This blog is really aimed at anyone who wants to travel around the Netherlands or is considering which city in the Netherlands they would like to choose when applying to study abroad. I know that, for Law, there were at least three different host cities here. Before I go into a city by city description I would advise everyone that public transport in the Netherlands is pretty steep, you pay nearly thirty euros for an hour and a half trip on the train! That being said, there are cheaper alternatives- a favourite of mine is flix bus. Rather than pay twenty-eight euros for a two-hour train from Amsterdam to Groningen you can pay six euros for a flix bus! If buses aren’t your thing, then look into either getting a group ticket on the train (4-7 people) or a discount code online (Actie Van Dag) as these will both save you at least a tenner.
I won’t say too much about this particular city because I wrote another blog which was dedicated to Amsterdam. What I will say is the university buildings are very nice and that this is the perfect location if you want a big city with a lot going on. It will be the easiest and cheapest place to travel back and forth from because Schiphol Airport is one of the biggest hubs for flights. In any Dutch city, it is best to get a bike to travel around on but this may be one of the only places where you could get away with no. This is because the public transport is so frequent and you can hop on a tram from anywhere in town. Also, because it can get extremely busy with people if you are going to get a bike make sure you are really comfortable riding on the roads with the trams.
This is one of my favourite places that I visited in the Netherlands. It is an extremely up market city with lots of nice restaurants and designer shopping. The Hague also has really interesting places to see like the Peace Palace (you can make a ‘peace wish’ and tie it to the peace tree in the gardens), the International Court of Justice and Scheveningen beach. The beach has a pier filled with bars, rides and restaurants. This is a more expensive city and is not as student oriented as the other cities.
Again, I won’t go into too much detail about Groningen because I wrote a blog all about being a student here. However, what I will say is that this a gorgeous student city with a small town charm yet still filled with plenty of shopping, bars and night life. As with the majority of Dutch cities there is a canal running around the city centre and the main method of transport is bike. The main university campus is in the centre of town and is a stunning campus. Groningen is in the North of the Netherlands so is slightly further away to travel to, however I would argue it’s one of the best cities to go to for students.
This city is similar to Groningen in that it is small and student orientated. However, unlike Groningen, it is South of the Netherlands and a lot closer to Amsterdam, making it easier to travel back and forth from. It is known for its centuries old architecture and has one of the top ranked universities. It is also filled with bridges and canals and you’ll need a bike if you want to live here.
This is a bigger city than Leiden or Groningen, being one of the fourth largest cities in the Netherlands. The canals are a bit bigger, usually with restaurants or bars running along them. As with most places in the Netherlands you will need a bike to get around. Due to the fact the city is a bit bigger there is more to do but it is less of a ‘student town’ than Groningen or Leiden.
Next time I fly to the Netherlands, I hope to visit Leiden! They say there is so much history there.
– Ken Ho