Trying to figure out where The best places to live in the Netherlands are there

If you’ve visited the Netherlands before on vacation, you’ll know how easy it is to fall in love with the country. Many tourists dream of moving to this progressive and free-thinking country thanks to its friendly people, English language and high quality of life.

PSSST. Your travel medical insurance can now cover COVID-19!

If you take SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, it is covered like any other disease. I have been using it since 2019 and I can assure you that it is the best solution for nomads like you and me.

If you’re considering the Netherlands for your next move, you’re probably wondering which city is the best.

It may be a small country, but a number of Dutch cities have large international communities and plenty of job opportunities. So read on to discover the five best places to live in the Netherlands for expats.

Netherlands flag


World famous Amsterdam is easily the most popular destination for expats living and working in the Netherlands. The incredibly diverse capital is home to around 180 nationalities, making it one of the best Dutch cities for English speakers.

Amsterdam is mostly known for its cannabis cafes, window brothels and crazy parties. However, the city offers foreigners more than just an epic vacation.

Amsterdam is a great cultural center with an interesting historical center, various museums and various festivals that take place every year.

Amsterdam is also very beautiful thanks to its extensive network of canals, beautiful parks and green spaces. So it’s no surprise that the most popular way to get around the city is by bike, which helps reduce congestion and carbon emissions.

In addition to 515 km of bicycle lanes, Amsterdam has an efficient and accessible public transport network of trams, buses, metros and ferries.

Another reason expats and digital nomads say Amsterdam is one of the best places to live in the Netherlands is the number of job opportunities. There are many jobs for foreigners in different sectors and many do not require you to speak Dutch.

However, living in the Netherlands’ biggest cultural and entertainment city comes at a price.

Housing and living costs in Amsterdam are much higher than in other Dutch cities. Expect to pay up to €1,700 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center!



Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, mainly known for being the location of Europe’s largest seaport. The port and its many job opportunities attract workers from around the world, making Rotterdam almost as diverse as Amsterdam.

Compared to the historic capital, Rotterdam is extremely modern, with huge skyscrapers and modern structures such as the Erasmus Bridge. This is because Rotterdam was completely rebuilt after the destruction of World War II.

However, the city has not lost all of its heritage, as specific neighborhoods such as Delfshaven have many historic buildings from the 17th century. Additionally, Rotterdam has the Kinderdijk World Heritage Site on its doorstep.

Apart from the high altitudes, Rotterdam has many similarities to Amsterdam.

A wide network of waterways is connected to the sea port, giving the city a very beautiful appearance. In addition, there is a vibrant nightlife and a trendy food scene.

Apart from its large international community and modern architecture, Rotterdam is one of the best cities to live in the Netherlands, thanks to its reasonable cost of living.

In the suburbs, one-bedroom apartments can be found for less than 1,000 euros per month. However, if you want to live in the city center, expect to pay more.

Being an international city, it is not difficult to work here as a foreigner. Apart from the huge port, there are opportunities in finance, engineering, digital marketing and more.


The Hague

Because The Hague is known as the political capital of the country, it can sometimes be overlooked. However, The Hague has one thing that Amsterdam and Rotterdam do not.

The Hague is located on the west coast, and although the Netherlands does not have warm weather all year round, the seaside gives the city a unique charm.

The coastline is not the only aspect of nature to be found here. The Hague is surrounded by forests and wildlife areas with an extensive hiking network.

Therefore, The Hague is one of the best cities in the Netherlands for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Hague also has a good balance between old and new. There are few skyscrapers, but dozens of ancient buildings and monuments, such as the Peace Palace.

You can also explore many museums and attractions at your leisure, including the Madurodam miniature garden and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

The Hague is home to embassies and international organizations, resulting in many job opportunities for expats. Therefore, The Hague has become very multicultural, so you will find a large international community here.

In terms of cost of living, The Hague is slightly cheaper than Rotterdam. Depending on the neighborhood, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for between €900 and €1,100.

However, the housing market can be competitive, especially in the most desirable districts such as Seeheldenkwartier, Statenkwartier and Archipelburt.

The Hague


Utrecht is a beautiful, old and small municipality in the center of the country, connected to other top cities in Holland. If you live in Utrecht, you can drive to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague in about an hour.

Utrecht’s historic center and beautiful canals have earned it the nickname “Little Amsterdam,” but there are far fewer tourists here. However, Utrecht is a vibrant city, partly due to its university and its vibrant youth atmosphere.

Although it is much smaller than the capital, Utrecht hosts more cultural events. Thanks to the legendary castle and other ancient monuments, such as the Gothic tower of the Dom, it is definitely even more beautiful.

The Oudegracht (Old Canal) is one of the most beautiful and lively in the city, as restaurants and small bars line the waterfront. The Oudegracht, like all parts of the city, has a very local feel, which is one reason why expats choose Utrecht over one of the more popular cities.

In the vicinity of Amsterdam, some expats who prefer a quiet life decide to settle in Utrecht and go to Amsterdam for work. Accommodation is on average 25% cheaper in Utrecht, so if you don’t mind the daily commute, this could be a good solution.

However, houses and flats can be scarce in desirable neighborhoods such as Oost, Hoograven, Lombok and Witteveurouven.

However, just outside the city, you’ll find the new suburb of Leidsche Rijn, which is more affordable and has more accommodation options.



Eindhoven is not that well-known, but it is one of the best places to live in the Netherlands for tech expats and digital nomads.

Located in the southwest, Eindhoven is best known as the birthplace of electronics giant Philips.

This has made the city a hot spot for technology, design and other startups in the creative industries. Thus, for expats working in these fields, Eindhoven is an excellent base choice.

Because of its innovative style, Eindhoven’s city center has some incredibly modern architecture, including the Evolun science museum, which resembles a flying saucer.

Also, in Eindhoven, you will find the longest coffee and lift street and the second largest airport in the country.

Besides the interesting buildings, Eindhoven has many pleasant green spaces. In fact, an estimated one-third of its public spaces are dedicated to gardens, making it one of the greenest cities in Europe.

The cost of living here isn’t too high or too low, and rent prices are in line with Utrecht. However, housing styles vary by region.

The city center is mainly made up of modern houses, where the majority of single workers and digital nomads live. On the other hand, you’ll find larger but older homes and more family atmosphere in the outer boroughs.


Final thoughts on the best places to live in the Netherlands

Whether you love the vibrant atmosphere of Amsterdam, the modern architecture of Rotterdam or the coastal scenery of The Hague, there is an extraordinary destination for every type of expat.

As with all countries, choosing the best places to live in the Netherlands depends on your preferences, preferences and personal circumstances.

Not sure if the Netherlands is the right place for you? Read one of the following instructions: