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

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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 the experts 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, it also offers easy access to some of the Netherlands’ largest cities — as well as the Dutch coastline! 

As Richardo, a mortgage broker from Expat Mortgages, says “The Hague is a 35-minute drive to Amsterdam, 25 minutes to Schiphol Airport, and just 15 minutes to Rotterdam.” 

Feature Image: AVC Photo Studio/Pexels https://www.pexels.com/nl-nl/foto/stad-zonsondergang-bezienswaardigheid-nacht-6157516/

READ MORE | The housing market in the Netherlands in 2021: to buy or not to buy a house in the Netherlands?

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! 

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!” Richardo says.

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. 💪

What’s the average price for a house in The Hague? The average asking price for a house in The Hague stands at €473,571 in 2021 — and believe it or not, this is below average when compared to the region of North Holland (which is a whopping €687,000 in 2021). We’ll let you take a guess at which city really drives up these figures. 😉

Interested in buying in The Hague? You can contact Richardo Cruz Fortes to learn more about your mortgage options.

2. Rotterdam — for big city vibes, but not 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. 

Photo-of-Rotterdam-skyline-Dutch-city
Rotterdam offers a very different Dutch experience. Image: haveseen/Depositphotos

Speaking with Alicia about Rotterdam, she says that “there’s a lot of variety in this city, and not just in cultures and their food hotspots. You will 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.”

Looking to build an exciting and innovative home for yourself? Rotterdam is the perfect place to do this according to Alicia. “Rotterdam is also the place to be when you’re particularly interested in a new build property because they’re working on some groundbreaking and unique projects in different areas.” 

READ MORE | 10 things that are unique about Rotterdam

What’s the average price for a house in Rotterdam? Also unlike Amsterdam, housing prices are relatively reasonable in Rotterdam — yes, reasonable prices still exist in some regions! In 2021, the average asking price for a house in Rotterdam was €375,000 — which is good for the Netherlands.

Intrigued? Feel free to reach out to Alicia van Schijndel! She’s the expert on all things mortgage-related in Rotterdam. 

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. 

Not only is it a gorgeous city to live in, Ralf van Arkel points out that “buying a house in Utrecht can also be seen as a good long-term investment. The prices are high, true, but not as high as in Amsterdam or other parts of the Netherlands. Because Utrecht is so popular, the prices of the houses can increase in the future.” 

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Think Amsterdam — but not Amsterdam. Image: innervision/Depositphotos

While Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, it still offers cosy village vibes and an escape from urban life, Ralf tells us. “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!”

READ MORE | Moving to Utrecht: everything you need to know about living in Utrecht in 2021

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. In the second quarter of 2021, housing prices rose by 22.3% to an average asking price of €463,000

Enchanted by those gorgeous canals? Reach out to Ralf van Arkel 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 polder) Almere is the perfect city. 

Spacious-houses-next-to-water-in-Almere
Almere offers even more than beautiful houses. Image: Daria Nepriakhina/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 €335,000 in the last quarter of 2020. 

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.

photo-cafe-in-eindhoven-netherlands
Eindhoven offers many opportunities to internationals. Image: amoklv/Depositphotos

READ MORE | How to get a Dutch mortgage as a Brit, freelancer, and more

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

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 2021 stands at €350,000

Expert consultant Roy Schreurs 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. 

Photo-of-canal-in-Dutch-city-of-Groningen
Groningen is becoming an increasingly popular city in the Netherlands. Image: Nirmal Suresh/Unsplash

As Erwin Berghuis points out, “to many people Groningen and its surroundings feel like a warm bath. Once you are settled it is quite a challenge to find a better place to live. As the Groningers say; ‘Er gaat niets boven Groningen.’ (There’s nothing like Groningen.)

What’s the average price for a house in Groningen? Another advantage of the city is the relatively low housing prices. As of 2021, buying a home in Groningen will set you back €334,000 on average — but it’s worth noting that the city is becoming increasingly popular amongst hopeful homeowners. In 2021, housing prices in the Northern provinces rose by a staggering 30% on average. 

Unsure of what your borrowing power would look like in Groningen? Contact Erwin Berghuis for advice.

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.

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

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Maastricht is a Dutch city with an international influence. Image: Violin/Depositphotos

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 2021, the average housing price stands at €325,000.  

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. Reach out to the team at Expat Mortgages now for a free consultation or 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: Innervision/Depositphotos

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.

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