Living in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an amazing place to live, for my character, by far one of the best cities to live in Europe.

Firstly, the city is not huge, yet it’s quite big (219.3 km²). In comparison with London (1572 km²) looks like a joke. The two cities probably have similar weather manifestations, rain, wind, some rain, more rain, rain with wind… wow a sunny day!

When it is sunny in Amsterdam is like being in heaven. You can take your bike, put on your music, favourite podcast, or simply listen to the world around you. And you can bike to any place in the city, within 45 minutes you can reach any part of Amsterdam.

Then you have the very open minded people of the city. They express who they want to be as individuals and respect other people’s self expression. They have a saying in Dutch: “Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg”. Literally, be yourself, it is crazy enough. The Dutch people are known to be tolerant and straightforward.

This city of Amsterdam has a population of 1.14 million. It’s rather populated, with a huge variety of people with different backgrounds – people with 179 different nationalities¹. People here live in harmony and respect, the authorities are more indulgent, they do not take advantage of their power. They just protect and educate citizens to behave in the liberal society.

Jobs are in abundance in Amsterdam and they are still on an incremental curve. You can find jobs for any type of educational level or professional preparation. Moreover, the employment system is employee oriented and therefore lots of employment benefits and overall well regulated. This comes at a high cost though, since the tax brackets are taking quite a lumpsum percentage. See below table with tax rates in the Netherlands 2019 and 2018:

The cost of living is rather high compared with other big European cities, like Madrid, Berlin, Rome. You can hardly find a rent below 600 €, and that being in the suburbs with a mere 9 m² in size. Sounds insane, but rents and housing in general is expensive because there is a lot of demand and the construction of houses is shadowed by the construction of offices. A lot of houses are in the accommodation industry to cover the high number of tourists invading Amsterdam.

Supermarket food is oke in price and quality. Although, I prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables more in the southern or eastern European countries. The average cost per grocery shopping is 30€ per week without abstaining from anything! Going to a restaurant is quite expensive, average dinner 20 euros, one (cheap) course, drink and coffee. But raported to a minimum salary – like working in a restaurant – for 40 hours a week you earn 1200€, thus dining out is manageable once in a while.

This is like a worse case scenario, of course. People here earn usually more than that. As I said, there are jobs for all qualifications. A corporate or office employee will get a minimum of 30k per year. Then depending on your salary construction you can obviously earn more. The emphasis on salary is so that you do not get discouraged by the high costs. It is definitely a city with opportunities and possibilities for everyone.

Amsterdam’s scenery is composed of canals, rivers (Amstel, Ij, Gein, etc), forest like parks, beautiful architecture, coffeeshops, the Dutch coffeeshops and lots of bikes.

Amsterdam is an amazing people full of opportunities. The atmosphere is chill and welcoming, people are open minded, jobs available for anyone willing to work, a rather expensive city but worth it!

References:

1.http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/amsterdam-population/

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