Reasons to live in Enschede, The Netherlands


6 minute read
Updated on 7 Mar 2024

Enschede, which means near the border, is situated right next to the German border. It is the 14th largest city in The Netherlands and is the main city in the region of Twente, the eastern part of the country.

Enschede is known for being a peaceful, beautiful and versatile city to live in as it has a wonderful mix of culture, history, nature, and innovation. A city that truly offers something for everyone.

Find out why 160,000 inhabitants and over 160 nationalities are choosing to live in the Dutch city of Enschede.

Things to see and do

Enschede has a little something for everyone. History buffs can head over to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe to explore hundreds of years old art or step back in time by visiting the interactive De Museumfabriek.

The modern Roombeek district is the place to be for those who prefer modernity and architecture and the Muziekkwartier is a great cultural centre.

For those who love to eat or drink out with friends and family, the Oude Markt will catch your eye. In the daytime you can enjoy a sip of coffee on the outdoor terraces and by night time you’ll be enjoying the nightlife in this historical part of town. Don’t forget to visit the Grolsch Brewery, which has its headquartered in Enschede, to have a guided tour and to taste the different beers.

When it comes to shopping, you can find them dotted around the centre. You can visit Van Heekplein, a square that hosts a local farmers market twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursday). Or you can visit any of the local brands, antique shops or several global brands such as Zara. Whilst most stores are shut by 18:00 - 19:00, Thursdays are special because stores stay open till 9:00 P.M.

Rent in Enschede is affordable

The rent in Enschede is lower than in Amsterdam. The best part is that you’ll also face much less competition when it comes to finding a place.

You can expect to pay around €950 for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center and €883 for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center.

Enjoy a peaceful quality of life in Enschede

Enschede is one of the greenest cities in the Netherlands. So it’s a great location for you if you like greenery and calm, laid-back places.

There’re a lot of parks, gardens and green playgrounds within the city and some great outdoor forest areas all around. Wear your walking shoes or hop on your bike and try the Rondje Enschede, a 52km loop that takes you through the greenery around the city.

You can also explore the wider Twente region, which has more than 3000 km of walking trails and 2,500 km cycling routes. So whether you want to go for short trail walks, longer hikes, or just want to explore by car or cycle, you’ll be able to enjoy nature to the fullest.

Cost of living in Enschede

If you are moving to Enschede alone, you should budget around €800 excluding rent for all the other expenses: groceries, eating out, utilities, transportation, sport and leisure.

Enschede is well-connected

Enschede allows you to live in a relatively cheap and small city whilst also allowing you to reach major cities, such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, within 2 hours by train. Big cities on the German side are even closer, with Münster being one hour away and Dortmund being two hours away. This provides a perfect opportunity to go on weekend trips.


Overall, The Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world. When looking at Enschede the city has a safety index of 55 with a moderate level of crime, mostly petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing. In all other categories, the city scores in line with the national average.

Work prospects

Enschede was historically famous for its industrial heritage centered around textile production. Nowadays, Enschede is trying to redefine itself as “a city that is never finished”. In fact, Enschede is making itself future proof in a number of ways.

Firstly, it is quickly becoming one of the biggest technological hubs in The Netherlands, thanks to the universities in the region. The city is betting on its high-tech future powered by the various local and international talents deciding to call Enschede their new home. These talents are then launching their own start ups and hiring several graduates.

Secondly, Enschede borders Germany and belongs to Euregio, a transnational cooperation structure between the Netherlands and Germany. This opens up several job opportunities as people can work on either side of the border for Dutch-German owned businesses.

Thirdly, Enschede is expanding work opportunities through its collaborations with its 3 sister cities - Dalian in China, Palo Alto in the Silicon Valley, and Münster in Germany. As part of this collaboration, all partners help start ups or entrepreneurs grow their businesses by sharing information and know-hows. Ultimately they help contribute to the economic growth of Enschede.


Enschede is a great place for students, to the point that it was chosen as the best and cheapest city for student housing in the Netherlands by the National Student Union (LSVb) in 2018.

Currently there are 30,000 students in Enschede. If you’re moving to Enschede, there’s a high chance that you’re going to attend one of its top universities. The University of Twente is one of the best Dutch universities for technical education, and the only one in the Netherlands with its own campus. Saxion University of Applied Sciences has a very practical approach that prepares its students for the real world. Comparatively, the ArtEZ University of the Arts and AKI Academy for Art & Design are the right choices for those who want to pursue a career in the creative industry. Every institution offers courses in English and Dutch.

Get your free Study in Enschede discount card and enjoy discounts on various things, such as Twentsche Foodhall, selected cafes and bars, phone repair shops, museums, etc.


Enschede is quite an international city. Every year, around 4,500 students from 80 countries come to study here. This makes Enschede a great student city to meet various international students.

Similarly, several expats and digital nomads are attracted by the tech companies, the cheap cost of living, and the promise of escaping the “rat-race” lifestyle.

You’ll also find that several residents from the German city of Gronau, the first city after the border, decide to commute to Enschede as it’s only 11 minutes by train. Overall, this means that you’ll come across various nationalities when living in Enschede.

Where to live in Enschede

Enschede is not big- it will take you approximately 20 minutes by bike to go from one side of the city to the other. But before finding a house for rent in Enschede, you should explore what the best neighborhoods in Enschede have to offer.

If you are coming here to study or work, you’ll likely prefer living in the north or north-west part of the city. Most of the universities, startups, and companies are located in these areas. Here’re some neighborhoods in this area.

Enschede Neighborhood: Twekkelerveld

Twekkelerveld is located right next to the University of Twente and the Business and Science Park, so it’ll be your go-to place if you are going to study or work there. It’ll take you 6 minutes or less by bike to reach the campus. The train station Enschede Kennispark is nearby and can reach the Enschede train station in 5 minutes. Otherwise, it’ll only take you 10 minutes by bike to reach the city center.


There’s a lively commercial area at the center of the Twekkelerveld, where you’ll find three supermarkets, a pharmacy, and some eating and drinking options. The Eetcafé De Fusting is a local favorite!

Enschede Neighborhood: Roombeek

Rombeek a modern district full of greenery. Roombeek is located right next to the ArtEZ University of the Arts and AKI Academy for Art & Design. Roombeek will be your go-to place if you are going to study or work there. It’ll take you 2 minutes by bike to reach the AKI ArtEZ. At the same time, Enschede train station and the city center are only 5 minutes away by bike.


Roombeek is home to several museums and cultural centers, ranging from natural history (De Museumfabriek) to modern art (Rijksmuseum Twenthe). There’s a lively commercial area around Roomweg, where you’ll find several supermarkets and eating and drinking options. Le Mans is a local favorite!

Enschede Neighborhood: Oude Markt and Boddenkamp

Oude Markt and Boddenkamp are located to the south and north of the Enschede train station, and very close to the Saxion University of Applied Sciences. These will be your go-to places if you are going to study or work there. It’ll take you 4 minutes by bike to reach Saxion, and you’ll be living right in the city center. The ArtEZ Conservatorium is also located in Oude Markt.


Boddenkamp is a bit more residential despite being in the centre. It also borders the beautiful Gerrit Jan van Heekpark.

Oude Markt has the typical structure of the Dutch city centers, with a nice market square full of terraces and cafés and quaint cobblestone streets.

As in the other cities, living in the center comes with the proximity to plenty of facilities, shopping malls, international restaurants, and the central train station. This area is popular with expats and internationals that enjoy living at the center of the action.

Now that you have a better understanding of the best areas to live in Enschede and what to consider in your neighborhood choice, you can tick off the other items off your arrival checklist!

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