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Cost of Living in Netherlands

Updated on 17 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Are you thinking of going abroad for higher studies? The Netherlands can prove to be a good choice for you. People in the Netherlands have a very high standard of living, although there are more reasons for a student to go there for educational purposes. It is one of the best places in terms of quality of life and educational standards. Read the complete article thoroughly for to gain valuable insights into the cost of living in the Netherlands and other detailed information.

Important Link : Cost of Studying Abroad


Top Universities in the Netherlands

Technical, scientific, engineering and research-oriented courses are well-known in the Netherlands. Graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral degree programs are the options available to Indian students. According to the current QS Rankings 2023, five institutions in the Netherlands are among the world’s top-ranked universities:

Name of the UniversityQS WUR Rankings 2023
University of Amsterdam58
Delft University of Technology61
Utrecht University 112
Wageningen University & Research124
Leiden University131
Eindhoven University of Technology138

There are multiple universities in the Netherlands that provide world-class facilities, a vibrant & diverse student culture, and internationally qualified teachers. Due to its ever-improving structure and value for talent, the Netherlands is chosen by students all over the globe for its impressive and adaptive culture.

Country-Wise Cost of Living Guides

Cost of Studying in Netherlands

1. Public university tuition fees

Delft, Utrecht, Leiden, and Amsterdam universities are among the sixteen public universities that offer good scholarships to international students. All the Dutch public Universities in the ranking provide more than forty undergraduate and postgraduate English degrees, with some, like the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University, offering well over 100.

Whether you are from a European Union country or from some other nation, your tuition expenses will differ. Indian students can expect to pay annual tuition fees ranging from Rs 650,000 to Rs 1,50,00,000.

2. Private University tuition fees

In Holland, there are over sixty private universities that offer a variety of graduate and undergraduate degree programs to Indian students. Private schools, of course, charge higher tuition than public schools. Private university tuition fees range from 1500 to 2000 euros per year (ranging from INR 1,27,000 to 1,70,000). Tuition expenses for business colleges range from 5000 to 7000 EUR (ranging from INR 4,20,000 to 5,90,000) per year. 

3. Scholarships

Some of the leading universities in the Netherlands offer scholarships in addition to great infrastructure and world-class teaching faculty. Scholarships are available for students from a variety of backgrounds, taking into consideration their country of origin, financial situation, and academic qualifications. Students from India who want to study in an EU country, such as the Netherlands, can apply for Erasmus Mundus scholarships.

Cost of accommodation/housing in the Netherlands

If you have a part-time job or a scholarship to augment your student income, you will notice that one-third of it will go towards housing rent. Here are some samples of lodging costs based on house type:

Housing in NetherlandsMonthly Expenses

€419 (Single)


€572 in Total (On Sharing Basis)

Student Housing Accommodation€340
Private Owned Apartment€700-€1000

The living cost in the Netherlands for accommodation becomes affordable when sharing with the other students or living in a student housing apartment.

Student accommodation is home to 30% of all students and most international students. It’s crucial to remember that your rent includes certain additional expenses. For example, you may be required to pay a security deposit, which you will receive back at the conclusion of the leasing period. Typical utility and service expenditures of a three-room apartment are €165 per month.

It might be challenging to find good, inexpensive student housing when studying in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is extremely crowded, particularly in major cities such as Amsterdam, Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht, and well-known student cities such as Leiden and Groningen are experiencing shortages. It is not uncommon for Dutch students to have difficulty locating housing close to their university.

The cost of living is measured by the amount of money the students require to support themselves and their costs while studying.

Every country has its own estimate of how much they spend on living expenditures. The cost of living in the Netherlands is believed to be around 800-1000 Euros per month, including food, rent, transportation, books, and other expenses.

Cost of food and drinks in the Netherlands

Food costs roughly €170 per month for a typical student living alone. Your lifestyle determines how much you spend and varies accordingly from person to person. The costs vary by the city since some cities can be more expensive to live in than others due to their standard of living and other facilities. Shopping and food will be substantially more costly in larger cities such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam than the smaller ones such as Eindhoven or Groningen.

Cost of transportation in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has some of the best public transit in the world. Although you will primarily use public transportation throughout your stay, it is useful to be aware of the expenses of all types of transportation:

  1. Bicyclists are so common in the Netherlands that practically every city has designated bike lanes. Because buying a new bike is expensive (about EUR 250-500), most students purchase used bikes for EUR 50-150. They can also be rented for EUR 10 to 40per day.
  2.  NS operates trains in the Netherlands, and there are two types of trains: Sprinter and Intercity, which are slow and rapid trains, respectively. Ticket rates vary depending on the destination, but a single ticket should cost at least EUR 4-5 . A 40 percent discount card for rail tickets can be purchased for travel outside of rush hour.
  3.  Buses are also a convenient mode of transportation, with a single ticket costing EUR 2.
  4. Trams, like buses, can be used to navigate around the city for EUR 3-13 per ticket.
  5. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, metro lines are accessible, with fares ranging from EUR 1-3 for a typical trip.
  6. You can always ask for an estimate of the journey’s cost when hailing a cab. Typically, the starting rate is EUR 7.5.
  7.  Ferries provide a unique experience, and if you travel by bicycle, you may use them to minimize the cost of living in the Netherlands, as there are free ferry rides for cyclists from port to port. Some ferries require EUR 1-2 tickets.

The Dutch do not usually have a habit of paying for travel expenses with cash. Getting an OV Chipcard is one of the greatest ways to keep track of your transportation costs in the Netherlands. The anonymous OV Chipcard and the personal OV Chipcard are the two varieties. Both are 7.50 euros and have a five-year validity period. However, if you plan on staying in the Netherlands for an extended period, getting a personal card is recommended because it allows you to add passes and receive age discounts, lowering your total cost of living in the Netherlands. These cards can be topped up at a ticket machine or online. To travel by rail, you must have a minimum of EUR 20.

Cost of healthcare in the Netherlands

Whether or not you will need to get Dutch health insurance while studying in the Netherlands is dependent on several things.

How long are you planning on staying in the Netherlands? Will you be studying only, or will you be working as well? Do you have health insurance in your place of origin?

Health insurance in the Netherlands for overseas students

So, when is health insurance in the Netherlands required, and when is it not? As previously noted, it is entirely dependent on your circumstances:

International students who are only staying for a short time

When the Dutch government considers you a resident in the Netherlands, you must get health insurance. As a result, international students are often not required to get Dutch health insurance because their stay in the Netherlands is just brief.


You cannot take out Dutch public health insurance if you are from a non-EU / EEA country and are not working (part-time) or completing an internship during your education. Purchasing private health insurance is your best alternative.

Providers of foreign student health insurance in the Netherlands

If you’re considering getting student health insurance, you’ll be pleased to learn that some insurance firms provide unique packages for overseas students.

Allowance for medical expenses

International students who are required to purchase health insurance in the Netherlands can often apply for a healthcare allowance to assist fund their monthly premiums.

Cost of Living In the Netherlands: City-wise Comparison

It is imperative for the students to span the cities for the associated living costs before considering the Netherlands as a study option. The location, the nearby universities, and the facilities all add to the living costs. Mentioned below are the cities and the living costs so that you can draw a comparison and arrive at a decision for your stay in the Netherlands.

CityAverage Cost of living
Tilburg€ 710-1210
Rotterdam€ 750-1200
Delft€ 775-1210
Utrecht€ 800-1100
The Hague€ 800-1200
Amsterdam€ 800-1450

Tips to save costs in the Netherlands

The costliest student housing in the country is in Amsterdam, the country’s capital. If you’re looking for a cheaper place to live, Groningen is the most affordable student city in the Netherlands, and the countryside is also generally inexpensive. There is still a scarcity of housing in both cities and rural areas.

In the Netherlands, a single student should make a budget as it would be helpful for the following living expenses:

Items Cost
Food and Groceries€150-170
Mobile Phone, Internet and Television€20-50

Your student ID card will save you money in pubs, restaurants, cinemas, museums, and festivals, among other places. Your University ID card, an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), or a Dutch CJP discount card are all acceptable forms of identification. Aside from savings, finding a part-time job or an internship will assist you in managing the cost of living in the Netherlands. 

To summarize, here is the list detailing the cost of living in the Netherlands for an international student or Expat.

ItemsCost  (Monthly)
Transportation€40 – 80 
Internet € 30 – 50
Miscellaneous€150 – 200 
Total Expenses€770-1500

Suppose you are planning on studying in the Netherlands. In that case, you must have substantial knowledge about the costs of studying, living, food, transportation, and other expenses that you are likely to incur in the Netherlands.

The student discount can help you save money; you should also be prepared to pay for any medical bills you may incur. This is critical because medical expenses in the Netherlands are significantly higher than the global average. Non-EU students are not eligible for the Dutch government’s health plan and must have medical insurance from their home country.

Work opportunities in the Netherlands For Students

If you begin working in the Netherlands during your studies, whether it is a part-time job, a paid internship, or volunteer work for which you are compensated, you will almost certainly be covered by the Wlz scheme (the Long-Term Care Act), which means you will be required to purchase Dutch health insurance. Please keep in mind that a zero-hour contract counts as a job.

SVB evaluation

If you are unsure whether the Wlz program covers you, you can seek a free assessment on the Sociale Verzekeringsbank’s website.

Will your home country’s health insurance cover you throughout your stay?

This is dependent on whether you are a member of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland:

Switzerland, the European Union, and the European Economic Area

You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card if you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland and plan to study in the Netherlands (EHIC). This card is free of charge, and it entitles you to free or subsidized medical care throughout Europe.


Studying in the Netherlands can be a rewarding experience in terms of opportunities, innovative teaching methods, and exposure to a multicultural environment. One can easily manage the living costs if one plans ahead of their career journey and take into consideration all the factors that add to the cost of living in the Netherlands.

In conclusion, navigating the cost of living in the Netherlands requires a balanced approach, as it combines relatively high living expenses with a quality of life that is among the best in the world. While cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht are known for their higher cost indices, the nation offers a comprehensive social security system, excellent public services, and a vibrant cultural life that together justify the expenditure. For expatriates and students alike, understanding and adapting to the cost structure in the Netherlands is key to making the most of what this unique country has to offer. With careful budgeting and a willingness to explore local habits and markets, one can enjoy the rich experiences of Dutch life without overspending, making it a rewarding destination for those seeking a blend of historical richness, modern innovation, and natural beauty.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to live in the Netherlands?

The cost of living in the Netherlands will depend on where you decide to reside. If you decide to stay in the Capital city, that is, Amsterdam, then it would cost you more as compared to other cities, which are comparatively less costly.

What is the average cost of living in the Netherlands?

For an Indian student, the average cost of living in the Netherlands can lie between € 497.12 to €745.68 per month.

How much do you need to live in the Netherlands?

For a student to live in the Netherlands without a steady income, you would require a lot more money than a student who has a part-time or a full-time job, allowing them to cover their expenses like rent, food, and transportation. You would require around 869.97 Rs 70,000 for a month or two.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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