I now back in the UK for a bit and I must admit, I do miss Amsterdam who wouldn’t!!
There are have been ups and downs living in Amsterdam, being there for two years doesn’t seem that long for some but, I personally think that is enough time to know if its for me or not
I will start with the pros.
I stayed in a place called Amstelveen which is It is a suburban part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. Very green and one of the safer places to live. Lots of places to walk or cycle for example, Amsterdam Bos which is a very large forest ( 3x larger than new york central park) with lakes, canoeing, small animal farm plus much more, they even hold large music festivals.
There was also good transport to Amsterdam Centraal . But from March they have closed the metro tram line for around two years, as they are rebuilding and extending the line. But saying this they have a very good replacement GVB bus service which runs on time!!
Applying for residency is very easy and straight forward if a you have your birth/ marriage certificate certified you just go the your Gemeente (local council) and register your personal details and place of residence.
Shopping was great not far to the local supermarkets or the main shopping Centre.
Amsterdam has a lot to offer from shopping, sightseeing to relaxing by the canals. We all now about the coffeeshops, but they are very touristy. You can find more discreet and less tourist coffeeshops with more affordable cannabis if that’s your thang!!
Transport is great and affordable has good links to the Coastal area such as Zanvoort Zee and to other parts of Netherlands. If you go to the back of Amsterdam Centraal station you can catch a GVB ferry across the water to the Lookout attraction or to a place called NDSM which is has quirky and arty buildings (graffiti ) as well as being residential but also have great music and other festivals. Didn’t mention the ferry is FREE, so take advantage especially in the summer months.
My favourite food… I am vegan, but never found it hard to eat out or to cook at home. Amsterdam has a lot to offer for vegans. I written this is my blog of where to go to eat or shop. I also had an infinity to there fries had to pace myself on how many times a week I ate them!!!
Working in Amsterdam has very flexible working hours. You may have an open widow to start for example you could come into work any time between 8 – 10am. Many office workers have half day or the whole Friday off.
Where I lived (Amstelveen) accommodation is quite pricey for a 1-2/3 bedroom apartment you’re looking at anything from 1650 euros to 2500 euros a month without bills. If you were looking to buy it can cost anything from 300,000 for an apartment to 500,000+ for a 3-bed house. Amsterdam is even more!! You can get housing a little cheaper but you either have to be on a lower income or sharing.
Food compared to UK is much more pricey on most Items. The only things I found cheaper were healthier products such as flaxseeds, which were only 1.50 euros to compared to around £3.00+ in Leicester. Same for Organic Coconut oil, superfoods and nuts I personally found cheaper in Amsterdam.
Jobs… I found it quite a mission in finding a job. I had the skills but for some reason its was quite difficult for me. I had a short contract, which was nice but found it hard to find another; it may have been the language barrier or just bad timing or my age being in my late forties!!
I found the Dutch very helpful but my opinion they prefer to hang out with other Dutch to expats, but as I said that’s my opinion.
You have to take health insurance which is quite pricey (can be around 250 euros pp/pm) and I didn’t even cover everything such a dentist or eyes you have to add this on for an additional price! And I didn’t even use it!!
Overall I do like Amsterdam! There is no comparison to Leicester apart from the Language, food prices and seeking employment, which also can be hard, oh yes!!! And Family.
I not saying the Netherlands is easier the EU has its own set of issues, and if you don’t earn a good income anywhere can be hard to live.
Would I return yes… unless the Brexit determines my length of stay but I would go back even if its for 3 months. Love the green lush spaces and less air pollution. It was a great experience overall.
But on the other-hand, I would prefer to settle somewhere eventually with a hotter climate ! – Who wouldn’t!!!!