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:
This hostel close to the beach in The Hague always has a million things that need doing so invites enthusiastic travelers who have experience with staying or working in hostels to contact them about their Work & Stay programme.
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The Flying Pig Hostels Amsterdam
The Flying Pig invites applications for paid jobs on their website but they have also been known to offer work for stay positions.
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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.
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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 for up to 28 days. They only do interviews in person, so swing by one of their hostels any day between 11am and 2pm.
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. 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, Uprise, a two day start up festival, EuroPride, Impro Amsterdam, and the Amsterdam Fringe Festival. Oxfam Novib has a little bit of information and an email contact for running stands at pop festivals. The Flying Pig also lists a number of festivals and events held in Amsterfdam.
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 post from our blog gives a few more hostels in Amsterdam, along with some tips for securing a job.
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 $25 Airbnb credit from us here.
Image courtesy Joeke-Remkus de Vries