The small country of the Netherlands is sandwiched between Germany and Belgium. The Netherlands attracts millions of visitors each year who enjoy the history, art, architecture and, of course, the tulips. It is a densely populated country with a good education system, thriving entrepreneurial culture and a fantastic work-life balance.
If you are considering moving to the Netherlands, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in this part of Western Europe.
Quick Netherlands Facts:
- Population: 17,219,218 (2022 estimate)
- Official Language: The official language of the country is Dutch, which is spoken by most of the people living in the nation. English, German, French and Spanish are among the many immigrant languages spoken.
- GDP Per Capita: $58,061.
- Leading exporter of Flowers: The Netherlands is considered the world’s leading exporter of flowers and bulbs. Around 2 billion tulips leave the Netherlands every year and travel to different destinations globally. The beautiful Keukenhof Gardens is the Netherlands biggest drawcard, where every spring you can witness a breath taking sea of tulips.
- Currency: Euro (€) – September 2022 €1 =£0.89, €1 = US$0.96, €1 =$1.32 CAD, €1 =$ 1.49AUD.
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to the Netherlands
The table below shows sample shipping container rates to the Netherlands.
2. Netherlands Housing Costs
Housing is plentiful in the Netherlands but renting in the larger cities, such as Amsterdam, can be difficult due to high demand. The Netherlands has a high turnover of foreigners who stay for six months to a year, so rents tend to be high as owners cash in on the demand.
Monthly Rental Prices in the Netherlands
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: €1,215.12+
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: € 950.46+
- 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: €1,896.12+
- 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: €1,510.95+
- Price per square meter to buy in City Centre: €5,426.65+
- Price per square meter to buy outside City: €3,927.07+
Netherlands Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in the Netherlands compare with other countries around the globe.
United States of America is 49.36% more expensive
United Kingdom is 12.67% cheaper
Canada is 4.94% more expensive
Japan is 39.82% cheaper
Australia is 0.98% cheaper
Switzerland is 52.95% more expensive
Germany is 23.45% cheaper
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Shared Apartment – Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect room or flat mate: Kamernet, Simple Stay and I Roommates.
- Different Areas – Each of the cities in the Netherlands offers something different. You will find varied people, cultures, and lifestyles. Amsterdam has a young vibe. Leiden is extremely popular foreigners. Have a look at the following sites to get an idea of what each town has to offer: Life in a Bag, Dutch Review, I Am Expat and Expatica.
3. Netherlands Food, Grocery, and Restaurant Costs
Netherlanders are extremely fond of food. It is said that if you have not tasted Poffertjes, you haven’t experienced the real taste of the nation. Try Hollandse Nieuwe Haring, Sate, Stamppot, Pannenkoeken, Erwtensoep, and other Dutch delicacies. Food is expensive in the Netherlands, as is eating out.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: € 15.00
- Takeout Coffee: € 3.03
- Bottle of Coke: € 2.57
- 1L of milk: € 1.01
- Loaf of Bread: € 1.87
- 12 Eggs: € 1.95
- 1kg Chicken: € 8.02
- 1kg Beef: € 26.01
- 1kg Apples: € 2.62
- 1kg White Rice: € 1.89
Given below is a list that mentions the prices of restaurants in major different countries when compared to that of the Netherlands.
- The United States of America- restaurants are 9.95% more expensive and groceries are 32.41% more expensive than in the Netherlands.
- United Kingdom restaurants are 3.74% cheaper and groceries are19.26% cheaper than in the Netherlands.
- Canada- restaurants are 1.48% more expensive and groceries are 19.18% more expensive than in the Netherlands.
- Japan- restaurants are 45.05% cheaper and groceries are 14.37% more expensive than in the Netherlands.
- Australia- restaurants are 0.98% cheaper and groceries are 28.56% more expensive than in the Netherlands.
- Switzerland– restaurants are 68.47% more expensive and groceries are 105.16% more expensive than in the Netherlands.
- Germany- restaurants are 18.05% cheaper and groceries are 14.41% cheaper than in the Netherlands.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants, and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: The Netherlands has many independently owned grocery stores and supermarket chains. There are also a selection of markets in the various towns and villages in the country. Health shops are prolific, especially in the larger towns. The supermarkets here are quite small compared to supermarkets in other countries. Some of the top supermarkets in the nation are- Albert Heijn, Jumbo, LIDL, ALDI, and Hoogvliet.
- Find Cheap Eats: The cost of eating out can be expensive but the following websites should give you some tips on places to eat that fit your budget: I Amsterdam, Trip Advisor, Wander Lusting K, Budget Traveller, and Time Out.
4. Netherlands Alcohol Costs
Almost half the population of the Netherlands drinks alcohol on a weekly basis. Beer is the country’s favourite tipple and, like other drinks, is enjoyed socially with friends and family at home or in bars and restaurants.
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: €5.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: €9.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: €1.20
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: €1.70
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: €6.00
How to drink for less in the Netherlands
- Keep an eye on the local papers and flyers for cheap drinks, either in supermarkets or in bars, clubs, and restaurants.
- Many bars and restaurants have special working hours when they serve drinks at lower prices than usual. Have a look at some of the websites that will assist you in finding the best pubs and bars in the nation that offer drinks at reasonable prices; Trip Advisor, Viator, and Euro Cheapo.
5. Netherlands Transportation Fares
The Netherlands has one of the finest public transportation systems in the world. The nation is extremely proud of having one of the most advanced and innovative transportation services for its citizens. Train, bus, tram, ferry, and taxi are some most common means of transport available there. The transportation services are maintained and managed by Netherlands Tourism.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Tram, Metro, and Bus services (1 day to 7 days ticket)- € 8.50 to €37
- Tram, Metro, and Bus services (1-hour ticket) – €3.20
- Holland Travel Ticket- €44 to €64
How to save money on public transport
- To save money on public transport, you can either look for free & budget-friendly ride options or buy a monthly pass for bus services.
- Buy a bike. The Netherlands has a great system of cycle paths and lanes enabling you to move quickly and safely from one place to another.
- Apart from this, you can also purchase the Holland Travel Ticket as it gives unlimited access to metro, bus, train, and tram services.
6. Cost of Internet in the Netherlands
The Netherlands offers cable, fibre optics, ADSL, and VDSL depending on where you live. The faster the internet speed you choose, the higher cost the cost. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from late 2022 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym, and Leisure
The Netherlands enjoys a moderate maritime climate, with cool summers and mild winters. There is no dry season in the country as, like many northern European countries, it rains every month. The average temperature in spring is about 9.5C. Summer temperatures can reach the late 30C but this isn’t common. Autumn is the wettest season in the Netherlands with an average temperature of 10.6C. Winters can be really cold with freezing temperatures and snow.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: €78.75+
- Summer Dress: €35.33+
- Running Shoes (Trainers): €86.17+
- Business Shoes: €109.96+
- Gym membership: €38.84+
- Movie (cinema) ticket: €12.00+
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is an easy country to commute and navigate, thanks to its well-maintained road system. However, like most cities around the world, traffic jams are always there at peak commuting times. Most commuter prefer to use the well-maintained public transport system, run by the government of the Netherlands. If you going to bring a vehicle with you to the Netherlnds, then you need to complete various registration formalities through the RDW website. If you are planning to purchase a new vehicle after arriving then you’ll need to explore registration of a new vehicle.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in the Netherlands:
- Volkswagen Golf: € 25,000
- Toyota Corolla Sedan: € 26,859
- 1 liter (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): € 2.13
- Other fees (if any): Vehicle registration fees amount to €10.75
Ways to save money driving in the Netherlands
- If you want to save money while traveling around the country, you can try carpooling: Rideshare, Amsterdamse Taxi, Car Pool World, and Green Wheels.
Need your car/vehicle moved to the Netherlands? Then read our guide to Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in the Netherlands
The Dutch Tax Office or The Belastingdienst is responsible for collecting taxes from the residents from a variety of streams. The main taxes in the Netherlands are; Income Tax, Payroll Tax, and VAT Sales Tax. Other taxes that you may be liable for are import tax, motor vehicle tax, inheritance tax, corporate tax, transfer tax and gambling tax.
While residing in the Netherlands as either a resident or a non-resident, you are liable to pay various taxes. To check your liability for tax filing, you can visit Expat HSBC, where you’ll find a wealth of information.
10. Flight Costs from the Netherlands
If you do make the move to the Netherlands, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities from Amsterdam based on the lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner:
- London: €55
- New York: €290
- Los Angeles: €434
- Toronto: €450
- Vancouver: €580
- Dubai: €454
- Sydney: €890
- Melbourne: €980
- Cape Town: €560
- Hong Kong: €590
Other Netherlands Relocation Tips
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in the Netherlands but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Netherlands Alone
Moving to a new nation and starting a new life with new rules, regulations, people, and cultures can be daunting. But thankfully Dutch are the most welcoming people and welcome people from all walks of life. Here are a few tips about settling in the Netherlands.
- Meetups: The Netherlands has many Meetup groups covering a wide range of activities from skating to art galleries visit.
- Attend local events: The Netherlands is a country where there’s always something going on. Have a look at the following sites for inspiration –Travel Triangle, The Crazy Tourist, Trip Advisor, and Netherlands Tourism.
12. Moving to the Netherlands with a Family
The Netherlands is considered one of the best countries to raise a family. The nation’s stable economy, great education system, excellent childcare facilities, good healthcare and quality of life make it extremely appealing to families. The country has many family-friendly activities that you can enjoy.
- New parents (or parents-to-be): Check out Amsterdam Moms, Expatica and Meetup, for advice, courses, and ways to meet other parents or parents-to-be.
- Live in a family-friendly area: The top places to live in the Netherlands with your family are; Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Leiden, Utrecht, Harlem, and Maastricht. Have a look at the following sites for detailed information: Life from a Bag, Dutch Review and Expatica
- Find things to do with the kids: The Netherlands has a lot of fun activities for the kids to do and enjoy. Have a look at the following website for inspiration; Expatica, Trip Advisor, Holland, and Travelling Mom.
13. Moving to the Netherlands for Work
Moving to a new country for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move. Connecting with recruitment agencies in the Netherlands that focuses on placing expatriates in good-salaried jobs is a good way to start job hunting.
Engineers, IT specialists, innovators in creative industries and healthcare specialists are in big demand.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: You can get an idea of salaries and payscales in the Netherlands by going to websites such as Glassdoor and Paylab
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to the Netherlands, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Linkedin, Total Jobs, and I am Expat.
14. Moving to the Netherlands from Australia
There are a fair number of Australians from Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra are living in the Netherlands. If you are thinking of moving from Australia to the Netherlands, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison: Australia is roughly about 186 times bigger than the Netherlands and there are just over 8 million less people living in the Netherlands than in Australia.
- Join expat groups: Internations, Facebook, and Expat offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in the Netherlands.
15. Moving to the Netherlands from Canada
There are about 5,000 Canadian residents happily residing in the Netherlands. If you’re considering making the move from Canada, here are a few things to consider.
- Size: Canada is about 240 times bigger in size than the Netherlands but only has twice the population.
- Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations. Facebook, and Expat.
16. Moving to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom
Many people from the United Kingdom have settled in the Netherlands enjoying better job opportunities and a good standard of living. So if you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: The United Kingdom is approximately six times larger than the Netherlands and its population is almost three times greater.
- Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK then go to Internations, Facebook, and I am Expat.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to the Netherlands you can start by comparing moving quotes here.