Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in the Netherlands
Hostels are a good place to start if looking to extend your stay in Holland. We have listed a few here but many more recruit via work exchange networks.
Hostel Work Exchanges
Many hostels use help exchange networks (see below) to find volunteer staff but the following either advertise on their websites or are particularly noted for taking on volunteers:
The Flying Pig Hostels Amsterdam
Working with the Flying Pig means free accommodation, free breakfast, a meal with all the staff every week and two free drinks after your shift. You will be working approximately 30 hours spread over five days a week. Work will mainly be cleaning and breakfast but you work in a team so basically wherever there is help needed. You will need an EU passport or valid working permit for the Netherlands. The Flying Pig is now part of the Beds and Bars group, which also includes the St Christopher’s Inns chain, who invite applications for paid jobs here. They also have a training programme.
Amsterdam Hostel Sarphati
If you are an English teacher, can improve their hostel, paint and decorate or clean then you are invited to contact Amsterdam Hostel Sarphati. The same deal is offered by some of the other Amsterdam hostels under the same brand.
Shelter Christian Hostels
Offers a cleaner programme in their two Christian hostels in Amsterdam, aimed at those working their way around Europe or wanting a longer stay in the city. In exchange for five hours of cleaning and laundry per day volunteers receive room and boars (update: this would be brilliant but I meant to type board) for up to 28 days. You don’t have to be a Christian for this but the cleaner team meets every day for bible reading and prayer. There is also a programme for Christians, aged 18 to 30, to volunteer for three to 12 months. Accommodation and ministry training, meals and drinks, are provided for €60 per month. Apply for this via www.youthhostelministry.org.
More Hostel Work Exchanges
Clink is a hostel group with a jobs page, they currently have three properties in Amsterdam. Try Generator too. Jorplace, a hostel close to the beach in The Hague, always has a million things that need doing and used to invite enthusiastic travelers who have experience with staying or working in hostels to contact them about their Work & Stay programme. Nowadays they appear to rely on Worldpackers for their volunteer recruitment.
Festival Volunteering in the Netherlands
Typically the rewards of volunteering at a festival are a free ticket and a better camping pitch.
Information on volunteering appears on the website six months before the three day festival begins in June. How long it stays there is another matter. Information on volunteering isn’t the easiest to find (we googled it despite having the site in front of us) but it should be found via the contact link. Even then the best we got was a ‘Registration for volunteering at Pinkpop is closed’ message, despite looking in February. Supposedly January is the start of the registration period. Jobs are typical for a music festival and most volunteers will find themselves behind a bar, picking up litter or stewarding.
Other Opportunities to Volunteer in the Netherlands
While Pinkpop is a Dutch festival staple, others either come and go, don’t advertise their working for a ticket policies, or do so only in Dutch (vrijwilligers is the word for volunteer). Festival websites also change drastically year to year and dropping by too early or too late can mean we miss the information we need to put an accurate listing on this page, so we suggest googling something along the lines of ‘festival volunteers amsterdam or netherlands’. Among the other festivals we have seen indicating they take on volunteers are Klik, Amsterdam’s celebration of animation, EuroPride, Impro Amsterdam, and the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. The Flying Pig‘s blog sometimes also mentions festivals and events held in Amsterdam.
Help Exchange Networks in the Netherlands
More Volunteering in the Netherlands Resources
Volunteer Centre Amsterdam – The Vrijwilligers Centrale Amsterdam is a citywide organisation that assists individuals in finding volunteer work, supports and advises voluntary organisations and promotes volunteer work in Amsterdam. Most vacancies listed in their database require fluency in Dutch, but some organisations welcome volunteers who speak English.
Hostel Jobs in Amsterdam – This old post from our blog gives a few more hostels in Amsterdam, along with some tips for securing a job.
Deedmob – An online volunteering platform based in Amsterdam posting all kinds of volunteering opportunities. They have a filter for non native Dutch speakers, and offer one off volunteering as well as vacancies for longer commitment.
IamExpat – A list of NGOs in the Netherlands.
Iamsterdam – A list of organisations that can make use of English language skills.
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in the Netherlands
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents’ homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link). You can get a free Airbnb credit from us here.
Image courtesy Marco Derkson