Mary Smith

Mary Smith



October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of Being Fully Remote in Amsterdam


#remote work



scenic view of amsterdam


Amsterdam, the vibrant and picturesque capital of the Netherlands, is famous for its stunning architecture, picturesque canals, and rich cultural heritage. This cosmopolitan city seamlessly blends historical charm with a modern outlook, making it an incredibly desirable place to live and work.

For remote workers, Amsterdam offers a unique and enticing opportunity to embrace a fully remote lifestyle. The city is renowned for its progressive approach to work-life balance, fostering a culture of innovation and creativity. With its excellent infrastructure, world-class facilities, and strong digital connectivity, Amsterdam is well-equipped to cater to the needs of remote professionals.

In this article, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of working fully remote in Amsterdam. From the flexibility to work from anywhere in the city to the potential challenges of isolation, we will explore the pros and cons that come with embracing a remote lifestyle in this captivating city. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a comfortable spot, and join us on this journey to discover the benefits and drawbacks of being fully remote in Amsterdam.

Pros of Living in Amsterdam


scenic view of amsterdam

  • Affordable cost of living

  • Living in Amsterdam as a fully remote worker offers the advantage of an affordable cost of living. While the city is known for its vibrant culture and exciting lifestyle, it is surprisingly more affordable compared to other major European cities. Rent for apartments and houses, although still higher than the national average, is relatively lower than in cities like London or Paris. This means that your remote income can go further, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without stretching your budget too much.

    Additionally, the cost of groceries, transportation, and healthcare in Amsterdam is generally reasonable. Supermarkets offer a wide range of affordable options, and public transportation is efficient and reasonably priced. As a fully remote worker, having access to affordable living expenses can help you make the most of your income and save for future goals.

    Amsterdam also provides a variety of housing options, ranging from modern apartments to traditional canal houses. Whether you prefer a cozy studio or a spacious family home, you are likely to find an affordable living arrangement that suits your needs.

    Overall, Amsterdam offers a balanced combination of an enjoyable lifestyle and affordability for fully remote workers. With a reasonable cost of living, you can focus on embracing the city's vibrant atmosphere and making the most of your remote work experience.

  • Safe environment

  • Amsterdam offers a safe environment for remote workers, making it an ideal place to live and work. Safety is a top priority in the city, with low levels of crime and a strong police presence. Whether you're exploring the city's vibrant neighborhoods or simply walking home after work, you can feel confident and secure in your surroundings.

    The Netherlands is known for its progressive and inclusive society, which contributes to Amsterdam's reputation as a safe place for everyone, including women. The city has strong measures in place to ensure the safety and equality of all its residents, making it a welcoming and inclusive destination for remote workers.

    In addition to a safe environment, Amsterdam also offers a high quality of life. The city is known for its excellent healthcare system, well-maintained infrastructure, and clean streets. With good air quality on average, you can enjoy living in a city where your health and well-being are prioritized.

    Amsterdam is a spacious city with ample green spaces and parks, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Despite being a popular destination, the city is not overcrowded, providing residents with a sense of freedom and space.

    Furthermore, Amsterdam offers a high quality of education, making it an attractive option for those with families. The city is home to renowned international schools, providing excellent educational opportunities for children of remote workers.

    With its warm climate all year round, Amsterdam offers an enjoyable living experience. You can make the most of your free time by exploring the city's numerous cultural events, festivals, and outdoor activities. Whether it's a leisurely canal boat ride or a visit to one of the city's famous museums, Amsterdam has something for everyone.

    Living in Amsterdam provides a safe, spacious, and enjoyable environment for fully remote workers. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly city, a place to pursue your hobbies, or a destination where you can thrive both personally and professionally, Amsterdam offers it all.

  • Abundance of recreational activities

  • Amsterdam offers a plethora of recreational activities for individuals who prefer an active lifestyle. Whether you enjoy biking, walking, or running, the city's well-maintained parks and extensive network of scenic canals provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor exercise. You can also join local sports clubs and participate in activities such as soccer, tennis, and rowing.

    For those who enjoy cultural and artistic pursuits, Amsterdam boasts a vibrant arts scene with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters. From the iconic Van Gogh Museum to contemporary art spaces like the Stedelijk Museum, there is something to cater to every art enthusiast's taste. Additionally, the annual events and festivals held throughout the city, such as the Amsterdam Dance Event and Kings Day celebrations, offer a great opportunity to socialize and immerse yourself in local culture.

    Amsterdam is also home to a wide range of recreational facilities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, and yoga studios. Whether you prefer a traditional gym workout or practicing mindfulness through yoga, you can easily find spaces that cater to your fitness needs.

    Furthermore, the city's proximity to nature makes it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. You can easily escape the urban environment and explore nearby forests, beaches, and dunes. Hiking, cycling, and water sports such as kayaking and sailing are popular activities enjoyed by locals and expats alike.

    Living in Amsterdam means you'll never run out of exciting options to keep you entertained during your free time. With its diverse range of activities, from exploring art and culture to enjoying outdoor adventures, the city ensures that your work-life balance remains fulfilling and enjoyable.

  • Year-round warm climate

  • Amsterdam offers a year-round warm climate, which is a major advantage for those who enjoy pleasant weather throughout the year. With mild winters and warm summers, Amsterdam creates an ideal environment for individuals who prefer to work remotely. The consistent warmth and sunny days provide a positive and comfortable atmosphere for working outside or exploring the city during breaks. Imagine sitting on a charming terrace with your laptop, enjoying the sunshine while being productive. The warm climate also allows for outdoor activities like cycling along the picturesque canals, relaxing in the parks, or enjoying a leisurely boat ride. With Amsterdam's year-round warm climate, you can embrace a healthy and active lifestyle, making your fully remote work experience even more enjoyable.

  • Good air quality

  • Amsterdam boasts a refreshing quality of air, which is great news for remote workers who prioritize their health and well-being. The city has consistently ranked high in air quality indexes, ensuring that you can breathe in clean and fresh air while working from your home office or exploring the city's outdoor spaces during breaks.

    The city's commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices contributes to the excellent air quality in Amsterdam. With ample green spaces, well-maintained parks, and the presence of numerous canals, the city has effectively minimized pollution levels. This means that you can enjoy clear skies and mild breezes as you work, providing a calming and revitalizing environment.

    Breathing in clean air has numerous benefits for remote workers. It can improve focus and concentration, boost productivity, and positively impact overall mental and physical well-being. In Amsterdam, you can enjoy these advantages to the fullest with its consistently good air quality.

    Whether you choose to work from your apartment with windows open, soak up the sunshine in one of the city's beautiful parks, or even take your laptop to a cozy café, you can rest assured that you'll be surrounded by fresh air. Amsterdam's commitment to maintaining a healthy environment ensures that your remote work experience is not just productive, but also refreshing and rejuvenating.

    So, take a deep breath, inhale the invigorating air of Amsterdam, and let it inspire your remote work journey in this vibrant and thriving city.

  • Thriving remote work community

  • Amsterdam has become a hub for remote workers, offering a thriving community that embraces and supports those who work fully remote. With a large expat population and numerous co-working spaces, it is easy to connect with like-minded professionals and build a network of fellow remote workers. This community provides opportunities for collaboration, learning, and networking, enhancing the remote work experience. Whether you are looking for a casual meetup at a local coffee shop or attending a specialized workshop, Amsterdam has a vibrant remote work community that fosters growth and connection. With regular meetups, events, and online forums, you will never feel isolated or lacking in support as you navigate the world of remote work from the comfort of this vibrant city.

  • Spacious and uncrowded

  • Amsterdam offers a unique advantage for those who choose to live here while working fully remote - it is spacious and uncrowded. This is a real benefit for individuals who value personal space and a tranquil environment. Unlike many bustling cities, Amsterdam has plenty of open spaces and parks where remote workers can find peace and solitude.

    Imagine being able to escape the hustle and bustle of city life by simply taking a short stroll to one of the many beautiful parks, such as Vondelpark or Westerpark. These green oases provide a serene backdrop for work breaks, exercise, or simply unwinding after a long day. With ample space to spread out and unwind, remote workers in Amsterdam can truly enjoy a sense of freedom.

    Moreover, despite being the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam doesn't feel overcrowded like some other major cities. Thanks to its clever urban planning and efficient public transportation system, the city's population is spread out effectively, ensuring that residents and remote workers never feel overly crowded.

    This spaciousness extends beyond the parks and green spaces. Amsterdam's streets and neighborhoods also provide a sense of room to breathe. Whether it's walking or biking to a nearby cafe or exploring the city's iconic canals, remote workers in Amsterdam will experience a refreshing sense of openness not often found in urban environments.

    This sense of spaciousness not only enhances the overall quality of life but also provides an ideal setting for work. Remote workers can find tranquility in their living environments, creating the perfect atmosphere for focus, creativity, and productivity. With ample room to set up home offices or designated workspaces, remote professionals can find their perfect work-life balance in Amsterdam.

    In conclusion, the spaciousness and lack of overcrowding in Amsterdam are definite pros for remote workers. The abundance of open spaces, parks, and well-planned neighborhoods create an environment that fosters relaxation, creativity, and productivity. So, if you value personal space, peace, and quiet, Amsterdam is the ideal city for your remote work adventure.

  • High-quality education system

  • The high-quality education system in Amsterdam is one of the key benefits of living in the city as a fully remote worker. The educational institutions in Amsterdam consistently rank among the top in the world, offering a wide range of programs and courses for people of all ages.

    For families with children, Amsterdam provides access to excellent schools that prioritize student development and well-being. The city has a diverse range of international schools, catering to expatriate families and providing education in multiple languages. These schools often follow international curricula, ensuring that children receive a well-rounded and globally focused education.

    For adult learners, Amsterdam is a hub for higher education institutions, including renowned universities and vocational schools. These institutions offer a variety of programs, from bachelor's degrees to specialized courses, allowing remote workers to enhance their skills and knowledge while living in the city.

    Furthermore, the emphasis on innovation and research in Amsterdam's education system fosters a dynamic learning environment. Remote workers who value continuous learning can take advantage of the city's numerous workshops, seminars, and networking events hosted by educational institutions, allowing them to expand their professional network and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

    Living in a city with a high-quality education system ensures that both you and your family have access to excellent educational opportunities, which can be particularly advantageous for remote workers seeking to balance professional growth with personal development.

  • Safe road infrastructure

  • Amsterdam is known for having well-maintained roads and an established infrastructure that prioritizes the safety of its residents. The city is designed to be bike-friendly, with separate cycling lanes that make commuting on two wheels a breeze. The traffic rules are strictly enforced, ensuring a smooth flow of vehicles and minimizing the risk of accidents. Whether you prefer to walk, bike, or drive, you can feel confident knowing that Amsterdam's roads are relatively safe and well-managed. This factor adds to the overall convenience and peace of mind when working fully remote in the city.

  • Strong democratic values

  • Amsterdam prides itself on its strong democratic values, which create a supportive and inclusive environment for remote workers. The city celebrates diversity and freedom, fostering a sense of acceptance and respect for all individuals. As a fully remote worker, this means that you can enjoy a sense of belonging and equality, knowing that your rights and voice are protected. Amsterdam's democratic culture also promotes open-mindedness and encourages free expression, allowing you to fully embrace your creativity and ideas without fear of judgment or censorship. Whether you're participating in local community initiatives, attending public meetings, or engaging in political discussions, you can actively contribute to shaping the city's future. Amsterdam's commitment to democratic values translates into an empowering and enriching experience for fully remote workers seeking a sense of belonging and democratic engagement.

  • Safe for women

  • Amsterdam, the vibrant and dynamic capital city of the Netherlands, offers a multitude of benefits for fully remote workers, especially when it comes to the safety and security of women. With its low crime rates and progressive policies, Amsterdam is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the world for women.

    Being fully remote in Amsterdam means you can enjoy a worry-free environment, giving you peace of mind as you work and explore the city. Whether you're working from a cozy cafe or strolling along the beautiful canals, Amsterdam provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere for women.

    The city's commitment to equality and inclusivity is evident in its strong stance against gender-based violence. Amsterdam actively promotes gender equality and implements policies to combat discrimination and harassment. This creates an environment where women feel respected, valued, and safe.

    Moreover, Amsterdam's bustling streets are well-lit and populated, making commuting and exploring the city at any time of day or night a comfortable experience. The city's efficient public transportation system also adds to the sense of security, enabling women to travel easily and independently.

    Additionally, the residents of Amsterdam embrace a culture of tolerance and acceptance, which contributes to a greater sense of safety for women. This open-mindedness creates a welcoming and inclusive community, allowing women to freely express themselves without fear of judgment or discrimination.

    Amsterdam also takes great strides to maintain a safe and secure nightlife scene. Certain areas of the city, such as Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, boast a vibrant nightlife while implementing strict regulations to ensure the safety of all visitors, including women. Well-patrolled streets and a visible police presence contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience for women who want to socialize or enjoy the city's nightlife.

    In conclusion, Amsterdam's commitment to safety, equality, and inclusivity creates an ideal environment for women who work fully remote. The city's low crime rates, progressive policies, and welcoming atmosphere make it a top choice for women looking for a safe and empowering place to live and work.

  • Low tobacco usage

  • Not many people smoke tobacco.

    Amsterdam is known for its progressive and health-conscious culture, and one of the positive aspects of living in the city is the low tobacco usage. Compared to other countries, the number of smokers in Amsterdam is relatively low. This is great news for fully remote workers who prioritize clean air and a smoke-free environment.

    For those who value their health and prefer to avoid second-hand smoke, Amsterdam's low tobacco usage rate creates a more pleasant and healthier living environment. Whether you're strolling through the city streets, working in a café, or enjoying outdoor activities in one of the many parks, you can breathe easy knowing that you won't be subjected to the same level of tobacco smoke that you might encounter in other places.

    This low tobacco usage not only benefits the physical health of fully remote workers but can also contribute to improved productivity. With fewer distractions and a healthier environment, it becomes easier to focus on work and maintain a clear mind.

    Furthermore, the reduced prevalence of smoking in Amsterdam aligns with the city's emphasis on sustainability and well-being, making it an attractive location for those who prioritize a healthy lifestyle. The clean air and absence of tobacco smoke create an inviting atmosphere that fully remote workers can enjoy both during work hours and in their leisure time.

    In summary, low tobacco usage in Amsterdam is a significant advantage for fully remote workers. It promotes a healthier and more productive lifestyle, aligns with the city's progressive values, and contributes to an overall enjoyable living experience.

    Cons of Living in Amsterdam


    scenic view of amsterdam

  • Weak freedom of speech

  • Amsterdam, known for its beautiful canals and vibrant culture, offers many advantages for fully remote workers. However, it's important to consider some of the potential drawbacks before making the move. One of the cons of living in Amsterdam is the weak freedom of speech.

    Although the Netherlands is generally considered to be a liberal and open-minded country, there have been instances where freedom of speech has faced challenges. It is worth noting that certain aspects of speech, such as hate speech and discrimination, are strictly regulated and can lead to legal consequences.

    While the majority of discussions and opinions are tolerated, you may encounter situations where expressing certain viewpoints or engaging in controversial debates might not be as accepted as in other countries. This can be particularly concerning for remote workers who value sharing ideas and engaging in open dialogue.

    It's important to be mindful of the local laws and cultural norms regarding freedom of speech. Understanding the boundaries and being respectful of different perspectives can help you navigate any potential challenges.

    Despite this con, Amsterdam still offers numerous benefits for fully remote workers. From its affordable cost of living to the abundance of fun activities, it remains an attractive destination. Remember to weigh the pros and cons carefully to make an informed decision about living and working fully remote in Amsterdam.

  • Slow internet connection

  • in Amsterdam can be a drawback for remote workers. While the city offers numerous advantages, such as affordable living and a vibrant lifestyle, the internet speed may not always meet the requirements of remote work. As more people rely on virtual communication and online collaboration, a slow internet connection can lead to frustrations and productivity issues.

    Working remotely often involves video conferences, file sharing, and accessing cloud-based systems, all of which depend on a stable and fast internet connection. In Amsterdam, the internet infrastructure may not be as advanced as in some other cities, resulting in occasional delays or interruptions. This can be particularly challenging for professionals who rely heavily on fast and reliable internet access to perform their job effectively.

    Additionally, slow internet can affect online entertainment options during leisure time. Streaming movies or television shows, playing online games, or connecting with friends and family through video calls might be hampered by a sluggish internet connection. This downside can impact the overall experience of being fully remote in Amsterdam, as it limits the ability to fully enjoy the digital entertainment and social connections available online.

    However, it's important to note that while slow internet can be a con, it doesn't mean it applies universally to all areas or all internet service providers in Amsterdam. Some neighborhoods may have faster connections, and some providers may offer higher-speed options. It is recommended for remote workers in Amsterdam to research and compare internet service providers to find the best possible connection for their needs.

    Despite the potential setback of slow internet, remote workers in Amsterdam still have the opportunity to benefit from all the other advantages the city offers. The vibrant culture, beautiful surroundings, and high quality of life can make up for the occasional frustrations caused by slower internet speeds. With a proactive approach to finding the right internet provider and optimizing their remote work setup, professionals can successfully navigate the challenges and enjoy the benefits of being fully remote in Amsterdam.

  • Challenges in doing business

  • Although Amsterdam offers many advantages for remote workers, one noticeable drawback is the challenges that arise when trying to do business in the city. One of the main obstacles is the language barrier. While English is widely spoken, particularly within the city center, you may encounter difficulties when dealing with local businesses or government institutions. Many people in Amsterdam don't speak English fluently, which can be frustrating when you need to communicate complex or technical information.

    Another challenge is the relatively slow internet speed compared to other major cities. While this might not be a significant issue for some remote workers, it can be a hindrance if your work requires large file transfers or video conferencing. Slow internet speed may lead to delays in your workflow and affect your overall productivity.

    Additionally, the Dutch business culture may be quite different from what you are accustomed to, especially if you come from a more direct and fast-paced environment. The Dutch value consensus and take time to make decisions, which can sometimes slow down the progress of your business initiatives.

    Furthermore, the cost of living in Amsterdam can pose challenges for remote workers who are looking to establish their own businesses. The city's high cost of living, including rent and taxes, can make it difficult to allocate funds towards business investments or growth.

    However, despite these obstacles, with proper planning, adaptation, and networking, it is still possible to overcome these challenges and thrive as a fully remote worker in Amsterdam.

  • Language barrier

  • While Amsterdam is a popular destination for tourists and expats, it can be challenging to navigate daily life if you don't speak Dutch. Many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas and businesses, but outside of these areas, English proficiency may be limited. This language barrier can make it more difficult to conduct business, communicate effectively, and fully integrate into the local community. It's important to be patient and open-minded when encountering language barriers and consider learning some basic Dutch phrases to help navigate daily interactions. While it may present some challenges, with time and effort, it is possible to overcome the language barrier and fully enjoy the vibrant city of Amsterdam.

  • Not family-friendly

  • Living expenses in Amsterdam, including rent, groceries, and childcare, can be quite high compared to other cities. This can put a strain on family budgets, especially if you have multiple children or are looking for quality education options.

    3. Lack of family-oriented activities: While Amsterdam offers a plethora of cultural and recreational activities, some might not be suitable for young children. The city's nightlife, coffee shops, and red-light district might not align with the values and interests of families.

    4. Limited English-speaking services: While many people in Amsterdam speak English, some services, such as healthcare, education, and administration, might be primarily available in Dutch. This language barrier could pose challenges for families relocating with children who need access to English-speaking schools or medical services.

    5. Bicycles and crowded streets: Amsterdam is famous for its extensive cycling culture, which means navigating the city's streets can be challenging with young children. The crowded bike lanes, along with the constant flow of pedestrians and trams, can make transportation with strollers or young children less convenient and potentially unsafe.

    While Amsterdam has its drawbacks in terms of family-friendliness, it's essential to note that there are still families successfully living and working remotely in the city. For those who prioritize the city's unique cultural offerings, inclusive communities, and international environment, Amsterdam can still be a viable option. It ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of your family.

  • Lack of LGBTQ+ acceptance

  • While Amsterdam is known for its liberal and progressive reputation, there are still some challenges when it comes to LGBTQ+ acceptance. Despite legal protections and initiatives promoting inclusivity, some members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel that societal attitudes are not as open-minded as they would like. Discrimination and harassment may still occur, although it is important to note that this is not representative of all residents. It can be disheartening for LGBTQ+ individuals seeking a supportive and inclusive community to face prejudice or limited resources. However, there are also various LGBTQ+ organizations and events that provide a sense of community and support for those seeking acceptance. It is essential to research and connect with these resources if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and considering fully remote work in Amsterdam.


    scenic view of amsterdam


    In conclusion, Amsterdam might not be the perfect city for everyone who wants to work fully remote, but it certainly has its advantages. One of the most significant pros is the affordability of living here. Despite being a popular European city, Amsterdam offers reasonably priced accommodations and a lower cost of living compared to other major cities. Additionally, the city boasts a very safe environment, making it an ideal place for remote workers, especially women, to feel secure.

    Amsterdam also has a vibrant and diverse culture with many fun activities and events to participate in. Whether you enjoy exploring art galleries, visiting historical landmarks, or simply discovering hidden cafes, there is always something exciting to do. Moreover, the city's warm climate throughout the year and good air quality contribute to a pleasant and healthy living environment.

    For remote workers, one of the significant advantages of Amsterdam is the presence of a thriving community of fully remote workers. Many people have already chosen Amsterdam as their base for remote work, creating a supportive and inclusive community that fosters networking opportunities and collaboration.

    Amsterdam's education system is also worth mentioning, with high-quality institutions available for those seeking to further their education or for families considering relocation. Furthermore, the city's roads are known for being safe, making commuting a stress-free experience.

    However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. The weak freedom of speech in Amsterdam might limit individuals who value open expression, and the internet connection can be slow at times, which may be frustrating for remote workers who rely heavily on a stable and fast connection.

    Another hurdle to overcome as a fully remote worker in Amsterdam is the language barrier. While many Dutch locals speak English fluently, there are still instances where communication may be challenging. Additionally, the city may not be the most family-friendly place for remote workers with children, as it lacks some of the amenities and services that cater specifically to families.

    Furthermore, it is important to note that Amsterdam can be perceived as hostile towards the LGBTQ+ community. While progress has been made in recent years, there are still some challenges in terms of acceptance and equal rights.

    Lastly, if you are planning to do business in Amsterdam, be prepared for some complexities and bureaucracy. The business environment may not be as straightforward or easy to navigate compared to other locations.

    In conclusion, Amsterdam offers an affordable and safe environment with plenty of activities to enjoy. It has a thriving community of remote workers and provides a high quality of education. However, challenges such as the weak freedom of speech, slow internet, language barriers, and limited family-friendly amenities should also be taken into account. Ultimately, it is essential to weigh these pros and cons to determine if Amsterdam is the right fit for your fully remote work lifestyle.

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