Family Friendly Cities in Netherlands

Amsterdam city Nature in Day

The Netherlands, a country known for its stunning canals, iconic windmills, and vibrant tulip fields, is not just a picturesque destination for tourists but also an exceptional place to call home, especially for families. Renowned for its emphasis on education, healthcare, safety, and work-life balance, the Netherlands boasts several family-friendly cities where parents and children can thrive.

In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the criteria that define a city as family-friendly, explore some of the top family-friendly cities in the Netherlands, and discuss why the country as a whole is an attractive option for families.

Whether you’re planning a relocation or just curious about life in the Netherlands, this guide has you covered.

Is the Netherlands a Good Place to Raise a Family?

The Netherlands consistently ranks high in global quality of life indices, and for good reason. According to a recent survey, the Netherlands was ranked the 9th best country in the world for raising a family. Its commitment to family well-being, strong social services, and vibrant cultural scene make it an excellent place to raise a family. While it may have a few challenges, such as high housing costs in some cities, the overall benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Criteria for Family-Friendly Cities

Before we delve into the cities, it’s important to understand the criteria that make a city family-friendly. Here are the key factors:

  • Safety: Safety is paramount for families. A family-friendly city should have low crime rates and neighborhoods where children can play freely and parents can feel secure.
  • Education: Quality education is a top priority for families. A city should offer excellent schools, and for expatriate families, the availability of international schools is crucial.
  • Healthcare: Access to healthcare facilities and specialized pediatric services is essential for family well-being.
  • Recreation: Family-friendly cities provide ample opportunities for recreation. Parks, green spaces, and family-oriented activities are crucial for relaxation and bonding.
  • Housing: Affordable, family-sized housing is a significant consideration, along with neighborhoods designed with families in mind.
  • Work-Life Balance: Job opportunities and family-friendly work policies, such as parental leave, contribute to a balanced family life.

Top Family-Friendly Cities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands, with its reputation for picturesque landscapes and a high quality of life, is also a welcoming haven for families.let’s embark on a journey through some of the most family-friendly cities in the Netherlands, each with its unique blend of history, modernity, and a strong commitment to family well-being.

Amsterdam: A World of Family Adventures

Amsterdam, the vibrant capital of the Netherlands, is a hub of family-friendly activities. The city boasts family-oriented neighborhoods, top-notch schools, and accessible healthcare facilities. Parks like Vondelpark offer green spaces for picnics and outdoor fun. Museums such as NEMO Science Museum and interactive exhibits at ARTIS Royal Zoo make learning a joy for children. Throughout the year, Amsterdam hosts family-friendly events like King’s Day and Sinterklaas celebrations, making it an ideal place for families to thrive.

Rotterdam: Modern Living for Families

Rotterdam, renowned for its contemporary architecture, offers affordable family-sized housing and family-friendly infrastructure. It’s a city that values work-life balance, with initiatives in place to support families. The modern cultural scene and vibrant atmosphere make it an exciting place for families to explore. Rotterdam combines modernity with family life seamlessly.

Maastricht: History Meets Family Comfort

Maastricht, with its historic charm, provides a unique family experience. It offers quality healthcare services, ensuring the well-being of your loved ones. The city’s proximity to neighboring Belgium and Germany adds an international touch to daily life. Families can explore cultural attractions and immerse themselves in a city where history and family comfort coexist harmoniously.

The Hague: Safety and International Education

The Hague is home to international institutions and offers access to excellent international schools. Safety and healthcare are top priorities, making it a reassuring place for families. The city’s cultural attractions, including the iconic Peace Palace, provide enriching experiences for all family members.


Utrecht: Education, Parks, and History

Utrecht is celebrated for its education options, featuring international schools for expatriate families. The city boasts numerous parks, family-oriented events, and a thriving job market. Utrecht’s medieval city center adds a touch of history to family life, making it an enriching place to raise children.

Delft: Charming Canals and Academia

Delft, known for its picturesque canals and historic architecture, offers a peaceful family life. Home to the renowned Delft University of Technology, it’s an excellent choice for families interested in academia. Delft combines Dutch charm with academic opportunities for families.

Giethoorn: A Tranquil Canal Village

Giethoorn, aptly dubbed the “Venice of the North,” is an enchanting village where roads are replaced by serene canals. Families can escape the urban bustle and immerse themselves in a world of tranquility. Here, picturesque thatched-roof cottages line the waterways, and the primary mode of transportation is by whisper-quiet boats. Families can peacefully glide along these canals, surrounded by lush greenery and charming bridges, creating moments of serenity and bonding. 

Zaans Schans: Living Dutch Heritage

Zaans Schans is a captivating living museum that immerses families in the rich tapestry of Dutch traditions and culture. This remarkable destination offers an ideal day trip opportunity for parents to introduce their children to the heart of Dutch heritage. Here, historic windmills spin gracefully, traditional wooden houses stand proudly, and artisan workshops bring centuries-old crafts to life.

Families can explore cobbled streets, witness the art of cheese-making, and even taste authentic Dutch treats like stroopwafels. The immersive experience allows children to gain a deep appreciation for the Netherlands’ storied history and vibrant culture, making Zaans Schans a perfect educational and enjoyable outing for the whole family.

Zandvoort: Seaside Relaxation

Hoorn, a historic harbor town nestled along the shores of the Ijsselmeer, offers families a captivating glimpse into Dutch maritime history. With its well-preserved waterfront, the town invites exploration of maritime museums, traditional shipyards, and historic vessels that once sailed the high seas. Families can wander along cobbled streets, absorbing the rich history and vibrant community spirit that permeates Hoorn.

The town’s maritime charm comes alive with festivals and events that celebrate its seafaring legacy, providing an immersive experience for all generations. Hoorn is not just a town but a maritime journey through time, where families can share in the seafaring heritage of the Netherlands.

Hoorn: Maritime History and Community

Nestled along the picturesque shores of the Ijsselmeer, Hoorn stands as a living testament to Dutch maritime history. This historic harbor town invites families to step back in time and immerse themselves in captivating maritime museums, where centuries-old ships and tales of intrepid sailors come to life. As families meander through Hoorn’s charming cobbled streets, the waterfront beckons, providing enchanting views of sailboats gently swaying in the harbor. Yet, what truly distinguishes Hoorn is its tightly-knit community, embracing all who visit with open arms. 

Abcoude: Tranquil Countryside Living

Nestled in the Dutch countryside, Abcoude is a picturesque village offering a serene family life just a stone’s throw from Amsterdam. With its charming canals, quaint cottages, and blossoming gardens, Abcoude exudes tranquility. Families can savor countryside living, from strolls to waterside picnics. Yet, its proximity to Amsterdam ensures easy access to urban amenities and cultural delights.

Abcoude harmoniously blends the simplicity of rural living with the allure of nearby city adventures, creating an idyllic environment for families to thrive.

Where is the Best Place to Live in the Netherlands with Kids?

Utrecht is often considered the best place to live in the Netherlands with kids. It offers a family-friendly atmosphere, excellent schools, and a safe environment. The city’s parks, canals, and cultural attractions provide ample opportunities for family activities. Its central location facilitates easy exploration of the country. Utrecht’s emphasis on sustainability aligns with family values, making it a top choice for families.


The Netherlands offers a range of family-friendly cities, each with its unique charm and benefits. Whether you prioritize education, safety, or recreational opportunities, you can find a city that aligns with your family’s needs. With careful consideration and planning, your family can embark on a fulfilling journey in one of Europe’s most family-friendly countries.


  • Lizette Schuurman

    Hi! I am Lizette (35), a born adventurer and addicted to traveling. I have been traveling around the world since I was 16, the freedom is wonderful. Get up and see what the day brings, enjoy the little things and meet like-minded people.I prefer to sit with my feet in the sand and a coconut in my hand. No luxury, just a simple hut by the sea. I also like to dive into the water, armed with my camera, in search of turtles, colorful fish and corals.I have already crossed quite a few things off my ‘bucket list’, from swimming with whale sharks and climbing a volcano to skydiving above the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Nothing is too crazy, I love going outside my comfort zone and trying new things.I currently live with my boyfriend in Friesland, where we have our home base. Every year we travel for a few months, usually to Asia. Knowing more? On my own travel blog you will find inspiration & tips about tropical destinations, paradisiacal beaches and hidden places!

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