Where should I live in the Netherlands?
July 6, 2011 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Mrs Primate, the Messrs Primates Junior and I may be moving back to the Netherlands in the near future. I'm looking for recommendations of small towns or neighborhoods in larger cities to check out. We're know A'dam inside and out and are pretty familiar with Utrecht and Haarlem, but we haven't actually lived in the country since 1999 (although we visit twice a year), so....

Our criteria are:

1. In the Randstad, but no further South than Leiden (in the West) or Utrecht (in the East).

2. Absolutely nothing above the canal.

3. We dig de Stijl period stuff (think Apollolaan in A'dam or most of Hilversum). No nieuwbouw!!!

4. Small towns near big cities would be great, so long as they still actually have a centrum with shops in it (NOT just an AH) and have at least a stoptrein.

5. Bonus points for elementary school (basis) age kid friendly features, although I'm not really sure what those might be.

Also, if you think I'm overlooking some critical thing, please do chime in!
posted by digitalprimate to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I always hear good things about Amstelveen. What do you mean by "above the canal" -- like, Flevoland? Or the Zaandam area?
posted by neushoorn at 12:37 PM on July 6, 2011

Response by poster: Above the canal = North of the Noordzeekanaal ,e.g., Alkmaar, Zanstaad, etc.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:41 PM on July 6, 2011

I'm not sure what your budget is; presumably fairly decent if you're looking at the Randstad. I really love Abcoude. It's not exactly a shopping mecca but certainly more than an Albert Heijn - it's not like you would need to go into Ams (which is very close) to get a new pair of glasses, for example. And it's on the train line. So that's one option. I always think I'd like to live there one day, if I ever leave the big smoke.
posted by rubbish bin night at 1:22 PM on July 6, 2011

Seconding Abcoude. Pix. Spent some time at nice horeca alongside the water a summer's day or two...

Nixing Amstelveen. It's a slaapstad, and the city centre is now basically a shopping mall. Beautiful houses in the lovely older neighborhoods along some of the main access roads leading in from Amsterdam, if you're a millionaire.
posted by likeso at 1:34 PM on July 6, 2011

Response by poster: Abcoude. Wow. I'd have never even considered it, thanks! Does it have a markt on Saturdays and a koopavond on Thursdays?
posted by digitalprimate at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2011

Nope. The markten are on Thursdays, while the koopavonden are on Fridays - and Things have Changed! There are now also scheduled koopzondagen.
posted by likeso at 2:02 PM on July 6, 2011

(and AH is now open until 10.00pm - seven days a week. *gasp*, amirite?)
posted by likeso at 2:04 PM on July 6, 2011

Oops, closes at 20.00 on Sundays. But OPEN till then.
posted by likeso at 2:05 PM on July 6, 2011

Nicht Renault and her husband ditched Amstelveen for Vinkeveen, and seem to like it a lot. Enough going on there for a small town, both for the adults and kid in the family. (As I am given to understand by facebook status updates.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:05 PM on July 6, 2011

Great. Now I have "In een rijtuigie" on replay in my mind. Thanks so much, Capt. Renault!

posted by likeso at 2:27 PM on July 6, 2011

Response by poster: There are some nice houses in Vinkeveen.
posted by digitalprimate at 2:31 PM on July 6, 2011

Yeah. Vinkeveense Plassen, y'know. Got some serious H'sum overflow from the Gooi there. Money.
posted by likeso at 2:35 PM on July 6, 2011

Live Den Haag - really like it
posted by zia at 3:12 PM on July 6, 2011

Response by poster: Den Haag is lovely, but far too far away from Mrs. Primate's parents, alas!
posted by digitalprimate at 4:04 AM on July 7, 2011

Response by poster: For the record, I wound up buying a house in Haarlem Zuid.
posted by digitalprimate at 12:52 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

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