With only 1.149 million people living here, Amsterdam is actually one of the least populous capital cities in the world. And yet it remains as busy and bustling as ever, thanks in large part to the many foreign residents who've settled down and started their new lives here. It's relatively surprising that so many expats chose the city as their new home, considering that it experiences all four seasons. It's hot enough during summer but it can get very cold in the winter. And as expected, Dutch remains the dominant language here. It's why the city has a ton of Dutch-language schools.
While it's stereotypical (to a fault )to ride a bike in Amsterdam, it is a very useful and easy way to get around the city. But it's not the only public transport system worth going for. There's still the metro, which is both affordable and travels to most of the city's districts, ensuring that you can still get to your destination wherever that may be. There are the trams, which are just as useful and can even help tour the city. And, of course, the taxis. You can hail one off the street or easily book one with the help of a transportation app.
Amsterdam has so many beautiful neighborhoods that you might find it hard to choose which one you'd prefer to settle down in. So in this situation, it'd be best to know what kind of lifestyle you want to lead here in order to pick a district that'd be right for you. If you prefer a more urban lifestyle where you're in the middle of all the action, then the Noord are is your kind of place. More into the outdoors and prefer to exercise around the city? Westerpark has enough parks and open areas for you to run around or play sports with friends.
What about the living costs here? Would that post a problem? It depends! Though living here is not as expensive as living in the likes of London or Paris, it can still get pretty pricey. Most especially if you go for a long-term luxury rental or you actually buy your own home here. For the former, expect to pay around €1,300.00 to €3,500.00 per month for rent, with the location of your place and the number of bedrooms it has taken into account. As for the latter? It'd cost you about €4,000.00 to €10,000.00 per square meter to own a property here.
Many consider the Netherlands as an underrated and underappreciated country, namely in the finance and business world. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. A benefit of this is that the job market here can remain stable as the more powerful nations go at it with trade wars, political strifes, and the like. As of the moment, the Netherlands' unemployment rate is 4.3%, lower than many other countries. Besides, it's pretty easy to find work here too. You can go online to websites like Expatica Jobs, Intermediair, and Stepstone for a start. Or rely on a recruitment agency like Blue Lynx or Unique Multilingual.
And what of your kids? How will they fare in moving here with you? Well, thanks to a number of international schools here, they'll be just fine. They can easily continue their education in the Dutch capital, possibly even improve their academic standing what with the high-quality education offered here. Prestigious institutions like the Amsterdam International Community School, the Amstelland International School, The British School of Amsterdam, and The International School of Amsterdam await expat families to send their kids to them. They will hone your children's academic skills, encourage them to go for athletics or the arts, and help them reach their full potential.
The Dutch healthcare system is often praised as one of the best in the world. That's probably because it has succeeded in operating on a universal system, ensuring that most, if not all of the country's citizens and residents get ample health coverage. Not to mention the equally fine private insurance plans offered here as well. Fortunately, there are several prominent hospitals in Amsterdam that welcome and treat all sorts of patients with any type of health problem. A few of them include the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (known for its cancer treatments), BovenIJ Ziekenhuis (notable for its fine maternity ward), and Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis (a go-to children's hospital in the city).
Here in Amsterdam, you needn't worry about crime all that much. The city's crime rates aren't so bad that you'll feel the need to be on alert most of the time. In fact, as of this writing, the general crime rate here is at 33.35%, considered low on many standards. As for the commonly committed crimes, drug-dealing, theft, and vandalism all rate the highest. With that in mind, is it still safe to walk around the city? Defintiely! Most especially during the day when it's 80.22% safe to take a stroll outside. Just avoid areas like the red-light district or the western part, Bos & Lommer.
What about taxes in the Netherlands? What do you need to know about them? A lot! It'd be unwise for you to move here without, at the very least, knowing the basics of the country's tax system. While the way they do taxes here may have similarities to that in your home country or in other countries in general, there's still a few things that only the Netherlands does. Case in point: the 30% ruling for foreign workers. If you move to the Netherlands as an expat employee, 30% of what you earn here would be free from income tax. You won't find such a policy in another country!
No one should really have to tell you that you'll need to join a local mobile network when you move to Amsterdam. After all, many of the ones here are pretty trustworthy, including international companies that also operate in neighboring EU countries. At the same time, don't forget to set up a Dutch bank account as well. Don't rely too heavily on online money-transferring/storing platforms. You never know how safe your finances really are with them. At least, with a Dutch bank, you're pretty sure that your money will remain safe. And if you need to transfer some cash back home, the costs won't be that high!
Getting relocated to Amsterdam! Congratulations! You'll be moving to one of the most charming cities in the world! And don't worry! Moving here won't be that difficult as long as you stick to this guide to help you out. All the info you'll ever need is right here!