Amsterdam is a stunning city, famous for its international environment, rich in culture and history, open-minded, with beautiful canals and views. The city has fantastic museums, countless festivals, and constant events. Amsterdam is truly the cultural hub in the Netherlands, a place where you will always have something to do!
What to expect
You will find that Amsterdam’s culture is different from that of other cities thanks to its straightforward mindset and focus on work-life balance. Here are the main highlights of what you can expect from living in Amsterdam.
- The weather is one of the most common challenges internationals face when they arrive to Amsterdam, due to its rainy and windy days. This does not stop you from living in one of the best cities, counting with multiple cultural and outdoor activities, regardless of the weather. The summers are shiny and fresh, and winters are white and snowy. The city is fully equipped with air conditioning and heating to offer a comfortable and pleasant experience for everyone!
Average Daylight: 16 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 22º C in summer and 1º C in winter.
Average rainfall: 217 days.
Cost of living
Finding an apartment
- The cost of living in Amsterdam is relatively high compared to other cities in the Netherlands, however, there are plenty of real estate agencies you can talk to for expert advice and help on finding something that will suit your needs and adapt to your lifestyle and budget. It is highly recommended to research before speaking with an agent in order to understand how the housing market works, and identify what you are looking for.
- The preferred form of commuting in the city is by public transport, one of the best in Europe. Amsterdam offers an extensive network of public transportation, including metros, buses, trains, trams, and ferries to help you get around the capital. You can use one single card for all transportation. Another popular option is cycling, thanks to the city being relatively flat and the closeness of everything, it is easy to move around Amsterdam by bike. Plus, it’s a great way to explore the city. You can opt for buying your own bike or renting one! You can also rent scooters, cars, and boats!
- The city is famous for its creativity when it comes to business. Nowadays, the city has become a hub for technology innovations and startups. There are plenty of opportunities for international professionals, as companies are looking for a fresh and diverse mindset. The areas of travel, technology, food, and fashion are the leaders in Amsterdam’s market.
- Amsterdam is great for meeting people with different and interesting backgrounds. At first glance, people may seem cold and direct, and that is because they like to go straight to the point, but once you get to know them, they are one of the most trustworthy and open-minded people. Also, language is not a large barrier because Amsterdam is highly international! So, making friends and peers will be more of a pleasure than a challenge!
- Amsterdam has a village-like look, but it is one of the most exciting cities in Europe, offering amazing art, music, history, film, fashion, and technology scene.
- Amsterdam’s International Airport is ready and fully equipped to offer the best service. They have financial services, comfortable waiting rooms, pharmacies, shopping, internet cafés, and more in the building. The city also offers a train, if you enjoy to travel by land, to closer cities and countries.
- Amsterdam really comes alive during the weekends. The city offers over 50 museums, and there is a great deal of one ticket for a flat fee and you get access to more than 400 museums across the Netherlands! So, if you are an art enthusiast, Amsterdam is for you. Aside from the art culture, Amsterdam has the most amazing gardens and parks. Over 30 parks you can visit for a relaxing walk and picnic, or even make a bike tour and bike through many parks in a day. Be sure to visit Vondelpark, the largest one in the city. In the summer, there is the Open Air Theater where you can see many performances for free. Additionally, you can rent a boat for a tour on the canals when the weather is nice! Load up the boat with snacks and drinks, then coast along the canals while enjoying the warm sun with friends and family. Explore the Albert Cuyp Markt, the largest street market in the Netherlands, located in the neighborhood De Pijp for some traditional delicacies. If you are a classical music fan, you can attend a free classical “concert”, as their rehearsals are open to the public and you can enjoy some outstanding performances in the Concertgebouw in Museum Square. Nightlife is very much alive, with some of the most exciting clubs for some dancing with friends and colleagues!
- Although Amsterdam is home to many diverse cultures, and you can find food from all over the world, it is worth tasting some of the most traditional delicacies to explore the culture. One of the most common dishes you will find in many pubs and bars are the Bitterballen, fried crispy meatballs served with mustard for dipping to be accompanied by a cold beer. If you are looking for a sweet snack and don’t know what to eat, the stroopwafel is a must. Two thin waffles stuck together by a layer of sweet syrup, they can be found anywhere, from a street market to the finest bakeries. Last but not least, if you want to understand the Dutch culture, you should try the Jenever. It’s not a food but it plays a great role in the Dutch gastronomy is jenever, the precursor to gin. It is served in a tulip-shaped glass, and often accompanied by a beer. Cheese is a big business in the Netherlands, so you should definitely try some Gouda, Geitenkaas or Maasdammer. There are plenty of cheese shops where you can taste award-winning cheeses!
- Amsterdam has all types of fitness activities, with yoga classes, marathons, swimming pools, water sports, gyms, aerobics, boxing, cycling, tennis, squash, golf, and much more. In the winter, people living in Amsterdam take their ice skates out and go ice skating outdoors, and there are ice-rings as well. The most famous sporting club in Amsterdam is Ajax. The football team has been celebrating successes since when the club started in the 1880s. If you are a soccer enthusiast, you should definitely watch a game in the De Meer Stadium!
- Zaanse Schans: a wonderful day trip from Amsterdam where you can experience Dutch things like the windmills and wooden clogs. The village feels like an open-air museum that exhibits the industrial part of the region. Here you can walk around and admire the gardens, and stop by the cheese-making shop! The Zaans Museum tells the story of the industrial past. The village is just a 15-minute train ride from the city center.
- Volendam, Marken, and Edam: these are towns located in the north of Amsterdam. You can visit all three the same day because they are right beside each other, each with its own unique features. Volendam is a fishing village and extremely picturesque! Here you’ll find all Dutch-traditional things, from the colorful facades of houses, old Dutch ships, and locals wearing the black Volendam clothing. Very near lies the small island of Marken. You can get there by boat or by car/bike via the embankment. A popular thing to do here is to visit a shoe-maker where you can learn more about the craft and even get yourself a pair of shoes. Edam, a charming medieval town best known for its cheese – Edam – you can visit the cheese market and take boat tours on the canals!
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Amsterdam in our Expat Guide.
The Fut-Ure Team will likewise be happy to help you to set up in the city if you are looking for a job in the region, or give you more information about the local Talent market (including details and advice in topics like Taxes and legal) if you are planning to open an office in Amsterdam.
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