Living in Rotterdam as an expat

Rotterdam, the city of arts and funk of the Netherlands. This city is filled with modern architecture in comparison to the rest of the country. There are lots of cultural events and activities. It is an international destination and can be considered the most diverse and multicultural city in the Netherlands.

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Being one of the most dynamic cities in the Netherlands, it has a large international community. However, it has a refreshing lack of tourists. In WWII, most of the city was destroyed. Instead of rebuilding the Dutch style, Rotterdam has been modernized, one of the things it is famous for. 

It has impressive modern architecture and a rising gastronomic scene. Another thing that has influenced Rotterdam’s rise is the vibrant cultural vibe. Thanks to all these factors, the city was placed highly on the New York Times must-see city list in 2014 and in the Lonely Planet’s best travel list of 2016.

Right now, urban development is focused on adding more housing and family-friendly areas around the city centre. You can say that Rotterdam is upgrading its facilities for new entertainment, culture and shopping opportunities.

Best neighbourhoods to live as an expat in Rotterdam


The old centre offers buildings dating back to 1900, alongside new minimalistic buildings. You will find simple buildings with a shared staircase to a spacious villa or a modern apartment with river views. There is something for everyone. 

Living here, you will be close to a range of museums, restaurants, shops,… The only downside  is that parking is less abundant. However, they will increase this by developing residential complexes.


Only fifteen minutes from the centre you will find Kralingen. A neighbourhood that offers multi-million-euro mansions and council housing. This area has a very international feel to it and a huge variety of upmarket housing

Kop Van Zuid

This one is loved by young expats as it is the trendy extension of the city centre. You want to get to work quickly in the mornings? This is your place to be! This neighbourhood consists of a mix of renovated warehouses and smaller, newer apartments. The prices are upmarket. 


This is one of Rotterdam’s jewels. It escaped wartime bombing. Because of this its old centre and residential streets remain intact. Housing here is expensive but also very popular among expats as you find several international schools here. 

It is located centrally. It will only take you 10 minutes by bus or tram and 20 minutes by car. The most convenient way to go to the city centre is definitely by bike as it is only a 10 minute ride. 

This neighbourhood is very family friendly as it is a green area. The neighbourhood is located around two lakes. This is ideal if you like sailing in summer and ice skating in winter.


Lots of things to do in Rotterdam and the majority is free of charge! Here are some things that you must visit:

Central Station

Have a thing for impressive infrastructure? This is a must see! It is huge and modern. 

The Cube Houses

As mentioned before, Rotterdam is known for its architecture. These houses are funky and are shaped like cubes. It is quite impressive!

Erasmus Bridge

If you know the skyline of Rotterdam, you know the bridge. It is the pride of the city as it is the highlight of the skyline.


Foodies, this one’s for you!  Markthal is a modern food market in the city. Although, it is not only about the food that you find here! Don’t forget to admire the architecture. Also, check out the artwork in the ceiling. 


A 185-meter building with an amazing view over the whole city. Yes, you read that right, talk about a good view! 

How to meet other expats in Rotterdam

Facebook Groups

An oldie, but it stays goldie. There are plenty of Facebook Groups for expats all around the world. Look for one in Rotterdam and become a member. Ask if anyone wants to grab a drink or use it to stay up to date for upcoming events.

Learn Dutch

Join Dutch classes and connect with people there. They all want to learn a new language and probably integrate in the new country. It is a great way to connect with people who are in a similar situation as you are. Good way to learn something new and make friends at the same time!

Join a sports team

Do you like to play sports? Join a group or club. You can go to the gym and participate in group lessons. If you are more into team sports you can play hockey, football,… you will find pretty much every sport in Rotterdam and its suburbs. 

Coworking spaces

Like every big, international city, there are lots of coworking spaces. This is a great way for remote workers, digital nomads and expats to get some work done and to connect with other like minded people. These coworkings often organise events and meetups as well. It is easy to stay connected and to stay up to date of coming events etc.

Go Out

If you are as spontaneous as the Dutchies, you will have no trouble going out and meeting new people. Grab a drink in a local bar and start talking. And who knows, you might end up making new friends and hearing about fun new activities or clubs that you can join in Rotterdam.

As you can read, Rotterdam is a very pleasant city to live in. People are open minded, social and easy going. The architecture is a mix of old and modern buildings. The entertainment sector is bursting, you will surely not be bored!

This city has great infrastructure. These are just a few things that make it the ideal remote working destination. 

If you still need help finding accommodation Globexs is more than happy to help you find your temporary home.

Apartment rental Rotterdam

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


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