EXPATS IN AMSTERDAM
From a small fishing village to one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Amsterdam has evolved into one of the most open-minded cities in the world with endless opportunities. Needless to say, you will hardly find a more expat-friendly community and this is why Amsterdam is so full of foreigners who made the decision to continue their life there.
Assuming you have already made the decision to move to Amsterdam or maybe you have already landed here, we have prepared a detailed guide which aims to help you feel like you are less of a tourist and more local.
By chance you also landed on our website because you heard about the Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. There is no way you can ignore the incredible nightlife of Amsterdam once you are already here. Therefore, we have also included many of the benefits and extras included in the ticket as well as the complete package which you will get to know better as you go down the lines.
Expats in Amsterdam: The Essential Guide to Experience the Best of Amsterdam
To begin with, we will not focus on the possible cultural differences, the cost of living, or other factors that go hand in hand with living in Amsterdam. Instead, our focus will be on local experiences and attractions that the city has to offer that has to be seen by both tourists and locals. In addition, we will talk about the different nightlife experiences and the best places to meet locals and make new friendships.
Living in Amsterdam means that you have to get used to tourists being everywhere. There are, of course, the quiet local places where you can enjoy yourself and feel like home. All you need to do is explore and you will find a little bit of everything.
With this said, here is our friendly guide for expats in Amsterdam.
1. Go Outside of the City Centre
Needless to say, the Amsterdam center is the tourist focal point of the city. It is where all the most famous sights of the city are located and where the everlasting crowds will stay. Amsterdam, however, is a lot more than a city center and there is no better way to experience the local life than by exploring the different neighborhoods and experiencing small daily activities.
Assuming you already got your hands on a bike, exploring Amsterdam should be first on your list of activities. Even if you do not have one, the transport system is well developed and easy to use, despite being a bit pricey.
One of the first neighborhoods that you need to visit is Oud-West or Amsterdam West. It is a triangular area just outside of the center which holds a variety of market streets and is surrounded by parks. Why you should visit Oud-West will be revealed in the following section.
What to do in Oud-West
The feeling you get after you spend some time in Oud-West is a combination of a village and a cosmopolitan environment. The best way to experience it is to try a little bit of everything – ethnic food, street markets, or some of the cultural events.
Visit the De Hallen Cultural Complex
Since it was transformed into a cultural complex in 2015, De Hallen has become one of the coolest places in Amsterdam. It combines a little bit of everything – a variety of workshops and restaurants, the largest independent cinema complex in the Netherlands, a hotel, and many curious markets.
You can, of course, see tourists here as well but it is also a great place for expats in Amsterdam to get to know the local culture.
One of the first locations in De Hallen that are mandatory is FoodHallen. You already understand that this is a covered food market but we would rather call it a multicultural food paradise. It will quickly become your go-to location for trying out exotic food from around the world.
You will find dozens of incredible shops in De Hallen but you definitely need to visit the monthly Makers Market where you will find the most unique craft goods made by locals and actually meet the makers. What better way to find something made-in-Amsterdam for your home and meet new people.
Visit Ten Katemarkt Market
Ten Katemarkt is a quaint outdoor food market with over 100 stands selling absolutely all types of fresh food. It is also a great location to eat Dutch Street Food and experience some traditional meals. This is one of the tourist-empty locations in the city which best represents the lifestyle of the Dutch nation.
In addition, you will find that the prices here are significantly lower than in the majority of the large supermarkets and the best place to find fresh food at a discounted price.
2. Drink Local Beer at a Local Pub
Craft beer is one of Amsterdam’s hidden treasures and the perfect opportunity for beer-loving expats in Amsterdam to meet new people and try unique beers.
If there is one go-to beer bar in Amsterdam that would definitely be Café Gollem. With a selection of over 300 well-priced local and international beers and over a dozen tap beers, this is the perfect place to meet new people as it is also a local favorite.
Few things can create such a strong connection between people like sports and beer at a proper location. And if watching sports is your favorite activity to combine with good beer, then you should give Sportsbar Heffer a try. This exquisite place is the perfect location to meet new people or old friends while enjoying beer, food, and football.
If you need more convincing that Sportsbar Heffer is the place for you, you should know that with the Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket you can double-up your beer for free. Not only but the first beer is also on the house!
3. Cruise the canals
One of the many wonders of Amsterdam which makes it unique before anything else is the canals. Local or expat, exploring the city by boat will never get old. We mainly specialize in the fun and wild nighttime activities in Amsterdam but it seems like a good time to mention one of the many incredible side extras of the Complete Nightlife Experience Package.
While the regular Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket includes free entrance at over 30 clubs and venues, as well as a long list of additional extras, the Complete Nightlife Experience Package is perfect if you also want to explore the city along the canals.
As soon as you get your hands on your own complete package, you can use it to get a canal cruise for free. Cruises leave once every 30 minutes from early in the morning to the late hours of the day and last approximately 60 minutes.
This gives you the opportunity to experience the beauty of Amsterdam at night which is something we guarantee you will never forget.
4. Experience Dutch History with a Twist at Amsterdam Dungeon
One of the easiest ways to understand local culture is to experience its history. We already mentioned that as an expat in Amsterdam, you will have plenty of time to visit all the important historical sites. This does not mean that you need to neglect the history of the Netherlands.
On the contrary, we want to offer you a historical experience like no other. The Amsterdam Dungeon is a place where history is being brought to life. Professional actors will take you on a journey through the darkest ages of Dutch history combining horror and dark humor. See for yourself if you can survive the days of the plague and the middle ages as you go through scene after scene.
This show is not for the faint of hearted but is an experience like no other. It has not only become a tourist-favorite attraction but a local-favorite as well. Furthermore, with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket, you get 2 for 1 on the entrance which means that you can take a friend or a loved one for free as well!
5. Amsterdam Nightlife & the Best Clubs to Meet Locals
When you put the historical value of Amsterdam aside, there are one or two things left, which make it a popular destination for young people – weed, of course, and the nightlife. There is only one way to depict the nightlife here – epic. While clubbing is not always the first thing you think about when you want to meet new people, it is one of the easiest ways to find people with the same vibe as yours.
Tourists find their way to even the hardest places to find but the majority of party people will always be represented by locals. We have carefully selected a few clubs that are suitable for everyone – locals, tourists, or expats in Amsterdam.
Set in an 18th-century historic church, Club Paradiso is one of the oldest nightclubs in Amsterdam. Needless to say, it is one of the venues that have remained a local favorite for more than a few reasons. It is also one of the most visited clubs by students in Amsterdam, therefore, the perfect place to meet young people.
The best thing about Club Paradiso is that it is not huge and creates a feeling of intimacy. You stand there with people with similar musical taste meters away from the artists themselves. Many famous musicians choose Paradiso as a venue for shows and concerts which means that you will always have something to see there.
In the nights when there is no concert, the club has three floors which often play different music. This place offers a little bit of something for any musical taste and the atmosphere is literally electric. It is one of the best venues for expats in Amsterdam who want to get the most of the local nightlife scene.
If you need more reasons to go, you can skip the entrance fee and get in for free with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. It is highly unlikely that you choose to stay once you step through the entrance and feel the atmosphere we are talking about. If not, the ticket itself gives you the opportunity to check out more than 30 other clubs and venues for free so you can rest assured that your unforgettable party experience is secured and waiting for you on every corner of Amsterdam.
Chicago Social Club
Chicago Social Club is located at such a central spot that it leaves you no excuses but to check it out. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, it hosts some of the wildest parties in town with many separate rooms offering different types of music.
Even if you are not the clubber type, you can take a seat near the bar and try out a few of their exquisite cocktails, believe it or not. In fact, the atmosphere here is cozy and this is why it is a great location to meet new people, may they be locals or internationals.
Once again, you can forget about the entrance fee with your Amsterdam Nightlife Ticket. The nightlife here is so diverse that clubs like Chicago Social are a must-try having that it is located perfectly for bar-hopping or pub-crawling.
El Punto Latino
If you are a fan of the unconventional, then the El Punto Latino Club is a great option and is worth a visit even if you are not a fan of Latin music and dancing. Needless to say, this place attracts a really mixed crowd – from local Latin lovers to tourists and expats in Amsterdam in search of something different.
Whether you are a great dancer or not, whether you came alone or with friends, you are guaranteed to find a dance partner whenever you step on the dance floor. Latin music has literally taken over the world in the latest years and more and more people choose to spend a beautiful party night out in this environment.
Even if you are not a dancer yourself, El Punto Latino offers a great selection of cocktails and drinks which also makes it a perfect location to sit down, enjoy the music, and meet new people. You will in no way feel like this is not the place for you and who knows, maybe you will come back soon.
Even if El Punto Latino does not spark enough of your interest, it is located in the Leidseplein area where the majority of great clubs are. With your Nightlife Ticket, you can enter El Punto Latino for free and see for yourself. Life is too short to stay in your comfort zone. Take advantage of the opportunity to enter for free and try something new and refreshing.
If not, the ticket itself gives you the opportunity to check out more than 30 other clubs and venues for free so you can rest assured that your unforgettable party experience is secured and waiting for you on every corner of Amsterdam.