Situated in South Holland and divided by the Nieuwe Maas, Rotterdam stands as a major port city that has overcome significant historical hardships. Expats who move here tend to settle in quite quickly and are generally welcomed with open arms in a city that is often thought of as a symbol of resilience and regrowth.
In 1940, in an event known as the Rotterdam Blitz, German forces bombed and destroyed the historic city centre. Only one building was left standing – St Lawrence Church, which was restored and can still be visited today. While the Blitz resulted in the loss of many historic buildings dating back to the medieval era, the subsequent reconstruction of the city centre gave Rotterdam a unique opportunity to rebuild and redefine itself.
Today, Rotterdam's experimental architecture is unique among Dutch cities, and the city's vibrant energy makes it an exciting place to live. Innovative designs such as the cube houses and the Markthal serve multiple purposes, from accommodation and workplaces to top attractions and landmarks. The shopping, nightlife and restaurant scenes in the city are thriving, and young singles and families alike are sure to find plenty to keep themselves amused.
Families with kids will also integrate into their new lives seamlessly, given the high standard of Dutch and international schools in the city. There are also schools with bilingual programmes catering to the expat community.
That said, there are both pros and cons to relocating to the Netherlands, and one downside is the difficulty for non-EU citizens to secure a job, particularly in Rotterdam. That said, many make the move with a job offer already in hand and, once expats start working, they can enjoy a reasonable cost of living, especially in comparison to other major Dutch destinations.
With so much to offer, Rotterdam is a place well worth considering if planning a move to the Netherlands. The attractive combination of the city's lifestyle perks and low cost of living brings many an expat to Rotterdam. Thanks to the variety of excellent amenities available, expats are sure to settle down in no time.