Dutch habits you need to know before moving to the Netherlands

Dutch habits you need to know before moving to the Netherlands

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To ensure your transition to the Netherlands goes as smoothly as possible, Louis Henrico, Sales Consultant at Schmidt Global Relocations, will guide you through some typical Dutch habits. This is so you will have an idea of what to expect when you move to the beautiful Netherlands. As they say here in the Netherlands, “Hup, lees snel verder!” (Get on with it and continue reading!).

Moving to another country is not exactly an everyday activity, especially when it’s to a place like the Netherlands which boasts some “peculiar” habits. A new country does mean getting acquainted with new customs and what is considered very normal in the Netherlands might be experienced as culture shock by you.

Speaking in the Dutch way

Before you start your Dutch adventure, it's important to know that learning a few Dutch words can earn you some serious brownie points with the locals. One of the most commonly used words is: gezellig (cosy). You can use this word to describe a relaxing night in with your partner or a cosy outing with your friends to a nearby cafe.

And to top it off, it helps to know a few expressions! One of the most famous sayings in Dutch is, “Nu komt de aap uit de mouw” (Now comes the monkey out of the sleeve). In the Netherlands, you say this when something suddenly becomes clear or obvious to you.

The Dutch are very direct and punctual

It’s clear that when you move to the Netherlands, you should get ready for a completely different way of communicating. Here in this country, the Dutch are known for their directness. They say it as it is and, because of that, you always know where you stand with them. Also, being on time is not just important in the Netherlands; it's a way of life. So, if you're punctual, you will fit in perfectly with the culture! Whether it's a business meeting or having a cup of coffee / tea with a friend, Dutch people love to be on time.

Out and about in the Netherlands? Use public transport (OV)

Navigating through the Netherlands is a breeze, especially if you embrace Dutch transportation habits. Public transport is well-organised in the Netherlands - make sure to use it!

With your OV-chip card, you can not only take the train or bus but you may also rent a bicycle or scooter. How convenient is that? You'll be at your destination in no time - and usually right on time too.

Biking, biking and more biking; the Dutch can't do without it!

Yes, you can even rent a bike to get from point A to B. In the Netherlands, the bicycle is our indispensable companion for almost everything. Whether it's grocery shopping or a visit to the doctor, we swear by the two-wheeler. If you already own a bicycle, be sure to bring it with you during the move! If you don't own one, no worries, this country is full of bicycle shops who are prepared to get you started.

Paying like a local: Cash, card and Apple Pay

Unlike many other countries, you can leave your credit card at home in the Netherlands. Here, we prefer other payment methods, namely: our trusted debit card, cash or for those who want to pay in a more modern fashion: Apple Pay. The main thing, however, is to always have your Dutch debit card with you, as some shops only accept debit card payments and not cash or credit cards. So, always make sure you have your phone (with Apple Pay) or debit card at hand, whether you're shopping or enjoying a delicious piece of Dutch apple pie.

Dutch people get “Orange Fever” in April

Are you arriving in the Netherlands around April? Then prepare yourself for the Dutch “Orange Fever”. On April 27, we celebrate the birthday of our King Willem-Alexander, known as King’s Day (Koningsdag), a national festivity where almost no one is working and everyone is looking forward to having fun. When the day comes, wear something orange, raise your glass and enjoy the nation-wide celebrations! 

The Dutch are obsessed with sweet things

In the Netherlands, we love: sweet, sweeter and sweetest. Sweets play a special role in Dutch eating habits. A common tradition is to start the day with hagelslag, small chocolate sprinkles that are spread over some bread. And then we have the Dutch love for drop, a peculiar candy with flavours that can sometimes feel like a tasty adventure. Even on King's Day, you'll likely start the day sweetly with an orange tompouce, a traditional pastry you absolutely must try if you live in the Netherlands.

Move to the Netherlands

Planning to move to the Netherlands? Maybe our peculiar habits have appealed to you! Moving to the Netherlands means transitioning to a country that is not only charming and well-organised but also brimming with opportunities for personal development.

If you're looking for a reliable partner to handle your move with care, consider Schmidt Global Relocations. They will take care of your international move down to the last detail. From planning to paperwork and from taking care of your piano to your last-minute requests, they ensure that your belongings are easily and swiftly ready for you at your new address in the Netherlands. For more information, visit their website or give them a call at +31 337 600 270.

Louis Henrico


Louis Henrico

I was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. I’m an experienced sales professional and believe that customer relations are the key to sales success. I’m employed as a sales...

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