Amsterdam city centre

Amsterdam Centre: Expat guide

08 juni 2024

Introduction to Amsterdam Centre 

Amsterdam Centre is the historic heart of Amsterdam, characterized by its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and unique charm. The district encompasses the iconic Canal Belt, bustling City Centre, and the trendy Jordaan neighborhood. Known for its picturesque canals, historic buildings, and lively cultural scene, Amsterdam Centre offers a dynamic and diverse living experience for expats.

Living in Amsterdam Centre 

City Centre

The City Centre is the bustling core of Amsterdam, renowned for its historic landmarks, shopping streets, and vibrant nightlife. This area is perfect for expats who enjoy being in the midst of the action, with easy access to a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and cultural attractions. Housing here ranges from traditional canal houses to modern apartments, with prices generally on the higher end due to the central location.

Canal Belt

The Canal Belt, or "Grachtengordel," is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its beautiful, concentric canals lined with elegant 17th-century houses. This area offers a serene and picturesque living environment, ideal for expats who appreciate historical architecture and scenic views. The housing market in the Canal Belt is competitive, with prices reflecting the prestige and desirability of the area.

Canal at Prinsengracht, Amsterdam


The Jordaan is a trendy and artistic neighborhood, famous for its narrow streets, independent boutiques, and cozy cafes. It has a bohemian vibe and is popular among young professionals and creative expats. The housing in Jordaan includes charming townhouses and modern apartments, with prices varying but generally more affordable than the Canal Belt.

Map of Amsterdam showing Centre

Amenities in Amsterdam Centre 

Amsterdam Centre boasts a wide range of amenities, ensuring a comfortable and convenient lifestyle for its residents. The area is home to numerous international and local schools, such as the Amsterdam International Community School. There are also several hospitals and healthcare facilities, including the OLVG Hospital.

For daily needs, expats will find an abundance of supermarkets, specialty stores, and markets like the Albert Cuyp Market. The district is teeming with restaurants, cafes, and bars offering diverse culinary experiences, from traditional Dutch cuisine to international flavors. Additionally, Amsterdam Centre features a wealth of cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters, and galleries, including the renowned Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House.

Public Transport in Amsterdam Centre 

Amsterdam Centre is exceptionally well-connected by public transport, making it easy for expats to navigate the city and beyond. The district is served by numerous tram and bus lines, as well as metro services. Amsterdam Central Station, a major transport hub, provides extensive train connections to other parts of the Netherlands and Europe. Additionally, the area is bike-friendly, with dedicated cycling paths and bike rental services widely available.

Cost of Living in Amsterdam Centre 

Living in Amsterdam Centre can be relatively expensive compared to other parts of the city. Here’s an overview of typical costs:

  • Rent: €2000 - €3,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.
  • Groceries: €50 - €100 per week.
  • Dining Out: €15 - €25 per meal at mid-range restaurants.
  • Transport: €3 for a one-hour tram/bus/metro ticket; monthly passes start at €90.
  • Entertainment: €10 - €15 for cinema tickets; €50+ for theatre or concert tickets.

Landmarks and Attractions 

Amsterdam Centre is home to numerous iconic landmarks and attractions:

  • Central Station: opened in 1889 and renovated recently
  • Anne Frank House: Historic house and museum dedicated to Anne Frank.
  • Dam Square: Central square featuring the Royal Palace and National Monument.
  • Red Light District: houses the oldest building in town: Oude Kerk (Old Church)
  • Bloemenmarkt: Famous floating flower market offering a variety of flowers and bulbs.

Expat Community in Amsterdam Centre

Amsterdam Centre hosts a vibrant and active expat community. Various organizations and groups provide support and opportunities for socializing, networking, and cultural exchange. Expats can join clubs, attend events, and participate in activities organized by groups like Your Expat Social Club, which offers a range of come-together events and activities. The area is also dotted with international cafes and bars where expats often gather.


Amsterdam Centre offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern convenience, making it an attractive destination for expats. With its diverse neighborhoods, excellent amenities, and active expat community, living in Amsterdam Centre provides a rich and fulfilling experience.