Amsterdam is a beautiful city with amazing architecture and serene canals. If you’re planning to move to Amsterdam, here are a few things you should know and some tip to prepare yourself.
8 Thins Expats Should Know Before Moving To Amsterdam
- It rains A LOT
The weather in Amsterdam is dull most of the time and the sun rarely comes out. So be prepared for regular gloomy weather consisting of rainy days and wind. It’s best to always bring around an umbrella to prepare for unexpected rain.
Don’t let the weather stop your plans though. One thing for sure is that the rain doesn’t stop locals from biking around, as long as they have a raincoat or umbrella, they’re good to go.
- Get used to cycling!
There are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are people! Cycling is the main form of transportation. You’ll notice that although there are cars to be found, the city is not entirely car-friendly. Besides everyone uses a bike to get from point A to B, no matter what the occasion is.
- Beware of bike thieves
The crime rate is very low in Amsterdam, except for bike theft. It’s common to be in a situation where you will own a few bikes in a year because your bikes get stolen, just ask the locals! Thieves will also steal just your bike wheel or bike seat. So, it’s best not to own such an expensive bike and make sure you have good bike locks.
- Housing isn’t the best
Living in Amsterdam is very pricey due to the growing population of expats and because of this, it can be difficult to find a place to rent. With such a big population for a small city, chances are you might find a place you actually like, only to find out that many other people are interested in it too and have given in their documents. In addition, housing properties will come unfurnished and you should expect to buy all the appliances you need, including the floor!
- Credit cards aren’t well supported
Just know that credit cards are useless in Amsterdam (or in the Netherlands in general) when going to local supermarkets, museums or eateries. You can use debit cards that use the Maestro, Cirrus or Plus system. Otherwise, you must always carry around either cash or use a dutch maestro card.
- Learn some Dutch
Most locals speak fluent English, but it isn’t their native language. The TV channels, signs, everything, is in Dutch. Although it can be easy to communicate by speaking English, you’ll feel more a part of the local community if you learned how to speak Dutch. It will help expand your social circle with the locals, rather than other expats or foreigners.
- Work life balance is important
Dutch people value their personal time and so the work culture is incredibly healthy and balances out well with personal life. It’s normal for parents to take a day off work to focus on quality time with their families or work part-time. Companies are also flexible in terms of letting you work from home because of family obligations or commute problems.
- Shops close early
In general, most shops close by 5 and supermarkets by 9pm, so you’ll have to run errands between 9-5 during workdays and 11-3 during the weekend. If you need to go to the bank or you have government appointments, you’ll have to go between 9-5. This is isn’t so much of a big deal since you can take a day off from work to run errands.
These are only some things to be prepared for when moving to Amsterdam. Despite a few negatives, there many more positive aspects to living in Amsterdam.