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The economy is growing and talent is becoming scarcer. Many companies attract talented employees from abroad, which also helps them in communicating with foreign clients. But how do you ensure that they quickly feel at home in the Netherlands? As Htel Serviced Apartments is an expert in the field of employee housing for 15 years, we’ve gathered some tips!

  1. The right match

It actually starts in the preliminary phase: it is important that you examine whether a potential employee has not only the right capacities, but also whether he or she fits the company. This increases the chance that they continue to work with you.

  1. Assistance on arrival

Assistance on arrival in the Netherlands is also important, for example in the area of residence and work permits, insurance and taxes. By assisting international employees, they are deprived of tension, allowing them to fully focus on their work.

  1. The right housing solution

Serviced Apartments are a good solution for a short or extended stay or as a temporary home for international employees when waiting for their new home to be available. For Htel Serviced Apartments it started out in 2003 when our first client noticed that his employees were getting less productive as they were staying in small hotel rooms with Western meals for weeks at a time. The situation was working on the nerves of the employees as well. By offering fully furnished apartments with more space and the ability to cook, Htel offers international employees a home away from home.

  1. Living environment

For a large proportion of international employees, their choice is determined by an interesting living environment. This varies from entertainment venues to international schools, and from childcare to healthcare facilities. Facilitating education and childcare by employers is very much appreciated. They often also prefer to stay in an environment where many like-minded people live.

  1. Introduction

If several international employees start at your company on the same day, it’s a good idea to organize a joint introduction in which more is told about the history, culture, structure, the various departments and the working methods of the company. In this way you make them feel they are involved with the company from day one. It also gives them a chance to meet some of their new colleagues in advance.

  1. New collegues

Expats moving abroad have to adapt to the culture of their new country of residence. As a company you can also make some small contributions that will make them feel more welcome. For example, encourage staff to speak English at the coffee machine. This will make it a lot easier for international employees to get in touch with their new colleagues.

  1. Canteen

The canteen is a perfect place to celebrate the diversity of cultures within a company. For example, establish an Asian corner or create a changing weekly menu that allows you to take into account different eating habits. It can also be simpler: place microwave ovens so that people can heat their own dishes.

  1. Their story

Organize an event where international employees can tell their story. For example, the Dutch high-tech company ASML annually organizes Diversity in the Park. People are proud of their culture and are happy to tell about it. Such an event can increase mutual understanding between employees.

  1. Cultural differences

Spread knowledge about cultural differences within the organization – and of course embrace these differences – to ensure a pleasant cooperation and mutual understanding. For example, in many cultures people are less likely to say what is on their minds, but that does not mean that they do not communicate. We sometimes do not recognize the information they give.

  1. Vivad expat communities

Vivid expat communities exist in large cities such as Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Inform international employees of their existence so that they can come into contact with like-minded people in their free time. Practice shows that these contacts are also very valuable for partners of international employees.

  1. Language barrier

Listen carefully and remember that the language that international workers speak can be their second or even third language. So think about what they really mean and think about how you formulate something before you say it. Accept that they have their opinion, just as you have yours. Cultural differences play a major role in this.

  1. Sports

Thousands of international employees have already merged into Dutch society and have also created their own communities. Do you, for example, welcome new Indian employees in your company shortly? Give them tips about good restaurants or Indian stores near their homes. Or maybe there is a popular cricket club in the neighbourhood? By being part of a sports team they can feel at home more quickly.

  1. Partners

It is very important that the partner of your international employee also feels at home. Support your employees by discussing the possibilities for finding work for their partner. If the family can’t ground in the Netherlands, for example due to a lack of support, they will be more inclined to leave our country.

  1. Places of worship

It is important that there is space for the profession of faith. Inform international employees upon arrival about the possibilities within the company itself and places of worship in the neighbourhood. In Amsterdam you can find Protestant churches, Christian churches, mosques and synagogues.

  1. Healthcare

Many international employees experience a lack of information provision in the field of healthcare. Health issues are unpleasant at the best of times, and the experience can be even worse when living abroad and dealing with unfamiliar procedures. In Amsterdam The Amstelland Hospital has developed dedicated support for the Indian, Japanese and Jewish communities.

Like to know more about Htel Serviced Apartments? You can find our story here



Amsterdam is a vibrant and diverse city. It is a shopping Walhalla, has countless terraces and great parks to escape the crowds now and then. You can admire stately mansions, practice your photography skills along the canals or visit one of the numerous theatres or museums. To celebrate 15 years of expertise – Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday this year – we’ve listed 15 must do’s during your stay in our capital.

  1. Canal Cruise

Did you know Amsterdam has 165 canals? There is no better way to explore the city than by boat. Opposite Central Station you will find the departure docks of various shipping companies. Whether you are coming to Amsterdam for a city trip with your partner, friends or family, the canal cruises are just as diverse. There is a Pizza Cruise, a Kids Cruise and the 100 Highlights Cruise.

  1. Panoramic view from the A’DAM Lookout

On top of the 22nd floor of the A’DAM Tower, which is located right at the IJ, you will find the observation deck A’DAM Lookout. Expect a spectacular 360° panoramic view of the historic centre with its iconic canals, the harbour and the polder landscape. For the dare devils among us: you can also take place at a swing at a height of 100 meters!

  1. Comedy at Boom Chicago

The City Council of Amsterdam saw no potential in the idea of two young Americans to open an American comedy club. But Boom Chicago is an unprecedented success: the team is celebrating Boom Chicago’s 25th anniversary this year.

  1. Pub quiz

At Café Lust in the lively district ‘De Pijp’, an English pub quiz takes place every Tuesday night. Join to experience the Dutch culture first hand! And with a bit of luck you will take home the first prize: a bottle of champagne. Winners also get a spot on the cafes Wall of Fame. Café Thijssen (Monday) and Gollem’s Tasting Room (Monday and Tuesday) also organize pub quizzes in English.

  1. Hollandsche Manege

An inconspicuous entrance gate at Vondelstraat 140 gives access to the most beautiful city centred riding school in Europe: the Hollandsche Manege. Settle down at the cafe – built in impressive 18th  century Baroque style – with a good cup of coffee or tea to admire the horses and their talented riders.

  1. Moco Museum

The Moco Museum is located at Museum Square, in a beautiful monumental building. The museum was founded by Lionel and Kim Logchies, who worked with the biggest names from the modern art industry for years. Thanks to their personal network you can now admire items from artists like Banksy and Andy Warhol.

  1. Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus was founded in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe, an oasis of peace amidst the bustle of Amsterdam. You will find an outdoor garden and five greenhouses with different climates and collections. On Sundays you can join a free tour at 14:00.

  1. Amsterdam markets

You will really get to know Amsterdam by strolling down one of the markets. To the Albert Cuyp you go especially for the fresh vegetables, flowers and beautiful fabrics. On the Sunday Market at city park Westergasfabriek designers, artists and craftsmen sell their goods and at the Noordermarkt you can nose around between antiques, curios, vintage clothing and oriental carpets.

  1. Local beers

The number of microbreweries in and around Amsterdam is growing. From dark brown bock beer to fresh wheat beer or something in between, you can try them all in one of the tasting rooms. It is of course even more fun to see how your favourite beer is brewed. Guided tours are given at Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Brouwerij De Prael, De 7 Deugden and Poesiat & De.

  1. Foodhallen

In Amsterdam you can find the first indoor food market of the Netherlands: the Foodhallen. This hotspot in Amsterdam West is inspired by the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid and the Borough Market in London. Enjoy Vietnamese rolls, petit fours, sushi wraps with quinoa and the best grilled cheese sandwich in town in this former tram depot.

  1. Historic courtyard

Hidden behind an inconspicuous door at the Spui is a 14th-century courtyard. The historic courtyard used to be the site of a group of religious women, but today houses a chapel and an English Reformed church which is open to public during the day.

  1. Green oases

Amsterdam is blessed with many green spaces and quiet oases. So fill up your picnic basket and visit the Vondelpark, the Oosterpark, the Westerpark or the Rembrandtpark. Fact: Every year an average of 10 million people visit the Vondelpark, which is about 21 visitors per square meter. By comparison, Central Park in New York receives approximately 5 visitors per square meter every year!

  1. Free concerts

In Amsterdam you can attend free concerts almost daily. At the National Opera & Ballet there are free concerts every Tuesday at 12.30 pm and the Royal Concertgebouw organizes free lunch concerts on Wednesdays at 12.30. The Badcuyp organizes free Sunday Night Jazz sessions.

  1. Amsterdam North

Amsterdam North is a bit isolated on the other side of the river IJ, but it’s a bustling, hip district. You can take the ferry to the Buiksloterveerweg to visit the EYE Film Museum. At the NDSM shipyard you will find various art studios and creative companies, which make it a great area to drink a cup of coffee. For example at Noorderlicht Café.

  1. City of Diamonds

Amsterdam is known as the ‘City of Diamonds’ for four hundred years. The Amsterdam diamond company Gassan Diamonds is located at the Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat. You can take a free tour through the diamond factory to get acquainted with all facets of diamond grinding and of course to get astonished by all the beauty.


Special offer: 15% discount on Tours & Tickets trips

This year Htel Serviced Apartments celebrates its 15th birthday. That is why we’ve created a special offer in collaboration with Tours & Tickets Amsterdam: a 15% discount on selected Tours & Tickets trips when staying at Htel Serviced Apartments in the period 20-08-2018 untill 31-10-2018! This promotion runs until October 31. Htel Serviced Apartments is the perfect residence for a vacation to Amsterdam, so you can experience the above tips yourself. More information about the terms and conditions and to book your apartment: click here