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Rental Apartments in Amsterdam: A Guide for Expats

Mandy Thompson • Mon, Apr 10, 2023

Rental Apartments in Amsterdam: A Guide for Expats

Are you moving to Amsterdam from abroad and searching for rental accommodations? Look no further than City Retreat. Here is our step-by-step housing guide for expats in the Netherlands.

Is Amsterdam Expat-Friendly?

Yes! Amsterdam is a welcoming city that embraces its international community. With a low crime rate and a diverse blend of languages, cultures, and perspectives, it is the perfect place for expats. Foreigners in Amsterdam can expect to make new friends from all over the world.

How Do Expats Find Apartments in Amsterdam?

Securing a rental property in Amsterdam may feel like navigating a maze—especially if you’re new to the city. Expats can work with a real estate agent, browse online rental platforms, or consult their networks.

The process isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Consider emailing our help desk at to get started with our serviced apartments.

Where Do Expats Live in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures. There is no shortage of expat-friendly neighbourhoods, and City Retreat will guide you through your options.

Some of the most popular areas are De Pijp, Jordaan, and Oud-West. These neighbourhoods are located in the heart of the city and offer an ideal combination of local charm and international flair. You can learn more about the different parts of Amsterdam here.

Where Is the Safest Place to Live in Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a safe city overall—but like in any urban area, some places are safer than others. Many expats enjoy neighborhoods like Oud-Zuid, Buitenveldert, and IJburg. To stay safe here in Amsterdam, do your research and use common sense when finding a monthly rental to live.

What Are the Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam?

The cost of living in Amsterdam may vary depending on where you live. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, consider areas like Amsterdam-Noord, Nieuw-West, or Zuidoost—or nearby cities like Zandaam and Harleem. These places are farther from the city centre, but they offer more space for the money.

It’s also worth noting that Amsterdam is bike-friendly with excellent public transportation. Expats can take the train from Zandaam to Amsterdam in just 12 minutes.

Why Is It So Hard to Find Rental Properties in Amsterdam?

Ah, the million-dollar question. The short answer is that Amsterdam’s housing market is notoriously tight, with high demand and a limited supply of rental apartments.

In the Netherlands in general, this shortage comes from several factors. These include a growing population, limited space, and strict regulations resulting in fewer landlords choosing to rent out their properties.

In addition, many Dutch residents choose to buy their homes instead of renting them. This lowers inventory and makes it even more challenging to find the right temporary accommodations.

The numbers are evidence of this. Just 7% to 10% of Amsterdam’s current rental properties came on the market in Q1 and Q2 2023—with the average rental price of an apartment having increased by 12%.

But don’t let this discourage you. With patience, perseverance, and the right partner by your side, you can find your new medium-term home for monthly rentals in Amsterdam. Serviced apartments may well be the right option for you.

Rental Apartments in Amsterdam: A Guide for Expats

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Expat rentals in Amsterdam

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Apartment in Amsterdam?

The cost of rent in Amsterdam varies widely depending on the location, size, and quality of the space. In 2023, expats can expect to pay anywhere from €1,600 to €2,800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a popular neighbourhood on a 12-month lease.

If tenants are renting for a shorter duration, costs may be even higher. Other factors like whether the apartment is furnished, and whether utilities, internet, and insurance are included in the total, will also impact costs.

Should Expats Earn a Minimum Salary to Live in Amsterdam?

The cost of living is relatively high in Amsterdam. To be comfortable as an expat, you’ll probably want to earn at least €3,500 per month.

In addition to rent, you’ll need to budget for food, transportation, and entertainment. You may need to spend €1,500 to €2,000 per month to live comfortably here.

Fortunately, Amsterdam is an economic hub with plenty of job opportunities. There are many ways to make a living here.

Do You Need to Speak Dutch to Live in Amsterdam?

While Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, nearly everyone in Amsterdam speaks English fluently. Of course, you’ll want to learn some basic Dutch phrases as a sign of respect—but expats generally get by just fine on English alone.

Expat Accommodations in Amsterdam

Finding a rental property in Amsterdam can be challenging for expats. By staying patient and flexible, you’ll be able to navigate the rental market and find the perfect property for your temporary stay. Happy house-hunting!