Getting a phone

Getting a phone

If you’re going to be staying in the Netherlands for longer than a couple of months, it’s worth looking into arranging a local mobile phone. Depending on your length of stay and phone usage, there are two options to consider: a contract (abonnement) or a prepaid SIM card. A contract is the best route if you’re planning on being in the Netherlands for the long term and use your cell phone a lot. A prepaid SIM card is great if you’re not planning on using your phone often and/or if you only want a temporary phone number in the Netherlands for a low price.

Getting a Dutch Mobile Phone Contract

In order to get a phone contract in the Netherlands, you will need to provide:

  • A valid proof of identity 
  • An official bank statement
  • A bank account

If you don’t have a Dutch passport, you’ll need to provide an IND sticker or a residence permit card. If you do not have proof of residency, SIM-only plans or prepaid SIM cards will be your only option. Plans can be purchased in person at any mobile phone provider or online. 

Mobile Operators in the Netherlands

There are several mobile phone providers in the Netherlands. The main providers include: 

Lebara offers contracts, SIM-only and prepaid deals aimed towards internationals. Expat Mobile is another option if you want a phone plan but don’t have a BSN or a Dutch bank account. 

Package Comparison

With all the mobile phone providers available in the Netherlands, competition for the best rates makes it an excellent market for mobile phone customers. There are a few resources available to help you compare prices and get the best deal, including:

Calling Abroad

If you have a good data or internet plan, staying in touch with friends and family is cheap and easy with online platforms such as WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype, and Facebook.

Another option is to use an International Calling Service. Televergelijk is a great resource that allows you to select the country you’re calling and whether you want to reach a mobile phone or a landline. You’ll then receive a list of 0900 numbers that you can call that will connect you to an international number for a fee.   

As well as setting yourself up with a mobile phone, there are several things to take care of, once you’ve arrived in the Netherlands. From sorting out car documents to registering with the municipality, we have the resources you need to learn all the formalities of moving to the Netherlands.