Amsterdam City Guide

By Victoria Fellows


Amsterdam is one of the most appealing business locations within Europe.

Global players such as Google, Netflix, Uber, Salesforce, Shutterstock, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Apple have already set up base to make the most of the city's perfect tech ecosystem. There is plenty of local tech talent as well, including, TomTom, Travelbird, WeTransfer and the FinTech unicorn Adyen.

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is home to many of the world’s biggest museums, the most iconic of locations, and the 400-year-old Canal Ring. Amsterdam also comes out top for conventions and conferences (on an international level), and hosts an average of 650 meetings per year, drawing in 700,000 business visitors too.

This coupled with Amsterdam’s charming neighbourhoods, unique and vibrant cafes, shops and restaurants make Amsterdam a popular city to consider. Not to mention Amsterdam’s love for Bikes, a typical way to get in and around the city, soaking up the views, the weather and the culture. It is no wonder then that Bike usage in Amsterdam has grown by more than 40% in the last 20 years.

Whether you are relocating your family due to work or taking up an opportunity by yourself. There is certainly a lot to think about before you work abroad such as:

  1. What you want to get out of the relocation
  2. Career prospects (compared to your current job)
  3. Your family’s views on the move
  4. The potential standard or quality of life
  5. How you’ll be able to keep yourself afloat with a change in lifestyle, living location and possibly working style too.

Here is some helpful information to make your decision-making process just that little bit easier.


If you’re thinking about living in Amsterdam, then it’s important to research properties before you move. Apartment rentals are the most popular in Amsterdam. However, if you are looking to live outside of town then houses are available (at a higher cost).

Types of accommodation include:

  • Short stay: Good if you are not staying in the Netherlands for long. These apartments are furnished fully and often are equipped with business and student-friendly amenities such as free Wi-Fi.
  • Landlord hosting: It is common practice in the Netherlands, for landlords or even families to rent out part of their house to young professionals. You may have to comply with strict rules set by the family, but you’ll most likely enjoy home-cooked meals.
  • Rooms: If you are looking for cheaper rent, then you could rent a room if you are okay with sharing with other people.
  • Apartments: The best long-term option for professional couples and even students, however, pricing can vary drastically.
  • Houses: Favoured choice amongst small to large families and even for groups of friends/ colleagues. Expats should go over the rental agreement and make sure they provide enough guarantees.



If you’re a British citizen, you’ll need a visa to work in Amsterdam.You can check Hollands up-to-date visa requirements and processes on the website.

If you’re from another European Union member state, you’ll be able to make the most of life in Amsterdam without having to secure a visa first.

The Cost of Living

Overall the cost of living is a little lower than the UK which is certainly attractive for anyone considering a move to Amsterdam. However, the cost of living is higher when compared to Munich and Berlin. Monthly rent for an 85 m2 (900 Square feet) apartment can range from €1500 to €2,500.

You can find more information on the cost of living here.

Eating out in Amsterdam is very reasonable. Main courses generally vary between €10- €30 (high end). Entrance fees for Museums in Amsterdam ranges from €10 for the Anne Frank Museum to €19, for the Van Gough Museum (with free entry for visitors under 18).

As for groceries, you can expect to get a bottle of red table wine from €6, a litre of whole fat milk from €1.15, a loaf of bread from €1.44, 12 large eggs from €3.44 and 500g of boneless chicken breast from €4.29.


In Amsterdam, the average salary is €47,825. The most sought-after occupations in Amsterdam are Software Engineer, Software Developer, and Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer which pay between €47,554 and €58,479 annually.

Last year, the Netherlands ranked 8th in Europe among countries with the highest minimum wage.

Commuting and Public Transport

Amsterdam offers great transport links in and around the city. These include: Bikes (which can be hired), Buses, Trams, Trains and the Metro are great for metropolitan area travel.

Amsterdam’s famous waterfront (River IJ), can take you across to Noord (by Ferry), which connects to the city centre. The Ferry services across the IJ are free (which means you don’t need to buy a ticket) and depart from behind Amsterdam Central Station.

Amsterdam is conveniently located within Europe. Its only 4 hours to Paris by train (6 by car). As for London it's just under 6 hours by train, and a similar journey time by car as well.


There are 3 schooling types in Amsterdam

  • Public Schools (or regular schools) have no religious or philosophical affiliation and are operated by the Government.
  • Special Schools are operated independently and are based around educational philosophy and on a specific religion.
  • International Schools are generally a lot more expensive but provide a very high standard of education following the American or British curriculum.

Why Amsterdam is a great place to live and work

  • Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a collaborative movement between businesses, governments, the people of Amsterdam and knowledge institutions. Its main aim is to challenge divers parties into creating and applying strategies to urban issues affecting Amsterdam.
  • StartupAmsterdam was established by entrepreneurs and governmental bodies to support Amsterdam’s startup ecosystem. The initiative involves more than 1000 companies working together with incubators, accelerators, corporate partners, universities, investors etc.
  • The Waag Society is also a vital player in Amsterdam’s innovation ecosystem. TWS creates technology for social innovation and works as an arbiter between the arts, science and the media. TWS also uses its voice to provide underserved groups with access to new technologies. One of their projects called ‘Storytable’ focuses on elderly people being able to share their stories via multimedia-based formats.

In summary, the process is much like gearing up to go on holiday, however, in this instance, you’re also looking to earn money!. We recommend beginning with a detailed checklist of things to get in order before you leave; here are a few we recommend.

Good luck with your move! If you would like to discuss this please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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