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The Netherlands is eighth happiest country in the world.

For the third year in a row, Australia has taken the top prize for being the happiest place to live in the advanced world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD)Better Life Index.


The annual index ranks the world’s 34 industrialized economies based on key criteria such as jobs, health, environment, education and income and Australia was the only Asia-Pacific country to find a place in the top 10. The Netherlands performs very well in overall well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the Netherlands, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 25 493 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn nearly five times as much as the bottom 20%.

In general, 86% of people in the Netherlands say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc), more than the OECD average of 80%.

The survey ranked more than 30 countries on criteria such as income levels, health, safety and housing.

For more info: Dutch Daily News


Summer in Amsterdam

Vondelpark in Amsterdam

Vondelpark PaviljoenVondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam, and certainly the most famous park in the Netherlands, which welcomes about 10 million visitors every year. The Vondelpark is centrally located south of Leidseplein and near Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum and Van Gogh Museum. The Vondelpark is loved by Amsterdammers as well as by tourists, and is full of people – enjoying a sunny day, dog-walking, jogging, roller-skating, listening to music, people-watching, or just lazing about in grass. Free concerts are given at the open-air theatre or in the summer at the park’s bandstand. Other attractions are the statue of the poet Vondel, the cast iron music dome, the Groot Melkhuis with playground for children, and the historical Pavilion with its restaurant Vertigo, opening in summer a popular terrace.

More pictures and info: Amsterdaminfo and Friendsof…

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175 year of Artis

Zoo in bloom

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In 2013 it will be 175 years since Artis first opened its gates. Artis’s founders first began the construction of a city park containing animals in 1838. If you take a stroll through the zoo today, you’ll be walking past the same trees, plants and shrubs as millions of other visitors before you over the past 175 years. The saplings planted back then have grown into the huge forest giants of today.

Artis has become the green heart of Amsterdam, an oasis of peace and nature in the middle of the city. We want to celebrate that. Throughout 2013, Artis will be the most colourful and fragrant flower garden in the Netherlands. And wherever there are flowers, there is always a feeling of celebration – they create a very special atmosphere. Come and admire our colourful parade of 176,875 flowersand 36,000 plants. Take a spring walk among tens of thousands of crocuses, winter aconites, grape hyacinths and large groups of traditional Dutch stinsenplanten. Enjoy the flower beds full of daffodils, fritillaries, crown imperials and tulips.

Artis lovely animals

And there are more than 80 species of tulips around our gardens, including the unique Artis tulip, which was bred specially for our anniversary year. In 2013, Artis is going to be the most colourful and exquisitely attractive place in the whole of Amsterdam. The flowers will be blooming until late into the autumn and it’s going to be a riot of colour more vibrant than all our parrots, toucans and cockatoos put together. This is Artis’s gift to all its visitors. At 175 years old, Artis is still a park in bloom.

1 April to 31 October: 9 a.m. until 6 p.m
ZOOmeravonden (‘Summer Nights at the Zoo’, every Saturday during June, July and August): 9 a.m. until sundown
Zoo Artis in Amsterdam is 175 year. 

Gateway to the Canals

Museum Het Grachtenhuis is

the gateway to the canals of Amsterdam.

One of the world’s greatest urban projects – the 17th century Amsterdam canal district – is presented in six rooms. Visit the multimedia, interactive exhibition and travel through 400 years of history in 40 minutes. Discover the unequalled power of the real canals in room 7.

Museum Het Grachtenhuis
Herengracht 386  |  1016 CJ  Amsterdam  |  + 31 – (0)20 42 11 656
Open: From Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 and 17:00
For more info: Het Grachtenhuis.


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Once we have received your property search request, we will first search in our own housing stock to see if we can make an appropriate match.But even if there are no objects available in our listings that meet your requirements, we still are able to offer a solution. Take on NK Housing Real Estate as your exclusive representative and benefit from our wide network of housing. We know all other real estate agents in town and around.

NK Housing Real Estate, as licensed broker, has access to all professional databases and is able to select properties that do meet your requirements easily and very efficient. Furthermore, by using our service this way, you will have a specialised real estate agent on your side who knows the market very well, knows how to negotiate and who will provide personal attention. You will be guided in finding the best house, signing the right lease agreement. You will receive assistance during the check in and afterwards. For instance with transferring the energy bills to your name.

After the letter of intent is signed by both the landlord and the tenant the rental agreement will be drawn up by one of our Real Estate brokers and a check in appointment will be made.

At the check in NK Housing Real Estate will take care of the inspection report. This inspection report ensures that there will be no misunderstandings during the check out between landlord and tenant about the delivery at the end of the agreement.

For more information see also our website.

Amsterdam Turns Green

Nice spring pictures of Amsterdam


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These are some photos I took – via Instagram – in the last couple of days just walking down the street (you may find them all on Instagram if you search for #amsterdamming).
It is simply impossible not to be charmed by the delicate arrival of Spring in the city!

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Cycle Parade for Bicycle Museum

Schermafbeelding 2013-05-23 om 08.48.45Last Sunday a large group of people cycling on a wide variety of very different bicycles made a tour through. The Cycle Parade through Amsterdam to celebrate the opening of the Bicycle Museum. The temporary museum is open until 29th of June and can be found in Oosterkerk

See also: Bicycle Dutch and Amsterdam Bicycle Museum.

Passageway Rijksmuseum: Officially open for cyclist

Amsterdam | After 10 years the cyclists passed through the Rijksmuseum passage way is again open.  This was yesterday celebrated by the Dutch Cyclist Union ( Specialy because it was a great succes after years of political battle.

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Source: ANP (

The passed through, which has allowed pedestrians and cyclists a shortcut across the city ever since the museum was built, was also closed during the renovation. The path is in a tunnel which runs through the museum and offering a unique and much-loved opportunity for Amsterdam’s cycle-loving citizens.

More information: Simpy Amsterdam news

Housing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is very densely populated. There are more than 16 million inhabitants and this figure is expected to grow to 17 – 18 million people by 2030.  In 2010, there were more than seven million homes in the Netherlands.

Types of housing

  • Detached (Vrijstaand)
  • Semi-detached (Twee onder een kap)
  • Terraced/Town houses (Rijtjeshuis)

The most common type of dwelling is the terraced house.  This is a family home, two or three storeys high, with a front and back garden, adjoined by two, three or more identical homes. A standard Dutch house has two rooms in addition to the kitchen, living room, toilet and bathroom.

Most Dutch people live in urban areas, yet the limitation of space is putting pressure on rural areas too.  Many city dwellers would love to live amidst the water and the greenery of the countryside.  Since space is scarce in the Netherlands, many people live in low- or high-rise flats.
Due to a lack of information on the local property market, regulations, laws and technicalities, it is advisable for newcomers to use the services of an estate agent (makelaar), rather than trying to find a property by themselves.  This applies to both renting and buying properties and saves unnecessary costs that might be incurred on top of an agent’s commission.

Cost of housing

The cost of housing depends on the area and the size of the property. Most expats rent properties but some buy their homes.  Both options are available depending on your company relocation policy, income and the length of your stay. During the first quarter of 2010 the average house sold in the Netherlands for € 232,000.  This is an increase of 0.4% in comparison to the last quarter of 2009.  In the “Randstad” area (the area including and in between The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam) housing is most expensive and Amsterdam is considered to be the most expensive city to live in.  Due to the constant shortage of new housing, the market remains tight. (**RED: the index of house price since 2010 is decreased with 13,2%)

Rent or buy?

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy a house in the Netherlands.  If you plan to stay in the Netherlands for a short period it may be more advisable to rent a property rather than buy one.  Here are two important reasons why it is better to rent:

  • The costs associated with buying amount to approximately 10% of the purchase price. You will have to make a 10% profit, if you do not want to lose money. Recovering that amount during a few years’ stay in the Netherlands can be difficult
  • You have to maintain your premises. Consider the costs incurred during the process of redecorating your new home.


The safest, most efficient way to find a rental property in the private market is to commission a real estate agent (makelaar) with experience in helping expats, to find one for you.


Information from: Access, serving the international community
and: Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek  (see **)

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