Meet the City • Where to live in Amsterdam

It doesn’t matter what year you are in because we are all on the same journey. There are many different options on where to live in when going to university. The three most common option in Amsterdam are either living by yourself, in a residence or at the Uilenstede campus. We have gathered information from fellow students for you to learn what these all have to offer and how they differ.

Living in a flat

If you’re planning on living by yourself, you should start looking for places online and joining Facebook groups about 4 months before you want to move in. However, the sooner you start the better! Living in a flat will cost you around €700 for a place around the university and €900 in the city. Setting your own place up might be more difficult as you will have to get it all up somehow as most Amsterdam flats do not have elevators and come unfurnished. If you happen to move without the help of your parents and their car, you might want to consider finding a friend with a car or renting out a van and driving yourself.

If you are unlucky you might have bad neighbors that are unwelcoming and easily annoyed about noise. Make sure to get to know them at the beginning of your move and always try to be kind and understanding.

Living with roommates is what you make out of it, you might have a great relationship with them and decide to have dinner with them every now and then. It is important to make sure that you are on the same page with your roommates over how often to clean and when common utilities and the amount of time you want to spend together.

Living in Uilenstede

If you are planning on staying in Uilenstede, there are two ways to do this. When a hallway or ‘eenheid’, as it is called in Dutch, has a free room they post it on the DUWO website or on the Facebook group. So, make sure to check both channels if you are trying to find a room.

If you manage to get a room you might have to wait a bit until the person has moved out, as the hallways do not want to have the room empty for long. This is pretty normal in Uilenstede, but you can keep in contact with the person that is moving. There are many buildings of different sizes in Uilenstede, hence the number of roommates you will have varies a lot. However, in most flats in Uilenstede, you will be sharing the kitchen with 13 people and depending on the building you might also share bathrooms. Nevertheless, this comes with a great price of about €350 with necessities. This price is unmatchable in Amsterdam and you will only find with DUWO.

When living in Uilenstede there will always be someone you can hang out with, go to the gym, eat at the café and go to any of the multiple house parties around there. Uilenstede has some supermarkets close by as well as a mall a few metro stops away. You can also reach the center city and university with public transport, or by bike which takes less than 30 minutes to the city and 10 to the university.

Living in Ravel Residence

If you apply for accommodation through the university, there are many places they might accommodate you in. However, they can not promise they will find you something. If you are going to find a place through the VU, expect to be put on a waiting list and try to find something while you wait. The chance that you might not get placed somewhere can be higher than expected. In Ravel Residence you will live in a 21m² studio, with private bathroom and kitchen for around €700.

You can apply for a furnished or unfurnished room. The social life around the residence is clearly not as high as in Uilenstede but there are common places you can hang out at and meet your neighbors. The social spaces include sofas and televisions, a pool table, a spot to play darts, a small library and a rooftop basketball court as well as a terrace. Also, once a month there is an organized drink in the common area for everyone to get to know each other. So even though you do not have roommates you can meet a lot of people if you want.

The location is great as it will not take you longer than five minutes to the university or to supermarkets, and it is a 20 minutes bike ride away from the city center.

Tips and Tricks

Setting your place up can be quite easy and cheap as people are always moving and selling their furniture either between each other or on Facebook. So, make sure to join a few Facebook groups and to check them every now and then, because you can find really cheap stuff and sometimes even for free!

Moving can be quite tough and expensive, so if you are in need of a car, ask friends and acquaintances before you decide to rent a van.

The location you choose and what you make out of it depends on you and your initiative. Living outside of the city center is completely normal and at the end, it usually doesn’t take more than 30/40 minutes to bike somewhere. If you choose to live in the city, it might take you 30 minutes to university and five to Leidseplein and if you choose to live close to university it will be the other way around.

Are you already living in Amsterdam and want to know what cool hotspots are nearby? Check out where to have breakfast and brunch or if you fancy a different culinary experience then check out these international restaurants.