Where to move to in the Netherlands??

(32 Posts)
medice Sat 23-Jan-16 04:14:40

I am looking into relocating to the Netherlands. I would be working from home and also flying frequently so proximity to an airport is important. My husband and 2 kids (and 2 dogs) will be coming along. Kids are 1 and 4 years old. We are planning to send kids to Dutch school as we will be here for up to 10-15years. What town should we consider? I would like to stay under 2000eu for 3-4 bedroom apartment/house (I will need an office) with a little garden hopefully and incl utilities.. Leiden looks promising.. Any other suggestions? My husband will initially stay home with the little one so he won't need to commute anywhere for awhile. Thank you!

lifeisunjust Sat 23-Jan-16 07:58:25

I'd choose Leiden or anywhere else with direct trains in under 30 minutes to Schiphol.

Laptopwieldingharpy Sun 24-Jan-16 01:20:02

Leiden is lovely.
I see you resureected a very old thread? There are more recent ones!
Are you planning to buy property?

YolandiFuckinVisser Sun 24-Jan-16 01:25:52

I lived in Hilversum once upon a time, it was a great place to live, not a massive city but everything you want in a town. Schipol airport a half hour train ride away & links to motorways etc. Couldn't tell you how much a flat costs these days though.

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 03:06:01

Laptopwieldingharpy, renting for awhile anyway. In some ways I am looking forward to simplifying life and renting over buying might be a part of that. It will probably be some time before my husband and I will pick up Dutch so proximity to other expats would be helpful. Plus of course school (Dutch public) for our 4.5yo daughter. Any town suggestions?? Thank you!

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 03:07:32

Yolandi, we have friends in Rotterdam and Breda and I think Hilversum might move us further away from them.. Thanks though!

Naoko Sun 24-Jan-16 03:32:56

Eindhoven? Not terrifically exciting as a town but sizeable expat community, rents lower than in say Amsterdam, international airport, good local schools and good rail links.

BlueSmarties76 Sun 24-Jan-16 05:03:54

Amersfoort? Pretty small town. it's considered quite 'posh', or if not posh then at least very middle class.... It's perhaps like a smaller Dutch version of Tunbridge Wells, if that means anything to you!? It's on the edge of the Bible Belt sort of area but not in it, so it's quite family orientated but not overly conservative. Nice Zoo nearby too.

It's roughly a half hour train to Amsterdam central station.

lifeisunjust Sun 24-Jan-16 06:55:03

Amersfoot is an hour from Schiphol and most times requires 2 trains. I don't see any advantages of there over Leiden, the home to Netherlands' highest regarded university and very near to the international schools of den Haag and the expat community there.

Eindhoven is up to 2 hours by 2 trains to Schiphol and less of an expat community than Leiden too.

Hilversum is going to be more expensive than Leiden but at least it's only 30 minutes by train to Schiphol.

Nothing beats Leiden at 17 minutes by train from Schiphol and the expat community.

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 06:55:41

Amersfoort looks very promising! Thank yousmile Have you lived there? Bible Belt part scares me a little as but hopefully population is not overly religious.. A lot of expats?

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 07:07:26

Lifeisunjust, thank you! Leiden looked like a good spot and proximity to the sea was nice as well. I recall seeing somewhere that renting is hard because it is mostly student oriented. Is there better or worse time to hunt for family rentals?

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 07:08:56

Although I think our kids would just go to the Dutch schools. I would want them to learn the language and integrate into local community well. Plus we will be in Netherlands for 10-15 years potentially (and have to cover education costs ourselves).

lifeisunjust Sun 24-Jan-16 09:18:30

Instead of asking here about rents, you need to get on the rental websites to discover the reality.

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 12:36:09

Lifeisunjust, I have actually done a lot of research on few website everyone seems to recommend so I am fairly comfortable with price points and such. Where I live in the US (student town as well) there is a bit of a seasonality in rentals if you are looking because of the school year. I am curious if there is the same factor in rentals in Netherlands. That I don't think I'd be able to find on rental websites since I won't be able to observe them for the full year.. So far I have not seen many larger houses/apartment rentals in Leiden comparing to other towns like Den Haag and Amstelveen..

BlueSmarties76 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:04:25

Ive not lived in Amersfoort, but have been there many times as a close British friend lives there with her Dutch husband. She is a strong atheist and does not find the conservatism / religion overbearing. The main thing she notices is that unlike the UK, some shops will be closed Sunday.

I will ask her Dutch husband some more about Leiden for you.

Amersfoort sounds v different from Leiden! It is regarded as a pretty 'hidden gem', therefore there are relativly few foreigners there and unlike Amsterdam, some of the shopkeepers do not speak English. It is mostly well-to-do families with children. There are also very few university students as they would be more likely to live in Amsterdam. There are a lot of very nice houses to rent - the majority of people over there rent (keep in mind you're often expected to provide your own curtains etc!). Amersfoort has the old city contained within the walls, plus the more modern part outside. Old city is very pretty.

Some cultural differences my friend noticed compared to the UK:

- 30-40 mins train journey is not considered commutable by the Dutch. They think a 5-10 minute cycle to work is the norm.

- nobody in Amsterdam business district seems to socialise after work.

- she says people are generally less materialistic and spend less money than in the UK so don't go out often.

- children always attend the nearest school and are sent home for lunch!!

- the school system is very tiered.

Hope that helps!

GloriaHotcakes Sun 24-Jan-16 13:08:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ilovesooty Sun 24-Jan-16 13:11:08

Have you considered Haarlem? It's close to Amsterdam; the atmosphere is very pleasant and it's an attractive city. .

BlueSmarties76 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:12:17

PS. I forgot to say that Amersfoort does get quite a few tourists. It's got a big church, art galleries, museums, nice little boutiques and coffee shops (NOT the cannabis type, there is very little of that in Amersfoort.)

BlueSmarties76 Sun 24-Jan-16 13:17:29

A few of my holiday snaps of Amersfoort:

ilovesooty Sun 24-Jan-16 14:55:11

Amersfoort Zoo is lovely.

DXBMermaid Sun 24-Jan-16 15:09:07

Alphen aan den Rijn is nice too. Not a huge international community, but probably easier to meet and get to know Dutch people.

20 min by direct bus to the airport, train connections to Leiden and Utrecht.

Rents much cheaper the Leiden.

ilovesooty Sun 24-Jan-16 15:56:14

Alphen a/d Rijn is lovely and friendly but I don't think the commute to Amsterdam is too straightforward.

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 17:46:02

GloriaHotcakes, what turned you off? I only visited Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam (really did not like it), and Breda (commute to the airport would be too long). Obviously we'd need to visit before moving but I am curious.

Haarlem looked good but opposite direction from our existing Dutch friends in Rotterdam and Breda.. I was hoping to be more south rather than North..

medice Sun 24-Jan-16 17:47:25

BlueSmarties76, looks lovely!! Low number of expats might be tricky because my husband will be staying home with our infant son and I'd worry if he did not have any social life outside of picking out our daughter from school when I am away.

lifeisunjust Sun 24-Jan-16 19:11:02

Haarlem doesn't look easy for commuting by train to the airport.

You'll probably have to balance cost V availability V expats put costs up and decide what is more important.

I'd ignore any comments "I didn't like" because really it matters that YOU like doesn't it?

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