7 Dutch cities to move to right now (recommended by mortgage experts)

It's not just Amsterdam 🌆

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Thinking of setting up shop in the Netherlands? Great choice! But before you start googling “Houses Amsterdam,” let’s consider some other Dutch cities that could be the perfect (and considerably less pricey) backdrop to your new home. 

We know, we know, Amsterdam is great. It’s got those gorgeous canals, the laid-back atmosphere, and it’s well connected, but as anyone who lives in this country can tell you — so do many cities in the Netherlands! In fact, they can offer all of the above and more

We teamed up with experts in every city to bring you this article. Mortgage agents from Expat Mortgages walked us through each of their recommended cities and why they’re a great option for house-hunting internationals. 👇

1. The Hague: the real capital of the Netherlands 

The Hague is in the middle of it all, whether it be the Randstad or Dutch politics. Not only is The Hague a central city in itself, but it also offers easy access to some of the Netherlands’ largest cities — as well as the Dutch coastline! 

As Fred, a mortgage broker from Expat Mortgages, tells us, “The Hague is a 55-minute drive to Amsterdam, 35 minutes to Schiphol Airport, and just 25 minutes to Rotterdam.” 

The Hague is a firm favourite among internationals in the Netherlands — and mortgage experts! Image: Freepik

You can think of The Hague as a city where you can have the best of both worlds. This is a great option for international home seekers who are caught between wanting to live in a modern city setting or a typical Dutch neighbourhood — The Hague offers both!

Its popularity among internationals is proven when you look at the stats. “In 2023, about 1 in 20 buyers were from abroad. This is significantly higher than the national average of 1 in 62,” Fred explains.

READ MORE | Interest, inflation, and lower house prices: what does this mean for Dutch housing?

Being a large international city that also happens to be near the coastline, The Hague offers the possibility to combine living, working, shopping, surfing, eating out, all into one day!

Of course, we understand that the asking price is also an important factor when it comes to choosing where you’re going to live — but we’re not afraid of talking numbers. 💪

“There is a limited price difference between housing types,” Fred says. “Buyers paid an average of €4,410 per m² for an apartment and €4,570 per m² for a house. The price per m² has increased by an average of 16% compared to Q1 2023.”

What’s the average price for a house in The Hague? As of June 2024, the average purchase price for a single-family home stands at €675,000, while the average purchase price for an apartment is €364,000.

Interested in buying in The Hague? You can contact The Hague mortgage expert, Fred van Maanen, to learn more about your mortgage options.

2. Rotterdam: for big city vibes, without big city prices 

If you know that a big, buzzing, and modern city is the place for you, then Rotterdam is the perfect Dutch city to call your home.

Unlike Amsterdam — or any other Dutch city for that matter — Rotterdam offers a completely different aesthetic compared to the rest of the Netherlands. 

Rotterdam mortgage expert, Juan de Goeij, explains that there’s a lot of variety in this city, and not just in cultures and food hotspots.

“I really love Rotterdam,” he tells us. ” It’s a wonderful city with a nice atmosphere, and sincere hardworking people.”

“The inner city, was bombed flat during World War II, and has been completely rebuilt by the people of Rotterdam. It is a city with modern and international allure.”

You actually feel it when walking through the centre; one moment you’re in between the most modern architecture, the next moment you find yourself surrounded with cute little hidden historical places.

READ MORE | 10 things that are unique about Rotterdam

“It offers a beautiful mix of old buildings and a breathtaking skyline on the Maas River,” he says. “The flags on the Maas boulevard indicate how many nationalities live in this city!”

The attraction towards Rotterdam has grown in recent years, which means house prices have grown with it.

What’s the average price for a house in Rotterdam? In June 2024, the average asking price for a house in Rotterdam stands at €391,000. According to Juan, this is an attractive price if you look at cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, where prices are considerably higher.

Is Rotterdam the city for you? Expat Mortgages specialist, Juan de Goeij, is chock-full of information on the best places to buy to get the most bang for your buck.

3. Utrecht: If you want a buzzing city, but not as buzzing as Amsterdam

We all love that Amsterdam buzz, but if you’re looking to live somewhere in the Netherlands that has good, classic Dutch vibes without the intensity of being a world-famous tourist hotspot, Utrecht is a solid option. 

READ MORE | 7 questions answered about getting a Dutch mortgage in 2024

“Utrecht is a very beautiful city to live in, with the gorgeous and unique canals in the city center that you can walk along below’’, Expat Mortgages consultant, Joost van den Elsakker, points out.

In Utrecht you can live more quietly — and with more space — than in Amsterdam, he points out.

“The square meter price is also lower than in Amsterdam, and on top of this, many homes in Utrecht are located on private land, so in most cases there’s no lease hold applicable.”

Think Amsterdam — but not Amsterdam. Image: Depositphotos

While Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, it still offers cosy village vibes and an escape from urban life.

READ MORE | Moving to Utrecht: everything you need to know about living in Utrecht in 2024

“If you take public transport, within 10 to 15 minutes, you can be in the countryside with forests and plenty of green space. So if you like the vibe of a booming city but still want to have the possibility to be within a couple of minutes in the countryside, Utrecht is the place to be!”

What’s the average price for a house in Utrecht? Many people have come to realise that Utrecht is a gem of a city to live in — which means that housing prices are on the rise. As of June 2024, housing prices have risen to an average asking price of €519.035

Enchanted by those gorgeous canals? Reach out to Joost van den Elsakker to talk about your mortgage opportunities in Utrecht! 

4. Almere: a city quite literally built for you

If you’re looking for a city that doesn’t just offer housing but was quite literally built for people to move into, allow us to introduce Almere. 

The youngest Dutch city in the Netherlands, Almere has been creative in its approach to architecture.

If you want a home that is hip and modern — but also based in an extremely Dutch setting (how much more Dutch can you get than living on a older), Almere is the perfect city. 

Almere offers even more than beautiful houses. Image: Unsplash

Mira of Expat Mortgages tells us that not only does the city offer a multicultural and diverse city life, it also offers something for nature lovers.

“Oostvaardersplassen is a beautiful and unique nature park. You have different beaches for sunbathing, but you can be active and take up sailing, SUPping, and windsurfing.”

What’s the average price for a house in Almere? Almere is quite the hidden gem at the moment, with housing prices sitting at an average asking price of €471,082 as of June 2024. 

All fired up for Almere? Reach out to Mira Makkinje for everything you need to know about this charming Dutch city. 

5. Eindhoven: an international hub in the Netherlands

If you’re looking to enjoy an international lifestyle in the Netherlands, then we would suggest finding a home in Eindhoven. This buzzing city found outside the Randstad is home to many internationals in the lowlands.

This is because a wide array of international companies (such as Philips and ASML) are based here. Mortgage consultant, Steff Driessen, is quick to add that you’ll also find many startups in this area, especially in tech.

READ MORE | Am I eligible to get a mortgage in the Netherlands?

On top of this, he points out that “Eindhoven has a well-known cultural scene with a lot of events, museums, theaters, and music venues. The city’s annual events, such as the Dutch Design Week, attract international attention and offer plenty of opportunities for networking.”

“Because Eindhoven houses 165 different nationalities, there are a lot of services for expats to feel at home, including expat centres, networking events, and language courses,” he tells us.

“These resources make the transition to living and working in Eindhoven smoother and more enjoyable.”

One final pro for internationals living in this city is that it actually has its own airport! Perfect for the frequent flyer or a nice weekend trip home. 

What’s the average price for a house in Eindhoven? While you may think this is the perfect recipe for Amsterdam-level housing prices, this isn’t the case! The average asking price in June 2024 stands at €404,000

Expert consultant Steff Driessen can help you discover your mortgage potential in this region of the Netherlands! 

6. Groningen: A historic but young city

Looking to live somewhere that makes you feel like you’re steeped in history but not suffocated by it?

Groningen’s beautiful old city is filled with a population that consists of 25% students! This composition makes it an old city with hip, young vibes. 

Groningen is becoming an increasingly popular city in the Netherlands. Image: Unsplash

As Roy Bijkerk from Expat Mortgages points out, “Due to the presence of many expats and other internationals in the city, you can easily speak English in many shops and restaurants, and international foods and customs are gradually becoming part of city life.”

“All in all, it is a friendly, welcoming city,” he tells us.

And this is recognised by more and more people, with Roy telling us that the number of houses sold has increased from 502 in the previous quarter to 589 this quarter.

What’s the average price for a house in Groningen? As of June 2024, the average transaction price has risen from €312,487 to €323,901, while the average transaction price per square meter has gone from €3,253 to €3,404.

Want to experience that Groningen magic? Expat Mortgages’ Roy Bijkerk is your local expert and will use his knowledge to find you your dream home.

7. Maastricht: for the avid traveller looking for a home

If you’re looking to settle down — but not too much — Maastricht is definitely worth considering. If you opt to buy yourself a house in Maastricht, you don’t have to worry about being too committed to life in the Netherlands.

READ MORE | Which experts can save you money when buying a house in the Netherlands?

“The burgundian lifestyle of the south is right on your doorstep, with Belgium just around the corner and France only two hours away,” expat mortgage consultant Roy Schreurs tells us. 

Think of Maastricht as a city with a touch of France. Image: Freepik

Want to work in Germany? No problem. Spend your weekends in Belgium? Also no problem. Not only does this close proximity influence your lifestyle — but also the architecture!

The city boasts a unique aesthetic that is both Dutch and… German? French? Belgian? Depends on where you’re looking! 

As Roy says, “If you like older cities with their laidback centres and lots of restaurants, this is the place to be.”

What’s the average price for a house in Maastricht? Maastricht is also a great option for those who are seeking something a bit more affordable. As of June 2024, the average housing price stands at €375,500

Guess who can help you find out more about your potential mortgage in Maastricht? Roy Schreurs, of course! 

Ok, I know where I want to live now — what’s next? 

Simple! It’s time for you to find a mortgage advisor and calculate your mortgage. The team at Expat Mortgages are happy to sit down with you for a free consultation. You can also check out one of their helpful seminars for all their tips and tricks! 

Ready to take the plunge and buy a house in the Netherlands? We know you are! Enjoy your new life living it up in the lowlands. 😉

How have you experienced living outside of Amsterdam? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Before becoming the Senior Editor of DutchReview, Sarah was a fresh-faced international looking to learn more about the Netherlands. Since moving here in 2017, Sarah has added a BA in English and Philosophy (Hons.), an MA in Literature (Hons.), and over three years of writing experience at DutchReview to her skillset. When Sarah isn't acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her trying to sound witty while writing about some of the stickier topics such as mortgages and Dutch law.

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  1. I told my wife that we will move to the Netherlands soon (for study and living) after searching on different European countries to migrate to. I find the country interesting and good to move to as an African.
    Searching the cities apart from Amsterdam gives me better options on which city & University to live/work and study.

  2. I’m afraid that the numbers for some cities are very much wrong. For example, I don’t think that average asking price in Eindhoven is almost 30% lower than the average asking price in North Brabant and 100k lower than what Google gives as the average asking price.

  3. Another best place these days that gets easily overlooked by expats is Purmerend area. The houses are still a bit cheap as expats are yet discover the place. Only 15 mins drive to Amsterdam. Direct bus connections to Amsterdam and Amsterdam Noord.


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