IT Contracting in The Netherlands: Living & Working

Profile written by Matt Walters of Capital Consulting
(updated January 2016)


While the official languages of the Netherlands are Dutch and the lesser-known Frisian, English is very widely spoken.

For the English-speaking contractor, the employment opportunities in the Netherlands are many and varied, and the language barrier is of little importance. For example, all cinemas show films in English with Dutch subtitles rather than dubbed.

For purposes of local administration, it can be helpful to have a grasp of Dutch, and a foreigner making an effort is always welcome!


There is a strong rental culture in the Netherlands making it relatively easy to find a property for the duration of your contract.

Prices for accommodation will of course vary depending on size and location, but a guideline figure of EUR 1200-1500 may be quoted for a small apartment in central Amsterdam


i. Air

The key airports of Amsterdam Schiphol and

Eindhoven provide speedy links to all key UK airports by KLM, BA and easyJet among many others.

Schiphol is also one of Europe’s key intercontinental flight hubs, meaning that
long-haul flights area frequent and varied.

ii. Rail

The rail journey from London (St. Pancras) to Amsterdam via Brussels takes about 5 hours, with regular departures.

There are regular trains from Amsterdam to all major European destinations, including sleeper cars for longer journeys.

iii. Road

The drive from London to Amsterdam is about 335 miles and, using the Eurotunnel, takes about 6 hours. It is easy to visit neighbouring Germany and Belgium by car, but it is just as interesting to explore Holland itself.

iv. Ferry

Ferries depart regularly from Newcastle, Harwich and Hull, arriving in Amsterdam or Hook of Holland.

The Netherlands is currently one of the most popular and advantageous countries for European contractors in both the IT and other sectors. With generous allowances for skilled workers, it is a financially viable destination, while its proximity to the UK makes it easy to return home.

Public holidays in the Netherlands include New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, Queen’s Day (April 30), Remembrance of the Dead (May 4), Liberation Day (May 5), Ascension, Pentecost, St Nicholas’s Eve (December 5), Christmas Day (December 25 and 26).

Official Languages: Dutch (official), Frisian (official). English widely spoken
Capital: Amsterdam (seat of government in the Hague)
Timezone: GMT +1 (+2 in summer)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Emergency Numbers: 112 (all)
Key Airports: Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS); Eindhoven (EIN)
Population: 16,947,904 (July '15 estimate)
Elecricity: 220V / 50Hz
Tax Year: 1st January – 31st December
National holiday: 30th April (Queen's day)
International dialing prefix: +31
Internet domain suffix: .nl
Cost of living: Amsterdam is ranked 69th in the Mercer worldwide cost of living survey. London is ranked 12th (2015).
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