Occupation: editor and translator (Dutch to English)
Moved to Hilversum in: 2005
Living in: Hilversum Zuid
Why did you decide to move to Hilversum?
Its central location and suitability for family life.
Why did you decide to live in the Amsterdam Area rather than Amsterdam?
We were looking for a family-friendly area, good schools, nature and somewhere you could actually park your car outside your house!
What has working and/or living in Hilversum taught you?
That living in a town with an international outlook has really helped me feel at home here.
How has Hilversum changed since you’ve lived here?
There are a lot more places to go out in the evenings. We used to always head to Amsterdam or Utrecht, but Hilversum now has a lot more to offer.
Undiscovered gems in the city and Amsterdam Area (food, drinks, bars, clubs, places to visit)?
If you love architecture, Hilversum will really surprise you: the town hall, Zonnestraal and the nature around it.
How is Hilversum unique to other cities you have lived in?
It’s so accessible−it feels like a village and everyone greets you in the street.
What’s your ideal day in and around Hilversum?
A walk on the Hilversum Hei with the dog, meeting a friend for lunch at the food hall Mout, boating or skating (depending on the time of year) on the Loosdrechtse Plassen and ending with a party at Zonnestraal in the evening.
Was there anything unexpected about living/moving here, including any challenges? How did you resolve them?
I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful! I didn’t expect it to be so easy to fit into the society here − I found it a great deal friendlier than Amsterdam had been. I lived in Amsterdam for about one year before moving to Hilversum and had already faced all the challenges there that moving to a new country brings.
Any advice for people thinking about moving here/just moved here, including settling in and making friends?
Do it! Hilversum has a strong and well-integrated international community. Make sure you get to know your neighbours and join in with local activities−you will always be welcome. Do your very best to learn the language, it’s not easy to start with but it’s well worth persevering.
What’s your favourite area in Hilversum and why?
Hilversum Zuid, it’s near the Hei, the Gijsbrecht van Amstelstraat for shopping and great schools, too.
How do you like to spend your weekends?
Watching the kids play hockey or football, shopping at the market, eating in or out with friends and their families.
What do you like most and dislike about living in Hilversum?
I like the central location, which makes it extremely easy for friends to visit from abroad. I also love the culture in the city−there are a lot of artists and musicians living here. Sometimes in the summer we hear our neighbour (a famous Dutch opera singer) practising−it’s magical.
Photos by Saffron Pape