7 surprising facts when you move to one of the best developed countries in Europe!

The Netherlands

is one of seven European counties with constitutional monarchy. Independent Caribbean Island territories — The Netherlands Antilles and Aruba are also part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The capital city is Amsterdam, however tourists can find the seat of the Dutch Parliament, the government and the monarch in The Hague.

Apart of this basic information, Dutch people are also very tall and handsome. But you won’t find this out unless you come for a visit!

Or just move here →

→ to the heart

Here is a list of facts that surprised me when I moved to the Netherlands for the first time.

1. The Netherlands was the first country who legalized gay marriage!

16 years ago, the Netherlands was the first country to allowed same sex marriage. This means that since 2001, it is legal for people of the same sex, the LGBTQ community, to share the same rights without being ashamed.

While some countries discuss the possibility for same-sex couples to get married, the Netherlands can already reflect on the passed sixteen years. Dutch society is accepting same sex marriage on a high level. However, due to the religious differences in other parts of the country, former residence (gays and lesbians) do not recommend to look for a flat there. But surveys still show — legalizing same- sex marriages was a good move!

2. The Dutch government is planning to ban the sales of cars driven by petrol and diesel by 2025!

“We want to save the Earth” stated one of the Dutch Labour Party members, by pulling down the carbon emissions and changing the usage of fossil fuels. In theory, the Netherlands should only be selling the electric cars within 8 years. The ‘energy agreement’ which is promoting the green energy for sustainable living was signed by the Dutch government as well as another 40 environmental organizations and trade business.

The sight for electric charging stations

3. The Netherlands is considered to be the safest country for cycling!

There are more bicycles than people. Some families have twice as many bicycles as family members. Cycling paths are integrated into Dutch daily life. Because primary school children (by the age of six) are already cycling to school. People who haven’t visited Netherlands cannot even imagine the amount of parking places for bicycles. There are a lots of bicycle garages and places to park your bicycle. Nevertheless, the government decided to hire workers who will confiscate bicycle parked on unmarked place, the bicycle will be taken and refunded for 25 euros.

The bicycle garage

4. Blu-ray, DVD and CD’s were invented in Netherlands!

Besides amazing inventions such as the telescope, the speed camera or the microscope, also DVDs, DCs and Blu-rays have been invented there. 70% of all Dutch innovations are IT related which also contributes to the fact, that technology is ahead of other European countries. Their drive for technological improvement is another promising fact for the future. Most of the innovative companies with rapid digital development are based in Amsterdam.

5. More than 80% of the population speaks English as a second language!

Around 90% of all Dutch people are bilingual. This county belongs to the top European countries because many children have international background which gives them the opportunity to learn languages at young age. The Dutch education program most of the time contains different language courses which are already offered in nursery schools.

6. 1/3 of the Netherlands lies below sea level which means that this country is almost completely flat!

More than 50% of the population lives at least 5 meters below sea level. There are only two airports in Europe below sea level, the Amsterdam Schiphol is around 4,5 meters below sea level and Rotterdam/ The Hague Airport which is even lower! Vaalserberg is located on the European part (of the Netherlands) with the highest point at 322 meters above sea level. Therefore, also the official name of the country is “Nederland” which could be translated as “low-lying ground.”

7. The Best HealthCare is in the Netherlands!

One of the great aspect when living in the Netherlands is in fact their brilliant healthcare system. It might be a surprise that their services have been rated as the best healthcare services from all the European Countries by the Health Consumer Index (which has indicators like the costs or patient’s rights). Their services overtook position of healthcare in Germany or Switzerland. However, it is also one of the most expensive health care system in Europe. Everyone who pays for the Dutch insurance has a right to visit their own general practitioner assigned according to their permanent residence. But if you need to visit a specialist, the first place to go is the general practitioner who can recommend where to go further on…

If you are an international who moved to the Netherlands and you are getting to know the beauty of the Dutch culture, please comment below what are some other facts that surprised you!

I am looking forward to hear about them ❤