Living and working conditions

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Living conditions

Cost of living


The Netherlands is a relatively expensive country compared to other EU countries.

The cost of living varies according to the area, and there is a clear difference between living in a town or city and living in the country. The cities are the most expensive, above all Amsterdam.

It is cheaper to live in the north and east of the country than in the centre and west of the country (the Randstad conurbation comprising the four largest Dutch cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht).

Although it is difficult to give a precise picture of the cost of living, below is an overall picture of the price/daily cost of a selection of products:


EUR 1.20

Cup of coffee:

EUR 2.20 

Glass of beer:

EUR 2.50 

Chips with croquette (typical Dutch snack):

EUR 4.00 

Cinema ticket:

EUR 10.00

Short bus ride:

EUR 2.00 

Litre of petrol (euro 95 or E10):

EUR 1.65

Car hire (medium-sized):

EUR 80.00 

Two-course menu in a restaurant:

EUR 27.50 

The price of food varies from shop to shop, so it is advisable to compare prices. The same applies to fuel for your vehicle. Prices generally also depend on where you live in the Netherlands.

There are many different types of supermarket in the Netherlands. Nowadays not every village has a shop. Most towns and villages have a weekly market where it is possible to buy food, clothing, flowers, tools/utensils, etc. Market prices are lower than those in shops.

The Netherlands also has various second-hand shops, e.g. the ‘kringloopwinkel’, a shop specialising in recycled goods. In these shops you can buy used clothing, household items and furniture, among other things.

Many Dutch people are currently finding it difficult to make ends meet, and there are various bodies offering advice and information on how to deal with debt and money in general.


Text last edited on: 07/2020

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