I moved from New York City to Amsterdam over five years ago. From my personal experience, this is how to make friends in Amsterdam.
If you want to meet people in Amsterdam, there’ll be no shortage of diverse cultural exchanges and fun stories to swap as both expats and locals. This city has over 180 different nationalities making it a vibrant place to find people to enrich your lives with.
Furthermore, there are tons of expats living in Amsterdam who share the same commonality of navigating this new country, which provides a solid foundation for newfound friendships.
From the comfort of your own couch to the cozy environment of your neighborhood park, here’s how to make friends in Amsterdam today!
This post was written in collaboration with the Party of 4 app. All insight is from my own genuine, personal experience. Learn more.
Swipe on the Party of 4 App
Party of 4 is the ultimate app to use to meet people in Amsterdam as a couple. You can swipe on couple friends you and your partner would want to hang out, see how far they are from you and choose if you want to hang out with couples who have kids or not.
I personally used the app on the day of its launch and saw a couple with similar interests as Mike and me who lives 250 meters away. This was of making friends is so easy that it almost feels illegal.
If you want to see first what type of couples are on the app, check out Party of 4’s Instagram page. They have a series called “Couples Spotlight” where they showcase couples in Amsterdam, where they’re from and their interests.
I am POSITIVE that you’ll quickly find a couple that you’ll want to be friends with.
Discover your new couples besties with the Party of 4 App in the Apple Store. Get it here or search for “Party of 4”.
Swipe on Bumble
Bumble started out as a dating app where women make the first move, but there’s more to Bumble than just dating.
As a woman, you can make female friends with Bumble BFF, and if you’re looking to widen your professional network, you can connect with Bumble Bizz. All of these are on the same app.
To get it, search for Bumble on your phone’s app store.
The best and fastest way to meet Dutch people in Amsterdam is to learn Dutch. It’s also a great way to assimilate into society quickly.
There is a common feeling among expats that Dutch people do not like to make friends with expats because they tend to come and go in a matter of a few years. They don’t want to make the effort with people who are going to leave.
Nonetheless, this isn’t true for all Dutch people and expats don’t speak for the Dutch!
So if you want to make friends with locals, learn the local language as soon as possible. It’ll open up so many social doors beyond the English-speaking expat community.
Join Facebook Groups
There are a ton of Facebook groups for expats in the Netherlands that you can join and find friends. Many people in these groups happen to live in Amsterdam since it’s the largest city in Netherlands, which also makes it really easy for English-people to live in.
These Facebook groups are how I personally met two of my friends in Amsterdam.
There are a ton of different groups for all type of expats, but from experience, here are my favorite.
- Expats in the Netherlands and Expat Republic for all expats
- Americans in the Netherlands is for Americans
- Amsterdam | Girls Gone International is for women
- Amsterdam Creatives is for creatives
- Amsterdam Mamas is for moms
How to Use These Facebook Groups to Meet People in Amsterdam
There are two ways to use these Facebook groups to make friends in Amsterdam. First off, you’ll need to click on one of the above groups and click Join. Once you’re in, you can either:
- Be active! Write a post explaining who you are and what you like to do in your free time. See if there are other like-minded people in the group who would want to meet up. I have personally responded to these types of posts and found a couple of amazing people this way.
- Be passive in the group, and if you see a post that you like that someone made, DM them and introduce yourself. You may need to comment on their post and tell them that you DMed them because messages sometimes go to the Other Inbox on Facebook.
Ask Friends and Family
It may come as a surprise but your friends and family may know people in Amsterdam you can meet. You’ll never know until you ask as we don’t truly know our friends and family’s entire social circles.
You can either post on your personal Facebook profile, Instagram stories or even send an e-mail blast that says, “Hey. I’m looking to meet people in Amsterdam when I move there. Do you know anyone or do your friends know anyone?”
This is especially helpful if you’re figuring out the best way in making friends over 40.
Check out Instagram Profiles
At its core, Instagram is a networking app. Thus, it makes it a great place to meet people in Amsterdam.
I personally found some friends through Instagram simply based on what they were posting about #amsterdamfood.
You can also check out the locations that people tag. If you see someone posting from your favorite brunch spot in Amsterdam, why not message them and say hi?
Lastly, another way to check out prospective friends in Amsterdam is through Party of 4’s own Instagram. They have this super fun “Couple Spotlight” series where you can learn about couples looking to make friends in Amsterdam. Read about people to become friends with on their Instagram.
Go to Meetups
Something I noticed about making friends in Amsterdam when I first moved here is that I kind of became friends with anyone and everyone, which to be honest was exhausting. I had to take a step back and ask myself, “Would I be friends with this person back home, or am I only befriending them because we’re in the same situation as expats?”
As a result, I started being more selective on who I chose to create a relationship with. Having a base of hobbies or interests is a great way to make friends in Amsterdam.
To find people with the same interests, check out Meetup. There are tons of events based on hobbies or professions and even speed “dating” for friendship type events.
Say Hi In Person
If you’re at the bar with your friends or at the park with your kids, chances are there are people at those spots who have the same interests as you. After all, you have been attracted to the same place to hang out! This makes it a great base for conversation and possibly a friendship.
Don’t be shy! Go up to someone you might want to be friends with and introduce yourself. The worst that can happen is they can say no, and you’ll be in the same position you were before. The best that can happen is that you have someone new to hang out with!
This is how Megan, the founder of the Party of 4 app, has personally made a lot of her mommy friends while living in Amsterdam. She simply went up to them and asked if they wanted to hang out!
Watch Megan’s story on why she created the Party of 4 app on Instagram.
Leave a Comment
If you read the entire post because you want to make friends in Amsterdam, leave a comment and introduce yourself! Add your name, gender identification, interests and a social profile where they can find you. I feel like e-mail wouldn’t be as safe to write out because of spammers. Maybe, just maybe, someone else reading this post will want to connect with you.
I hope this article helps you to meet people in Amsterdam. If there’s any ways I didn’t discuss and could help others, please let us know with a comment.