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Moving and Relocation
Moving and Relocation
7 min

Amsterdam Old South: Expat Guide

7 min

Amsterdam Old South: Introduction and History

Amsterdam Old South is one of the most charming and upscale neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Known for its elegant architecture, leafy streets, and vibrant cultural scene, this area offers a unique blend of historical charm and modern convenience. Whether you're considering a move or just curious about what this neighborhood has to offer, this guide will provide you with all the information you need about living in Amsterdam Old South, from housing costs and public transport to the best local attractions and expat tips.

History of Amsterdam Old South

Amsterdam Old South, or Oud-Zuid, was developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the city expanded beyond its historic center. The neighborhood was designed to accommodate Amsterdam's growing bourgeoisie and features a mix of grand mansions, townhouses, and apartment buildings. The area has always been associated with affluence and cultural sophistication, and many of its buildings reflect the architectural styles popular at the turn of the century, including Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Location of Amsterdam Old South

Amsterdam Old South is situated just south of the city center, bordered by the Vondelpark to the north, the River Amstel to the east, and the Zuidas business district to the south. This strategic location makes it one of the most desirable areas to live in Amsterdam. The neighborhood is divided into several distinct areas, each with its own unique character. Old South offers a sophisticated and vibrant living experience, making it a popular choice for expatriates.

Map of Amsterdam showing Old South

Different Areas in Amsterdam Old South

Museum Quarter

The Museum Quarter is the cultural heart of Amsterdam Old South, boasting world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum. This area is also home to the Concertgebouw, one of the world's finest concert halls. The Museum Quarter is perfect for those who appreciate art and culture and enjoy living in a lively, cosmopolitan environment.


Willemspark is a prestigious residential area characterized by its beautiful architecture and tranquil, tree-lined streets. The neighborhood is adjacent to the Vondelpark, Amsterdam's largest and most famous park, providing residents with ample green space for recreation and relaxation. Willemspark is ideal for families and professionals seeking an upscale, serene living environment.

De Pijp

De Pijp is a bustling, multicultural neighborhood known for its diverse population and vibrant atmosphere. The area is home to the famous Albert Cuyp Market, where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce, international foods, and unique goods. De Pijp offers a lively nightlife scene, numerous dining options, and a rich cultural experience, making it popular among young professionals and expats.


Stadionbuurt, named after the Olympic Stadium built for the 1928 Summer Olympics, is a predominantly residential area with a more suburban feel. The neighborhood features a mix of modern apartments and traditional Dutch houses, as well as excellent schools and sports facilities. Stadionbuurt is a great choice for families looking for a quiet, community-oriented environment within easy reach of the city center.

Housing and Cost of Living in Amsterdam Old South

Living in Amsterdam Old South is generally more expensive compared to other parts of the city. The housing market here is highly competitive, with a mix of rental and purchase options. The cost of living in this area is also higher due to the premium services and amenities available. However, the quality of life is exceptionally high, with excellent schools, healthcare facilities, and a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

  • Renting an Apartment: Expect to pay between €2.000 and €2,800 per month for a one to two-bedroom apartment.
  • Buying a similar property: Anywhere from €500,000 to over €1 million, depending on size and location
  • Utilities: Monthly utility bills (electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) are around €150 to €200.
  • Groceries: A monthly grocery bill for one person can range from €200 to €350.
  • Dining Out: A meal at an inexpensive restaurant costs about €20, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can be around €70.

Amenities in Amsterdam Old South

Amsterdam Old South 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 British School of Amsterdam. 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, Old South features a wealth of cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters, and galleries.

Public Transport in Amsterdam Old South

Amsterdam Old South is well-connected to the rest of the city by an extensive public transport network. Trams, buses, and metro lines make it easy to get around without a car. Public transport in Amsterdam Old South is efficient and well-organized, offering several options for residents and visitors:

  • Trams: Multiple tram lines, including lines 2, 3, 5, 12, and 24, run through Amsterdam Old South, providing excellent connections to other parts of the city, including key destinations like the city center, Museumplein, and Vondelpark.

  • Buses: Numerous bus routes serve the area, ensuring convenient access to both local and regional destinations. Bus lines such as 15, 62, and 65 are commonly used by residents for their daily commutes.

  • Metro: While the metro network is more limited in this part of the city, the Amsterdam Zuid station provides access to metro line 52 (North-South line), offering quick connections to the city center and Amsterdam Noord.

  • Bicycles: Amsterdam is renowned for being bike-friendly, and Old South is no exception. Cycling is often the fastest and most convenient way to navigate the area, with dedicated bike lanes and bike-friendly infrastructure throughout the district.

Landmarks and Attractions

Amsterdam Old South is home to many of the city's most iconic landmarks and attractions. Some must-visit sites include:

  • Rijksmuseum: The Dutch national museum showcasing a vast collection of art and history, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer.
  • Van Gogh Museum: Dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries.
  • Stedelijk Museum: Known for its modern and contemporary art collections.
  • Concertgebouw: One of the world's best concert halls, renowned for its acoustics and classical music performances.
  • Vondelpark: Amsterdam Vondelpark is the largest and most popular park, perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities.

What to Expect for an Expat Living in Amsterdam Old South

Living in Amsterdam Old South offers expats a high quality of life with access to excellent amenities, cultural attractions, and a welcoming community. The neighborhood's central location and excellent public transport make it easy to navigate the city, while the abundance of green spaces provides a peaceful retreat from urban life. Expats can expect a vibrant and diverse community with plenty of opportunities for socializing and cultural enrichment.

Expat Community in Amsterdam Old South

Amsterdam Old South is a popular choice for expats due to its high standard of living and excellent amenities. The neighborhood has a sizable international community, with many expats working in the nearby Zuidas business district or at one of the city's numerous international companies. English is widely spoken, and there are several international schools in the area, making it an ideal location for families.

Amsterdam Old South hosts a strong sense of community, where people from all walks of life connect and thrive. This inclusive atmosphere extends to the expat community, ensuring that newcomers feel welcome and supported as they integrate into their new surroundings. Here you will find a good mix of expats and locals. There are many groups and activities for expats to meet each other and learn about Dutch culture. The neighborhood also has many international shops, restaurants, and cafes. The people are friendly and welcoming, and there's always something to do. If you're looking for a vibrant and welcoming community, Amsterdam Oud Zuid is the perfect place for you.

Things to Do in Amsterdam Old South

There’s never a dull moment in Amsterdam Old South with plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained:

  • Visit the Museums: Spend a day exploring the world-class museums in the Museum Quarter.
  • Picnic in Vondelpark: Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the city's most famous park.
  • Shopping Spree: Indulge in some retail therapy on P.C. Hooftstraat, Amsterdam's most exclusive shopping street.
  • Food Adventure: Sample a variety of cuisines at the many restaurants and cafes in De Pijp.
  • Cultural Events: Attend a concert or performance at the Concertgebouw or one of the local theaters.

Tips for Living in Amsterdam Old South

  • Explore the Parks: Take advantage of the beautiful green spaces like Vondelpark and Beatrixpark for relaxation and recreation.
  • Cultural Activities: Make the most of the neighborhood's cultural offerings by visiting the museums, attending concerts at the Concertgebouw, and exploring local galleries.
  • Dining Out: Discover the diverse culinary scene in De Pijp and around Museum Quarter, where you can find everything from high-end restaurants to cozy cafes.
  • Shopping: Visit the exclusive boutiques on P.C. Hooftstraat for luxury shopping or explore the Albert Cuyp Market for fresh produce and local goods.
  • Join Expat Groups: Connect with other expats through social groups and events to build a supportive community.

Fun Facts About Amsterdam Old South

  • Historic Streets: Many of the streets in Amsterdam Old South are named after Dutch painters, composers, and writers.
  • Architectural Gems: The neighborhood is home to several buildings designed by famous Dutch architects, including the renowned Amsterdam School of architecture.
  • Cultural Hub: The Concertgebouw hosts over 700 concerts annually, making it one of the busiest concert halls in the world.
  • Film Location: The picturesque streets and canals of Amsterdam Old South have been featured in numerous films and TV shows.


1. What is the cost of living in Amsterdam Old South?

The cost of living in Amsterdam Old South is higher than in many other parts of the city. Expect to pay between €2.000 and €2,800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, with purchase prices ranging from €500,000 to over €1 million.

2. How is the public transport in Amsterdam Old South?

The neighborhood is well-connected by trams, buses, and the metro. Several tram lines and the Zuid metro station provide easy access to other parts of the city.

3. Are there good schools in Amsterdam Old South?

Yes, there are several excellent schools in the area, including international schools that cater to expat families.

4. What are some must-visit attractions in Amsterdam Old South?

Key attractions include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Concertgebouw, and Vondelpark.

5. Is Amsterdam Old South a good place for expats?

Absolutely. The neighborhood offers a high quality of life, a welcoming expat community, and numerous amenities and cultural attractions.


Amsterdam Old South is an ideal neighborhood for expats seeking a high quality of life in a vibrant, culturally rich environment. With its excellent amenities, beautiful architecture, and central location, it offers everything you need to feel at home in Amsterdam. Whether you're planning a move or just exploring your options, Amsterdam Old South is a neighborhood worth considering.

If you're ready to explore Amsterdam Old South, start by visiting the local attractions, attending community events, and connecting with other expats. For more information on housing, schools, and lifestyle in Amsterdam Old South, subscribe to our newsletter or contact a local real estate agent today!