most densely populated countries of the world. A large part of the crowd are expats who have traveled there to live and enjoy a better life. So, you don’t have to worry about feeling lonely as you will find many people around you to relate to.
Good Sense of Style in Dutch People
Whether you agree or not, Dutch people are very stylish people. From the way they dress to how they walk and talk, everything oozes fashion and style. Once you get adapted to the place, you will sense a change in the way you dress as well, and it is definitely a good change.
Marijuana is Legal
Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? Well, the Netherlands is one of the few countries where marijuana is totally legal and you can buy it from any smart shop around the country. Smart shops usually deal with products like magic mushrooms, marijuana, and other recreational drugs. Time to move to Holland, no?
We can easily say that the Netherlands is a country always awake. There are parties going on, every night throughout the year. No matter what season or time it is, you will always find a rocking and fun party to attend to and they usually end all night. You can have an exciting time with your friends until the crack of dawn and there will be no one to stop you.
No Look-alike Houses
If you love to own unique things, Holland is the place for you. Even the houses don’t match each other. Each house and building has its own character and looks different than one another. The history and culture can clearly be seen in the uniqueness of each construct.
Low Crime Rate
The reason crime rate in the Netherlands is quite low is maybe because a lot of things that are illegal in other countries are allowed here.
You can be walking alone late at night and feel no danger whatsoever.
Everyone Speaks English
If you’re an expat in Holland and you have not learned Dutch yet, you won’t face any problem at all. Almost everyone in the Netherlands knows English and speak the language quite fluently.
In fact, they don’t let any chance of showing off their language skill pass by. So, there is no chance that you will ever feel lonely just because the people around you don’t speak the same language.
Wherever you go in the country, you will find people so friendly and hospitable that you will never feel out of place. You will fit right in and feel like you’ve been there all along. Everyone is helpful, jumping on the opportunity to help others in need. If you’re stuck in a problem, you can count on every stranger in your way to go out of their way to help you out.
Good Social Life
As the people are very friendly and there is always something new and fun to do, you can lead a great social life after moving to the Netherlands.
No matter how dull your job is, you can always count on your life outside work to be full of fun, new experiences and great people.
Many Good Paying Jobs for Expats
Holland is a great country when it comes to providing good paying jobs. Especially for expats, there are so many different opportunities available that will make relocating to the Netherlands so much easier for you.
Another great thing about working in the Netherlands is the paid vacations. You can easily take some time off to relax and still be paid. It is a great opportunity to let some steam off after a tough time at work and you don’t even have to worry about deducted salary.
Fewer Chances of Getting Fired
The Dutch don’t believe in firing people and they offer full support to their employees as compared to the employers. Even if you do end up getting laid off, there are different benefits that you can avail that will keep you covered for a significant amount of time while you look for another job.
Many Types of Benefits
The Dutch government has a great system of benefits and allowances for their citizens and expats. These include unemployment benefits, child benefits, child allowances, healthcare, along with tax and rent benefits. All these help you out extensively to lead a better lifestyle.
Almost everything in the Netherlands has been shifted online. This not only helped in achieving a paper-free environment but also prevent different complications that occur due to human error. Automated systems have made the system more smooth and people can get benefit from it while sitting in their house.
As healthcare insurance is a compulsion in the Netherlands, there are many different packages available for people with income of all ranges. Especially for expats, there are special insurance packages that let them afford health care no matter what their income is.
30 Percent Ruling on Taxes
As you know, taxes are a must everywhere. However, the Dutch government has a special leniency for expats when it comes to taxes.
The 30% ruling means that taxes will be applied to only 70% of an expat’s income and the remaining 30% will not be considered.
Good Universities and Advanced Education System
Students in the Netherlands lead a great life. There are so many great universities that offer all kinds of programs. The education system of Holland is also very advanced and all the programs are very well structured.
The students, along with taking these advanced courses, also have the time of their lives in the lively environment of the country.
Financial Aid Programs for Students
For students who are unable to pay their fee, the Dutch government offers great financial aid programs. As per these aid packages, a student can take up to 10 years to pay off their college fee. These loans even have a very low-interest-rate which can be between 3-5%.
All Four Seasons
The weather ad climate of Holland is truly a blessing. You can experience all kinds of weather that include very cold winters, beautiful spring and hot summers. Be it raining, hailing, sunshine or snow, you won’t miss out on anything when you’re in the Netherlands.
Amazing and Delicious Variety of Food
Dutch cuisine is among the most famous and savored cuisines in the world. There is a huge variety of food, from cheap street specialties to high-end quality dishes. Taking a food trip through the city in Holland can be a very fun thing to do where your taste buds will experience a whole new world of savory treats.
Good Dairy Products
You will find all sorts of dairy products of great quality in Holland. Be it milk, cheese, eggs, anything you want, you will find in the best of qualities. Especially the Dutch cheese that is famous all over the world and is among the top exports of the country.
Unique Places to Visit
Holland is full of unique and historic places to visit. There are museums, windmills, art galleries, parks, bars, and restaurants. Every place you visit has a unique aura that will either take you back in time or give you some serious cultural shocks. You can never run out of amazing places to visit while living in the Netherlands.
Amazing Sales for Shopping
Who among us doesn’t love shopping? Especially when everything goes on sales, we love to get the stuff we don’t even need. When in the Netherlands, you will experience sales like never before. Especially while visiting the grand historic markets, you will find astounding things at such reasonable prices that you will run out of places at home to put the stuff you buy.
No Plastic Bags
It has become a complete necessity to think about our planet and what we’re doing with it. The Netherlands is way ahead of everyone where they have stopped using plastic bags and started using eco-friendly bags to contribute to saving the planet from the storm of indestructible garbage.
Traveling and Going Around is Very Easy
You can pretty much walk anywhere in the city. The infrastructure is so well-planned that it makes is very easy to travel and move around the city.
Most of the people in the Netherlands prefer using bicycles instead of cars. They require no fuel, they take less space, they keep you healthy and will take you anywhere you wish to go. So much for so less. The roads and pavements are all designed in such a way as to allow riders to roam around on their bicycles without facing any trouble whatsoever.
Unbiased News Channels
This is something very hard to be found all around the world. Biased and influenced media is what’s causing many of the world’s problems.
The great thing about Holland is that they provide their residents with completely unbiased news on all the news channels. You can find out what’s going on without the extra spice or twist.
Cons of Living in the Netherlands
Even though there are many positive things, there are some cons of moving to the Netherlands as well.
High Living Cost
There are many unique apartments available for living, both furnished and unfurnished. However, the problem is that they can be a bit pricey for someone who just started their job in the Netherlands. Managing rent in Holland is something a lot of people struggle with and it can take quite some time to be easily able to afford a good place to stay.
Too Many Rules
The Dutch really do not tolerate any silly or unique behavior. For them, if you stick to the rules and just be “normal” like everyone else, then you are accepted by the citizens with open arms. For some people, following unwritten and “common sense” rules can be pretty suffocating or irritating.
Cars are Expensive
Dutch people are usually cyclists who will definitely judge you if you don’t own a bicycle. Probably the main reason for that is the cars in Holland can be really expensive to buy and maintain. Therefore, if you wish to buy a car in the Netherlands, we suggest you don’t do it and stick to the bicycle culture.
The roads in the Netherlands can be very narrow and it gets hard to move around during rush hours, as the traffic gets unbearable. However, these narrow roads and streets work out pretty well for cyclists.
Not Many Opportunities for Non-EU Expats
Europe’s citizens get a lot of benefits and allowances when they move to the Netherlands. But there are not many opportunities for the non-European expats in Holland. To get a good job in the Netherlands, you either have to belong to a European country or prove that you have a Dutch citizenship. Without any one of these, it can be hard to be hired for a good paying position.
“Appointment” with Friends
Everyone is super busy in the Netherlands. Even your friends and family. The last thing you wanna do it make appointments with your friends beforehand to be able to meet them. But unfortunately, in Holland, you do have to make absolutely sure that the person you want to meet has time to do so.
No Garbage Disposals in Sinks
Many of the houses and apartments in the Netherlands are very old constructs. Due to the old design, many of the sinks only have drainage and no garbage disposal. You must be very careful while doing your dishes because once your drain clogs, you can have a plumbing nightmare.
No Good Customer Service
As the minimum wage is very low, you usually don’t find people on minimum wages to do their job with utmost professionalism. Which is why it can be hard to find good customer service. The operator can be rude to you or not helpful and there is no one that can do much about it.
Hard to Blend in with Dutch People
Apart from being very tall and stylish, the Dutch have unique personalities and accent a well. So if you’re an expat in Holland, it can be very hard for you to blend in, solely based on the way you speak. Unless you master the art of speaking Dutch, you might be treated as an outsider for a long time.
If you’re on a high paying job, chances are that your income taxes will be higher as well. Suppose you make 80,000 euros per year.
You will have to pay more than 40% income tax, which obviously is a lot. Also, the entire process of filing your taxes is very frustrating as well. It is a suggestion that you hire an expat tax service provider to do it for you to save yourself from all the confusion and trouble.
If you own a car in Holland, then you’re bound to pay the exorbitant road tax. It doesn’t matter whether you drive that car or not. So if you want to save 50 euros monthly, we suggest you forget the car and get a bicycle instead!
High-Interest Rates on Credit Cards
The interest rate on credit cards is very high. Most people do not even get credit cards because it is not possible to find one without fees.
Although there are many healthcare facilities and opportunities available, availing then can be very expensive. Most of the times, it doesn’t even offer what an expat might need. There are extra charges for a lot of stuff so do not forget to read the descriptions very thoroughly before getting a package.
The Netherlands experience all kinds of weather throughout the year, which is good. But the unpredictability can be very frustrating. Imagine not taking the umbrella with you to work because it is sunny outside, and then drenching in rain on your way back as it started raining in the late afternoon. Doesn’t sound fun right?
The Dutch have an exquisite cuisine that you can savor anytime, anywhere. The problem, however, is that it is expensive to dine in the Netherlands. The amount of food you are served is very less as compared to the amount you end up paying for it. Not to mention, you even have to pay for water at restaurants.
Most Shops Close Early
If you’re a shopaholic and not a morning person, it might be a problem in Holland. Most of the independent shops usually open early and close around 6 pm. This does apply to big malls though.
Grocery Shopping is Difficult
As most of the Dutch people own bicycles, grocery shopping can be a challenge. It is difficult to swing around grocery bags on your bicycle handles as the front basket in not even close to the space you need to put all the stuff you bought.
Trains are Unreliable
This happens usually in winter or autumn. You can never know when the train you’re supposed to hop on gets canceled. For example, one time a train got canceled because there were too many leaves on the track. Talk about excuses!
As you can tell for yourself now, the pros of living in the Netherlands definitely outweigh the cons. The country is a heaven of the earth to live in considering most of the aspects.