Moving/Relocating To Rotterdam: 5 UNTOLD Advice That Will Help You To Start A New Life In Rotterdam

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Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands. It is located in South Holland province and is home to the largest seaport in Europe.

Moving to Rotterdam is an excellent decision if you want to advance your career since this city offers opportunities in various industries, especially logistics.

However, before packing your bags, it is best to take some time to read these 5 untold pieces of advice that will help you be well prepared before you start living in Rotterdam.

One of the most important pieces of advice you should take seriously is to find out the cost of living in Rotterdam. This will give you an idea of how much you will need for the post-moving budget.

1. Find Out The Pros And Cons Of Living In Rotterdam

Of course, there will be pros and cons of living in Rotterdam. You need to learn about this information so you can be well prepared before relocating.

Below are some pros and cons that you need to know about living in Rotterdam.

The Pros Of Living In Rotterdam

The Cost Of Living Is Considerably Affordable

Compared to other Dutch cities like Amsterdam, the living expenses in Rotterdam are relatively low. This allows you to have a high standard of living in Rotterdam.

However, it is still important to manage your finances to save more money for the future.

Excellent Healthcare System

Generally, the healthcare system in the Netherlands is excellent. In the event that you may need medical care, you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands since the medical staff in this country are well trained and can speak English.

The only downside of this healthcare system is the costs. Therefore, it is crucial to have health insurance in Rotterdam.

The Cons Of Living In Rotterdam

Cars Are Expensive Here

Buying a car may be the last thing you would want to do in Rotterdam. It is pretty expensive to own a car here. Besides the buying price, you will also need to pay for the tax and petrol.

The Netherlands government has imposed a high tax on petroleum. This makes the petrol price in the Netherlands the highest among European countries. Hence, if you’re set on buying a car, be prepared for the petrol price!

gray concrete building

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2. Search For The Best Neighbourhood For You

The neighbourhoods in Rotterdam are generally suitable for anyone, including singles and families. They are all connected by public transportation facilities, so you won’t need to worry about your daily commute.

Below are some recommended neighbourhoods that offer excellent amenities and are perfect for young professionals, couples, and families.

City Centre

As expected, the housing costs in the city centre are relatively higher than in other areas in Rotterdam. However, living here will give you access to entertainment, the arts scene, and a beautiful city scenery.

This area is perfect for young couples, singles, and anyone who loves a lively cultural life.


Kralingen is a green suburb and is suitable for families. This area is also near Rotterdam University, making it a desirable neighbourhood for students.

What’s more, this area also offers access to nature. You’ll be in close proximity to a park and lake, and these places are beneficial as recreational facilities and places to socialise with other people.


Schiebroek is a suburb with parks and recreational areas. This area has two metro stations, and it only takes a few minutes to drive to the centre of Rotterdam.

In addition, there are some international schools near the area. This means Schiebroek is a great place for families with school-age children.

3. Plan A Budget Based On The Average Monthly Living Costs In Rotterdam

Planning a budget should be part of your preparation. It will give you an idea of how much you need to save before moving to Rotterdam.

The average cost of living in Rotterdam for a single person is about €1,992 (2,286.6 USD), including monthly rent in a non-expensive area. If you plan to move with your partner or family members, you will need to prepare around €3,000 (3,214.23 USD) for the monthly expenses.

If you want to cut your expenses, one of the best ways is to buy your food at the grocery store rather than in restaurants or bakeries. Your local colleagues and friends will be able to recommend stores that offer lower prices for various products, so don’t hesitate to ask them.

4. Get Familiar With The Local Public Transport

Rotterdam has an excellent public transport system. You can go anywhere around the city by bus, metro, and tram. To pay for the fare, you will need a valid public transport card that you can purchase online or at the official service points.

In addition, Rotterdam also has trains, water taxis, ferries, taxis, and car rentals as commuting options.

man walking in street near buildings at daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

5. Find Out Things To Do In Rotterdam

Living in Rotterdam will never be boring because you will have fun exploring the city. Some of the activities you can do are visiting the city’s attractions and enjoying local delicacies.

Listed below are some recommended places to visit and foods to taste while you’re living in Rotterdam.

Iconic Attractions Around The City

Rotterdam is famous for its scenery, modern architecture, and maritime heritage. To guide you in exploring the city, here is a list of must-visit places in Rotterdam:

  • Old Harbor and Maritime Museums,
  • Wereldmuseum,
  • Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk,
  • Erasmus Bridge,
  • Kinderdijk Windmills, and
  • Rotterdam Zoo.

Local Foods

It is crucial to challenge yourself with new flavours from the local cuisines. Rotterdam has plenty of tasty local dishes that you should try.

Here is a list of recommended local foods that will not go wrong on your taste buds:

  • Patatje Oorlog,
  • Stroopwafel,
  • Bagel,
  • Stamppot, and
  • Nieuwe Haring.

Conclusion On Moving To Rotterdam

Rotterdam is overall a lovely place to live. This city offers excellent neighbourhoods, public transportation services, a reasonable cost of living and many recreational things to do.

To make your relocation process to Rotterdam less stressful, you need to engage a professional like Sanelo. Our team has years of experience handling local and international relocations around the globe.

Check out our guides about relocating to the Netherlands and Amsterdam, as well as other cities, such as Melbourne, Zurich, and Berlin.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Rotterdam

Is Rotterdam A Nice Place To Live?

Rotterdam is an excellent place to live and work. You won’t get bored when living in Rotterdam. It has a rich cultural scene yet still has a modern vibe with plenty of entertainment. This will help you to maintain a work-life balance.

The Rotterdam people are also lovely and friendly to foreigners. You can find expat communities and join some of the international events.

How Much Should I Earn Monthly To Live In Rotterdam?

The average salary in Rotterdam is around €50,000 (5,3570.5 USD). You should be able to afford the basic monthly living expenses for two persons with this income.

It is better to find out about the average salary rate of your profession. You can use that information as your salary benchmark when applying for a job in Rotterdam.

Does Rotterdam Have Good International Schools?

Rotterdam has a prominent international scene, with people from around 160 countries living here. Therefore, this city offers excellent international schools for children from expat families.

Here are some top international schools in Rotterdam for your reference:

  • Rotterdam International Secondary School,
  • Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam,
  • Harbour International, and
  • Japanese School of Rotterdam.

When Is The Ideal Time To Contact Sanelo Before Moving To Rotterdam?

The ideal time to contact us is three months before your moving date. This will allow us to prepare for your relocation well, including adjusting the process to meet your needs.

You can talk to our team by phone call or email to let us know your relocation needs. Our team will walk you through the process, making your relocation seamless.


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