Expats moving to Amsterdam will find themselves in a culturally diverse city that is rich in history and tradition. The capital of the Netherlands is one of the world's top travel destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year.
Amsterdam started out around a dam on the Amstel River. The canals of the old city, which flare out in concentric rows, have led to it being called ‘the Venice of the North’.
Houses and apartments in Amsterdam may be smaller than expats are used to, and due to the high population density, accommodation is often limited and may be one of the biggest challenges for expats moving to Amsterdam. As a result, many choose to live in the surrounding villages, rather than in the city itself.
Amsterdam’s architectural character has developed around trying to solve the housing problem. The canals were originally constructed to serve as water highways, keeping all parts of the inner city accessible. While still used for transport, the canals make for exquisite tours and memorable walks along the water's edge.
Tourists often choose the city for the illicit thrills of its Red Light District and coffee shops, but residents have an abundance of choice when it comes to lifestyle and leisure, including extensive museums, scenic walks and vibrant nightlife.
Amsterdam has a well-developed transport network consisting of buses, trains and trams. Cycling is also popular, with dedicated bicycle lanes throughout the city. As a whole, the Netherlands is a small country and the trains extend well into the countryside, so buying a car is seldom necessary.
Are you an expat living in Amsterdam?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Amsterdam. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.