How can I build a social life in the Netherlands?

Meeting new people in a new city is not an easy task. Fortunately there are easy ways to build social life and make friends.

Invite your colleagues or partner’s colleagues
You may have moved to a new city or country for your job or have followed your partner’s career opportunities. Why not inviting some colleagues for coffee, lunch or dinner? They may share interesting tips about your new home country and the Dutch life, and maybe a common interest on a sport or artistic activity. As well, if your employer or partner’s employer organise events, do not hesitate to participate to network.

Join a sport team, a course or a club
Are there any hobbies such as drama play, dance or photography you would like to do? Find out about sport, artistic clubs, even ones in English in your city by contacting your municipality, i.e., or expat helpdesks, talking to other expatriates at work, school or in the neighbourhood, or searching on expat websites and forums such as

Join events organised by expat associations
If you have kids going to school chat to other parents. You might discover associations led by people of the same nationality or first language. For instance, if you have kids at the American School of The Hague, you may probably hear about the American Women’s Club of The Hague. And if you have babies you can join baby groups, which organise coffee & toddler mornings, etc.

There are numerous international communities/associations in the Netherlands. You may find one that interests you. These associations organise social networking events, i.e. going out for a drink or a meal, group discussions and events such as fairs.

Join a Dutch or English course
Improving your English could be a way into expat communities. While learning the Dutch language gives you a better understanding of Dutch habits and the ability to socialise with your neighbours, it is also crucial if you are looking for employment. It also gives you a chance to meet new people, probably in the same situation as yourself.

To go further check out here some examples of sourcing clubs and activities for expats available in the Netherlands.