Moving is always a headache, not only because of all the things you have to arrange, but also because of the uncertainty of how much money you have to spend and all the little things you overlook that can affect your budget. Moving to Amsterdam is certainly expensive, but there are many ways to price it out or find cheaper options.

  • Rent: 500 euros (room), 1000 (studio), 1500 (suburban apartment)
  • Deposit: Rent for 1 or 2 months (plus brokerage fees).
  • Attachments: EUR 30 (1 piece of luggage), EUR 50-100 (1 box at the counter, 20 kg or one piece of international luggage)
  • Moving companies: 500-1000 euros (within Europe, depending on volume), more than 1000 euros outside Europe.
  • Travel to Amsterdam: 200 euros (plane ticket within Europe), 600-700 euros (plane ticket outside Europe), 80-100 euros (bus), 100-200 euros (train) or car (plus expenses, parking, etc. ).
  • Bank account: free
  • Registration: free of charge
  • Health insurance: +100€ per person per month
  • Visa: free in the EU, in some countries EUR 60-150
  • Tuition: 2,000 to 10,000 euros.

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The cost of moving depends a lot on where you are coming from, when you are going to Amsterdam, how much you have, if you are alone or have a family, how much you are willing to pay, etc. In this article you will find my case as an example and all other options explained to help you in this difficult time.

Moving to Amsterdam: the costs

Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities in Europe, so if I were you, I would be willing to be open with the money you want to spend and be more flexible with your budget. The good thing is that if you move to the Netherlands and plan to stay there permanently, you will also receive a decent salary that will allow you to live decently: part-time and full-time, both included.

In my case, as a student, I always worked part-time and that was enough to pay for everything I needed. For someone who works full time, this is not a problem, but if you are from other countries in Southern Europe or other parts of the world, it can seem very expensive.

I’ll tell you about my business and the money I spent to settle in the Netherlands, but I’ll also tell you about all the options I looked at and I can help you draw up your own budget. Then we’ll do: my business, rent, transportation, boxes and stuff, furniture, paperwork, health insurance, etc.

Moving to the Netherlands: my experience

I moved to Amsterdam to learn Dutch and work on the weekends. This meant that I was looking for a relatively cheap option and could not afford to live alone and have other luxuries. In my case, I found a room in a shared apartment (not only for students, but also for workers) and paid only for the basic things I needed.

Rent (room in a shared apartment) 500 euros
Deposit (1 month rent) 500 euros
Mediation fees 200 euros
Health Insurance 100 euros
Transportation: Bus 80 euros
Tuition 2000 Euro
Baggage 0 Euro
IKEA 100 euros
TOTAL: 3500 euros

Since I paid for everything myself, I was always looking for the cheapest options I could find. Here is an explanation of my options:

  • Rent: A shared room near the university (less than 5 km away) is never cheaper than 500 euros. This is the minimum you can ask for.
  • Deposit: I was asked for one month, but some agencies ask for two months. You usually sign a one-year contract, which you should also consider. You always get it back.
  • Placement fees: I have moved several times and have not always had to pay when you can find an apartment yourself online. The first time I moved to the Netherlands, I paid the mediation fee and the cost of the room was about 200 euros. If you are lucky, you can skip this part.
  • Transportation: I chose to come by bus from Spain (24 hours!!) but I found it super cheap and adventurous and I could take up to 2 pieces of luggage for free. The rest of the trips, always by plane, and it’s more expensive and sometimes chaotic, at least for me.
  • IKEA : Get sheets, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, towels and everything else you need. You can order online and ask for home delivery or visit IKEA Zuid Amsterdam!
  • Tuition: You can pay it later, not right away. You can ask for multiple payments and it is up to you. Since I have European nationality, I have only 2000 euros left. See below for more details.
  • Health insurance: I found out too late that if you are in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, you have to take out a private health insurance. Otherwise you will be fined (mine was over 400 euros). Health insurance is mandatory, about 100 euros a month is the cheapest, and you can ask the government for help. For more information, see below.

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Here you will find more general information about other budgets and other costs you may want to consider. To learn more about the cost of living in Amsterdam, read this article: Cost of Living in Amsterdam.

Rent in Amsterdam

Leasing is probably one of the most expensive parts of the process. Here are some of the options:

  1. Room: 500 euros or more
  2. Studio : at least 1000 euros
  3. Apartment: 1,500 euros and most likely in the suburbs.

You should consider making a deposit for 1 or 2 months. The deposit should be included in your contract and you will be reimbursed at the end of the contract.

If you get your accommodation through an agency, you either have to pay a percentage of the rent or, like me, 200-300 euros.

If you have a low income, you can ask the government for help. See the requirements and additional information in this article.

Transportation: Arrival in Amsterdam

Moving prices depend on where you currently live. If you are in Europe, you can look for

  • Car: this depends on the toll (from your country, there are no borders in the Netherlands, Germany or Belgium), parking (at least 20 euros a day if you leave it in Amsterdam) and gasoline.
  • Bus: probably the cheapest option, starting at 50 euros plus free luggage (2 seats).
  • Train: it depends where you are and for the 2nd piece of luggage (100-200 euros) you have to pay.
  • Plane: depends on the place, always to Schiphol (in Europe it is usually 100-200 euros), outside Europe it is more expensive (500-700 euros one way). Plus 30 euros or more for each piece of luggage.

Luggage and boxes

If you take your luggage and that’s it, you can see the prices that I correctly indicated for each promotion. But if you have more, it depends on many other factors. For the boxes, you have to have options:

  • A private company: This is usually expensive and you should contact one of these companies in your home country, not in the Netherlands. In some cases you pay per box, in others per track volume, etc. I have at least 500-1000 euros in Europe and more than 1000 from another continent. Read more about it here.
  • Mail: Please also contact your local post office. I recommend doing this if you have one or two boxes and you have someone who can ship them. In my case, I did it and it costs 60-70 euros for shipping the luggage and maybe 30-40 euros for a 15-20 kg box.

Furniture

In most cases, studios and rooms in the Netherlands are already furnished. If you’re not so lucky, there are plenty of places where you can buy everything from designer to IKEA. These are just some of the practical options:

  • Mediamarkt (for electronic devices)
  • IKEA (in Amsterdam-Zuid, also delivers for very little money if you don’t have a car or time)
  • Second-hand stores where you can find a little bit of everything (the most popular in Amsterdam, Rataplan).

Bureaucratic procedures: bank account, VISA, registration fees, etc.

As for bureaucracy, I have good news: opening a bank account at any bank is free, registration at the town hall is free, and EU citizens do not need a visa.

Some visas cost 60 euros, others 150 euros. It depends on the reason for your stay (for more information, click here). Either way, if you are moving outside Europe with a job, your employer will have to pay for it and sometimes provide you with one in advance. It is useful to contact the embassy for more information, every country is different.

Health Insurance

If you live in the Netherlands for more than 90 days, for any reason, you must have Dutch health insurance, which is private. Even if you are from the EU, you have to pay.

The good news is that if you have a low income, you can get a government subsidy for insurance. This is the Health Care Supplement, you can read more HERE.

The bad news is that you MUST buy insurance, which costs at least $100 a month or more, depending on the coverage you have.

Tuition fees: for university students

I wrote a detailed article about school fees: It depends on whether you are an EU citizen or not. So the price is between 2,000 and 10,000 euros.

Once you are accepted, you must pay at least a deposit of 1/4 or 1/5 of the total amount. Here’s everything you need to know about tuition.

Frequently asked questions

How much money do you need to move to Amsterdam?

Rents range from about $1,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $7,000 for a two-bedroom house. If you don’t live downtown, rent is about $800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and about $4,000 for a two-bedroom house.

Is life in Amsterdam expensive?

Amsterdam is a moderately expensive city to live in. The cost of living is high, but not as high as in other European cities such as London … The rental market in Amsterdam is more affordable, but still expensive. To live in the city center in a one-bedroom apartment, it costs about $1,490 on average.

What is a good salary to live in Amsterdam?

For the Netherlands as a whole (excluding the Amsterdam supplements): about 3000-4000 euros gross per month, leaving generally (taxes and social contributions) between 1500-2000 euros net.

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