Digital Nomad in Amsterdam

by | Jul 14, 2018 | Digital Nomadism, Guest Blog | 0 comments

GUEST POST ABOUT WORK PLACES AS A DIGITAL NOMAD IN AMSTERDAM BY JONATHAN MARIN

Disclaimer: I have not received compensation from any of the businesses listed in the following article.

Income > Expenses = Digital Nomad Income < Expenses = Back to Home

Any place you choose to work will have an opportunity cost. For those of you not familiar with the term, opportunity cost is what you give up when you choose one option over another.

If you can do your work from anywhere you could stay at home and work from there. However, one of the benefits of being able to do your work anywhere is to explore and live in creative places with creative people. Amsterdam certainly provides those opportunities.

Here are some of the options available to you in Amsterdam ranging from almost free to expensive:

The Amsterdam Library

Go visit the OBA Library. Members of the OBA (€12 a year) have unlimited access to the wifi network with your own computer or you can access the internet for free on provided computers for a maximum period per day of three hours in the Central Library or half an hour in the other branches. There is also a restaurant on the 7th Floor (closed until July 29th) and a Cafe on the ground floor. You need to have a postal address in the Netherlands to receive a library card to access the system. The main library is a short walk from the Amsterdam Centraal Train Station. If I had had a library like this when I was a kid I don’t think I ever would have left it.

Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam Hours: 10-22:00.

Businesses that offer free wifi.

The usual places that digital nomads around the world visit are cafes, restaurants, etc. Be respectful of the business. If they are busy and you take up a table for hours without buying anything you are reducing their ability to earn a living.

To be honest, if you are trying to be a digital nomad by living in cafes you are missing out on potential opportunities to leverage your skills and increase your income. Which brings us to the next option for freelancers.

Coworking Spaces in Amsterdam

I would suggest looking into the coworking space opportunities that exist in Amsterdam. They provide a much more predictable working environment and based upon your needs you can scale up or down as your cashflow and clients change. In addition, they can provide a more professional environment for you and your clients. You are factoring in the cost of your work environment into your rates, aren’t you?

Amsterdam certainly doesn’t lack for coworking spaces. There is a coworking environment to suit the needs of just about everybody and their budget. So make sure that the services offered and work environment align with your goals. A rooftop restaurant is great, but not if you spend all day admiring the view. Also, check the hours they are open. Some provide 24/7 access in addition to normal business hours.

In addition to normal business services, many of the coworking spaces will also offer networking events, seminars, and outside speakers, which may open other opportunities to leverage your skills.

Below you have a list of a variety of coworking sites in Amsterdam covering everything from one building (StartDock) to worldwide chains with billion euro capitalizations (Spaces). Membership prices vary according to the level of access/services you require. I have attempted to list the lowest price membership for each organization.

A Lab

A Lab is different than your standard coworking space. To do them justice one should really visit them or at least check out their website. Housed by the government in a building formerly owned by Shell. A Lab is located just about 100 meters away from the Eye Film Institute.

Overhoeksplein 2,1031 KS Amsterdam Starting at€99/month, Hours: 9-18:00

Hackers & Founders

Hackers & Founders is advertised as the biggest community of technology entrepreneurs and developers in the Netherlands. The original Hackers & Founders started with 5 guys in a California Bar in 2008. Since then it has blossomed into a network of chapters in 139 cities around the world. Meetups every first Thursday of every month, in Cafe De Doffer, on the Runstraat in Amsterdam. Open to anyone.

Hackers and Founders Meetup July 5th.

Herengracht 504 1017 CB Amsterdam Starting at €250/month, Hours: 6–24:00

Makerversity Amsterdam

About a 10 minute walk from the Maritime Museum, Makerversity sets itself apart from other coworking spaces by also offering access to physical tools, such as 3D printers, to bring your ideas into the material world.  They do offer a free membership to makers under 25 (spaces limited). Other memberships start at €156.

Marineterrein,Kattenburgerstraat 5,1018 JA Amsterdam, Hours: 9-18:00 M-F.

Meet Berlage

Meet Berlage is situated a short walk away from Amsterdam Centraal Station. As you sit in their cafe you can look out the window and see the station.

Oudebrugsteeg 9, 1012 JN Amsterdam, Hours: Starting at €125/month  9-18:00 Mon.-Fri.

Spaces

The IWG Plc coworking brand originated in Amsterdam in 2008 and has since expanded to approximately 150 sites around the world. In 2015 Spaces was purchased by IWG Plc which stands for International Workplace Group. IWG has purchased a variety of business centers since 1989 and has a total footprint of approximately 3,000 sites around the world.

Spaces Herengracht Lobby

There are 6 sites in Amsterdam. Memberships start at €225/month. Hours: 8-18:00 Mon.-Fri.

Spaces Keizersgracht – Keizersgracht 555 1017 DR Amsterdam

Spaces Herengracht – Herengracht 124-128 1015 BT Amsterdam

Spaces Vijzelstraat – Vijzelstraat 68-72 1017 HL Amsterdam

Spaces Amstel – Mr. Treublaan 7 1097 DP Amsterdam

Spaces Zuidas – Barbara Strozzilaan 101-201 1083 HN Amsterdam

Spaces Schiphol Airport – Evert van de Beekstraat 360 1118 CZ Schiphol

StartDock

When I visited Amsterdam I had the good fortune of being shown around StartDock by one of the co-founders, Stephan Van Eken. StartDock is unique in that they are currently housed in one building, which allows for a much more personalized experience and this is intentional.

When Stephan along with his two other cofounders Johan Assink and Thom Wernke created StartDock back in 2015 it was based on five core values: Collaboration, Community, Openness, Cosiness and Accessibility. You can see these values in action, whether it is displayed during their group lunches, non-compete agreements or willingness to help each other succeed.

Currently they have approximately 70 members, covering everything from social media to e-commerce. If you are interested in working alongside young professionals in a community oriented environment, as opposed to the larger corporate structures such as Spaces or WeWork then I would strongly encourage visiting StartDock.

StartDock Group Lunch

Herengracht 420 1017 BZ, Amsterdam Starting at €75, Hours: 9-17:00.

Other Organizations

So, there you have an overview of some of the coworking spots in Amsterdam. If you would like to research other organizations. I have listed some options below.

Bouncespace

Bouncespace has two locations, one in Amsterdam and the other in Eindhoven.

Overtoom 141 1054 HG Amsterdam €95/month, Hours: 8-18:00 Mon.-Fri., 10-17:00 Sat

B. Building Business

B. Building Business is located at 3 different places in Amsterdam they are:

B.1 Johan Huizingalaan 763a
1066 VH Amsterdam

B.2 John M. Keynesplein 12-46
1066 EP Amsterdam

B.3 Johan Huizingalaan 400
1066 JS Amsterdam

Rents will depend on which building you would like to be in. €75/month. Hours: 8-21:00 Mon.-Fri.,

Thinking Hut

Thinking Hut has two sites, Hours: 9-18:00 Mon.-Fri.

1. Oost – Mauritskade 55C, 1092AD Amsterdam – Access starts at €20 for a day pass.

2. Zuid – Pilotenstraat 39A, 1059CH Amsterdam – Access starts at €20 for a day pass.

TSH Collab

TSH Collab locations:

Wibautstraat 131D, 1091 GL Amsterdam Starting at €99, Hours: 8:30-18:30 Mon.-Fri.

Jan van Galenstraat 335, 1061 AZ Amsterdam Starting at €99.

WeWork Amsterdam

WeWork is a global organization with over 160 locations. It was founded in 2010 in New York and could be considered a direct competitor to the Spaces/IWG Brand.  For those of you who are curious, in 2017 WeWork acquired Meetup, an online event organizer. Meetup is coincidentally what the Hackers & Founders uses to schedule their monthly meetups.

Strawinskylaan 3101 Amsterdam 1077 ZX Starting at €250/month

Weteringschans 165 C Amsterdam 1017XD Starting at €160/month

Metropool – Weesperstraat 61-105 Amsterdam 1018VN Starting at €150/month

Hours: 9-18:00 Mon.-Fri.

Workspace6

Workspace6 – Tussen de Bogen 6, 1013JB Amsterdam, Open 24/7

Book Suggestion

Final Thoughts: If you are a Digital Nomad and would like to read some thoughts on how to expand your network I would highly recommend the book “The Start-up of You” by Reid Hoffman cofounder of Linkedin and Ben Casnocha.

About the Author

Jonathan Marin, a formerly trained classical musician, currently teaches music in the United States and spends his summers traveling around the world trying to take pictures of things besides himself in front of famous buildings.

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