14 things expats need to know about The Netherlands
You’ve just touched down in The Netherlands, your course or job is starting and your new room is bare. You need a bike, a Dutch course and to invest in the famous OV-chipkaart. Here is a guide for new arrivals to The Netherlands, with 14 survival tips to save money, settle in and make the most of your first days in The Netherlands.
Rent a place and register with the ‘gemeente’
A key factor when apartment- or room-hunting in The Netherlands is that you need to be able to register at that address. Being registered at a Dutch address is essential to get a BSN, open a bank account and to do other administration.
Get a BSN and open a bank account
Getting your social services number (BSN) and setting up a Dutch bank account are two of the first steps to establishing your new life in the Netherlands. You need a BSN for many different reasons: to open a bank account, start a job, use the healthcare system and do your tax. You will receive your BSN when you register with your address at the town hall. To open an account with a Dutch bank, you can either make an appointment online or visit a branch close to you. You will need your BSN, your passport or identity card, proof of address such as a rental contract, and your residence permit if you are not an EU citizen. You can find more information on our page about banking in the Netherlands.
The other 12 survival tips:
- Find a cheap bike
- Don’t forget to check out with your OV-chipkaart
- Invest in a Museumkaart
- Find furniture and more at kringloopwinkels
- Save money dining at voku restaurants
- Do a Dutch course
- Go shopping on Marktplaats
- Know your rights
- Get health Insurance
- Know your Blokker and your Hema
- You’re in the middle of Europe, travel!
- Get over the tourist attractions ASAP