Known for being the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is also the centre of the province of North Holland.
There is no noticeable temperature drop in the city as it is situated on the shores of the North Sea. The temperature is about +20 ° C in summer and up to +4 ° C in winter.
Living in Amsterdam
The city is reputed to be a place that faces constant rains. Amsterdam statistically witnesses 182 rainy days per year. The weather can, however, vary many times in a day.
This city has a popular rating in the world for its quality of living. Amsterdam is listed among the healthiest cities in the world in different factors such as water, air quality, work-life balance, and longevity. If you’re among those planning to settle in this beautiful city, here we have some pros and cons of living, also the basic costs listed out just for you.
The Pros of Living in Amsterdam
1. Convenient to get around because of its Size
The Netherlands is a pretty small nation and you can move from one side to the other in less than three hours.
If you’re seeking to travel anywhere without tiring long car journeys or requiring to catch a flight, living in Amsterdam will be just the right choice for you. Everywhere is accessible if you catch the train and if you own an OV chip card, the fare will be quite reasonable too.
2. Quality of Education
The quality of education that Amsterdam provides for its residents is just excellent. Several people can be seen leaving school with good grades while landing jobs or going to universities. The rate of people with postgraduate degrees is also quite high here.
3. Exceptional levels of English
You won’t have communication gaps as an ex-pat living in Amsterdam as The Netherlands is known to have the best English among any non-native country.
This means you’ll feel right at home here if you’re comfortable with speaking English other than any foreign language.
A majority of people here can speak at least a conversational form of English, so you can be certain to always find someone to help if you’re ever stuck in a sticky situation.
4. Cycling Culture
Known for its cycling culture, you’ll find the residents of Amsterdam on their bikes come rain or shine. Here, it is a part of the daily commute and you’ll love it as it’s completely free and healthy.
You’ll find distinct cycle lanes almost everywhere in this city. And being run over is the last thing you’ll have to worry about here. The best thing is, it’s also safe for your children to join you on your cycling journeys.
So you’ll know what to do if you’re seeking a family adventure, also, it’s a pretty good excuse to have the kids get outdoors!
5. Affordable Healthcare
Yes, some healthcare in Amsterdam might be a bit pricey. But the system here is formed in such a way that you don’t become bankrupt if you have plenty of health issues which means comparatively, it’s quite good.
No matter how sick or healthy you are, everyone is supposed to pay the same for their basic healthcare, which makes it an overall fairer process.
The Cons of living in Amsterdam
1. High Taxes
The income tax here is specifically high compared to other European cities and owning a car here is also quite expensive. You might notice that electronic items in Amsterdam are more expensive and as this is a touristy city, some food can be a little bit expensive as well.
You will, however, find your way around once you figure out how and where to shop and look for good deals.
Because of supply and demand, the rent prices here are also mostly high. The reasonably paying jobs in this city somehow balance out the high costs.
2. Owning a Car can be Costly (if you need one)
It can certainly be considered an investment to own a car in this city. The added costs of buying, fueling, fixing, and insuring a car can be pretty expensive. The motive here is mainly to let people reconsider buying a car but the plan seems to not be working well as quite many residents here now have a car.
3. Shortage of Housing
This is a pretty well-known fact among the ex-pats as finding a place to live is pretty tough with so many people here doing the same.
It is necessary that you search well in advance for housing and even when you’ve done so, there aren’t any guarantees that you’ll be finding a place straight away. Also, Amsterdam being the capital, makes it more expensive and difficult.
4. The Unusual Service Industry
This is also among the most talked about topics of living in Amsterdam. The service industry here is unfortunately known for being less helpful and tougher to navigate.
Only some people have rarely outright had someone be especially rude to them. So that might not be a pretty valid reason, but living here, you’ll find it harder than ever to get hold of someone to talk to if you’re facing an issue.
Costs of living in Amsterdam
One major factor you need to notice when it comes to the renting market in the Netherlands is the difference between social housing and private housing. Social housing is separated for people with lower incomes, which settles the rent at €752 in 2021. It is commonly not quite accessible for ex-pats as the waitlist for social housing might take years.
Most people moving to Amsterdam are set to go for private housing, there is no price regulation on this. The landlords can set the rent at whatever price they find suitable.
The cell phone plans here aren’t much different from other countries. Prices for unlimited calling with no data can mostly be as low as €8, and as high as about €40 monthly for unlimited data.
3. Health Insurance
Anyone living or working in Amsterdam will need health insurance. A basic package usually costs just a little over €100 monthly, but this can heavily be changed by the company and plan of your selection.