Rembrandt self portrait sketch
Living in Amsterdam
Rembrandt self portrait sketch

Hallo and Welkom!

I am an American living in The Netherlands. My husband, Shane, and I moved to Amsterdam in early July 2000 from a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC. Our dog, Hari, safely flew out a few weeks after us and our furniture arrived, relatively unscathed, about a month and a half later.


How are we lucky enough to live in Amsterdam?

Shane & I had long fantasized about living in Europe. We naturally jumped at the chance to move here when Shane was offered a job with an European Internet organization based in Amsterdam. Details about the job search, interviewing process, and moving will be put up here ... one day... soon, hopefully. So, bookmark this page and check back. In the mean time, here are some other online resources to help you get started.

Any Americans interested in moving to The Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe should visit these sites:

  • News and Community for the Expatriate - absolute MUST for anyone thinking about or already living in The Netherlands. Provides local & international news, relocation, tax, & housing resources, info on education, jobs, shopping, transportation, entertainment ... in short, Expatica covers virtually every aspect of daily life to help you prepare for and become acclimated to The Netherlands.
  • Expat Exchange - an online community of expatriates from all over to all over the globe.
  • Relocation & Immigration Tips - an unofficial, but detailed & informative, guide to moving to The Netherlands.
  • American Services Office's Guide to Living in The Netherlands - the official info from the US Consulate
  • Living in The Netherlands - an abbreviated, online version of the book "Live and Work in Belgium, the Netherlands & Luxemburg" by André de Vries. Mainly a sales pitch for the book, but the short essays do provide some useful information.
  • Colleges & Universities in The Netherlands - might of be interest for those contemplating study abroad or if you are simply a perpetual student, like me ;-) The page has not been updated since 1996, however most of the links still work.
  • Escape - an interesting resource about finding jobs overseas & surviving relocation. Heavy emphasis on retirement and tropical-tax free destinations, but also has good articles about Europe.

  • Just visiting?

    Amsterdam is small, compact city, but there is a lot to see and do. Just a few of the major highlights include:

    • Rijksmusuem - give it at least half a day, but you could easily spend several days there.
    • Van Gogh musuem - very nicely done - and this from someone who is not a Van Gogh fan. This is a small museum you could probably see it all in 2-3 hours.
    • Canal boat tour - there are hour long tours all day and evening long. No advance reservations required.

    Personal favorites of mine:
    • Vondelpark (Amsterdam's answer to Central Park. Great place to walk, roller blade, bike, and people watch at anytime of year, but most lovely in Spring & Summer when the mini-English garden is at its best. The park has an odd menagerie - lamas, horses, a variety of farm animals, crains and parrots. The parrots are wild - apparently some college students released a few into the park 40 years ago and they have been healthily breeding ever since!
    • Amsterdam Historical Museum on Spui - the name says it all. It's not as widely visited as other musuems in Amsterdam, because it is relatively new but attention is growing. Well worth a trip! It is small and can easily be done in an afternoon. If you are not into art, I would recommend it over the Van Gogh museum.
    • Evening wine & cheese boat tour - the wine and cheese weren't really that good - not compared to what you can get at a restaurant or even a grocery store. However, the tour itself was much more interesting than the normal canal tours. This tour is about 2-2.5 hours long and has a personal guide vs a recording. The tour I went on included a stop at a traditional brown cafe for Dutch gin.

    There are many more places to visit and as well as self-guided walking tours. There are several nice half day and a couple full day bus tours you could take to see the traditional country sights- cheese, wooden shoes, windmills, and tulips. I would also highly recommend a day trip to Den Haag (easily done without a guided tour) and Brugges in Belgium (gives you an impression of what Amsterdam might have been like in the late middle ages).

    Recommeded Reading:

    Historian's Library
    Living in Amsterdam
    Mad Scientist's Lab
    Dog's House
    Time-Travellers' Home

    Created on 21 October 2000
    Updated on 07 October 2001

    Rembrandt sketch courtesy from the Rijksmuseum , Amsterdam