With so many different things to experience everywhere you go – from the tulip-lined bike paths, iconic windmills and winding canals to the many cafes, bars and restaurants. It’s easy to see why people struggle to pick just one location when deciding where to live in the Netherlands. If you’re planning your move here and aren’t sure which town, city or village might be right for you. Here’s our quick guide to some of the most popular expat regions in the Netherlands…
Where to live in the Netherlands: if you have a family
Although there are many great places to live in the Netherlands with a family, the two that stand out in particular are Westerpark in Amsterdam or Ommoord/Zevenkamp in Rotterdam.
The former is especially popular with expat families. The quiet neighbourhood here is home to some of the best schools in the area, as well as plenty of doorstop attractions like shops, a pool and a cinema to keep the whole family entertained.
The latter is also popular, though is much quieter in comparison. Here you’ll find lots of child-friendly green spaces and playgrounds, and while you will have to commute to get to the city centre (around 20 minutes away) the public transport links are excellent.
Where to live in the Netherlands: if you’re a student
Oud West in Amsterdam is the perfect location for students – with numerous cafes, restaurants, museums and shops, this is the perfect place to socialise and meet new people whilst soaking up the local culture. Subsequently, demand for expat housing here is high – particularly given that the area also comprises some beautiful parks and gardens hidden amongst the city centre.
Where to live for work in the Netherlands
If a job is high on your priority list when considering where to live in the Netherlands then Nieuwegein in Utrecht is a great place to start. The flourishing industrial park here provides plenty of opportunities for expats looking for work – and you won’t even need a car to get there as the transport links in and out are exceptional.
Another bonus is the plentiful supply of housing here, with styles and budgets to suit almost every taste and range. And as always in the Netherlands, you’re never far from some local culture; just ten minutes down the road lays the pedestrianised town of Lksselstein.
Alternatively, you might want to focus your search on Stadsdriehoek in Rotterdam. A modern, vibrant city that’s not only home to plenty of shops, restaurants and museums, but also the city’s central business district too. House prices are typically reflective of the demand to live here and while there is a mixture of properties to suit all needs you should be aware that parking here is limited, with permits required for most spaces.
Where to live if you’re retiring in the Netherlands
Maastricht, a city in the southern-most part of the country, is definitely a place to consider if you’re wondering where to live in the Netherlands upon retirement. Steeped in history dating back to Roman times, here you’ll find churches, monuments, a few obligatory windmills and plenty of coffee shops and cafes.
Maastricht shares its borders with both Belgium and Germany, making it the perfect place to consider if you’re looking to spend long weekends exploring the neighbouring countries or holidaying with family. House prices here tend to be slightly lower than elsewhere in the Netherlands, making it a popular choice for many expats.
Where to live if you love city life
Home of the Dutch government, The Hague (or Den Haag, if you’re local) has one of the largest expat communities in the entire Netherlands. If you choose to live here then not only will you have the Dutch parliament on your doorstep but also the Royal Picture Gallery and the Palace of the Dutch royal family. There are also several coveted streets and neighbourhoods bearing all manner of things from trendy restaurants and art galleries to boutiques, shops and salons too.
Where to live if you’re on a budget
If you’re wondering which expat regions WON’T cost you a fortune then check out the reviews for Prinsenland in Rotterdam. An up-and-coming neighbourhood, you’ll get all the perks of being close to the city centre without paying the price for them. This is a particularly great area for families with young children (there are several good international schools here) or students (it’s home to the Erasmus University Campus). Prinsenland is also within commuting distance to Rotterdam’s largest shopping centre – the Alexandrium.
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