Miniguide: Amsterdam for expats

Expats living in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands and one of the most open-minded cities in the world and maybe even the most famous city of the Netherlands. You find national heritage buildings, cultural attractions and of course, gorgeous canals. Furthermore, it is famous for its Red-Light District, good museums and trendy neighbourhoods. 

Table of Contents

Centrally located

Amsterdam is close to lots of other cities in the Netherlands. This means that you have the opportunity to take lots of day-trips. Book your train ticket and you are ready to go!

International

It is a super expat-friendly city. The spoken language here is Dutch. However, 99% of the people here will speak very good English, which makes it easy to communicate. However, if you really want to integrate and get to know locals, we would advise you to learn basic Dutch.

EU

The Netherlands is part of the EU. This means that it is easy to move for EU citizens. However, if you are not an EU citizen this can be rather difficult. 

You can visit for as long as your country’s visa allows you to. Keep in mind that you cannot work during your visit. If you decide to move to Amsterdam, you will need to get a sponsorship to attend a University. It is not easy obtaining one.

The atmosphere

Amsterdam is stunning, no doubt about it. Beyond the typical canals, it has wonderful parks, fantastic restaurants, beautiful museums, lots of festivals and constant events. 

When it comes to culture, Amsterdam is the place to be in the Netherlands. You will surely feel it when you are attending events. You might end up barely leaving Amsterdam as there is always so much to do and see.

With such a broad selection of things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam has become a major travel destination. The city attracts more than 4,6 million tourists each year!

Cycling is a big part of the Amsterdam lifestyle too. The bicycle capital of the world accommodates the cyclist with well-structured bike lanes and priority over any other mode of transportation.

The Dutch love for bikes manifests itself in other everyday matters, such as shopping. People tend to buy only the amount of groceries that can fit in their bicycle baskets. Big weekly shops to stock up the fridge are not that common as bikes make stores easily accessible.

Cost of living

Life in Amsterdam is very expensive. It has the highest cost of living of any city in the Netherlands and ranks as the 11th most expensive city to live in Europe. A long time ago you could find an apartment for less than thousand euros. However, this is not the case anymore. Nowadays, you will likely pay at least 600 euros for a room and at least 1250 (and more) for an apartment. 

This will only worsen as the bubble surrounding the Amsterdam housing market seems to keep growing as more foerign money is driving up the prices.

Going out wil also get very expensive in Amsterdam. Whether you choose to dine out or grab a drink at a bar, expect for the bill to be relatively high.

Family friendly

At first sight, Amsterdam doens’t seem very family-friendly. But don’t be fooled! Amsterdam has loads to offer for families. There are plenty of family-friendly neighbourhoods, parks, museums, and other fun things to do. Plus, there are lots of options for education and childcare.

There are two options while living in Amsterdam. You can send your child to an international school or a Dutch school. The government subsidizes Dutch public schools so they cost next to nothing for parents and offer students a great education. 

International schools are a popular choice among expat parents. They can be a good option for families not planning to stay in the Netherlands long-term, or for older students who will require more time to pick up the language. International schools are much more expensive than Dutch schools.

The weather

Amsterdam has an oceanic climate, similar to that of Great Britain. The climate in Amsterdam is strongly influenced by the North Sea. The city is located only 23 kilometers east from the North Sea coastline.

This type of climate generally features mild winters and cool summers. Precipitation, such as rain, is common throughout the year, which means there is no dry season…However, if it is sunny in summer, you can enjoy the city to the fullest! 

Best neighbourhoods for expats to live in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Noord

Amsterdam Noord is an upcoming district. It is swiftly becoming home to large groups of foreigners, this also makes it one of the best places to live in Amsterdam for expats.

It has many family-friendly villages and spaces but it is also packed with great festivals, hipster hangouts,… It varies from green expanses and charming little villages to some of the most cutting-edge arcgitecture, festivals, museums and venues. There are also beautiful waterside hangouts with great terraces in summer.

You reach Amsterdam Noord by a free ferry, located behind central station. This ferry ride will only take you three minutes. 

Rent prices are relatively low compared to other areas of the city. The properties here are often spacious as well, so it might be a good place to consider renting an apartment.

Amsterdam Zuid

Amsterdam Zuid incorporates different areas such as Oud-Zuid, De Pijp and many more. You’ve got the streets around Hoofddorpplein and the adjacent Schinkelbuurt, which is a slightly isolated part of what is still considered central Amsterdam. Just southeast of these, where Apollolaan and Oud Zuid meet, is the Stadionbuurt, an architecturally renowned development from the 1920s. These three parts combined make up what locals would call Amsterdam Zuid, the neighborhood (yes, it can get a bit confusing).

You will find some great international schools here. So, this is an interesting neighbourhood to consider if you are moving with family. There are also lots of parks, green spaces and residential neighbourhoods, which make it a great place to live a quiet life in a busy city centre. 

On the other hand, Amsterdam Zuid is home to many hipster spots, and many areas undergoing regeneration.

De Pijp

This area is actually part of Amsterdam Zuid. However, it deserves a section on its own. De Pijp is very popular with young people, hipsters, bohemians,… We would not recommend living here with a family as it is a very busy neighbourhood. 

However, for young people this might feel like the best place to live in the city. There is something to do every night. There are lots of vibrant hangouts all over the Pijp. You can loose yourself for hours this lively quarter. It has colourful mix of cuisines, terraces and cafés.

How to meet other expats in Amsterdam

It can be refreshing at times to meet others who are in a similar situation as you are. Therefore, it might be good to meet other expats in Amsterdam. The best way to do this is by visiting co-workings. Luckily, Amsterdam is on top of this and has lots of different locations where you can work in an inspiring environment. 

Here are some co-workings worth considering:

De Kanarie Club

This is the ideal space to work, chat and connect. People come here to network, dine and work, as it is a workspace, lounge and bar all in one.

If you prefer a more quiet setting, you can rent a meeting room upstairs on the first floor.

Spaces

Here, you can rent your own office, ideal if you actually have a deadline and don’t have time to chat all the time. The thing about this coworking is that from the moment you walk in, you feel inspired. The interior has the right amount of colour.

Spaces has different venues throughout Holland. You can find the nearest one through their website.

Benjis

This is an urban workplace. You get to work here in an urban jungle. Their interior inspires. On top of all this you can get good food and a cup of delicious coffee. 

Benji’s has more than one venue in Amsterdam. Choose the one which suits you best.

These workplaces give you the opportunity to work among other hard-working people and connect with them at the same time. These venues provide a calm environment. Furthermore, they are here to encourage you to separate your work and personal life.

Conclusion

Amsterdam’s compact size, cycling lifestyle, diverse population (more than 170 nationalities!), English-speaking natives, abundance of green space, reliable public transportation system, and central location within Europe mean it’s not only a great place to visit, but also a great place to live.

As you can read, Amsterdam is a great place for expats. It has great infrastructure and cool hotspots for expats. Remote working has never been this easy with all the possibilities that this city has to offer. Explore life here and get ready for your next adventure! If you need help finding a place in Amsterdam for expats, don’t hesitate to contact Globexs. We will help you from start to finish. 

Apartment rental Amsterdam

Globexs offers a fine selection of furnished apartments for rent in Amsterdam. The rental process is specifically designed for digital nomads: Fully furnished apartments, fast wifi, flexible contracts and no hassles.

Amsterdam for expats

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At Globexs we all agree that our job is making people feel welcome. Globexs is, in essence, a people-company: people working for people. Us working for expats. We are the little tap on your shoulder and the voice whispering in your ear that everything will be allright 👌.