Last updated on April 3rd, 2023 at 09:25 am
If you are moving to the Netherlands, are new to the country, or even just on holidays, there are certain things that you should know that will save you a whole load of money. Have a read of this post to make yourself aware of 7 costly things not to do in the Netherlands. Learn from my mistakes and experience, and save yourself the hassle!
- Don’t get an individual train ticket
- Don’t leave your bicycle unlocked
- Don’t get a taxi
- Don’t park your car in Amsterdam
- Don’t speed
- Don’t do your grocery shopping in Albert Heijn
- Don’t forget to pay your local tax on time
Maybe you want to explore more of the Netherlands, check out ‘5 Must Visit Places In The Netherlands’.
Paying a visit to Amsterdam, check out my post on what to do in Amsterdam in April.
1. Don’t Get An Individual Train Ticket
If you are doing a longer train journey from one city to another and there is a group of you travelling, then listen up.. buy a group ticket.
There needs to be between 2 and 7 people travelling together at an off-peak time to qualify for a group ticket (peak times are around work commuting times, you can read the details here). If you comply, be sure to purchase these group tickets instead of separate tickets. You will save yourself so much money by doing this.
For example, a one way ticket from Eindhoven to Amsterdam is €21.50, but if there is 7 people going and you get the group ticket it will cost €6.30 each. That is a saving of €15.20 per person. You can buy group tickets here.
2. Don’t Leave Your Bicycle Unlocked
The cheapest way to travel in the Netherlands is by bike. You have a few options when it comes to getting a bike:
- You can chose to buy a second hand bike, which you will be able to get fairly cheap, around the €50 mark.
- You can buy a new bike – the cheaper options in Decathlon is roughly €270.
- You can rent one from Swapfiets for €19 per month
I first got a second hand bike for around €45, it lasted about 2 weeks before it broke. I then decided to buy one from Decathlon for about €270 and it is perfect after 2 years.
Whichever option you chose to get your bike, be sure to lock it wherever you leave it because there are bicycle thieves all over. So number 2 of 7 things not to do in the Netherlands is don’t leave your bicycle unlocked. Get yourself a decent bike lock so you can tie it to a bike rack, tree, pole, wherever it is secure.
3. Don’t Get A Taxi
If you can’t cycle or can’t get public transport, then definitely don’t get a taxi.
Uber, on the other hand, is a much cheaper option. Someone was charged €150 for a taxi to get from Schiphol to Amsterdam Centraal, a 25 minute drive – madness! An Uber is around €45, and a train is roughly €5.
Make sure you have Uber downloaded and ready to use, if you ever need it, to save yourself some cash.
4. Don’t Park Your Car In Amsterdam
If you can avoid getting a car in the Netherlands that is the cheapest option. If you can’t cycle or get public transport to work or college easily, and need to get a car, there are certain things to be aware of. For example fuel prices are very high. Currently, petrol is just under €2 per litre.
One thing to consider is parking. If you can avoid taking your car to Amsterdam or any big cities, do, and take public transport instead. The prices are crazy for parking near the centre. We once parked in Amsterdam for 24 hours and had to pay €64 for parking! I’m still not recovered from the shock. Most of the other big cities have crazy parking prices in the centre too.
If you find yourself with your car in these cities and wondering where to park, download the Seety app. It will show you the map of the area and where you can find free parking as well as the different price zones.
Also do your research online of the different car parks and the prices they charge, because you could very easily end up in a very expensive car park. Staying for longer than a few hours? It may even be a good idea to park on the outskirts of the city and get public transport in.
5. Don’t Speed
Secondly, you need to be aware of speeding fines. There are multiple speed cameras and controls all throughout the Netherlands. When you first start driving, you will not notice them.
There are red light cameras at traffic lights, there are many hidden photo cameras along most roads and there is also an average speed limit checker on some motorways – this can be noticed by a sign with ‘Trajectcontrole‘ written on it.
As the speed limit in the motorways are only 100km/h during the day, it is easy to go over it. Only between 19:00 – 06:00, the limit increases to 120km/h.
Speeding fines can range from €30 to €350 for one offence depending on where it happened and how much you were over the limit. So, mind your speed on the roads.
6. Don’t Do Your Grocery Shopping In Albert Heijn
Albert Heijn is one of the more expensive supermarkets in the Netherlands, so it is not a good idea to do your full weeks grocery shopping there. Opt for an Aldi or Lidl to get whatever you can & save yourself some €€€. Then if there is anything you can’t get, try Jumbo. Jumbo is slightly cheaper than Albert Heijn.
Another great option to get some bargains is to visit the local farmers markets. Here you can stock up on fruit, veg and baked goods for very reasonable prices.
If you find yourself in Albert Heijn getting some things you like, that the others don’t have, make sure you get a free bonus card straight away to make use of any discounts available, and scan at the till. This tactic will save you a lot of money on your groceries every week.
7. Don’t Forget To Pay Your Local Tax on Time
The last thing not to do in the Netherlands is to forget to pay your tax. If you live in the Netherlands and are registered, you will need to pay local taxes which may vary depending on what city you live. It is used for maintaining the streets, canals and city gardens, improving and running sports and recreational activities etc. But if you do not pay this on time, you can get hit with big interest fees. So as soon as you get the letter, be sure to pay.
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