Expats moving to Utrecht will find themselves in the heart of the Netherlands. This city retains a medieval history while embracing its development as a cosmopolitan centre for education, business and culture.
As the Netherlands’ fourth most populated city, Utrecht boasts a reputation as a centre of academia, research and innovation. A selection of key educational institutions, including Utrecht University, draws local and international students to the city, as well as expats working in the education sector.
Job opportunities in other sectors are also constantly growing, from banking and finance to ICT, engineering and transport. Utrecht manages an efficient transport hub, not only an industry in which expats work, but also an aspect that adds to the great quality of life here.
Thanks to the extensive public transport network, getting around is easy. Driving a car is not essential – though owning or renting a bike may be. Like elsewhere in the country, the cycling culture holds strong in Utrecht. It’s the norm to cycle around Utrecht’s areas and suburbs, whether residents are going shopping, to work or school (even in the rain).
To add to this healthy lifestyle, there are plenty of things to see and do to occupy an expat's free time. Students and young expats enjoy the lively atmosphere and upbeat nightlife with everything from live music venues to jazz cafés. A calendar full of exciting annual events guarantees something for everyone, whether an expat is a music lover, sports enthusiast or culture vulture.
Families and expats of all ages can also explore all sorts of attractions, including medieval castles, forts and citadels, as well as art galleries and quirky museums.
In fact, while Utrecht is largely known as a university town, the city is also family friendly, and accommodation options are available to suit a range of new arrivals.
Additionally, parents with children moving to Utrecht for the long haul can rest assured that quality public schooling is available, and at little or no cost. However, parents who intend to send their child to an international school will have limited options, so they’ll need to act fast to secure a spot.
Expats relocating to Utrecht shouldn’t struggle to find their feet in a city that embraces diversity and is equipped with all the modern amenities. Utrecht offers an expat experience full of culture and history while simultaneously providing new arrivals with a comfortable standard of living.
►Looking for a place to stay? Read our guide to the top Areas and Suburbs in Utrecht
►Start planning a budget by reading Cost of Living in Utrecht
"The quality of life is outstanding. Utrecht is one of the major cities in the Netherlands as well as a university city, so there is always something to do with lots of people and lots of diversity... And there is such richness in history and culture here. Utrecht itself has been around since 97AD! There are over 400 museums and castles in the country and the old buildings and typical Dutch facades are just gorgeous." For more on expat life in Utrecht, read our interview with Tiffany J.
Are you an expat living in Utrecht?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Utrecht. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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