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In the past, the majority of internationals moving to the Randstad mainly lived in Rotterdam, The Hague or Amsterdam depending on their place of work. During recent years however increasing numbers of families, couples and single people have chosen Haarlem.

Haarlem is the capital city of the province ‘North Holland’, and the 13th largest city in The Netherlands. The city has a little bit over 150,000 inhabitants and is often referred to as ‘Small Amsterdam’. Haarlem has been voted ‘best shopping city’ more than once and just like Amsterdam, it has canals that offer a completely different view of the city. There are several neighbourhoods which are extremely popular for young families and a lot of cultural sights.

Close to Nature and Family Friendly

The city is within easy reach of several beaches, as well as the very green Zuid-Kennemerland National Park. A swimmable lake is a 15 minute bike ride from the city centre. There are also playgrounds all over the city, and several swimming pools. 

Good Connections

There are two train stations in Haarlem, the smaller being Spaarnwoude and the main station Haarlem Centraal. The train ride to Amsterdam is around 20 minutes with direct rail connections to Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid stations as well as The Hague. Schiphol Airport and Hoofddorp can be reached in 30 minutes by bus. A ferry to the UK runs from nearby Ijmuiden which is easily reached by bus. A parking permit is required and available for residents in the majority of streets. Within the city itself, many residents either walk or cycle but the city is also well covered by the local bus network. A parking permit is required for most of the residential streets.


In the past, there were no international schools in the city, making it less attractive to families. A few years ago a small International Montessori school was established and in September 2017 the new International School Haarlem opened on Schreveliusstraat 27. The school will offer an international curriculum to children initially between the ages of 4 and 11. Their vision for the following school years is to gradually develop a secondary department, beginning from 2018 and offer a full IB programme for international students in Haarlem and the surrounding municipalities. The International School in Haarlem is partially funded by the Dutch government, and one of the key factors which may influence parents is the lower school fees, as opposed to those in Amsterdam and The Hague.

Registration fee € 200.00

Deposit fee € 500.00

All groups € 4,500.00


Many internationals and native Dutch residents have long considered Haarlem to be a good alternative to Amsterdam. Properties here usually offer more space and better value for money. During the last years however, the recent influx of Amsterdammers and Internationals moving into the city has increased pressure on the Haarlem housing market with prices increasing for both renting and those wishing to buy. Properties move fast, and do not stay available for long.

For those considering to buy a property in Haarlem, there are frequent Expat Housing Seminars, the next one scheduled for 17th October 2017. These seminars are held every few months by several speakers from different organisations working together with the intention to inform potential international clients about the legal, financial, tax and practical matters of buying a home in the Netherlands.

Are you considering relocating to Haarlem? If so, Crown Relocations can help you with your move. Ask us about the various packages available for transporting your personal belongings direct to your new home in The Netherlands, or how we can help you find a new home, obtaining your Dutch tax number or opening a bank account. Click here for more details. We look forward to helping you take this next step in your life!

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