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Moving To Amsterdam Complete Guide

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Moving to a new city can be nauseating, especially if that city is in a different country. Thankfully, after reading this you’ll see moving to Amsterdam is easier than you think.

The capital of the Netherlands is a vibrant, multi-cultural city renowned world-wide as a fabulous tourist destination. However, Amsterdam is also a pleasant place to call home with so much more to it than coffee shops and red-light districts.

  • Why would someone want to move to Amsterdam?
  • Documentation 
  • Employment 
  • Housing 
  • The language
  • Education 
  • Healthcare
  • Cost of living
  • Weather 
  • Transport 

Why would someone want to move to Amsterdam?

There are quite literally hundreds of reasons for someone wanting to move to Amsterdam. Firstly, the city is the PERFECT size. Amsterdam isn’t so big that it is overwhelming like, say, London or New York. However, it has all the characteristics of a major city but feels more like a host of small villages rather than a capital city. 

As well as the size of the city, Amsterdam’s inhabitants make it a particularly special place. The Dutch are known for being well-travelled, friendly and discrimination is uncommon. Above all, though, nearly everyone speaks English. The Netherlands has one of the highest English proficiency rates in Europe. So, don’t worry too much if you can’t speak Dutch, you will have no problem making friends once you decide on moving to Amsterdam.  

Documentation 

When registering to live in Amsterdam, you are typically required to provide official proof of identity. That could be birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates and other legal documents. 

Non-EU citizens will require an entrance visa, residence permit and work permit to live and work in Amsterdam. EU citizens have the luxury of just showing up with some photo ID and before you know it you’re an Amsterdamian. 

Employment

Don’t worry too much if you are moving to Amsterdam without a job already lined up. We would advise you to familiarise yourself with the employment market in the city before you move. Start searching job boards and employment websites online, adjust your CV to match the local style, and you could start contacting recruitment agencies. 

Lots of jobs get posted every day in all different sectors throughout Amsterdam. Alternatively, it is essential to understand a lot of jobs in Amsterdam will require some level of written or spoken Dutch. On the other hand, work in hospitality or the tourism sector will be more interested in peoples English language skills. 

Housing

When moving to a new country, often the most stressful part of the experience can be finding somewhere to live. Moving to Amsterdam can come with many questions like which neighbourhood to live in, what is transport like, how much should rent cost? 

Try not let this overwhelm you as there is lots of preparation that you can do before relocation. Start with researching the different neighbourhoods of Amsterdam to look for characteristics that fit your needs. You can look into a variety of options for property rentals that get advertised online. Also, when looking into a short stay property when you first arrive, we advise finding one in a neighbourhood near your desired location or potential place of work. This way you can get a real feel for the are and decide if it’s for you. 

The language barrier 

Dutch can be a particularly tricky language to master. Luckily, Amsterdamers are well known for being happy to converse in English. That isn’t to say you don’t need to learn Dutch, being able to speak and understand some Dutch can help you settle in way quicker. 

To get started, try looking around for local language classes or download free mobile apps to practise learning words and grammar. Start with Halo and go from there. 

Education

There is a wide range of educational options if you are thinking of moving to Amsterdam with your children. The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area has a plethora of both international and Dutch schools. 

You can start researching schools before moving to Amsterdam, with most of the international schools having helpful websites. Often the international schools welcome preliminary contact from parents of potential students. 

Healthcare

Lucky for you, the Dutch are very good at looking after themselves. The Netherlands claimed the top spot in 2016’s Euro Health Consumer Index (which compares healthcare services) – and they are the only country to place in the top three every year since 2005. 

How did they manage to achieve this, you ask? Well, it all comes down to the basisverekering. The basisverekering is a mandatory health insurance scheme that covers a whole range of things. These include GP consultations, hospital care, medicine prescriptions, maternity care and ambulance service. The monthly cost is anywhere from €95-€120 per month, although children under the age of 18 can go on their parents for free. Once you start living and working in the Netherlands, they give you four months to register with a health insurance provider. Ignoring this will result in a fine.

Cost of living

Considering Amsterdam is a major global city, it is surprisingly affordable to live there. Groceries, transportation, and general day-to-day costs of living in Amsterdam are quite reasonable. In contrast, housing prices are continually rising, and this drives up costs considerably. 

The Economist named Amsterdam the 24th most expensive city in Europe in their Cost of Living Survey in 2017. To put into perspective the prices in Amsterdam, a litre of petrol costs €1.59, a pint of domestic beer is €4.50, and a monthly transport pass is around €90.00.

Weather 

The weather in Amsterdam is dull most of the year with the sun only making brief appearances. Before deciding on your move to Amsterdam, be sure you a prepared for regular gloomy weather with lots of rainy days and wind. 

Don’t let the weather put you off Amsterdam. The rain doesn’t stop the locals from biking around or enjoying the cities charm. Just make sure you have a raincoat or umbrella at hand at all times. 

Transport 

Bicycles are a symbol for the Netherlands, and Amsterdam is often cheerfully referred to as the cycling capital city of the world. You can cycle anywhere in the city, and you’ll soon find cyclist often get more priority than pedestrians or drivers. Cycling in the city is without a doubt the fastest option for getting around Amsterdam.

For those who prefer to opt for public transport, the first thing you’ll need to get is the public transport chip card (OV-chipkaart). The card can be used on buses, trams, metros and trains. Using the OV Chipkaart will save you money compared to buying single tickets. You can easily get a monthly pass or season ticket on the card or season ticket on the card. The initial cost of the card is €7.50 and is valid for five years.

If you decide you want to move to Amsterdam after reading this list, then why not get Laundryheap to help with all your laundry needs when you arrive. Book a same-day laundry & dry-cleaning collection with free next-day delivery.

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