Top 5 best cities to work in the Netherlands

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Photo by Chait Goli

According to  OECD Better Life Index, the Netherlands had Europe’s best work-life balance in 2018. 93% of the population were happy about the combination of their time spent at work and their private life which is a good reason for foreign people to look for the best cities to live and work in the Netherlands.

The Dutch work market covers many sectors, so mostly, everyone can find a job in their field depending on the cities. Moreover, more and more international companies (American ones usually) create their European headquarters in the Netherlands to support their European market.


Photo by Chait Goli

Nicknamed ‘The Venice of the North’, the soul of Amsterdam comes from the canals flowing all around the city. They were built during the twelfth century while Amsterdam was becoming one of the most important harbors of the time and a real hub in Europe.

Nowadays, this city is still one of the most active capital in Europe and can offer you many advantages. Firstly, the proximity to one of the largest airports in the world, Schiphol airport gives the unique advantage to be able to work anywhere in Europe within only a short flight.

Secondly, Amsterdam offers a lot of job opportunities at the biggest international companies such as Nike, IKEA or even Tesla Motors. Some jobs are more popular in this city such as creative or marketing jobs.

Finally, you will be able to speak English since 93% of the Dutch population speaks English fluently in Amsterdam. International companies don’t always need Dutch speaking workers and like to hire people from different European countries to cover several markets. Therefore, if you are about to move to Amsterdam and don’t have any knowledge of the Dutch language, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a job.

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Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands, and it was rebuilt entirely after World War II. It gives a totally different view of the Netherlands, more modern and youthful, with unique urbanism and architecture. This city is less touristic than Amsterdam but doesn’t lack curiosities with a lot of street art and food venues.

Like Amsterdam, Rotterdam has a huge port which makes job research easier especially in the shipping and trade industries. Energy is also a strong sector, mainly run by fossil fuel companies as well as green energy.

To work in Rotterdam, it is often recommended to have a high education level because not only do those industries need less human hands to run, but people to build those machines. Also, logistics is usually the most popular sector for English speakers in this region as well as the medical field.

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The Hague


More metropolitan than Rotterdam, The Hague is well known for its variety of cultural and outdoor activities, such as visiting museums, having a boat tour or walking on the 11 kilometre coastline.

Also known as the  ‘International City of Peace and Justice’, The Hague is the seat of the Netherlands’ government and is strongly involved in diplomacy with many embassies and 150 international organizations.

As an expat, speaking English and another language can be a huge plus if you want to work in an embassy or in the justice field. The Hague is also the heart of the Netherlands’ security, thanks to The Hague Security Delta Campus where a lot of startups work on cyber security, for example. Computer genius and engineers are, therefore, strongly required and welcomed in this city.

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As a car-unfriendly city, Utrecht is a place where your bike will become your best friend. The dynamic city centre makes it a pleasant town where people are nice and less rushed than in major cities. Surrounded by lakes, it is easy to find a piece of nature nearby.

Utrecht is known for its sustainable involvement, in particular with the ‘Utrecht Sustainability Institute’ that is developing co-creation in sustainable cities with other countries in Europe, renewable energy solutions, and circular economy systems.

Therefore, Utrecht is the heart of sustainable development in the Netherlands and an amazing environment to work in. Healthcare is also a predominant sector in Utrecht because of the University Medical centre. Therefore, it is not rare to find jobs opportunities in the research or education fields.

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Known as Philips’ city, Eindhoven went from a small village near the Belgian border, to a large industrial site thanks to Philips company that based its main factories and headquarters there for years.

Those factories are not running anymore but give Eindhoven a unique industrial and charming style. Those buildings and the ‘High Tech Campus’ are, nowadays, hosting some of the most innovative talents in the world for tech companies and startups.

As an engineer or IT expert, it is pretty easy to find a job on the High Tech Campus. Universities follow the same path with a University of Technology and some interesting programs about innovation.

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The Netherlands is a dynamic and innovative country where people from all around the world come to work in any field and have a chance to discover the Dutch culture. Foreigners are usually at their advantage when they speak another European language than English such as French, German or more Nordic languages. Companies are more willing to hire expats to cover markets in those countries.

Discover the best way to discover Netherlands’ cities with our articles on transports in the Netherlands and the ov-chipkaart.

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