A visit to Amsterdam is generally associated with a visit to a coffeeshop. Not always, but generally. Here is some information about coffeeshops, the culture, the law and the changing situation. The Netherlands used to be one of the only places in the world you could walk around smoking a joint and not worry about being arrested. It seems this tolerant situation is finally spreading to the rest of the world. The war on drugs has become ‘the sensible war on not all drugs’.
Pets are so cute and friendly. There is a recognised benefit to owning a pet – it simply makes you a happier person. Children love to look after and play with animals. The Dutch love their pets too ! On a daily basis, we see dogs happily being moved around the city in baskets of their owner’s bike. Expats bringing their pets here or thinking of acquiring a pet need to be aware of how things work in The Netherlands. It is not complicated but needs a minimum of preparation.
There is no need to blindly walk life’s path alone with no support. Amsterdam has a range of support groups just waiting to help. Below you will find a wide selection of them. If you need them, just call. All sites are in English unless otherwise stated.
Dutch food. It won’t kill you and it might make you stronger. Here is the overview.
Here we cover an important part of Dutch life – the food they eat and the food you should try. We are big fans of Dutch cuisine. Sure it’s not French or Italian, but it has its merits.
A typical Dutch breakfast is hearty and wholesome. It would consist of several different types of bread, Dutch cheese, butter, jam / honey, perhaps eggs, sausages or sliced meats. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and fruit juice are generally on offer too. A good buffet like that provides the energy needed to get the kids to school and have a productive morning. Nowhere near as fatty as a traditional English breakfast.
Essential Information LGBT+ men and women living in Amsterdam
LGBT+ in Amsterdam – As the numerous Pride events every year show, The Netherlands is one of the most liberal and tolerant countries in the world in terms of acceptance of gays, lesbians and the wider LGBT+ community. Those celebrations are attended by hundreds of thousands of people. It also includes a huge number of companies and many government departments. This is important as the protection of gays and lesbians from discrimination is enshrined in law since 1993. LGBT+ people cannot be discriminated against in the areas of employment, public services and housing. Then in 1998, same sex partnerships were recognized and protected by the law. Then in 2001, came another first as The Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow same-sex marriage.
Dental care in Amsterdam – Here you can find out more about the how to get it and what happens when you need specialist work done on your teeth.
Since 2006 there is no distinction between private and public healthcare in the Netherlands. All practitioners are part of the public system, including dentists.
Dentists working in general practice provide almost all dentistry in the Netherlands. A large proportion of the Dutch people have registered with dentists as should you.
The Dutch love their healthcare system. It is quick and efficient and has a great reputation.
It is a well oiled and modern system where all the parts seem to work together with ease. The non-Dutch find it hard work sometimes to get more than aspirin from their doctor, which sometimes shows people used to healthcare systems in France and Italy for instance.
Getting around the city…and farther afield…
Transort in Amsterdam. Of course, the iconic bicycle is the form of transport most associated with the Netherlands and in Amsterdam you can clearly see that it is the default mode of transport. Here we will look at all the other methods for getting around the city and the country.
Try to talk to parents if you get the chance. They will willingly let you know what they think about the schools where their kids are being educated. Be aware that opinions will differ wildly too…so ask quite a few parents. There is one unifying opinion though….the Dutch school system is very highly considered and above all, it’s (almost) free. With Amsterdam’s growing population, new schools are opening all the time and existing schools have been expanding to accommodate the growing demand.
Mortgage advice for expats – Get your ducks in order. It’s a process.
Mortgage advice for expats – The good news is that financial institutions are much more open to lending to expats than they used to be. Yes there will be costs involved, but getting a mortgage and being a homeowner makes so much sense on every level. Renting is dead money and you do not own the asset. Arranging the mortgage and buying a home is the way to go, even in what seems an expensive housing market. Interest rates are still at historical lows too.
Getting a mortgage is a process. If you respect the process and are reasonably well organised you will reach your goal. Like any Dutch person, you can do the process on your own, however a lot of the process is in Dutch, so it will be smoother if you use a mortgage adviser. Expat Mortgages has refined the process into 7 easy steps.
Expats and internationals that come to live in the Amsterdam area will obviously need somewhere to live. Here we aim to give you all the essential information you need to make the right decision for you housing in Amsterdam. It is an important choice and you need to be better informed. There is huge pressure on housing supply due to high demand. We hope that this information about housing in Amsterdam will help you to make better choices. (more…)
If you’re tired of flushing your money down the toilet every month (renting an apartment) then being the shrewd individual that you are, you’re probably thinking about buying a property. If that’s the case, then this article is definitely for you. Learn about what’s involved in buying a property in the Netherlands from a real estate agent that has been helping expats buy homes in the Netherlands for over 16 years. (more…)
There are so many great things to do and see in Amsterdam. Sure, there are the tacky ones. all your friends might imagine you are going to coffee shops and wandering around the red light, but that is just a facile misconception, right ? Work will take up a large part of your week, but in the evenings and at the weekends you will have a huge choice of things to do to occupy your time. (more…)