Best cities to live in the Netherlands


It’s not always easy to decide in which area to settle in when moving to the Netherlands. According to you, what are the best cites to live in?

Which regions offer most of the job opportunities, a good quality of life, an affordable cost of living?

Share with us the cities you would recommend to expats and soon-to-be expats in the Netherlands.

Thank you in advance,


Amsterdam hands down. To a lesser extent, Rotterdam and Utrecht also provide good career opportunities for expats.

Outside the Randstad regio, probably Eindhoven, but you'll be pretty much locked to the Philips/ASML industrial complex.

Hi Julien,

I have been in the Netherlands for the past 7 years and lived in different cities.

Amsterdam has a lot fo job opportunities. It can be competitive.
Haarlem is great if you want to settle down with a family and it is quite affordable and close to Amsterdam.

The Hague has the perfect balance because it is great for expats and it is quite affordable for a city.

Utrecht is quite central to the Netherlands and close to transportations.

Please check this website to help you compare the cost of living in the Netherlands.

I hope that helps and good luck to expats and all soon-to-be expats.

Have a great day :)

Moderated by kenjee 2 years ago
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I think depends all why you move to the Netherlands.

If its for work then the big cities in the Randstad ( the " triangle"  Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague) are the most common to choose from. Or where your employer is located.

If its for love then it could be anywhere and you cant choose at first.

For me its different because I am prejudiced and I have so my own favorite spots.

It depends what you are looking for. Amsterdam is extremely gorgeous and has an exciting vibe but personally it's somewhere I like to visit rather than live. The Hague is beautiful and has more of a family feel. I live in The Hague and I'm totally biased towards it! I didn't plan to move here when relocating to The Netherlands but I am very lucky that it is where I ended up. It has a great center for shopping and many parks and green areas to walk around. All of the embassies and Peace Palace give it a regal feeling and there are some truly beautiful sites to see. For an expat it is very international but less touristy than Amsterdam.

Delft is also gorgeous and quaint but its not as good as Amsterdam and The Hague for shopping. However, it is quieter than both and cheap for entertainment as it is extremely interesting just to walk around. It also has a nice family vibe.

Hi to everybody!! I think I'm a year later to participate in this topic  :P what do you think about haarlem?? I heard it's a very family nice place and near to Amsterdam. But I don't know how expensive would take to live there. Is it a city for good job salary people or a big/medium salary? Does anybody know how much does the living in haarlem cost? Thank you! !

Haarlem is a beautiful city and indeed close to Amsterdam and the nature but unfortunately also expensive...
A lot of families who are living or have lived in Amsterdam moving/moved to Haarlem because of the reason you mentioned. But you can always try if something is suitable for you.

Hi!! Thank you for your message! My boyfriend visited once Haarlem and he really loved it!! But I understand it's quite expensive when it comes to making for a living for the fisrt time. Does somebody know or can suggest the most affordable cities in north holland? We would like to move to a city full of job opportunities and quite lively regarding museums, bars and culture in general. I bet our very first option could be Amsterdam as I heard there is a higher chance to get a job than in smaller cities. But I think that accommodation is expensive too... what would you suggest: a big city with a more expensive living or a smaller city with less expensive price of living? Thanks!  :cheers:

To be honest, I would choose for a smaller city. The public transportation is very good so you can always go to Amsterdam anytime.
But even the cities around Amsterdam are not much cheaper for the same reason...
Use Google earth to explore virtual the area.

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