Living in Hoofddorp as an international: everything you need to know

Is Hoofddorp the new hotspot? ✨

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So you want to live near Amsterdam and are curious about what it’s like living in Hoofddorp as an international? We can’t blame you; it’s a charming, cheap alternative with lots to offer.

Hoofddorp doesn’t just have a funny-looking name; it’s also an up-and-coming area near the Dutch capital.

Known as a small, quiet town, Hoofddorp has heaps to offer for everyone — from people in business to nature enthusiasts and art lovers. 

Ready to find out what’s so great about Hoofddorp? Let’s get to it. 

To bring you this article, we are collaborating with Hyde Park, an up-and-coming city district in Hoofddorp, with international allure. Sustainable and car-free, Hyde Park will be home to more than 3,800 luxury apartments and feature all the luxurious amenities your heart desires.

Welkom to Hoofddorp

As part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA), Hoofddorp sits snugly beneath Schiphol Airport, and has grown rapidly over the past years.

Built on reclaimed land, Hoofddorp started as a quaint little dorpje (town) and is now its own charming little city.

Being the largest village in the Haarlemmermeer municipality, Hoofddorp offers a delightful mix of shopping, working, living, dining, nature and culture — it’s that nice combination of peacefulness and excitement that we all want. 

Hoofddorp is a budget-friendly gem compared to bustling cities such as Amsterdam, Utrecht, or Leiden — and there’s much to love about it. 

What’s the cost of living in Hoofddorp?

Naturally, cost of living is a big factor when it comes to choosing a place to live in the Netherlands.

If you’re an international considering making Hoofddorp your home, there are two factors that you should consider outside of your housing costs: groceries and entertainment.

Groceries

In Hoofddorp, your everyday essentials will run you about the same as anywhere else in the Netherlands. 

That being said, depending on where you come from, prices in the Netherlands seem quite steep.

Take this grocery list from Numbeo, for example:

ItemAverage price
Regular milk (1L)€1.22
Loaf of fresh white bread (500g) €2.90
12 Eggs€4.66
Chicken fillets (1kg)  €14.98
Ground beef (1kg) €14.99     
Apples (1kg)      €3.06
Tomatoes (1kg)€2.74
Potatoes€2.56 
Bottle of Wine (mid-range)  €5.99
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle)    €1.25

Entertainment

In the entertainment department, whether it’s catching a movie, dining out, or chilling at your go-to café, prices in Hoofddorp are pretty much in line with what you’d find in other Dutch cities.

movie-theatre-in-hoofddorp-city-centre-popular-among-internationals-living-in-hoofddorp
The bustling city centre is the place to be for all your entertainment endeavours! Image: Alf van Beem/Wikimedia Commons/CC0

This means you can expect to spend around €25 for a decent dinner with drinks at a local restaurant, €10 for a movie ticket, and between €25 to €50 for a gym membership. 

Let op! A considerable cost to consider when living in Hoofddorp is the cost of public transport. Dutch public transport is known to be expensive, so if you want to commute to Amsterdam everyday, we’d suggest you check out NS season tickets!

What area of Hoofddorp is the best to live in?

Hoofddorp is a small town with a selection of charming neighbourhoods to choose from.  

Each neighbourhood has its own charm and amenities — and all are conveniently close to the town centre. 

Here’s a brief overview of some of the major neighbourhoods in Hoofddorp:

  • Bornholm
  • Centrum
  • Floriande
  • Graan voor Visch
  • Overbos
  • Pax
  • Toolenburg

Regardless of where you choose to settle, you’ll find Hoofddorp a welcoming and pleasant place to call home.

Got your heart set on moving to Hoofddorp but don’t know where to start? Check out Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the Netherlands’ biggest ongoing construction projects, and once completed, it will be an ultra-modern living space surrounded by greenery, luxury amenities and the Netherlands’ most bustling hotspots.

Why should I consider living in Hoofddorp as an international?

From its international allure to the surrounding nature, Hoofddorp has plenty of things to love if you choose to move here. Here are just six of them:

It’s a growing city in the Randstad area

Hoofddorp is expanding — and that’s great!

Thanks to the many people who have moved to Hoofddorp over the past years, the municipality of Haarlemmermeer is putting a lot of money and effort into the development of the area.

READ MORE | What is the Randstad? The complete explainer

Not only is the town being equipped with new homes, schools, and stores, but it’s also becoming a bustling place to live with plenty of cafés, cultural activities, and an international community!

It has excellent public transport connections to all major cities

Hoofddorp’s location right in the heart of the Netherlands means the town is incredibly well-connected to some of the major Dutch cities. 

Whether you have to commute to work or fancy the occasional weekend city trip, Hoofddorp is the place to be!

Hyde-park-impression-of-neighbourhood-in-hoofddorp-with-train-station-close-by
The Hoofddorp train station is your gateway to the Netherlands’ best hotspots! Image: Hyde Park/Supplied

Want to go on a trip to Amsterdam? It’s only 12 minutes away. How about Utrecht? Just a 45-minute train ride! The Hague? You can get there in as little as 35 minutes. 

Or maybe you want to take it a step further and fly abroad? Geen problem, Schiphol Airport is literally right at your doorstep, just a 4-minute train ride away. 😉

Great news! Amsterdam’s North-South metro line is being extended as we speak and will soon go all the way to Hoofddorp! This will make access to the capital even easier for Hoofddorp residents. 

It’s a quiet town with everything your heart desires  

Rest assured: Hoofddorp isn’t some sleepy no man’s land — in fact, there is plenty to do. 

On the east side of Hoofddorp, you’ve got over 300 shops to cater to your every need, whether it’s goodies from HEMA or designer clothes. On top of that, Hoofddorp is home to museums, great nature spots, cosy cafés, buzzing restaurants, and cinemas. 

So whether you’re craving a dose of culture or just a relaxed night out, Hoofddorp has something for you to do.

If you’re a social butterfly who loves hitting the clubs every night, Hoofddorp might not be your cup of tea. But hey, if peace, quiet, and practicality are your jam, then you’re in luck!

photo-of-Hoofddorp-square-on-a-sunny-day-in-the-netherlands
Image: Michelverbeek/Wikimedia Commons/CC4.0

It offers countless job opportunities at big corporations

Tired of spending hours each day stuck in traffic or crammed on public transport? Then Hoofddorp might just be your saving grace.

It’s not just the residents who love Hoofddorp’s cheap rent and surrounding greenery; companies do too! 

This means that plenty of big international corporations call Hoofddorp their home, including household names like L’Oreal, DANONE, Basic-Fit, and NH Hotel Groups.

Not only do these companies help build Hoofddorp’s young, dynamic, and diverse population, but they’re also creating heaps of jobs for English speakers like you and me.

It’s home to a vibrant expat community to make you feel at home

Thanks to the many big corporations that have settled in Hoofddorp over the years, it has grown into a big expat community that will welcome newcomers with open arms.

group-of-international-friends-living-in-hoofdorp-hanging-out-at-local-cafe
You definitely won’t be the only expat in Hoofddorp. Image: Depositphotos

People from all ages and all nations come together here, and as a result, Hoofddorp offers plenty of useful resources for internationals and their families who want to settle in Hoofddorp.

International schools? You got it. Expat-friendly events? Of course! A buzzing community for internationals? Jazeker!

It’s surrounded by nature and greenery

Last but certainly not least, Hoofddorp offers something that many other Dutch cities simply can’t match: proximity to nature.

If you look at Hoofddorp on a map, you’ll immediately notice that the town is surrounded by lush parks and greenery, making it an absolute paradise for nature enthusiasts.

photo-of-Hoofddorp-surrounding-park-in-the-winter-covered-in-snow
A walk in winter wonderland, anyone? Image: Alf van Beem/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Take a quick walk from the city centre, and you’ll find bike paths winding through picturesque Dutch landscapes, waters inviting you for a refreshing swim, and stunning parks ideal for picnics in the sunshine. 

Do I need to learn Dutch to live in Hoofddorp?

In Hoofddorp, much like in many other Dutch cities, navigating daily life in English is entirely feasible. 

Did you know the Dutch are the best non-native English speakers in the world?

Yup, English is not just widely spoken; it’s also spoken very well. So, rest assured, you’ll have no problem finding your way around your local Albert Heijn, your new hairdresser, and your favourite café.

That said, I would always recommend learning at least some Dutch, as it will greatly help enhance your experience and integration into the local community.

While many locals are fluent in English and more than willing to communicate, learning basic Dutch phrases can enrich your experience and help you feel more at home in little ol’ Hoofddorp.


Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant city centre, the low housing cost, or the peaceful suburban streets, Hoofddorp is certainly worth considering as a future home.

Would you consider moving to Hoofddorp? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Feature Image: Michielverbeek/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.

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