Moving to Amsterdam: Things you should know before you immigrate to Amsterdam

Who hasn’t heard about typical Dutch things such as Tulips, cheese and windmills? In Amsterdam, you will find all of these and much more. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Amsterdam is high on the wish-list of many expats around the world. With a rapidly ageing population, the Netherlands employs a steady stream of migrant workers from many countries. Do you also want to experience what makes life in Amsterdam so special? In our relocation guide on Amsterdam, we provide you with all the answers to that question and help you get an idea of what it is like to find accommodation and employment. On top of that, we discuss the necessary paperwork such as visas and the mandatory documents for driving around Amsterdam.

International removals to Amsterdam with Eurosender

Whether you are moving to Amsterdam from the USA or any other country in the world, be ready for a culture shock. The Dutch are liberal, innovative and have a good head for business while Amsterdam is the perfect example of that. It’s not all about weed and red lights. With many multinationals having offices in Amsterdam, being home to world-wide renowned universities and influenced by the many nationalities that live there, the city has become an international tech-hub that is incredibly popular among expats. So why not apply for that dream job you always wanted and pack up your stuff to move to Amsterdam?

Moving to Amsterdam might be a small or big step, depending on where you come from. One way or another, you will have to know at least the basic facts about this city on the river the Amstel.

ProvinceNorth-Holland, part of the Netherlands
TimezoneUTC +1
CurrencyEuro (€)
PopulationAmsterdam has a population of approximately 850.000 inhabitants.
How do you call someone from Amsterdam?Amsterdammer
Official languageDutch
International dialing code+31 (country code the Netherlands) 020 (city code Amsterdam)
Emergency number112
DrivingOn the right side
TippingService charges are already included in the bill. However, it is common to tip 10% for good service in restaurants and cafes.
Unusual factIn Amsterdam, you can find one of the largest varieties of nationalities of any city on the planet.

When you are relocating from the USA to Amsterdam, or from any other country, you will notice that rent prices in Amsterdam can be exorbitant. More about that later. For now, you should know that in Amsterdam it is common practice that apartments are rented unfurnished. So, when you don’t want to buy everything new or you are just very attached to our own inventory, go for international removals to Amsterdam with Eurosender. Our services provide you with fast, cheap and reliable transport of your items, whether that is a chair, table or your tv. So, order now online or ask one of our logistics experts for an individual offer.

Living in Amsterdam

You are not the first person to relocate to Amsterdam, so no need to make rookie mistakes. Take a look at some of the things that other expats found out when the moved to the capital of the Netherlands.

  • For people who are not from EU countries, the administrative hassle can be quite frustrating. You will need to open up a bank account, register in an apartment at the town hall, get a tax number and much more. There are special relocation experts that can help you ease the process.
  • Dutch people are direct and straightforward. No beating around the bush in Amsterdam or any other part of the Netherlands.
  • You can easily get by in English as many speak English well. With the Dutch being the best English speakers in Europe, only after the British, you can easily get by without learning Dutch. However, you will impress people more when you do.
  • Many businesses in Amsterdam don’t accept credit cards. You will have to use the local payment system known as IDEAL, which is powered by Maestro. Though this may seem confusing at first, you will find that banking the Netherlands is easy and convenient.

Visa Regulations for Amsterdam

For citizens from within the EU and EEA countries, there is no visa requirement for the Netherlands. Also, a work permit is not required.

When you are not from a non-EU country, these are the possibilities:

  • Countries that are exempt from visas. This means you can stay in the Netherlands without a visa for 90 days. the list of these countries includes The USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, New-Zealand, Japan, Mexico, etc.
  • Countries whose citizens need a Schengen visa. Some of the countries that fall in this group are Botswana, China, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran, Russia, and many others.

Go to the local Dutch embassy and get an application form and a list of documents you need.

Healthcare in Amsterdam

Health-care insurance is mandatory for every person that lives and works on the territory of the Netherlands. A standard insurance premium goes for about €100 per month. With this, your basic health needs are covered. On top of that, you can take out additional insurance for things that are not or only partly covered, such as dental care. Failing to be insured can get you fined, and you will have to pay for the months you didn’t have insurance.

School and education

The school system in Amsterdam is the same as in the rest of the Netherlands.

Elementary school5-12yes
Secondary school12-16 (preparation for college) 12-17(preparation for bachelor degree education) or 12-18 (preparation for Master degree education)yes

Amsterdam is home to some of the finest universities such as the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (art), the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam business school. Every year thousands of students come from all over the world to improve their knowledge in the capital of the Netherlands.

The job market in Amsterdam

Amsterdam and the surrounding area is the economic heart of the Netherlands. Many multinationals have their headquarters here and Amsterdam is home to one of the biggest tech scenes in Europe. Add to that the ageing population of the Netherlands and the lack of skilled workers, and with the right diplomas and skills, you are bound to find employment.

Property information

Finding accommodation is one of the hardest things about moving to Amsterdam, and things get even worse when you are a student. A one-room apartment goes for about €1.000 a month. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for accommodation.

  • Make sure that you can register on the address that you are renting as in the Netherlands; everyone should be registered on the address where they live. This is also obligatory when you want to get a Burger Service Nummer (BSN), which is basically your tax number.
  • Finding an apartment by yourself on online listings or through your own network is, of course, the cheapest solution. However, with fierce competition on the rental market in Amsterdam, you might not be able to secure living space without the help of a real estate agent.
  • In Amsterdam, there is both public and private housing. Most expats end up renting private housing, as the waiting lists for public housing could be years.

Cost of moving to Amsterdam

How much is shipping from the USA to Amsterdam? An important question when you are contemplating your move to Amsterdam. The cost of moving house to Amsterdam is the lowest when you choose the appropriate service.

  • Standard Shipping is the best way for shipping things as luggage, cosmetics and bed linen. Make sure you don’t exceed the maximum dimensions below (which include the packaging as well)
    • Maximum weight of 40kg (30kg in some cases).
    • A maximum length of 175 cm.
    • Length (in cm) + 2x width (in cm) + 2x height (in cm) < 300 cm.
  • Freight Service is the best way for shipping big and bulky items on pallets. You can think of things such as furniture, a fridge/freezer or a fireplace.
  • Dedicated Van Delivery is the best way for when you want to ship your entire inventory at once in one van. Your shipment will go directly from door to door.
  • When you want to ship something unusual such as a piano or other valuable objects, then you can ask our logistics experts for an individual offer.

Now that you know about the cheapest way to move furniture to Amsterdam, let’s look at some other things provided by Eurosender.

  • Proper packing of your items will ensure safe transport.
  • Enjoy our easy payment solutions that allow you to pay for your average moving costs Amsterdam in only a few clicks.
  • Insurance is important when your items travel such long distances. At Eurosender you have access to the lowest rates.

Cost of living in Amsterdam

The Dutch have long been known for being greedy and for wanting to get everything for cheap. So, why not join them in this tradition and save a few euros yourself.

  • Avoid taxis as they are overpriced. As the city is relatively small you can choose for cheaper alternatives as walking or cycling. When the distance is too big or the weather is Dutch, that means endless rain, you can also go for public transport.
  • When hitting the clubs or festivals, stick with wine and beer. Mix drinks and fancy cocktails go for staggering prices.
  • The Dutch usually bring their own lunch to work instead of ordering something or eating in a cafeteria. This is not only a budget-friendly option, but you also know exactly what you eat.
  • When you want to visit all the museums in Amsterdam and other cities, you should consider the Museum Jaarkaart (Museum year pass). With this, you will have access to all museums in the Netherlands for the price of only €60.
  • Street vending machines have prices starting from €1 and you can find things as deep-fried meat or cheese and hamburgers for a bargain.

Driving in Amsterdam

Driving in Amsterdam means enjoying the high infrastructure standards that the Netherlands have applied everywhere in the country. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Let’s take a look at driving Amsterdam.

  • Driving license
    • Citizens from EU countries (Norway, Lichtenstein and Iceland) can drive with their local driving license for as long as their license is valid)
    • Citizens from Non-EU countries can drive up to 6 months with their local driving license. After that, they need to apply for a Dutch license.
  • Cyclists: Amsterdam is a city of cyclists and you will literally see them everywhere. Therefore, you should know that cyclists have right of way over cars. Pay extra attention when driving near a bicycle road or lane and at crossings.
  • Speed Cameras: Big brother is watching you in Amsterdam and speed cameras are everywhere. The fines are no joke with exceeding the maximum speed by 5 km/h already costing you €30 plus administration fees. In 2018 the Dutch police recorded more than 9 million traffic violations.
  • Parking in Amsterdam is both expensive and inconvenient. The best idea is to park your car at a subway station and use the excellent public transport to get to your destination.

See the most popular destinations from where you can move


Moving to Amsterdam from Canada is something which for some people means returning to the land of their forefathers and for others moving to a completely new country. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Canadian student, intern, expat, company or NGO, Eurosender will make sure that you experience a seamless delivery of your items.


Moving to Amsterdam from Australia is moving from a country with great empty spaces to one of the most densely populated countries in the world. You will experience how you can do almost everything by bike and on your free weekends and you can easily hike through the entire country.

United Kingdom

Moving to Amsterdam from the UK is popular as many multinationals have their headquarters in Amsterdam and London. Air travel between the two cities takes about an hour and many businessmen and women go back and forth between the two cities. However, the luggage fees that air carriers charge is often outrageous and limited to certain dimensions. Now you can easily place an order at Eurosender and send all that you want to Amsterdam or London. Moving from London to Amsterdam or vice versa has never been so easy and convenient

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.