The idea of moving to a new country is an exciting one. Before you start making a list of plans, it is best to look at your budget and research the type of expanses that you can expect. For student accommodation in The Hague, you can expect a rental price to start off at €400. Keep in mind, that you can split your living cost by sharing an apartment with friends or classmates.
What’s next? A crucial part of the preparation is to consider your daily expenses. Including food, public transport, books, clothes, cinema tickets, housing and insurance. Cost of living per student can range between €700 and €1,000/month when studying in the Netherlands.
Many bars, restaurants, museums, cinemas and shops offer student discounts. Usually they will ask for proof in the form of a student card from your institution. It is always a good idea to check in advance if a student discount is available where you are going. It may be beneficial to acquire an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), since it provides a range of interesting discounts and offers. More information about this is available at the ISIC website.
Groceries in The Hague:
Finding supermarkets is not difficult in the Hague, as shown in the map, in close proximity of the main campus one can find various supermarkets.
Besides the large supermarkets, such as, Albert Heijn and Jumbo (and both of these have stores located a 5 minute walk from the main campus), there are also smaller privately owned supermarkets where certain products may be cheaper.
Dirk is on the cheaper end of the scale. It is definitely not as widespread as Albert Heijn or Jumbo, but with 120 locations in the country you can probably find one relatively close to your location in The Hague and surroundings.
Jumbo is the main competitor to Albert Heijn in the Netherlands when it comes to supermarkets, and to gain a competitive edge, it sells the regular products you can find in AH but slightly cheaper. It also has its own branded products, and similarly to Dirk, you can find a wide range of products for your daily needs. Some of their stores are smaller, so we recommend going to the bigger ones if you plan on doing your groceries exclusively from there.
- Aldi: the cheap and cheerful supermarket in the Netherlands
Aldi is a classic when it comes to cheap supermarkets. It is not the most visually appealing supermarket, as you can find most things in cardboard boxes instead of shelves. It’s great for getting more basic stuff, like bread, pasta, cheese and general household items. They also have weekly promotions, so you can get cheap products even cheaper. While it might not be fancy, it will get the job done.
- Lidl: another cheap supermarket in the Netherlands
Lidl is essentially the twin of Aldi. It has a very similar format, a similar price range, and the same no-nonsense approach to shopping. It is slightly more expensive than Aldi, but the upside is that you can find a bigger range of products. Unfortunately, they are usually not located close to city centers, so you will probably need to go in the suburbs or the outskirts to find one. Still, it’s worth the journey if you are planning on budgeting or are throwing a dinner party for your friends.
- The Other BIG option:
Another great option to find cheap but fresh groceries is at the Hague Market. Farmers sell their freshest crops and vegetables, fish, meat, and many more products. For students this is a major way to reduce grocery costs for the month.
We hope this short overview of options to do your groceries is helpful. Next week we will discuss entertainment in The Hague.