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Central station of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Public transport and driving in the Netherlands

The Public Transport is called OV (Openbare Vervoer). Some of the best in the world. Train, tram, bus, railway and high speed trains enable you to travel basically anywhere in the country reliably. Check out www.9292ov.nl and www.ns.nl where you can plan your trip / check out bus and train routes etc. If you have a smartphone you can download the 9292ov app. You can buy a travelling card at the GVB offices, normally located at the larger stations, or you can buy a oneway/return ticket. The GVB cards normally work out a bit cheaper and you can load credit at the station of viayour  mobile banking application. Please note, you can not take a train with less than €20,00 available on your card.

Driving etiquette: Traffic rules state that vehicles have to drive in the right-most available lane. Unnecessarily staying in the left lane for too long may lead to a fine. It may also result in tailgating and/or overtaking on the right-hand side, both of which are forbidden and therefore finable as well.

Very importantly, cyclists and pedestrians are well protected, and tend to treat traffic rules as guidelines. For example, red traffic lights are frequently ignored by pedestrians and cyclists. Cycling is extremely common, and cyclists will overtake cars on the right hand side if they can (especially when cars are waiting for a traffic light, in which case it is legal to do so). In practice this means that at all times, a cyclist may be present or turn up on the right hand side of the car. 

English document explaining the Dutch traffic rules

You might hear people asking: “Bob jij of Bob ik?”  B.O.B stands for “Bewust Onbeschonken Bestuurder”.

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Helpful websites

Helpful websites and information for South Africans before relocating to the Netherlands.

Medical Care

Doctors / Dentists / Other Specialists – in order to visit a medical practitioner you will need to register with them first and once done, make an appointment, which will probably not be on the same day.

Grocery stores

There are quite a few chain super markets in the Netherlands and you will soon begin to figure out which one of your local stores will become the favourite!

Other stores

Before relocating to the Netherlands, you should take some stores into account.

Dutch courses

We would like for our newcomers to start with their language lessons as soon as possible, even before your official start date if possible.