Cost Of Living In The Netherlands

Cost of Living in The Netherlands illustration

In this guide, we take a look at the cost of living in The Netherlands and compare it with the costs in the UK.

Going Dutch is popular with British expats looking to boost their career prospects in The Netherlands. Find out below if you can afford to be one of those expatriates.

More than 44,000 Brits have moved across the North Sea and enjoy the free and easy Dutch lifestyle.

Disappointingly, the weather is much the same, and so are day-to-day living costs. However, renting a home is a lot cheaper.

Average salaries are lower than in the UK, but contractor expats should find their warnings are on a par with home.

Amsterdam, the capital, has a population of more than a million. Rotterdam is the business centre, while The Hague is the political and administrative hub.

Generally, the Dutch are welcoming and friendly to expats, have an excellent sense of humour, and as a bonus, most speak English well.

Make sure to read our in-depth guide to learn more about living in The Netherlands.

Cost Of Living Compared: The Netherlands Vs The UK

Average salaries in The Netherlands are lower than in the UK. Take-home pay is around £2,600 a month compared with £3,156 in London.

Prices in the shops are similar, but rents and utilities are a little cheaper.

A family of four needs to spend around £4,200 a month to sustain the same standard of living £4,800 buys in London.

The tables below have the following short names. LON is London. AMS is Amsterdam.

Average salary (monthly)

Average Monthly Net Salary3156372425923059-17.86 %

Eating Out

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant15.0017.7012.7115.00     -15.27 %
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course60.0070.8163.5575.00     +5.92 %
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)     +27.10 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught)5.005.904.245.00     -15.27 %
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)5.005.904.245.00     -15.27 %
Cappuccino (regular)2.943.472.793.29     -5.05 %
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)1.461.722.312.73     +58.25 %
Water (0.33 litre bottle)1.131.341.902.24     +67.80 %

Day-to-day groceries

Milk (regular), (1 litre)0.941.110.881.04     -5.65 %
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)     +51.62 %
Rice (white), (1kg)1.581.861.651.95     +4.91 %
Eggs (regular) (12)2.222.622.132.51     -3.97 %
Local Cheese (1kg)6.948.199.3110.99     +34.19 %
Chicken Fillets (1kg)     +9.90 %
Beef Round (1kg)10.1211.9516.0518.94     +58.58 %
Apples (1kg)2.212.602.072.44     -6.29 %
Banana (1kg)1.111.311.161.37     +4.52 %
Oranges (1kg)2.002.361.391.63     -30.85 %
Tomato (1kg)2.482.931.862.20     -24.99 %
Potato (1kg)     +6.11 %
Onion (1kg)1.151.360.951.12     -18.07 %
Lettuce (1 head)0.790.930.680.80     -13.62 %
Water (1.5 litre bottle)     -32.32 %
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)8.009.445.085.99     -36.56 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)1.882.221.011.19     -46.44 %
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)2.112.491.591.87     -24.79 %
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)12.5014.756.788.00     -45.77 %

Getting around

One-way Ticket (Local Transport)2.803.302.713.20     -3.16 %
Monthly Pass (Regular Price)158.00186.4783.2598.25     -47.31 %
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)2.803.304.665.50     +66.44 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)1.702.012.012.38     +18.38 %
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)28.8033.9937.6744.46     +30.81 %
Gasoline (1 litre)1.231.451.421.67     +15.51 %
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline23307275062118325000     -9.11 %
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort23327275302342527646     +0.42 %

Utilities (Monthly)

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment185.62219.06142.58168.27     -23.19 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)     -10.97 %
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)31.8637.6041.0148.40     +28.72 %

Sports And Leisure

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult46.3454.6935.7742.21     -22.82 %
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)9.0910.7327.2032.11     +199.24 %
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat14.9717.6710.1712.00     -32.10 %


Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child1400165215621844     +11.62 %
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child1521215461195714112     -34.50 %

Clothing And Shoes

1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)55.6965.7279.6093.94     +42.94 %
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M)27.8132.8334.2840.46     +23.25 %
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)72.0785.0580.1994.63     +11.27 %
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes85.38100.77106.12125.24     +24.28 %

Renting Or Buying A Home In The Netherlands

British expats can buy or rent a home in The Netherlands without any restrictions, even if they stay resident in the UK.

Buying a home comes with tax breaks. Main home mortgage costs are tax-deductible over a maximum 30-year term, providing you live in the property. If you rent the home to tenants, make sure the taxed income covers the mortgage and other outgoings.

Renting a home should save you 20 per cent or more on London prices.

Average house prices are higher than those in the UK. Expect to pay around £335,000 compared to £255,000 in the UK.

If you are looking for a home, you can see what’s on offer from various websites listing properties to rent and buy in The Netherlands. You should also read our insight to know more about the best places to live in The Netherlands.

Expats without settlement rights in The Netherlands after Brexit need a residence permit. A standard visa allows expats to stay 90 days in any rolling 180 day period but not live or work in the country.

Rent Per Month

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre1650194713261565     -19.61 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre1269149710811276     -14.75 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre3183375622572664     -29.08 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre2097247516821985     -19.79 %

Buying an apartment

Price per Square metre to Buy Apartment in City Centre114571352164597623     -43.62 %
Price per Square metre to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre5592660043845173     -21.62 %

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate2.54%1.17%-54.34%

Make sure you read the guide on moving abroad before you decide.

The Netherlands Cost Of Living FAQ

What’s the currency and exchange rate in The Netherlands?

The currency in The Netherlands is the euro. The current exchange rate with the Pound is 1.1788.

How much can expats earn working in The Netherlands?

Pay rates in The Netherlands won’t knock you out – they come midway in salary monitor Teleport’s listings for 256 cities worldwide.

IT skills are in demand and attract an average salary of £40,000 plus a year. Other jobs on the same salary rankings go to engineers, human resource professionals and mid-ranking managers.

Can I retire to The Netherlands?

British expats can retire to The Netherlands. To stay, they need a residence permit and a citizen service number (BSN) and a listing on a personal records database (BRP).

Make both registrations with the local authority where you live.

Every resident has a BSN. Expats must apply for one within five days of entering the country.

Expats need a BSN to work, open a bank account, set up medical insurance, and make an appointment with a doctor.

Can I collect my UK state pension in The Netherlands?

Yes. The UK government pays the state pension to expats in The Netherlands, and the payment rises in line with any increases in the UK.

Do expats pay for healthcare in The Netherlands?

Expats must arrange health insurance within four months of arriving in The Netherlands.

Make sure you get the correct expat health insurance and cover while travelling or living in The Netherlands.

Below is a list of some related articles, guides and insights that you may find of interest.

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