Amsterdam is the second-best city in the world (say what?)

The travel magazine Time Out ranked Amsterdam as the second-best city in the world! 🥳 Amsterdammers and others praised their city for its sustainability efforts, green space, as well as food (questionable!) and culture.

Global magazine Time Out surveyed 27,000 people from cities like Melbourne, Madrid, Chicago, etc. and Amsterdam came shining through as the second-best city in the world! 🌍

The only city outranking Amsterdam is San Francisco — but who wants to live somewhere with that many hills anyway? 

Points for environmental policies 

Amsterdam has topped other cities for their environmental policies, according to Schroders European Sustainable Cities. The city aims to cut down on carbon emissions, convert to green energy, and improve the air quality. 

Some ways that Amsterdammers keep things clean are by biking everywhere, having electric buses, and more! 

Doughnut model and sustainable living

One of the things that Time Out noted was Amsterdam’s “doughnut model.” 🍩 Also known as a circular economy, the process involves re-using raw and other materials over and over again to avoid waste. 

Amsterdam is also known for its sustainable fashion practices, buildings and zero-waste lifestyle. The city has low-waste restaurants and apps for all of your food cravings, for instance.

Is Amsterdam really that good to live in?

While we are super happy that the Dutch city is considered one of the best to live in, it might not be the best for our wallets. 💸 There are ever-increasing housing prices, expensive public transport, and not so cheap restaurants. 

READ MORE | The cost of living in Amsterdam: all you need to know

Then there’s also the mass tourism and of course the gloomy weather that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And if you’re not a fan of how weed smells, well, better get used to it in Amsterdam. 🌿

But complaining and bragging about their city was always an Amsterdam thing anyway. 😉

What do you think about Amsterdam being the second-best city in the world? Tell us your thoughts in the comments! 

Feature Image: Ethan Hu/Unsplash

Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


  1. Do not agree. I’ve lived there for a while in the 80s and I have thought about returning for a while. Now I am happy I didn’t. The centre is no longer fit for normal living, it has turned into a big tourist attraction. Just outside of the centre you need a million euros to buy a house and forget about renting, it is even more expensive. Generally the city has grown too big and is severely overcrowded. I love to visit but I am always happy to leave agin after a few days. But I do love the NDSM area at the North Bank which is packed with all types of artists and hosts great festivals. Nothing like it anywhere else in NL.

  2. I have been living in the Netherlands since septembre last year. I have not visited the city yet.
    Some prejudices are influencing our choices and it is not normal

  3. Just like you pointed out in your article – it is unfortunately very very expensive to live here – the housing prices are completely unreasonable. The situation is bad enough that there are protests now about this. So maybe not the best place to live.. yes the best place to live if you are rich.. I don’t understand how these ratings are being made. The price of a very modest!! apartment in Amsterdam is about 500.000 euros and the price of renting a modest 1 bedroom apartment here is more than 1000 euros per month. So maybe not the best place to live .. But nice to visit.

    Instead other smaller cities in the Netherlands have a bit lower housing prices and less busy as well and they are really nice.

  4. Survey of 27k people?
    Sure, same reason I follow all those Internet courses just because a guy in a Lambo told me is good.
    Amsterdam is not bad, but you need to be Dutch (legally and especially culturally) to enjoy the city as “second best in the world”
    For me, to many gangs fights, stabbings (forgot the one at CS few years ago?), bike aggressiveness and capitalism (duh is Holland).
    For others probably too much youth partying, tourism, fees and taxes, not that efficient garbage collecting system and unnecessary “Dutch honesty” aka “I’m gonna be rude, but don’t get offended, is just the truth, you stink”

  5. Apart from the soccer stadium there aren’t many huge buildings, bridges or squares. Most things are small and within reach. This gives the city an open and welcoming atmosphere. It is not trying to impress with 19th century grandeur like many other European cities pretend to do. Also, apart from the not so pretty central bank building, it is not covered with ugly government offices like The Hague. It kept its 17th century look like a museum whilst there is still a vivid atmosphere of real people living in the city center. In other cities the city centers are empty after office hours

  6. These polls are just free advertising. Does anyone think the 10th or 50th “best” city is not great. As a resident of Amsterdam though not Dutch, I like walking around this beautiful canal-laden city and seeing great art in the many world-class museums. Sustainability and transit are also good. The bikes have got out of hand now as cyclists don’t give a rat’s arse about pedestrians. The people are arrogant and aggressive and need professional help. But the biggest letdown is the food. Nowhere near good enough to be a top city. Unless you like soup and broodjes every day.


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