Amsterdam

City Guide

Meet Amsterdam

With more canals than Venice and more bicycles than residents, Amsterdam is a unique city whose high quality of life and growing economy make it an attractive destination for remote workers.

For tourists, Amsterdam is known primarily for two wildly contrasting things: colorful tulip blooms and the Red Light District. It’s a European hot spot for stag parties and adventurous backpackers, renowned for its open-minded approach to drug use and sexuality. Its popularity isn’t limited to the party demographic, though. More historically-minded travelers equate it with landmarks like the Anne Frank house and come in droves to see its Golden Age art and architecture. Those who live in Amsterdam know its true identity is far richer and more varied than what you’ll see in tourism brochures. It’s a thriving center of international commerce and has seen particularly impressive growth in the technology sector. The city also has an internationally-renowned culinary scene and a very active art culture that’s far more modern and varied than what you’ll see in its famous museums. Add in the beautiful architecture divided by a network of canals and massive public parks, and you’ll understand why Amsterdam is one of the most desirable cities in the world for expats and nomads from a wide range of industries.

Where to live in Amsterdam

For most who move to Amsterdam, the goal is to be close to the Binnenstad (city center) but not directly in it. Thanks to the exceptional public transportation and easy bikeability of Amsterdam, you can get to the attractions and businesses of the Binnenstad from any neighborhood in the city. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the city center, the more lively and compact the area will be. The areas to the south and west are increasingly spread out and calm the further away from center you get. The Noord area (on the northern shore) offers an enticing mix of quiet residential streets and bustling bohemian neighborhoods.

Best Neighborhoods in Amsterdam

For those who want to live in the beating heart of Amsterdam, the centrally-located neighborhoods of Grachtengordel, Jordaan, and Plantage are your best choice. Some may find their narrow streets and compact homes a bit claustrophobic, but they put you in close proximity to the most dining and entertainment options. The north shore neighborhood of Buiksloterham and the southern neighborhood of De Pijp have an equally lively atmosphere with a more affordable cost of living (and far fewer tourists). Amsterdam is a very green city, so you’ll have easy access to parks and open space no matter where you live. That said, neighborhoods a bit further from the Binnenstad, like Zuid and Oud-West, have broader streets and more greenery mixed into the residential areas.

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Jordaan

A desirable neighborhood for both foreigners and locals, this diverse neighborhood is known for its quaint homes and narrow streets. While it’s a bit pricier than other areas, its vibrant energy and numerous cafes and shops are worth the higher rents for those who want to be in the heart of the action.

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Oud-West

Including the neighborhoods of Kinkerbuurt, Cremerbuurt, and Da Costabuurt, this area is popular with young professionals who want a lively atmosphere with a slightly lower cost of living than the city center. It borders the Vondelpark, too, so you’ll still have easy access to green space.

Amazing Apartments, Coliving Spaces and More

We've been rounded up the best housing options in Amsterdam. All are available on flexible terms, so you can stay one month or as long as you want

De Pijp Penthouse Apartment

Amsterdam

De Pijp Patio Apartment

Amsterdam

Jordaan Mansion Balcony Apartment

Amsterdam

De Pijp Balcony Apartment

Amsterdam

De Pijp Terrace Apartment

Amsterdam

Jordaan Mansion Apartment

Amsterdam

Quick Facts About Amsterdam

Called the Venice of the North for its system of 165 canals, Amsterdam is one of the few world cities that’s below sea level--and this is just one of many reasons it’s so unique. Here are some more fun facts to help you learn more about life in the Dutch capital:
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Work in Amsterdam

The Netherlands is one of the most economically developed countries in the world, and Amsterdam is its financial heart. A number of international corporations have headquarters here, including big names like Uber, ING, and Unilever. With its diverse economy, there are jobs available in a wide range of industries, from electronics and technology to industry and transportation. While it is easier to move to Amsterdam if you already have secure employment, it’s not a requirement for obtaining a citizen service number. If you’re looking for a job, listing sites like Jobs in Amsterdam and I Am Expat can be a great resource. Amsterdam is also very friendly for freelancers, who can register their business easily through the Chamber of Commerce for a relatively small fee.

How good is Amsterdam for Digital Nomads or Remote Work

Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Amsterdam. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Amsterdam for both of these growing movements?

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Food and Drink in Amsterdam

Dutch cuisine historically hasn’t been regarded very highly, but you’d never know it from the restaurant scene in Amsterdam. To get a sample of the city’s offerings, head to Foodhallen, an indoor food market in an old tram depot that will blow away all your preconceptions about food courts. If you’re looking for a more peaceful vibe, head to De Kas, where you’ll enjoy plant-based fine dining and sustainable wines inside a greenhouse. For a modern take on traditional dishes, Bak Restaurant (Houthavens) and Cafe Modern (Noord) are local favorites. Choux is another favorite, especially for those who want vegan or vegetarian options. Fresh seafood is a staple of the local fare, and Cafe-Restaurant Stork on the River Ij is one of the most popular spots to get it. Amsterdam is a beer-loving city, and Heineken is definitely not the only name in town. Brouwerij ‘t Ij is one of the oldest craft breweries in the city, and definitely worth a visit for their seasonal brews. The tap room at Butcher’s Tears in Zuid often hosts movie nights and concerts, if you want some entertainment while you drink. Oedipus Brewery (Noord) and Brouwerij de Prael (De Wallen) are great places to grab a meal and some beers, with unique and experimental brews alongside the traditional styles.

Restaurants

Bars

Top 6 Things To Do in Amsterdam

The first thing you’ll want to do is walk around the city. From the canals to the Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s streets and parks have plenty to discover. For indoor entertainment, the museums are a good place to start. See classic art at the Rijksmuseum, learn some history at the Verzetsmuseum (Dutch Resistance Museum), or get hands-on at the NEMO Science Museum. Brewery tours are another popular local pastime, and the Heineken Experience takes this to another level with rides and tasting built into the tour. Those looking for a live show will have their pick of styles and venues, with 900 shows a year taking place at the Concertgebouw alone.

Ripley's Believe It or Not

Dam 21, Amsterdam

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Hermitage Amsterdam

Amstel 51, Amsterdam

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Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic Museum)

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38, Amsterdam

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Moco Museum

Honthorststraat 20, Amsterdam

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Micropia

Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, Amsterdam

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Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Museumplein 10, Amsterdam

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