What Is the Most Expensive City in the Netherlands?

What is the most expensive city in the Netherlands?

If you’ve ever wondered which Dutch city is the most expensive to live in or visit, the answer is clear – Amsterdam. Located in the province of North Holland, this culturally rich city lies at the mouth of the Amstel River and flourished as a major port during the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. It’s now one of Europe’s most important financial hubs, as well as being packed with museums showcasing the work of Dutch masters.

To get a taste of the Netherlands’ living costs, you can check out a rental website such as Rentola Maastricht. It makes it easy to compare property prices in Maastricht in the far south of the country with those in Amsterdam in the northwest. By understanding the drastic differences in prices across the country, you can better budget for your short-term stay or permanent move to the Netherlands.

The Mercer Cost of Living city rankings

Each year, the American consulting firm, Mercer, collects data on the cost of living in cities around the globe. In 2023, it assessed data from 227 cities across five continents, measuring the costs of hundreds of items and services in each location. In addition to looking at things like housing and transportation, Mercer analyzes data related to the cost of food, personal care, and recreation.

While Hong Kong and Singapore topped the list of the most expensive cities, the Swiss cities of Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Bern all featured in the top 10. The most expensive city in the Netherlands was Amsterdam, which came in at number 28, three places lower than where it was placed the previous year. This makes it the eighth most expensive city in Europe, after places such as Copenhagen, London, and Vienna.

Another study that analyzed the costs of popular holiday destinations placed Amsterdam as the most expensive city in Europe for a getaway. For a two-day break, it costs roughly 888 USD to stay in Amsterdam, compared to 840 USD for the same duration stay in Venice and 720 USD in Copenhagen.

If you’re wondering what makes Amsterdam such an expensive place to visit, it can be attributed partially to a high daily room rate. On average, you’ll pay around 340 USD for a night in the Dutch capital. Dining out is also relatively expensive, with a high-end meal coming in at around 180 USD per person.

Amsterdam’s most expensive neighborhoods

To help you plan your stay or move to Amsterdam, here are some of the city’s most sought-after and expensive neighborhoods to live in.

Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde

Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde is an inner-city suburb that stretches south from the Central railway station to the Flower Market. It encompasses several of Amsterdam’s most famous landmarks, including Dam Square and the Royal Palace, as well as the New Church and the Begijnhof with its 14th-century courtyard. With its fantastic railway connections and buzzing atmosphere, Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde is understandably one of Amsterdam’s most sought-after places to live, and its housing prices reflect this.


Wedged between Beatrixpark and Vondelpark, Apollobuurt lies in the south of Amsterdam and is famed as the place where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their 1969 “Bed-In for Peace” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel. It was largely developed in the 1930s by Hendrik Petrus Berlage in a style that reflects the Amsterdam School of design. Leafy courtyard gardens and spacious streets dominate the neighborhood, making it popular with residents who want room to move, without being in the heart of all the tourist action.


Just to the west of Burgwallen-Nieuwe Zijde is trendy Jordaan, which is considered the “hipster capital” of Amsterdam. It is clustered with eclectic cafes and independent boutiques, as well as small galleries showcasing contemporary art. With its charming canals and beautiful old buildings, Jordaan is what many tourists imagine when they think of Amsterdam. Visitors flock here to explore the Amsterdam Cheese Museum while locals can be found shopping for organic fare at the Noordermarkt.


As its name suggests, the Museum Quarter is home to many of Amsterdam’s most well-known museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. It was developed in the early 19th century following the establishment of the Rijksmuseum and is still a sought-after place to live and stay in the city today. Not only are you on the doorstep of the Vondelpark’s green space but also one of the finest concert halls in the world, the Royal Concertgebouw.

The appeal of Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s soaring living costs are largely due to the popularity of the city, not only as a place to live but also as a destination to visit. It boasts exceptional restaurants, world-class museums, and endless bike paths that make getting around its labyrinth of canals a pleasure. So while it may cost you more to live or visit Amsterdam compared to other Dutch cities, the rewards are well and truly worth it.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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