The best extra-curricular groups for expats in Amsterdam

Find your people ๐Ÿค—

Moving to a new city is hard, especially with loneliness on the rise. Joining an expat club could significantly enhance your feeling of belonging in Amsterdam.

No matter your interests, there will be something for you; whether that’s sports, arts and crafts, theatre or cooking.

We’ve researched varied and interesting groups that expats can join in Amsterdam and compiled a list of some of the best.

Join a social running club ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ

‘Dam Runners is a friendly running community that meets regularly. Speed is not a pre-requisite; you just need to be competent and not fussed about running a few kilometres (why else would you go?).

If a running club is not for you, why not give Parkrun a go? Anyone can join and it still gets you out of the house and exercising with other people.

photo-of-smiling-running-club-out-exercising-together
Running together makes exercise more enjoyable for some! Image: Freepik

Rollerskate your expat worries away

Live out your Whip It fantasy and meet with fellow rollerskaters for a fun evening activity.

Every Friday night, an enthusiastic group skate around a different route in Amsterdam. Check out their schedule for all the upcoming outings!

Play netball (what’s that?!)

This netball club in Amsterdam was founded 10 years ago and is still going strong.

Newcomers and seasoned players alike are welcome, so no matter your skill level, you’re sure to have a ball! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Join a life drawing class ๐ŸŽจ

Fascinated by the human body? Enjoy sketching? Life Drawing Amsterdam allows drop-ins, or you can become a member. It’s a great way to wind down after a day’s work.

photo-of-woman-at-life-drawing-class
Embrace your artistic side at a life drawing class! Image: Freepik

Row until your troubles go!

Gliding along the canals is a perfect way to see Amsterdam from a new perspective and experience a different side of city life.

TopRow offers classes for everyone, but there are plenty of recreational rowing clubs in Amsterdam.

Get deep and philosophical ๐Ÿ’ญ

Want to broaden your mind? Enjoy challenging questions? The Socrates Meet Up Group meets on Sundays to discuss ideas that stimulate critical thinking.

Being open to different points of view is a great way to integrate in a new place โ€” it might even open up your mind to new perspectives and thoughts about the Netherlands.

Become a Padel pro

The Expat Padel Club in Amsterdam prides itself on regularly bringing together a friendly expat community.

Together, they enjoy developing their skills in this exciting sport and building connections as a club.

Check out what they’ve been up to in this video โ€” looks like fun!

Make pottery and ceramics

Studio Pansa is a pottery studio in northeast Amsterdam that offers varying levels of classes and workshops.

Work with clay and ceramics in a comfortable, friendly learning environment! Here’s a snap of them at work. ๐Ÿ“ธ

Take some time out at the movies ๐ŸŽฌ

Do you love to watch and talk about movies but are looking for English language options at the cinema?

READ MORE | Amsterdam voted one of Europeโ€™s best cities for cinema lovers

Expat Cinema Amsterdam’s Facebook page shares the perfect upcoming events and networking drinks for you. Grab the popcorn! ๐Ÿฟ

Get reading with a book club

There are plenty of options to fulfil your reading needs: Amsterdam Book Club is a community of like-minded literature enthusiasts who meet in members’ houses, and Readers and Drinkers like to grab a beer with their books!

Stroll while the sun sets

Starting up again through spring and summer, this walking group prioritise getting outside, leaving the workday behind, exercising and enjoying nature as well as each other’s company. ๐ŸŒ†

READ MORE | Hiking in Amsterdam: top 7 places for wandelen near the city

Dine green for free โ™ป

BuurtBuik is an initiative bringing food-loving, waste-hating internationals together for free.

Hosting delicious three-course meals that are all prepared by volunteers from food waste, it’s a great cause and gets you involved in your new community!

Learn Italian cooking…with Italians ๐Ÿ

Are you keen to perfect your pasta? La Cucina del Sole is an Italian cooking school that teaches all the essentials so you can cook like real Italians do.

There is a huge variety of courses, from vegan cuisine to a dedicated gnocchi workshop.

photo-of-chef-making-pasta-from-scratch
Try your hand at homemade pasta, yum! Image: Pixabay

Check out the Amsterdam Photography Club ๐Ÿ“ธ

The Amsterdam Photography Club has over 5000 members and hosts multiple events a year, from mixed-level Photography Courses to photo walks and lectures.

If photography is your thing, this is a great opportunity to start snapping your city!


Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience, and part of that is finding people to spend time with and make friends with.

Social clubs are a great way to get to know the locals and enjoy your time living in a new place!

Are you already part of an expat club here in Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments below! 

Feature Image:Freepik
Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying โ€œoh I have always wanted to go there but itโ€™s so far away!โ€). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.

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