A Londoner’s Guide to Transplanting in Amsterdam

The billboards are true. Rent is lower, working hours are fewer, and this town is very much open for business. For people and families used to London Amsterdam has so much to offer. So where should you start in deciding where to transplant? We are, as always, here to help.

The East End boys and West End girls

Starting from the centres, if you’re a Knightsbridge or Kensington kind of person, firstly let us say: congratulations. Secondly, we can confidently advise you to keep your housing search to the central canal belt or grachten gordel. This, much like Knightsbridge or Kensington is where you find the hub-bub and the fancy. It is beautiful, it is upmarket, and it is glorious.

Houses on the Prinsengracht, Herengracht and Keisersgracht are grand, dating back to the Golden Age in the seventeenth century. While Knightsbridge houses the great and the good so too will you find Amsterdam’s finest here, with lucky residents happily soaking up the city’s riches; theatres, restaurants, bars and museums.  Amsterdam has sixteen Michelin starred restaurants and you’ll find the vast majority of them here.

But maybe this isn’t you at all. Do you fancy yourself a bit more of an EastEnder? Amsterdam can do gritty cool too, don’t you worry. For a bit of the up and coming rough stuff you can consider Amsterdam Noord your kind of place. On the formerly-industrial ‘NDSM’ side you’ll find an ever-evolving array of pop-up, semi-permanent and permanent cool and hyper cool establishments including container bar-restaurants like Pllek, reclaimed land-cum-bar de Ceuvel and greenhouse bar and summer festival space Noorderlicht.

The residential areas of Amsterdam North (Noord) are quickly changing from a historically working class demographic to a more diverse mix of everyone. Housing here is generally cheaper and so it is attracting all walks of life to the Noord party.

If You’re Tired of London, You’re Ready to Move to Amsterdam

If the hyper hustle of London is a bit much, and you’re after a calmer life outside of the extremities of the West vs East ends then maybe an Islington-type area is a bit more your speed. Amsterdam can provide. Islington, marked by relaxed family options and good housing could be equated with the Pipe (de Pijp) neighbourhood of Amsterdam. Just south of the grachten gordel, a short cycle from basically anywhere in the city, you’ll find this neighbourhood full of restaurants, gyms, juice bars and its very own (Sarphati) park.

The neighbourhood does have a bit of an edge, having historically been a rougher area of the city. There is almost no trace of this anymore, but the faint scent of urban cool remains despite the Starbucks.

Notting Hill, Actually

Still not quite you? Maybe you’re a West London type. Notting Hill, Holland Park and Chelsea perhaps? Amsterdam can do comfort, style and class without overstating the grandeur too. For this we would like to bring your attention to Old South (Oud Zuid).

Well connected to the myriad of multinational company’s offices in the Zuidas, Oud Zuid is quiet, with gorgeous housing stock and is a very comfortable place to be. The British School is located here, along with expat amenities aplenty.

The nickname ‘Gold South’ (Goud Zuid) is an accurate one, as inexpensive it is not, but you get what you pay for and as an expat you will truly want for nothing in this area. The Concert Gebouw concert hall rests proudly at the north side of the neighbourhood and the area is dotted with exceptional restaurants, shops and spas such as the Michelin starred RON Gastrobar, Dutch design shop &klevering and the Soap Treatment Store just to get you started.

The Leafy South Meets Amstelveen

Oh, South Londoners, we have not forgotten you! If being a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, with actual trees is what you crave, families of Clapham, look no further than Amstelveen.

There’s a forest, a friendly international community, and the connection to the city and further afield are fantastic.

Families are particularly well catered for with the Amsterdamse Bos nestled in the centre, with activities for children year round. The International School is also located here, as are all the shops and amenities you could possibly need. Schiphol is on the back doorstep for easy access to the rest of the world. 

London Essentials in Amsterdam

So how about it, London? Are you ready to make the jump? Give us a call and we can talk you through how to get started. From all of us at Nieuw Amsterdams Huys, welcome to Amsterdam.

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