Creative industry in Amsterdam

More than 200,000 people work in the creative industries in the Amsterdam Area. They create the clothes we wear, the games we play and the adverts we can’t forget, and have helped the region develop an international reputation for creative excellence. 

  • Hosts a community of over 300 international creative companies

  • The third-largest exporter of TV formats in the world
  • Equipped with Europe's fastest broadband speeds
  • Home to world-famous fashion designers, top design schools and iconic brands
  • The location of Europe's 3rd-largest gaming market
  • Has a skilled, experienced and multilingual creative workforce

Amsterdam: a springboard for creative ideas

Innovation and creativity have long been part of what makes Amsterdam special. Leading advertising companies are present in the city, including 180 Kingsday, Wieden + Kennedy and 72andSunny, and campaigns for brands like Heineken and Nike are born here. The gaming industry is led by EA and Guerrilla, opportunities in music and app development abound, and the region’s media and broadcasting sector employs more than 15,000 people.

 The Amsterdam Area also has a collaborative spirit that makes it easy to partner up and bring dreams to life. Whether you need a composer to write a theme for a TV programme, a graphic designer to create a smart logo or a programmer for an app, you’ll find someone here who’s up to the task. New generations of talent are studying at local institutes of higher learning, which offer more than 30 programmes geared toward the creative industries.

Sustainable style is also making a mark and Amsterdam is home to more than 100 fashion houses, many of which reuse, recycle and upcycle existing materials. Fashion for Good, the world’s first museum dedicated to sustainable clothing, welcomes local and international visitors alike. Unique stores, collectives and industry leaders are also striving to protect the environment and emphasise the benefits of buying used.  

At the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, the next generation of designers are steering their industry in a responsible new direction. And they’re guided by teachers and staff who are fully committed to sustainability and see education as a means of making a lasting difference. Game-changing companies in Amsterdam also benefit from a supportive ecosystem and initiatives like Plug and Play – Fashion for Good, an accelerator that provides startups with funding, office space and more. Need a new top or pair of jeans? Check out Project Cece. This Amsterdam-based website brings sustainable brands together for a one-stop ethical shopping experience and is expanding overseas. Patagonia’s European headquarters is located in the city as well, and the outdoor brand boldly says its primary mission is saving the planet.

Creativity is just like bicycles and canals – an intrinsic part of Amsterdam. Industries fuelled by imagination and passion will find everything needed to succeed here, whether it’s reliable broadband or stunning views that spur big ideas.

More on the creative industry in Amsterdam

News about Amsterdam's creative industry

  • MediaMonks merges with Firewood

    World-leading creative production company MediaMonks, which is based in the Amsterdam Area, has merged with Firewood, Silicon Valley’s largest digital agency.

  • Fashion innovation in Amsterdam

    As one of the world’s most environmentally harmful sectors, the fashion industry has a long way to go to become sustainable. In Amsterdam, the needed innovations are being pushed forward by several initiatives and organisations in a movement spearheaded by Fashion for Good. From making a difference with small changes to looking at the big picture and radically transforming it, there are many ways to shake up the industry.

  • Amsterdam on film: Five films set in the city

    Film and media buffs, take note: It’s nearly time for IBC. The leading media technology convention returns to Amsterdam for its 2019 edition. The city is no stranger to the world of film and TV – movie experts and Amsterdam lovers alike will have noted that the city has played a starring role in cinema, too.

Read more

Success stories from Amsterdam's creative sector

180 Kingsday

180 Kingsday is one of the world's leading creative companies. An award-winning, international business in Amsterdam city's centre with offices in Los...

3D Hubs

With production facilities connected in over 140 countries, 3D Hubs' online platform helps product designers and engineers find the fastest and most p...

Amsterdam Dance Event

Amsterdam Dance Event is the world's biggest club festival and Europe's leading electronic music conference which welcomes more than 400,000 people ev...


“Choosing Amsterdam as the location for our third overseas branch was a no-brainer for us,” says Hazelle Klønhammer of Anomaly.

Denham the Jeanmaker

Jason Denham never intended to come to Amsterdam, but he quickly found the city has everything a fashion entrepreneur needs. We spoke to him about his...

Kingpins Show

For professionals in the denim industry, the Kingpins Show is the most important event of the year. This trade fair runs in New York, Hong Kong and Am...

Pitch perfect

Over the last decade, Amsterdam’s advertising scene has bloomed dramatically, and the city now sits alongside (and often above) the world’s traditiona...

Amsterdam Worldwide

“Our location in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is one of our most valuable assets,” says Brian Elliott of Amsterdam Worldwide.


Lisa Trapman of recruitment specialist Aquent has seen the demand for creative and digital talent soar as Amsterdam emerges as a European tech hub.


Language skills and an international mindset are among Amsterdam’s advantages, says Johan Lofstrom of Chartboost.

Denim City

As the birthplace of denim innovators and the European hub of internationally established brands: Amsterdam is Denim City's Headquarters.

DUS Architects

DUS Architects are revolutionising city building, using the creative freedom and relaxed legislature of Amsterdam as inspiration and springboard.

Electronic Arts

“It’s good to have a network of people you know and who can help,” says Dirk Scholing of EA about the company’s move to Amsterdam.


“Amsterdam is part of our DNA,” says Olivier Klønhammer, managing director of the post-production house Glassworks.


Emilie Tabor and Maddie Raedts founded Amsterdam-based agency IMA in 2010. They've quickly grown the company into the largest influencer marketing age...


Music agency MassiveMusic connects brands with talented artists. Read the interview with the strategy director, Joep Beving.


After starting out in a Hilversum basement in 2001, MediaMonks is now the world's leading creative production company. CEO Victor Knaap reveals the se...

Perfect World

Perfect World's general manager, Kay Gruenwoldt, explains the appeal of setting up a European headquarters in Amsterdam.

Philips Lighting

“There is a really good climate for creative innovation in Amsterdam. Design and technology come together here,” says Rogier van der Heide, Chief Desi...

RAU Architects

According to RAU's founder, Thomas Rau, "in the Netherlands, it's more accepted that the built environment must be in harmony with the natural surroun...


‘In the end, we want to be in the inner city, because of the energy. In our creative company, we need this,’ says Rituals founder and CEO Raymond Cloo...

The Kraanspoor

Find out why office building the Kraanspoor became the first European real estate project to be awarded the Green Award by the MIPIM real estate fair....


TOMS Managing Director Martin Johnston explains why Amsterdam is the perfect location for the fashion company.


Design company Moooi's founders, Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers, describe why their business' success could only have happened in Amsterdam.

The Media Nanny

The Media Nanny is one of the entertainment world's most trusted PR agencies, representing a huge range of global artists, labels, festivals and brand...

The M-ODE Foundation

Amsterdam's The M-ODE Foundation is on a mission to change the world, and help people reassess the value that they see in the clothes that they wear. ...