Amsterdam is the most populated and popular city in the Netherlands, with close to a million inhabitants in its municipality area. Its outstanding infrastructure, population diversity, job opportunities, and exceptional nightlife are only a few reasons why it attracts both younger and older people to move to the Dutch capital.
The population of Amsterdam is increasing by almost 10,000 each year, making it a city that is expanding relatively quickly. And because of that growth, finding accommodation for a long-term stay became difficult. This especially applies to the central areas, which are the most attractive.
Naturally, the prices increased over the years, with the average price of an apartment being €25 per square meter or €1,750 for a 70m² apartment. But, of course, that price decreases in other city areas. But those central areas offer multiple benefits that justify the price, and we’ll go through them, so you better understand which are the most family-friendly neighborhoods in Amsterdam.
Is the Netherlands a good place to raise a family?
The Netherlands is considered a great country to raise a family due to a couple of factors:
- Political and economic stability
- Various job opportunities
- Low crime and corruption rates
- Great work-life balance
- Exceptional healthcare system
- Great climate
With all of these combined, it’s not a surprise that the Netherlands is the 6th happiest nation in the world, according to the United Nations Happiness report.
When raising a family, the first thing that comes to mind is taking care of the little ones. A foundation called “KidsRights” is aware of that factor and created a KidsRights Index. This index combines five different sections of the quality of a child’s life:
- Right to Life
- Right to Protection
- Right to Education
- Right to Health
- Enabling Environment for Child Rights
When researching these factors, the KidsRights Foundation concluded that the Netherlands is the fourth best country in the world for your child’s quality of life.
The Dutch government put special emphasis on its education system, making it one of the best in the world. Universities of the Netherlands offer numerous benefits for their students, such as their scholarship programs. There are scholarships available for locals, non-EEA students, and students from developing countries and scholarships provided by Dutch universities.
Furthermore, suppose you decide to study for two different diplomas at the same time. In that case, the state will allow you to enroll for the second one free of charge, hence supporting the students’ enthusiasm for education. This applies to both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as long as it’s a public university.
Another thing that sets the Dutch education system apart from the others is the fact that they offer multiple classes in English, making it very easy for foreigners to fit in and adapt. And with almost 95% of English speakers across the country, it is a lot easier to adapt to other situations.
The healthcare system of the Netherlands is also remarkable, ranking as the second-best healthcare system in high-income countries. The Netherlands provided the best results in the accessibility of medical health and good mental healthcare provisions. Insurance companies will usually cover most of the needed services, but it is mandatory to have some type of private health insurance. In addition, families with a smaller income get free pediatric and primary services.
Is Amsterdam suitable for families?
Amsterdam is absolutely suitable for families, as it is one of the safest cities in the world with an outstanding quality of life. However, many people believe the Dutch capital is a city made for partying and nightlife. Although that is true to an extent, it’s rarely mentioned that Amsterdam is a city with a rich history, packed with museums, art galleries, theaters, and numerous cultural events held throughout the year.
Its main perk is that it’s made for both eccentric party lovers and culture and tradition enthusiasts. With numerous sites like music festivals, sports events, or architecture wonders, it is guaranteed that you’ll find something interesting for your taste.
Amsterdam is also known for its natural sites since the authorities take good care of the Amsterdam Forest (Amsterdam Bos) surrounding the city. It’s the perfect place for organizing a family weekend with numerous fun activities like kayaking, picnic spots, and a couple of activities great for the kids, such as swimming pools or rope ladders.
You can visit the Amsterdam Forest by car, but we highly recommend getting there by bicycle. Amsterdam is known as the city’s bicycle world capital, with more bikes than cars. With perfectly paved cycle paths, you’ll be able to easily get around the town without getting into traffic jams.
On top of that, Amsterdam is packed with dozens of parks that allow various activities and sports, perfect for both kids and adults.
Another thing that makes Amsterdam unique is its accepting culture. With residents from every part of the globe, it’s very likely that you’ll find a restaurant that makes your country’s traditional recipes, for example. In addition, with so much diversity in the city, Amsterdam is highly accepting of foreigners, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, and similar.
Family-friendly districts in Amsterdam
As in every other city, it’s common that there are parts suitable for different characters. There are districts suited for tourists or students; unfortunately, some areas aren’t considered very safe. Although Amsterdam is the sixth safest city in the world, there are neighborhoods with higher crime rates that you should avoid. Those are:
- Amstel III in Bullewijk
- Oude Zidje
Those areas are considered unsafe due to poverty, social issues, and similar problems that cause an increased crime rate. Still, they are safe to visit during the day, but visiting during the night isn’t the best idea.
Another thing that you can find problematic in Amsterdam is the high rent price. As we mentioned, Amsterdam is expanding rapidly, and with many internationals moving there, the prices can be pretty high compared to the average. However, you can find an excellent ratio between quality and price if you know where to look. When it comes to finding family-friendly districts with affordable renting prices, these would be your best picks:
Amsterdam Nieuw – West
The Western part of the city is a great choice for raising a family as it offers many commodities with very affordable rent prices.
It’s well-known for its nature and green areas making it very easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Amsterdam West is also well connected to the rest of the town, with metros, bus routes, and tramways available.
This part of town is extremely close to the central area of Amsterdam, so it’s simple to get there with any transportation method.
There are eight preschools located in the Amsterdam Nieuw area where you can sign up your child. Or, if you find it more convenient to take the child into the central parts of the city (if you work there, for example), it will take only around 15-20 minutes by car.
In addition, there are more than 30 schools in the Western part of Amsterdam, so there’s plenty to choose from based on your preferences or distance.
Furthermore, there are a lot of international families in the Amsterdam Nieuw district, which simplifies the socialization of both parents and children. And as the district is relatively large and spacious, with various sporting events and parks, there’s a lot of space and opportunities for the kids to play around.
Amsterdam North (or Amsterdam Noord) is another family-friendly district with affordable rent prices and a great living standard. It’s extremely close to the central part of the city, divided only by the river IJ.
This district is also very well-connected to the center, with multiple transportation options, including a free ferry ride. This part of town has been growing rapidly, with numerous neighborhoods being built at the same time. The reason behind it is its closeness to the city center while avoiding the noise and crowdedness.
It’s considered a great place to live for foreigners, as their numbers have increased over the years. Still, it’s not that packed with tourists, making it much more peaceful.
With around 20 preschools and almost 40 schools, your child’s education will be well taken care of.
In addition, there are multiple other activities and places to visit for the little ones. One of those is the A’DAM LOOKOUT – the highest swing in Europe that provides a beautiful panoramic view of the city. A petting zoo is nearby, including a small farm where they can see various domestic animals.
And, of course, the Amsterdam Noord is equipped with parks and playgrounds, so the kids won’t lack entertainment and places to run around.
Last but certainly not least, Amsterdam Zuid is a beautiful part of town, perfect for raising a family. It’s popular among both locals and foreigners as it’s the business center of Amsterdam. The prices tend to get a bit higher than in Amsterdam West or North, but it’s justified by the luxury that this district provides.
Naturally, it’s well connected with the city center as it’s very close to it, with only a 15-minute ride by car or metro. In addition, this district is packed with museums, classical music venues, shopping centers, and luxury restaurants, which makes the lifestyle in this district very prestigious.
There are dozens of preschools and around 30 schools, combined with various activities for the kids. Those include a Kinderkook Cafe, which teaches the kids how to cook and teaches them responsibility in an entertaining way. In addition, multiple playgrounds and parks are made for various activities, including mini-golf and a petting garden. There are also seasonal entertainment sources, such as swimming pools and water parks, and an Ice skating Museumplein where they can learn to ice skate and play sports like hockey or curling.
Overall, this district may be more pricey, but the luxury and entertainment sources definitely make up for it.
You choose – we do the legwork
Whether it’s for a business, casual, or family-oriented lifestyle, Amsterdam offers opportunities for every single one of its citizens. Of course, like every other city, it has districts that are better suited for different lifestyles, but when it comes to family-friendly districts, one of these three will be a perfect fit.
Moving to the Dutch capital may be challenging for many due to the extensive paperwork you must collect. Luckily, some services will take care of all of your paperwork and ensure everything is on point. With many foreigners moving to Amsterdam, finding an apartment there can also be a difficult task. That’s where DutchHaven steps in and helps you find an apartment according to your preference – in a location you like, with a price range you determine.
In addition, if you are looking for a job and struggling to find one, they can help you with your search and find the best match.
Amsterdam’s population is increasing for a reason, and if you are ready to become one of its residents and enjoy everything it has to offer, feel free to contact us.