General Introduction:

What is special or unique about your city?

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is known as “the Venice of the North” due to its many beautiful canals.

Amsterdam is considered as one of the happiest places to live in the world, for its laid-back culture, and diverse city life.

Expats moving to Amsterdam will find a city rich in history, including 7,000 national monuments, from 15th century fortifications to the grand gables of the Golden Age.

Amsterdam is synonymous with the arts. Clustered around the Museumplein at the southern end of town, there are three renowned museums (van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum) and a world-famous concert hall. The city is also home to the Dutch National Ballet and Opera company.

Some of the greatest pleasures in Amsterdam are the simplest, such as a walk along the canals, admiring the stately houses along the way. And for a break from city life, many Amsterdam locals visit nearby Het Groene Hart (The Green Heart), a largely agricultural area east of the urban Randstad zone.

What are a newcomer's first impressions of your city?

In Amsterdam, everyone is accepted and the locals are welcoming The population of Amsterdam is comprised of over 171 nationalities, which does a great deal to promote an atmosphere of cultural and religious tolerance.

What is the local language?

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch. The majority of Amsterdam's residents speak English well and are often fluent in one or two languages on top of that.

How easily could I live in this city without knowing this language?

The majority of Amsterdam's residents speak English well and are often fluent in one or two languages on top of that. It’s good practice for expats to learn some Dutch as it will help them to settle into their community.

What are some good cultural practices to consider in the city?

The Dutch speak directly and use a lot of eye contact. To expats this might appear abrupt, but it is just their manner of communicating. Wearing sunglasses or covering the face otherwise while speaking to someone might be seen as a sign of having something to hide.

How might the local weather affect my daily life?

The warmest months of the year are June to August, when temperatures range between 21 and 26 degrees Celsius. There are rarely extreme temperatures and even in winter the temperature does not often fall far below freezing point.

Is there anything else I should know about the overall character of your city or its people?

A compact city with a population of just around 779,808, Amsterdam is not extremely large. You can cross the city in half an hour on foot - or by bicycle if you are a true Amsterdammer!

Useful Links

The Netherlands ranks as one of the top gay-friendly countries in Europe, with the superstar of the country’s gay and lesbian scene being, of course, Amsterdam – here attitudes are tolerant, bars are excellent and plentiful, and support groups and facilities unequalled.


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