Information and Practical Advice

Amsterdam, 23/03/18 -

Information and Practical Advice


I know how much leaving home can be scary. You imagine yourself in another country, another city where you have never been before and you have to live there. You don't know anything about it. Don't worry, here you can find my tips to be correctly settled in Amsterdam.


I will do for you what I did for me: a list. A list is easily understandable, and this is what we are looking for when we don't know the city where we are going to live in.


A quick description of Amsterdam :

  • 88 canals around the center
  • the maps looks like a spider web. If you get lost in Amsterdam, you just have to ask for 'Dam square', the most famous place in Amsterdam, its heart. Then, you just have to cross every bridge to come back to the center, or to place you in the city.
  • A lot of bikes, be careful, the  riders have all the rights on the road. They share the street with the pedestrians and the cars. As Amsterdam is really full of people walking in the street, Watch out every side of the street when you walk around.



  • If you live in Amsterdam for more than one year, you need to register yourself in the city hall. You will get a BSN number, one which you need to open a bank account and work. A Dutch bank account is useful because in Amsterdam, not every place takes the pin. For example, the biggest grocery store doesn't accept MasterCard or Visa. You'll need a Dutch card.
  • For your registration, you need to bring to the city hall, you rental contract, your ID or passport, and your student card (ask the university if you don't have it the first week of school). Pay attention to bring everything you need otherwise, you will have to come back later and the delay to get you BSN is two weeks at least.

About registration, if you'll find your apartment/studio... Don't forget to precise the landlord that you really need it. Be careful, a lot of rooms and studios don't offer registration and/or are scams.

The scammers are, unfortunately, spread into Amsterdam and all the Facebook group and some websites (example: CraigList). Never send money or give personal details to someone you don't know. You Always have to visit something before giving any money or information.


Transports / public transports:

  • In Amsterdam, you can almost find every transport existing next to each others. Ride, bike, cars, trams, bus, pedestrians, metro. The RATP has a similar here : OV. You will find out how to get your OV-Chipkaart to travel in Amsterdam with bus, metro and trains and trams. The card costs 7.50€, and you shall put money on it every time it's empty; It's not a subscription per month.
  • To go further than Amsterdam, you an use your OV-Chipkaart but be sure that you have at least 20€ on it, otherwise you are in an infraction. You can also buy a separate ticket at the yellow borns 'NS' (similar to SNCF)
  • In Amsterdam in every public transport you need to check-in and check-out. This is the only way to pay the right amount of money, according the distance you've travelled.



  • In Amsterdam, as an international student, you'll have access to a lot of student nights. Those nights are usually organized by the student office ISN. Don't worry, there are a lot of other places you can go without the ISN group.
  • You can go to Rembrandtplein
  • Leidseplein
  • Warmoestraat
  • Walking around the Red Light Discrit
  • De Pijp

These are the mos famous areas you can go to enjoy a good party.


My favorite places (mostly food places)

  • Sweetella (waffle shop)
  • The Albert Cuypmark (market with fresh food and Dutch specialities as Krotten, Frijkandel or Poffertjes...)
  • Vondelpark / Museumplein
  • Prinsengratch area, with the canal
  • Jordan area
  • Foodhallen (Food)
  • Bulls & Dogs (Food)
  • A'Dam Tower (Tourist experience)
  • Calle Ocho (Food)
  • Temarkery (Food)
  • Mook Pancake (Food)
  • Artis Zoo
  • Coco's Outback (Bar)
  • The Hills Street (Bar)
  • Burger Bitch (Food)
  • Burger Bar (Food)
  • Morena aan de Amstel (Food)
  • Rijksmuseum
  • ... I'll let you discover the rest by yourself.


Amsterdam is a lovely city where you can live every season, there is always something to do in the city.

Moreover, Amsterdam is not the only beautiful city of the Netherlands, you should go to Rotterdam or another city to discover the country!


By Marion Caspar



Les blogs des étudiants internationaux. Etrangers, à Paris, ou Parisiens, à l'étranger.

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