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Finding housing on your own: tips & tricks

Use our experience to land your accommodation in Amsterdam with this handy lists of tips and tricks.

Finding a room in Amsterdam can be quite a challenge. On this page we provide some handy tips and tricks!

Define your monthly budget

Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to live in. Keep in mind that the average single room rate on the private market in Amsterdam is € 945 per month and for an apartment approximately € 1200-2200 per month. Check the cost of living in Amsterdam.
To finalize a rental contract or room booking, you will often need to pay the first month’s rent, administration costs and a deposit upfront. This means that the first payment can be a significant amount. Make sure you are able to pay this before your arrival in Amsterdam. 

If you change housing in the Netherlands it is very common that you have to pay double rent for a period of time: for your current rental contract and for the new rental contract. Also, housing providers always request a deposit prior to moving in. The refund of your current deposit will probably arrive too late to cover the deposit of your new rental contract. Therefore, make sure you also have a financial buffer if you switch houses.

Tips & tricks

  • Amsterdam experiences currently a severe housing crisis. Affordable housing is scarce, so begin your search early. Do not wait until your visa or study enrolment is approved. If you wait, you might not find housing.
  • Most students find a room through their (newly built) network. Spread the word on social media and tell as many people as possible that you are looking for accommodation.
  • Local AUAS students offer their rooms in Amsterdam via our Facebook group(opens in new window) when they leave the Netherlands for their exchange abroad.
  • The ASVA Student Union provides general information about renting a room in Amsterdam and can act as a room mediator between students and landlords. They also provide guidelines on what to consider when viewing a room. For more information, visit their webpage(opens in new window).
  • Try not to focus on the city centre. Amsterdam is a fairly small city compared to other capitals. The suburbs and surrounding towns are very nearby and can be reached easily by public transport. Also search for (cheaper) rooms outside Amsterdam and do not be too picky, while staying aware of scams.
  • In July, August and September, it is really difficult to find a room in Amsterdam. You could consider finding temporary accommodation first and continue your search later.
  • Also, more rooms become available each year in the months of May and June, when students finish their studies or go back to their home country. You could consider searching for a room with a start date already before summer, as you will have more chance of finding a room.
  • Invest in a (second-hand) bike to save money on public transport tickets.
  • Stand strong together. Increase your budget by teaming up with other students to search for a shared apartment.
  • Always enquire with a landlord about the possibility to register with the municipality. It is mandatory to be registered at the address where you live. If you cannot get registered, the accommodation is probably offered for rent illegally. You can find more information about registration at the municipality on our upon arrival website.
  • Read more on renting and living in Amsterdam(opens in new window) and the different Amsterdam neighbourhoods(opens in new window).

Staying longer than 1 year? Register with waiting time-based platforms (longstay housing)

If you are planning on staying in Amsterdam for longer than one year, we strongly advise you to register as soon as possible on Dutch student housing websites: long before your arrival and as soon as you have registered for your degree programme.

Read more about longstay housing

Additional tips & tricks for exchange students

If you are coming for only 1 or 2 semesters to Amsterdam as an exchange student, it might be even more challenging to find housing. 

  • Furnished rooms are not very commonly offered on the private housing market. Most offered rooms are unfurnished.
  • Temporary housing contracts for just 1 or 2 semesters are not very common.
  • During the Spring semester (February-July), fewer exchange students come to Amsterdam than during the Fall semester (August - January). If you can, try to arrange your exchange during the Spring semester. You will have more chance of finding a room, even through the AUAS Housing lottery

Questions and support

Our Housing team is ready to assist you

+31 20 525 5372(opens in new window)
Monday through Friday from 10:00-11:00 and 16:00-17:00 CEST.