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Relocate to Amsterdam - Complete guide

Are you coming to live in the Netherlands? I arrived one month ago and here is what you need to know.

Amsterdam Centraal

Housing

Working contract signed, flight booked and now come the most complicated part of living in Amsterdam: find a place to live. They aren’t many apartments available in Amsterdam and they are all crazy expensive. Most agency take 300 – 400 euros, not a full month rental, be careful. Here are some links :

And some Facebook groups :

The city center is incredibly expensive and full of drunk and drug tourists, so a better option is to live around it, within the ring, in areas like De Pijp, Oosterparkbuurt, Amsterdam West…

Get a temporary accommodation first, so you have time to find a permanent solution. Amsterdam housing is hell.

Registration

If you are planning to stay longer than 4 months, you’ll need a citizen number called BSN. For that go to Gemeente Amsterdam (city hall) and ask for an appointment (1 to 3 weeks later). Having a BSN number is vital in Netherlands otherwise you won’t be able to open a bank account for example. To register you need a passeport, birth certificate and a signed paper from your landlord. If you don’t have a permanent apartment, you can still register but for a limited time.

Shopping

You need a bike

First buy a bike with a good lock and then a waterproof coat and pants. Buy your bike in a shop otherwise it’s probably stolen and be careful where you park your bike and how you park your bike. You should be able to get a good second hand bike for around 200 euros with gears and normal brakes. Concerning food, most of people go to Albert Heijn but if it’s not good enough for you there is Marqt. Apps

Oh yes you need some apps if you want to survive in the Netherlands…

  • Buienradar : weather app to check not if, because it’s going to rain, but when it’s going to rain…
  • GVB : for trams, metro and buses
  • Reisplanner : for trains, really nice

Dutch People

Everyone speaks english, at least in Amsterdam, so you don’t need to learn Dutch, except if you want to stay many years and get some Dutch friends. Dutch are direct people, it seems impolite first but when you realise it’s normal, they are nice folks.

Transport

EYE Film Instituut Nederland

Get a 8 euros rechargeable OV-chipkaart for public transportation in any station, post office and in some shops. Be careful, you have to check in and also out when you leave and have at least 20 euros on your card if you take the train (which is quite expensive).

Night life, culture…

I arrived during ADE so yes, night life is great! They are many museums and you might consider to get the Museumkaart to visit the 400 museums across Netherlands, 60 euros/year, because they are quite expensive. You can also go to the several free meetups around the city :) Want more?

I suggest this really nice guide if you need hotel/restaurant.

More info about Amsterdam here.