Best places to live in the Netherlands

May 17 2022

The Dutch lifestyle is very appealing to Brits for many different reasons. With a welcoming attitude towards foreigners, low crime rates, a healthy biking culture and a well-balanced work-life mix, we are not surprised. But where are the most popular places to live in the Netherlands?

The Randstad is the most popular part of the Netherlands for internationals to live. This metropolitan area in central Netherlands is popular due to it’s great transport connections to Europe, stable economy, buzzing central hub and endless job opportunities.

The Randstad is full of some great places for expats to live, such as:


It would be wrong of us to write a blog post of the top places to live in Holland and not put Amsterdam at the very top. Amsterdam is the Dutch capital and is jam-packed with world-class entertainment, night life and culture.

If you dream of stepping out of your front door to be greeted by the famous canals and oozing historical attractions, then Amsterdam could be the place for you… and, you will not be alone. This city is home to over 180 nationalities, who are unable to resist what this amazing city has to offer.

Here, you will find that half the population isn’t actually Dutch and, to an expat, this may be fairly appealing. If you are nervous about making the move, then being surrounded by people who speak your language and who have been in similar positions may be a relief. This also comes with other benefits, such as a variety of cultures to explore. If you are a real foodie, you will be spoilt for choice with the large range of international restaurants the city has to offer, as a result. The Dutch who live in the city are often applauded for how welcoming they are to foreign migrants.

This city is also known for it’s ‘young, cool vibe’ and is an exceptionally popular destination with youngsters, looking for further education or stepping onto the career ladder. Amsterdam is a great educational hub, full of outstanding schools and universities to choose from. The job prospects are also endless, with some international headquarters located here and plenty of booming industries to get engrossed in.

So, if you are moving to the Netherlands and are looking for a place to live with great culture and job opportunities, then Amsterdam sounds like the perfect place for you.


Home to some of the most wonderful, modern architecture, this Dutch city is the perfect place for the younger generation. Rotterdam was rebuilt after being bombed by the German’s during WW2 and, as a result, the city is now defined by high rise, cutting edge architecture.

The cities unique infrastructure is full of famous landmarks, including the Euromast Observation Tower and the Eramus Bridge, so if you are a keen explorer then you will never be bored. There is also plenty to do in terms of shopping, nightlife and dining, as well as taking part in or attending annual events or exploring the large range of museums Rotherdam has to offer.

Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands and has great worldwide connections, thanks to being home to the largest seaport in Europe. As a result, a lot of multinational companies have places their headquarters here, such as Proctor & Gamble and Unilever. This has helped Rotterdam to become an international hub, which is continuously drawing in thousands of international job seekers every year… meaning there are plenty of great job prospects out there for you!

So, if you are moving to Holland and are in search of a place to live where there are great job prospects with plenty to keep you busy on your weekends, then it looks like Rotterdam is defiantly worth considering .

The Hague

This Dutch city is the political hub of the country and houses the Dutch government building. So, if politics is your thing or you want to further your journalism career then The Hague has plenty to offer.

Famous for its unique blend of the seamless skyscraper skyline and long sandy beaches, you will never be short of things to do here. Within the city there are a wide range of art galleries and museums, displaying both classical and modern art. You can find out all about The Hague, over at The Hague Historical museum or the Migration Museum, as a couple of examples. As well as the more cultural activities, down by the beach there are fun activities on the cities iconic pier or lively beach clubs to enjoy on sunny afternoons.

The Hague is also renowned for its many green spaces and you can find some of the countries loveliest parks here. Zuiderpark is one of the largest, which is full of farm animals, deer and rose gardens. If walking or running takes your fancy then there is no better place for it!

There are plenty of job opportunities to be found here too, as there are a huge number of international organisations and companies located here. Expats are very much in demand for a number of positions in these companies. You will also be supported by the government-established Xpat Desk which is a local programme put in place to assist expats who are living and working in The Hague.

So, if you are looking for somewhere that offers the best of both worlds and offers great support for expat workers, then The Hague sounds like the place for you.


Set in the heart of Randstad, this university city is a wonderful place if you are a student looking to further your education. In fact, Leiden is actually home to the oldest university in the whole of the Netherlands – pretty impressive!

The University of Leiden offer their courses in both English and Dutch, so if learning the native language is keeping you up at night then you can now be rest assured. If the main university doesn’t take your fancy, then there are many other renowned universities to choose from. Most of the students here are foreign, so the city has an attractive international flair to it.

Due to the amount of foreign students, you may think that the Dutch culture may be lost, but that is far from reality. The city is home to around 15 museums, some of which include the main archaeological museum in the Netherlands and painting displays from Leiden painters including Rembrandt van Rijn, so if history and art are your thing then you will never be short of things to explore!

Shopping is also a very popular activity in Leiden. If you are an antique fanatic, then you will be in heaven. The streets are lined with a large number of antique shops that you could spend hours hunting around in! On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the shopping area becomes a huge outdoor market that offers a wide range of fresh goods, so can always look forward to getting your weeks groceries.

So, if you are a student looking to further your career in a place full of local culture, then Leiden seems to be the ideal destination for you.

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