Amsterdam expat guide

Moving to and living in the Dutch capital

Holland Movers in Amsterdam

Get ready to dive into the ultimate resource for your move to Amsterdam! Relocating to a new country is exhilarating, but it can also be challenging. Our comprehensive guide is designed to ensure your journey is smooth and successful.

What’s in store for you? We’ve got every step covered. Navigating immigration is a breeze as we highlight reliable expat resources and outline visa requirements and registration steps.

Housing puzzle? Don’t worry. Find the ideal neighborhoods that match your style and conquer the competitive housing market. We simplify taxes, offer insights on securing top-tier health insurance and guide you through the Dutch education system for expats.

Don’t worry, it’s not just about the logistics. We also give a little insight into the city’s culture and give you options to connect with fellow expats. Your Amsterdam adventure begins here. Let us equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to make this transition not just seamless, but truly transformative. Embrace your new life in Amsterdam with confidence.

General expat information and services

When you are moving to Amsterdam as an expat, access to reliable information and essential services is crucial for a smooth transition and successful integration into the city. This chapter provides valuable insights into finding trustworthy expat information through guides and resources, as well as utilizing the support of the Amsterdam Expat Center for a seamless experience.

Finding reliable expat information

Before starting off with your expat journey in Amsterdam, it’s essential to gather comprehensive and reliable information. Numerous guides and resources are available to assist you in understanding the city’s culture, lifestyle, and practicalities. Online platforms, expat forums and official government websites offer a wealth of knowledge on topics ranging from housing and transportation to healthcare and education. 

The “Gemeente Amsterdam” is a good example and trustworthy source of information. Their website provides a wealth of knowledge on various topics, including culture, lifestyle, and practicalities. Their official government websites and online platforms offer insights into housing, transportation, healthcare, education, and more.

In addition to online sources, consider connecting with expat communities and social groups. Expats who have already experienced life in Amsterdam can provide invaluable first-hand insights and tips for a successful transition. Engaging with these communities not only fosters a sense of belonging but also creates opportunities for networking and making new friends.

Accessing essential expat service

As an expat settling in Amsterdam, you may encounter administrative procedures and documentation requirements that are unique to the Netherlands. There are organizations,  like The Amsterdam Expat Center, that serve as a valuable resource, providing comprehensive support to expats throughout their journey.

They offer personalized assistance for visa and residence permit applications, registration with the municipality, and obtaining a BSN (Burger Service Nummer) number. Additionally, they provide guidance on navigating Dutch bureaucracy, understanding local laws and regulations, and accessing essential public services.

Although there are helpful organizations to support your immigration and move to Amsterdam, it’s important to understand the rules and requirements involved. That’s why we’ll explore this topic further in the upcoming chapters.

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 Immigration and registration in Amsterdam

Planning your move to Amsterdam and understanding the visa and immigration requirements is essential to ensure a smooth and lawful transition. Navigating the complexities of visa regulations can be daunting, but with the right information and preparation, you can confidently embark on your new adventure.

  • Navigating expat visa and immigration requirements

Before you can fully settle in Amsterdam, you’ll need to go through the process of registration, known as the “first registration” or “immigration registration.” This step is crucial for legal residency in the city. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, you may need to apply for a visa or a residence permit.

To initiate the process, you must register at the Amsterdam municipality. This involves providing required documents and information to obtain a Burger Service Number (BSN), a unique personal identification number essential for various administrative procedures.

  • Understanding the difference between expat and immigrant status

During your registration, it’s important to clarify your status as an expat or an immigrant. As an expat, you are temporarily residing in Amsterdam, typically for work, study, or other specific purposes, with the intention of returning to your home country in the future. Immigrants, on the other hand, are individuals who plan to make Amsterdam their permanent home.

Understanding your status will impact the type of visa you need and the rights and benefits you are entitled to during your stay. Expats may have access to specific tax benefits or temporary residence permits, while immigrants may be eligible for permanent residency or citizenship over time.

By ensuring you have the correct documentation and following the necessary steps for registration, you’ll be on your way to legally and comfortably living in Amsterdam. Remember, staying informed with the latest immigration regulations and seeking professional advice will make your transition to Amsterdam smooth and successful.

 Expat housing and accommodation

Finding the perfect place to call home is a top priority. From cozy apartments in historic neighborhoods to charming houses in family-friendly suburbs. Amsterdam offers a wide array of options to suit every taste and lifestyle. Whether you’re seeking a rental for flexibility or considering purchasing a property for a more permanent stay, you’ll discover that the housing market in Amsterdam is welcoming as it is tailored to expat needs.

Suited housing support for expats

Finding the perfect housing in Amsterdam involves dealing with landlords, rental management, and real estate agents. Understanding tenancy agreements and local regulations is crucial for a smooth rental experience. To facilitate this process, you can seek the guidance of an expat rental agency in Amsterdam or a reliable real estate agent who possesses in-depth knowledge of the market, ensuring you will find a property that truly matches your needs and preferences.

For those considering buying a house in Amsterdam, the expertise of a competent real estate agent becomes even more essential. These professionals offer valuable insights into the local housing market, identifying the best neighborhoods and properties within your budget. 

Additionally, specialized housing support services and an expat housing network can play a significant role in assisting you in finding suitable rentals or guiding you through the intricate process of buying a home. 

Where to live in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its unique character and appeal. For expats looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant city life, neighborhoods like De Pijp and Jordaan are excellent choices. They are known for their lively atmosphere, cultural diversity and proximity to cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues.

If a more tranquil and family-friendly environment is preferred, neighborhoods like Oud-West and Oost are popular options. These areas offer a laid-back ambiance with access to parks, schools, and family-oriented facilities.

No matter the preferences, expats will find that Amsterdam has a place that feels like home. By exploring different neighborhoods, considering proximity to work, schools and amenities, expats can find the perfect spot to embrace the Amsterdam expat life and create lasting memories in this wonderful city.

Moving within Amsterdam?

If you are moving within the city, you are probably well aware of the housing and accommodation support available. But, there are still a few important things you need to know. If you’re planning to move within Amsterdam, it’s essential to update your address with the authorities. The process of changing your address in Amsterdam is straightforward and involves notifying the municipality of your new location. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Registering the new address: Once you’ve settled into your new home, you’ll need to register your new address with the “gemeente” (municipality) in Amsterdam. This can be done online or in person at the “gemeente” office.
  • Gemeente Amsterdam change address: When updating your address with the “gemeente”, make sure to provide all the necessary details, including your old and new addresses, your personal information and any additional documentation they may require.
  • Amsterdam change of address: The “gemeente” will then update your information in their system and you’ll receive a confirmation of your address change.

By following these steps, you can ensure that all your official records are updated with your new address, making your move within Amsterdam a smooth and hassle-free experience.

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 Taxes for expats

Understanding the Dutch tax system is crucial to ensure compliance and make the most of your financial situation. Navigating through expat taxes can be complex, but with the right guidance, you can optimize your tax affairs and enjoy the benefits of living in Amsterdam.

Understanding expat taxes

To navigate the intricacies of the Dutch tax system, many expats rely on the expertise of tax advisors specialized in expat taxation. These professionals have a comprehensive understanding of the tax laws and regulations that apply to expats. They can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific situation. From maximizing deductions to handling cross-border tax matters, a tax advisor can help you achieve tax efficiency and peace of mind.

Utilizing DigiD for expat taxation in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, DigiD (Digital Identification) is a secure online system that provides access to various government services, including tax-related matters. As an expat, obtaining a DigiD is essential for interacting with the Dutch tax authorities and accessing your tax-related information and services online. It streamlines the process of filing your tax returns, managing your tax affairs and staying up-to-date with any changes or updates from the tax authorities. By utilizing DigiD, you can efficiently handle your expat taxation requirements and manage your tax affairs from the comfort of your home or office.

 Mortgage process in the Netherlands for Expats

As an expat looking to settle in Amsterdam, owning a home can be a rewarding and wise investment. Understanding how mortgages work in the Netherlands is essential and the first step in this process.

Financing your home in Amsterdam

Securing a mortgage in the Netherlands as an expat involves a few key steps. First, it’s crucial to determine your eligibility based on your residency status and income. Many banks and lenders offer specific mortgage products designed for expats, making the process more accessible.

To get started, you’ll need to provide documentation, including proof of income, residency permits, and in some cases a work contract. Some lenders may also consider credit history, so it’s essential to be prepared with relevant financial records.

Interest rates and mortgage terms can vary, so it’s advisable to compare offerings from different lenders to find the most suitable option for your needs. Working with a mortgage advisor who specializes in expat mortgages can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complexities of the Dutch mortgage market.

Once you secure a mortgage, you’ll be on your way to owning a piece of Amsterdam. Owning a home not only provides a sense of stability but also allows you to become an integral part of the community and immerse yourself fully in the expat life that Amsterdam has to offer.

Expat mortgage advisors and platforms

Navigating the Dutch mortgage system can be complex, especially for those unfamiliar with the local regulations and procedures. Expat mortgage advisors understand the unique needs and challenges faced by expats, offering tailored solutions and guiding them through the entire mortgage process. 

Additionally, expat mortgage platforms provide access to a wide range of mortgage options from various lenders, ensuring expats find the most suitable and competitive rates. With their specialized knowledge and support, expat mortgage advisors and platforms simplify the home-buying journey for you as an expat, making it a smooth and successful experience.

Choosing the best expat health insurance

As an expat living in Amsterdam, ensuring you have proper health insurance is a crucial aspect of your well-being and peace of mind. The Netherlands has a solid healthcare system, and it’s essential to find the best expat health insurance options that align with your specific requirements. 

When selecting health insurance, consider factors such as coverage for medical services, hospitalization, specialist consultations and prescription medications. Many insurance providers offer tailored packages designed for expats, ensuring you have access to quality healthcare services. 

Moreover, Amsterdam offers a range of expat-friendly medical centers and facilities, where healthcare professionals are experienced in dealing with international patients. These centers provide efficient and accessible medical services, making it easier for expats to navigate the Dutch healthcare system. 

Having comprehensive health insurance and knowing where to access medical services, can provide you with the necessary support and assistance during your stay in Amsterdam. By being well-prepared, you can focus on enjoying your expat life in this vibrant city with the assurance that takes care of your health needs.

Expat life in Amsterdam

Living in Amsterdam as an expat offers a vibrant and diverse experience. The city is home to a significant expat community, making it easy to connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Expats are warmly welcomed and Amsterdam’s international atmosphere creates a sense of inclusivity.

Blending in with the Dutch lifestyle can be seamless, as the Dutch are known for their open-mindedness and friendly nature. Embracing the local customs and learning some basic Dutch phrases can further enhance the expat’s integration, but is not a necessity.

With its rich cultural scene,  efficient public transport, bike-friendly streets, thriving job market, and excellent quality of life, Amsterdam offers a fulfilling and exciting lifestyle for expats seeking a new chapter in this modern city.

Expat communities

Building connections in Amsterdam is an essential aspect of your expat life. Luckily the city offers an expat community and social groups to help expats feel at home. Joining these groups can be a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals, make new friends and share experiences. There are various expat-oriented events, meetups, and gatherings that facilitate socializing and networking.

For sports enthusiasts, joining an expat-friendly activity like expat football, tennis or field hockey in Amsterdam can be both fun and rewarding. It provides an opportunity to engage in friendly matches, stay active and bond with fellow expats over a shared passion for football. These activities do not only promote physical well-being, but also foster a sense of camaraderie among expats, making the expat journey in Amsterdam even more fulfilling.

 Working in Amsterdam

As you are reading this, chances are that you may have already secured a job in Amsterdam, which is fantastic news! The city’s job market is diverse and welcoming to expats, offering a multitude of positions across various industries. As an expat working in Amsterdam, you’ll experience the Dutch working culture, which places a strong emphasis on a healthy work-life balance and open communication.

Are you still looking for a job in Amsterdam? The city offers a wide range of job opportunities for expats, with various companies actively seeking international talent. Expats looking for a job in Amsterdam can explore job portals specializing in expat jobs, as well as websites dedicated to vacancies for English speakers. As an expat you can also tap into networking events and professional organizations to expand your connections and increase their chances of landing suitable positions. With a vibrant job market and a welcoming work environment, Amsterdam presents an attractive destination for expats seeking career growth.

Education for (the children of) expats in Amsterdam

Are you moving to Amsterdam with children? Then you want to ensure they receive a quality education. Amsterdam boasts a diverse range of educational options catering specifically to expats. Expatriate-focused schools, also known as international schools, offer excellent curriculums and a supportive environment for children of various nationalities.

Enrolling in expat education provides numerous benefits, including the opportunity for your children to continue their education seamlessly, even in a foreign country. International schools in Amsterdam follow internationally recognized educational programs, ensuring a smooth transition and consistent academic standards.

Parents can choose from some of the best international schools for expats, renowned for their multicultural environment, experienced teachers and modern facilities. These schools foster a global mindset and encourage students to embrace different cultures while maintaining a strong academic foundation.

Whether your children are just starting their educational journey or transitioning to a higher grade, Amsterdam’s expat schools offer a wide array of educational programs to cater to their individual needs. By enrolling in one of the best schools for expats, you can rest assured that your children’s education is in good hands, allowing them to thrive in their new international community.

 Driving in Amsterdam

For expats planning to drive in Amsterdam, obtaining a Dutch driving license is a crucial step. Navigating the process can be made easier by enrolling in a reputable driving school that offers lessons in English, ensuring a smooth learning experience.

The “gemeente” (municipality) Amsterdam oversees the driving license application process, and drivers must meet specific regulations and requirements to obtain their license. Whether you need a regular driver’s license or a motorcycle license, understanding the rules and regulations is essential.

Many expats prefer attending driving schools in Amsterdam that offer instruction in English, making it easier for them to comprehend traffic rules and safety guidelines. These schools provide a comfortable and supportive environment for expats learning to drive in a new country.

Owning a car in Amsterdam

Driving in Amsterdam comes with its challenges, particularly when it comes to parking. Finding a parking spot in the city can be a daunting task, especially in busy areas where parking spaces are limited. The high demand for parking combined with the narrow streets can make parking a real test of patience.

To address issues related to air quality and congestion, the city has implemented “milieuzones” (environmental zones). These zones restrict access to certain types of vehicles that do not meet specific emission standards. As an expat driving in Amsterdam, it’s essential to be aware of these zones and ensure that your vehicle complies with the required emission standards. Failure to adhere to the regulations can result in fines and restrictions on your vehicle’s access to certain areas.

The “milieuzones”, along with the scarcity of parking spaces, make driving within the city center challenging. However, Amsterdam offers an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including trams, buses and trains, making it convenient to explore the city without the need for a car. Embracing alternative transportation options can be a sustainable and stress-free way to experience Amsterdam, while also reducing your carbon footprint.

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The most important part: the relocation

After exploring all the details discussed in this guide, it’s clear that relocating to a new place, especially as an expat, can be quite a task. But as you may have hoped, we’re here to make a part of relocating easier: the relocation. As a moving company in Amsterdam, Holland Movers is here to make your transition smoother and less stressful. With a variety of top-notch services designed just for you, we make sure your move to or from Amsterdam is well taken care of, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience.


  1. Ease of process
    Our online platform allows you to easily schedule (online) viewings and request information or quotes, all with a same-day response guarantee. We understand the urgency of your move and our swift and transparent communication sets us apart.
  2. Expertise and professionalism
    Our team of proficient movers is well-versed in the intricacies of handling relocations for expats. Communication is key and our multilingual staff ensures that there are no language barriers throughout the process. Punctuality is a core value for us – you can rely on us to be on time, every time.

  3. Tailored Solutions
    We understand that each move is unique and we offer flexible options to suit your requirements. Whether you’re short on time and need experts to quickly clear out your old place, or if your building has limited access requiring moving lifts, we have the solutions to make your move seamless. If you need temporary storage, our flexible options have got you covered.

  4. Complete peace of mind
    One of our key features is the comprehensive insurance coverage of up to 2.5 million euros with no deductible. Your belongings are precious and we ensure they are protected throughout the journey.

  5. Ready for anything
    Emergencies can arise unexpectedly and we’re prepared to assist you promptly. Our high-quality moving materials, equipment and even handyman services ensure that every aspect of your move is covered. Whether it’s disassembling furniture or providing necessary equipment, we’re here to make your move easier.

Time to focus on your new beginning!

Congratulations on completing our Amsterdam expat guide. You have a wealth of insights to navigate your journey in this captivating city after reading this. Moving to Amsterdam should be an exciting step, not a stressful one! As you close this guide, shift your focus to the wonderful adventure ahead.

From neighborhoods and administrative steps to healthcare and job opportunities, we’ve covered the essentials. Moving as an expat can be both thrilling and challenging, but Amsterdam’s welcoming spirit makes it easier. You’re not alone; the expat community here is strong and diverse.

Now, take a deep breath, absorb the knowledge you’ve gained and get ready to immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s culture, history, and opportunities. Whether you’re exploring neighborhoods, indulging in the arts, or connecting with fellow expats, your journey is just starting.

Moving to Amsterdam?

Let our experts advice you on your relocation!

 Summary of our guide

  1. Access reliable information: Use online resources, expat communities and the Amsterdam Expat Center to gather accurate information and essential services.
  2. Immigration and registration: Understand visa requirements, register with the municipality and obtain a BSN number for legal residency.
  3. Find suitable housing: Explore Amsterdam’s diverse neighborhoods and consider international housing agencies for guidance.
  4. Navigate taxes: Utilize expat tax advisors and the DigiD system to manage Dutch taxes efficiently.
  5. Healthcare: Choose the right expat health insurance and access expat-friendly medical centers for your well-being.
  6. Education: Enroll in international schools for a seamless education experience for your children.
  7. Driving: Obtain a Dutch driving license through driving schools and be aware of parking challenges and environmental zones.
  8. Expat life: Embrace Amsterdam’s diverse expat community and immerse yourself in the city’s cultural scene and job opportunities.
  9. Build connections: Engage in expat groups and activities like expat football to network and make friends.
  10. Relocating with Holland Movers: Simplify the moving process with Holland Movers, ensuring a stress-free and efficient transition.

Quality. Flexible. Safe.

Your wishes are always central at Holland Movers. We always take the time to carefully and extensively discuss your move and your wishes in this regard. This way you know exactly what you can expect from us and we are well aware of your expectations. This way you will not have to deal with unpleasant surprises afterwards.