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If you're thinking about moving to the Netherlands from the UK, it's essential to understand the culture, customs and residency requirements of the country. Here's everything you need to know.

Bishop's Move has years of experience in the removals industry and can provide you with valuable advice and local insight to help you make a smooth transition from the UK to the Netherlands.

Moving to The Netherlands


Why Move to the Netherlands?

The Netherlands, also known as Holland, offers a high standard of living, and its strong economy makes it an attractive destination for people looking to improve their quality of life. The country is well-known for its diverse and multicultural society, with a tolerant and open-minded attitude towards different cultures and lifestyles. A major pulling factor is also its beautiful landscapes, with images of traditional windmills and open meadows springing to mind. What's more, the Netherlands has a well-respected education system, as well as excellent transportation infrastructure and work opportunities, allowing it to consistently rank as one of the best places in the world to live. 

Culture in the Netherlands

The culture is diverse and multifaceted, influenced by its history, geography, and population. With a rich history of art and design, the country has many museums and art galleries that are popular with tourists, showcasing world-renowned pieces from artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. The biking culture in the country is also noteworthy, with Dutch residents cycling the extensive network of convenient bike paths and lanes to travel to work, school and social events.

The Netherlands is also infamous for its iconic infrastructure, including beautiful windmills, canals, and Dutch Golden Age architecture. Tourists from across the globe are attracted by these scenes, with the capital city of Amsterdam offering picturesque views, as well as plentiful dining and social amenities to enjoy. 

Dutch cuisine is known for its simple comforting dishes, such as Stamppot, Kibbeling and meatballs. The Dutch are also particularly fond of sweet treats, such as pancakes and Stroopwafels, which can be found in local supermarkets or food stalls. 

The city of Leiden, Netherlands

Healthcare in the Netherlands

Health insurance is mandatory for all residents, with the country's healthcare system based on two statutory forms of insurance: 

  • Zorgverzekeringswet (Basic) - Basic insurance is required for everyone and covers a wide range of medical treatments, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medication.
  • Wet langdurige zorg (Additional) - Additional health insurance is optional and provides coverage for treatments and services that are not covered by basic insurance, such as dental care and alternative medicine.

Insurance companies are regulated and subsidised by the Dutch government, and all insurance plans must meet certain standards in terms of coverage and cost. There are many insurance companies and plans to choose from, with the cost determined by factors such as income and age. The Netherlands has an excellent standard of healthcare, which is great news for anyone looking to move there from the UK.

Working in the Netherlands

There are plenty of Dutch companies that hire internationals, with expats employed each day across the nation. Highly skilled expats are considered first, however, which can sometimes make finding a job difficult. Despite this, the Dutch culture favours a healthy work-life balance, with many companies offering flexible working policies and generous annual leave. English is also widely spoken throughout the country, making it easy for non-Dutch speakers to communicate with team members and clients. 

To live and work in the Netherlands you will need to obtain a work and residence permit. You can find out more about arranging your permanent residency permit on the Immigratie-en Naturalisatiedienst website. The type of permit you can get depends on your situation.

Moving to the Netherlands after Brexit

Moving to the Netherlands from the UK is slightly more difficult than it once was, due to Brexit. Non-EU citizens, including British citizens, must obtain a residence permit in order to live and work in the country. This can be obtained by applying to live with a Dutch partner, studying, or working in the country,  which you’ll also need a work permit for. Employers in the Netherlands must prove that no suitable EU candidates are available before offering a job to a non-EU candidate. However, the process is simpler for "highly skilled migrants" who do not require a work permit.

Windmills in a meadow, Netherlands

Living in the Netherlands

If you’re considering moving to the Netherlands, it's important to research the various towns, cities and neighbourhoods available. Each location offers something unique, whether in the form of housing options, amenities, lifestyle or affordability. Some top options for expats include:


The capital city, Amsterdam, is one of the most popular destinations for expats. The city is full of new and exciting opportunities, for both employment and leisure. Amsterdam boasts a strong cafe culture, with small local cafes on almost every street corner, offering the perfect place to meet new faces whilst enjoying a hot coffee and slice of cake. Amsterdam is also a great location for families, with good-quality education and healthcare available.


Utrecht is also an attractive option, offering big-city-style amenities paired with the beautiful Dutch countryside. Sitting in the heart of the country, Utrecht is very well connected, making it the perfect location for commuters. Here you can find an array of canals and parks, as well as bustling restaurants and museums to enjoy. 


After being destroyed in World War II, Rotterdam was rebuilt and is now characterised by cutting-edge architecture and high-rise modern buildings. The city is known as “Manhattan on the Meuse”, as it contrasts greatly with the Golden Age architecture found in other Dutch cities. Rotterdam is also home to the country’s largest port, which attracts workers from across the globe, thus making it a very diverse city to live in with a strong international culture.

Why Choose Bishop’s Move?

At Bishop's Move, we have been providing quality international removals services from the UK to Holland for years. Our experience in removals is unparalleled, and as proud members of the British Association of Removers, we can provide you with a professional and trusted service. To get started, find out more about our removals to the Netherlands today or contact your local branch to find out more.