Moving to Amsterdam in Holland: living, settling, working…

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU, Holland (also known as the Netherlands) is a country where many French people decide to settle. Expatriation to Amsterdam may seem complicated. Here are some tips for moving to Amsterdam.

Accommodation: settling in and staying in Amsterdam

The search for an apartment in Amsterdam is a real headache: very few offers, and many requests mean that the obstacle course can be very long.

If you want to live in the centre of Amsterdam, we advise you to take a shared flat because rents are expensive: for this there are a multitude of specialised sites such as kamernet.nl, clickflatshare.co.uk/Amsterdam or for students forstudents.nl. Shared accommodation is a good way to meet people, learn a new language, and find cheap accommodation. If you want to live as a couple, the best thing is to take an apartment in the suburbs of Amsterdam. Public transport (especially tramways) is very developed. The price of rents is relatively high and quite close to Parisian prices.

There is a very interesting tax exemption for the purchase of housing. This is a very frequent topic of discussion in the Netherlands and will certainly interest you.

Finding a job in Amsterdam

For European nationals, going to work in a European Union country does not require many formalities: the most important one to work in the Netherlands is the personalised identification number (Burgerservicenummer or BSN). This is a number corresponding to the social and fiscal identification number (sofinummer). This number is mandatory when working in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It will be issued to you by the Town Hall (Gemeente) of the place of your residence.

As in most major cities, there are several options available to you in your job search.

There is of course the Public Employment Service (CWI, Center for Work and Income). You will find a lot of advice and information there. But the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to find a job in Amsterdam is still the Internet. Some interesting sites include backinjob.nl, monsterboard.nl, nationalevacaturebank.nl, careerjet.nl. Please note that spontaneous applications are very common in the Netherlands. You can also consult the classified ads in the newspapers (buy the Saturday editions of the national newspapers) or go through a recruitment agency.

It is also important to know that relationships work well in the search for a job. It is important that as soon as you arrive, you get closer to neighbours, teachers, or the Francophone community. The Dutch take the recommendations for applications very seriously.

Living in Amsterdam: Transport

Parking your car in Amsterdam is almost impossible: no spaces and parking is very expensive. For public transport, you have the choice between the metro (4 lines) and especially the tramway which is very developed.

But a little practical advice, invest in a bike! It is the fastest way to get around town. Holland is a flat country, and this is the main reason for the success of cycling in Amsterdam. There are almost more than inhabitants (600,000 bicycles). By bike in Amsterdam, you are the king while remaining ecological.

Living in Amsterdam: the language issue

I don’t speak Dutch; how can I handle things on spot?

The Dutch usually speak several languages: Dutch and very often English. If you plan to spend a short stay in Amsterdam, English is enough, but if you want to live there for several years, Dutch will be essential. There are several language schools in Amsterdam to learn Dutch. We highly recommend them as they will be an opportunity to meet other expatriates in Amsterdam.

Living in Amsterdam: the climate

Amsterdam is in the north of the Netherlands, themselves in northern Europe. To put it bluntly, it is rather cold in winter. But also, in autumn and spring. The only pleasant months are from June to September. For the rest of the year, rain and cold are legion!