Writer Pip Farquharson answered your travel questions on Tuesday, April 5 at noon ET
Boscobel, WI: How can I go about moving to and living in Amsterdam? I am an American citizen
Pip Farquharson: I think it can be quite a complicated process unless you have a job to go to but I'm not American so I don't know the details. Best to look at Expatica.com expatica.com/ which has a huge resource for people in your position. Certainly, you could meet people in the forums there who have made the move across the pond and ask them their experiences. Good luck! It's a beautiful city to live in!
Philadelphia, PA: Hi Pip. What's the scene for graphics employment presently there? I see all of these seminars (Flash Forward, XML, etc.) located in Amsterdam. Are there many jobs there now? How 'bout for US citizens? Any tips for job-getting strategies or current technologies sought after? Thanks so much.
Pip Farquharson: Hi there...
It's true, Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) are very advanced in graphics and such technologies. The city was, I believe, the first in the world to have its own internet (De Digitale Stad). I don't know about the current job climate concerning Graphics (even though I have BA Hons degree in Graphics!) but I would just do Google searches for individual companies and see what they have on their websites. There's quite a few of the best advertising agencies here too - such as Wieden & Kennedy, Kessels Kramer, Strawberry Frog etc - so they might be worth exploring.
Concord, OH: Is the airline Transavia, which flies from Amsterdam to Verona, Italy an established, reliable airline, in good financial standing? I am looking for an economical flight and found through a Budget Travel article which gave a website on low-cost airlines in Europe. Is it comparable to perhaps Airtran or Southwest which flies in the states? Don't want to get stranded while I am over in Amsterdam without transportation to Verona. Is it safe to book on the web?
Pip Farquharson: I can't predict the economical future but to the best of my knowledge Transavia are an established and reliable Dutch airline. I've flown with them before. I can't say how it compares to Airtran or Southwest as I've never been to the States - but don't worry you won't be stranded in Amsterdam!
As for booking online. I haven't booked with Transavia (as they don't go London Gatwick where I often go), but I book regularly with British Airways and find it's very secure to do so online. Airlines tend to have very secure methods of payment on their websites. It's only extremely rarely things go wrong. Just make sure you receive confirmation of your booking which should be pretty instantaneous.
Allison Park, PA: My mother and I are taking a cruise of Europe in June and one port is Amsterdam. How safe is the city to explore on our own? Would we be better off staying with a tour? Thanks!!
Pip Farquharson: How lovely.
And you'll be arriving in the heart of the Eastern Docklands. Right by your berth is the new Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (programming all sorts of music from minimalist to classical) and the world famous jazz venue Bimhuis, as well as 'Naked Chef' Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen... Just a short walk away is the Stedelijk Museum of Modern art (cafe-restaurant 11 at the top has simply fantastic views across the city). Also within five or ten minutes walk you will be in the heart of Amsterdam.
I wouldn't be concerned about safety. It is a safe city. A few people have sent questions about that so I will answer that more fully a little later.
Chandler, AZ: Are you familiar with other Netherlands cities, such as Eindhoven? My husband has a job opportunity there but I know nothing about it and would like to hear about its pros and cons. I would like to hear how it compares to other European cities (I have traveled in Italy). Would it be a good place to live for a year? Thanks for any info.
Pip Farquharson: I'm not that familiar with Eindhoven (home to electrical giants Philips) but I don't think it's one of the most interesting or charming cities in the Netherlands - certainly compared to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam or Maastricht etc.
That said, the Netherlands is so small that if your husband did relocate there, it's not far from those cities so I think it would actually be a great experience. A year isn't long at all.
You could also try posting at the forums at Expatica.com htpatica.com/ whose site is aimed at expats who will have experienced the same dilemmas about relocation to the Netherlands, including Eindhoven.
Go for it!