Summer is just around the corner. Although I didn’t move to Amsterdam for the weather, with so many sunny days in the last 2 months, I can’t say spring has been disappointing. I’ve gotten so used to seeing clear blue skies and sunshine every day now. Very spoilt.
Having lived in Amsterdam for just over six months now, I thought it would be useful to write about my first impressions as a newcomer for those thinking about moving to Amsterdam so they know what to expect.
No, you don’t need Dutch to survive but here are more things that I discovered…
Compared to other capital cities, Amsterdam is pretty small. The city centre might be a bit chaotic sometimes due to the large volume of tourists, but the rest of the city feels like a nice little village. Or more like a compilation of villages. Every area has its own personality and charm.
Finding a place to live in Amsterdam is so much hassle. If you’re planning to move here, I’d suggest you start doing your research pretty early on. Define your budget, what neighbourhood you’d like to live in, check out the transport links etc.
Be aware of the scammers, especially on Facebook groups. They send you photos, address, lots of random info about themselves – it’s all so friendly. And then they will request a deposit when you haven’t even seen the place!
You can bike pretty much anywhere and the size of the city makes it very easy to move across – but if you’re not an early bird for example, would you really want to spend an hour cycling in the morning rain to get to the office?
The Dutch are direct, which means they give you their opinion in an honest and direct way. Unlike the British, they don’t beat around the bush.
My first month of working here, I wasn’t always getting a response to my emails straight away. After a bit of pondering, I’ve asked a dutch colleague to read some of them and his feedback was ‘Your email is very British’. After comparing our emails, I could see some clear differences in how the dutch emails were super short and to the point. I’m still working on that 🙂
This one obviously depends on your lifestyle. But with a bit of planning and smart budgeting, you can avoid living from paycheck to paycheck and even save some money.
Amsterdam is definitely cheaper than London. Apart from that, there’s not as much need in what I call ‘convenience spending’ – ready-made meals, takeaway lunches and coffee, Ubers.
Amsterdam and other Dutch cities are always looking for highly skilled professionals. Based on that, there are several laws that encouraging professionals to move to Holland. One of the most important one being ‘30% ruling’ which is a tax benefit that allows you to pay less taxes for 5 years.