Pros and Cons of Living in The Netherlands

William Russell Expat Health Insurance

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Pros and Cons of Living in Netherlands. Expats, Retirees and Digital Nomads talk about the pros and cons of living in Netherlands

What do expats in The Netherlands appreciate most about the local culture?

"I like the whole idea of bike riding. The transportation is very quick and easy. I like most drinking tea or coffee somewhere outside when it is sunny. And people are sunny and with t-shirts even if it is +16, but it is sunny. Like there getting around when by very unimportant reason. Or how they sing in the pubs their funny dutch songs with holding drinks in one hand and trying to dance with another. Yeah! They are fun loving people in whatever age. That's what I like in them," said another person in The Hague.

"Family oriented, big emphasis on being outdoors and active, a simpler pace in life. It's a beautiful country with much to see and experience, despite being small. Lots to do culturally as the Dutch appreciate music, the arts, theater and concerts/festivals. Love the beaches, and the long daylight in the summer months," remarked another expat in The Hague.

"The bike lanes!! And public transportation. I really wish America would take a lesson in both of those things," explained one expat living in Hengelo.

"For the first time in 20 years I am riding a cycle !...and using public transport. I love how everyone skates when there is ice - I purchased my first pair of ice skates during our first winter. Appreciation of the sun....I really took that for granted. Nederlanders worship the sun," said another expat in Utrecht.

"The Dutch are very outdoorsy and I love that. They cycle everywhere and any time there is sun, no matter what the weather, you will find them out basking in it. It's the cycling culture that I have completely fallen in love with. I also enjoy how environmentally friendly they are. Most companies will reimburse employees 100% of their travel expenses as long as they use public transportation. The bikes take people most places and rarely do you get a plastic bag with your shopping purchase unless you pay extra for them. Most people carry their own vinyl bags for shopping or stuff purchases in a large purse, backpack, or bag. Time is also appreciated. Employees get, on average, five weeks of vacation in addition to the many many holidays. The average work week is 36 hours and an astounding number of people work four days a week. Healthcare is also affordable and easy to come by. Everyone must be covered by law. The government also gives generous childcare aid and maternity and paternity leaves are recognized," added another person living in Utrecht.

"I appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and level of safety compared to where I came from. I appreciate the Dutch appreciation for time off with family and friends. They know when to stop working and enjoy life, people, each other. They also don't consider themselves competitive as we are raised in the US. This has minuses but definite pluses in how they view life and what they feel is important," explained one expat living in Amsterdam.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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