Amsterdam through British eyes

How to find a room in Amsterdam

1

Finding a room in a shared house or apartment in Amsterdam is like finding a needle in a haystack. Not only is it ridiculously competitive, but it’s also incredibly time consuming. There are several lines of attack, and I’m here to highlight a few that you might not have thought about.

This article was updated in September 2017

I was extremely lucky to find somewhere within a couple of weeks the first time I moved here, but most people take between one and three months to find something, depending on your budget. The further out of the city you go, the cheaper it gets. In other words, if your budget is tight, don’t expect to get an amazing apartment on a canal in the city centre. It’s not going to happen. Of course, the higher your budget, the easier it is to find somewhere.

I would say for a shared place you’re looking at between EUR500-EUR750 (depending on the location). I don’t think you should pay more than 750 for a shared place, but that’s just my opinion. Take a look at this little nugget for more information on the living costs in Amsterdam.

Here is the comprehensive guide to finding a room

Join all of the facebook groups. A lot of people post their places on all of the facebook groups, but some only post to one or two. There are several:

  • Rooms in Amsterdam
  • Room available in Amsterdam
  • Appartementen en Kamers te Huur
  • Amsterdam Apartments 4 rent
  • Amsterdam Rentals
  • Woningen te huur in Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam – rent room studio apartment 2017
  • Rent a room in Amsterdam 2017
  • Apartment rentals Amsterdam
  • Apartments 4 rent Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam Apartment rentals
  • Amsterdam rent a room, apartment, or Studio
  • Amsterdam flat-hunting – find a team instead of fighting for rooms!
  • Apartments for rent in Amsterdam
  • I need a room! Rooms/roomates in Amsterdam
  • Expats in Amsterdam
  • Young expats Netherlands

These are just a few of the groups around on Facebook, but there are probably hundreds more.

Out of all of these I would say the best were Rooms in Amsterdam and Woningen te huur in Amsterdam – on Woningen te huur in Amsterdam, many of the posts are in Dutch and I think you definitely have the edge if you can respond in Dutch too, but I don’t think it’s 100% necessary

Tip: Try to respond as soon as the ad goes live – you have a much bigger chance of getting a response. If you’re using the facebook groups, make sure you write a comment underneath the ad once you’ve sent them a personal message.

You can also try writing a post saying that you’re looking for a room, but I found that didn’t get any responses by doing that, so you’re better off putting your energy on responding to people’s ads.

Get a one-month paid subscription to Kamernet.nl because you can search for several different things including price range, how many people live there, or whether registration is possible. This narrows it down, and you get e-mail notifications when people post a room that fits your search. You can then message the person advertising the room, and if they like what you have to say you’ll be invited to go for a viewing. I got a fair few responses from this.

It also enables you to put a call-out, and prospective landlords can contact you, which I did a few times. I got a couple of responses, though the places weren’t in areas that I wanted to live in – it’s definitely worth it.

It does cost EUR30 per month, and if you find a room within 30 days make sure you don’t forget to cancel your subscription because they have a recurring payment system.

Register on Amsterdam2Stay.nl – they have accommodation for a year for students and young professionals. They release their available apartments on a Tuesday morning between 9 and 9.15am and competition is steep. You pay a one-off fee of EUR23.50. As long as you do not earn more than 43K per year, then you are able to register for an apartment.

Check on Marktplaats There’s a lot of rubbish on there, but my friend sais it’s where she has found all of here Amsterdam apartments.

Post in forums. This might seem futile, but it’s actually how I found my new place. I posted on expatriates.com with a post about myself in the ‘rooms wanted’ section of the site and granted I got a lot of weird replies, but I also got a few good messages. I wrote down a bit about me, and what it was that I was looking for, and my budget.

I also tried posting on internations, Iamexpat, and expatica but I got no responses from doing that – I guess it just depends on what you’re looking for.

Use your network. The first time I was looking for an apartment I e-mailed my whole office (there was about 50 of them) saying that I was looking for a room, and the amount of colleagues who messaged me when they saw something I might be interested in was pretty high. I have also posted a status on my facebook page, which resulted in making contact with friends of friends who had a room to spare.

I also mentioned I was looking for a room on twitter, but this didn’t work. I got no responses and I think that’s because twitter goes so fast and tweets sometimes just get buried in peoples newsfeeds!

If you’re getting a bit desperate consider these options: 

Go for somewhere temporary. There are several companies that offer apartments for up to 6 months, though many of them are for single occupancy only. I considered it, and then I changed  my mind as I really wanted to share a place, and I had the luxury of time. You could also check out AirBnb as a lot of places will give you a discount for a longer stay.

You don’t have to be a student to stay in a student hotel. Just sayin’. There are two in Amsterdam that I know of. The aptly named Student hotel, which isn’t just for students, and Hotel Casa 400 (though for Casa 400 I think you do actually need to be a student).

You can book out the rooms in the student hotel for a set period of time while you look for somewhere else.

Other tips

  • Make sure registration is possible, especially if you’re just moving to Amsterdam and don’t already have a BSN number.
  • Don’t get disheartened. It takes a ton of energy and motivation to keep going – chocolate and wine helps.
  • Prepare yourself for a few ‘kijkavonds’

These are my tips. I hope they help you to find a room, and good luck with your search. I would love to hear about any other methods you’ve used to find a room in a shared apartment or house. Also, check out my tips for how to avoid scammers when you’re looking for a place in Amsterdam.

Share.

1 Comment

  1. lukasiudak@gmail.com'

    Great post! I’ve experienced the whole drama of finding a shared apartment myself this summer. Eventually found one one Facebook and I would advice people to be careful. If it’s too good to be true… it is! It took me nearly 2 months.

    In what part of Amsterdam did you find the right place?

    Luka 😉

Leave A Reply