Amsterdam ranks 11th on the Quality of Living Ranking. Out of 231 cities, that’s quite an impressive number. But what does it mean in reality?
Each year Mercer publishes its Quality of Living report based on ongoing research among expats and their families. Things like housing, public services, education and healthcare are taken into account to come up with the ranking. But since a number is just a number, we asked our international colleagues what they think about living and working in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a safe city
Sourcer Seyma from Turkey says she feels super safe in the city. And her feeling is backed up by data. According to the Safe Cities Index 2019, Amsterdam is the safest city in Europe and the 4th safest city in the world.
Amsterdam is a bike city
The stereotypical image of Dutch people on a bicycle is completely true. It cuts down commute time tremendously. Director of Business Analysis Sappho from Australia loves the fact that she can cycle (nearly) everywhere. “Both for the ease, but also for the relaxation and the beautiful views. It always makes me smile. Well… at least when it is not raining,” she says.
Amsterdam has a straightforward business approach
Hierarchy is not as important in most work environments. At Emakina especially. There’s more focus on what you can do and what you know than on your job title and where you are in the organization chart. It’s not that we don’t care about hierarchy at all, it’s more that we appreciate our ability to take initiative and responsibility at all job levels. If it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea. It doesn’t matter who came up with it.
Amsterdam is an international city
One of the biggest challenges when moving to another country is the language. But don’t let that scare you off! You can speak English with almost everybody. Dutch people are definitely willing to put in the effort for you. Also, there are many apps available that help you get around the city (like Uber, Google Maps, 9292). So don’t worry about mastering the language upon arrival, you will easily manage with English. And as soon as you are ready, you can participate in the Dutch classes at the Emakina office.
Amsterdam is a flight hub
Schiphol Airport provides flight connections to almost anywhere in the world. That’s a definite perk if you love to travel. And of course if you want to have family and friends over to show them around your new life and city.
Amsterdam has plenty of city escapes
You can easily escape the busy city life by taking a short train ride (or a longer bike ride) to enjoy a bit of nature. “Don’t expect forests or mountains though,” warns Tech Lead Adrian from Spain. “Everything is like a garden here as it’s man-made.” Also, Zandvoort Beach is only a 25 minute train ride away.
Amsterdam is kid-friendly
“Despite its reputation, Amsterdam is actually a great place to raise (and be) kids,” says Business Analyst Cherrie from Indonesia. According to Unicef, Dutch kids are the happiest kids in the world. Also, the educational system in The Netherlands is very good. There are many schools of high quality available.
Amsterdam is a cultural city
There is just always something to do in Amsterdam. Always. Adrian praises the music venues in the city. “Many are hosting European and world tours by a-list artists. And also there are smaller, underground places for up and coming musicians.” Furthermore, there’s plenty of museums to explore, sport events (Ajax!) to visit and local markets to shop around at. Definitely check out the event guide from IAmsterdam.com.
Amsterdam has a thriving startup and digital scene
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s biggest startup hubs. It’s home to many accelerators, incubators, venture capitalists and of course startups. Tech companies like Uber, Google, Facebook, Netflix and Tesla all have offices in Amsterdam. And there’s quite a few big tech events taking place in the capital city of The Netherlands, such as The Next Web, React and Amsterdam Eweek.
Amsterdam is an efficient city
With rules and regulations comes bureaucracy. However, our international colleagues feel that it’s way less here than at their home countries. Adrian from Spain thinks it has to do with Dutch people finding pride in being efficient: “that’s how my interactions with the administration have tended to be, efficient and to the point. No ‘come back tomorrow’ like I was used to in Spain.” Public services are more and more digital by the day. From reporting something to the police to your tax return. The Netherlands and Amsterdam are definitely trying to make things as easy as possible.
So there you have it: 10 reasons to proceed your career in Amsterdam! Check out our vacancies to see if we’ve got a job lined up for you. Also, if you have a particular question regarding relocating or Amsterdam, you can always ask us!