You simply cannot get around in Holland without a bank account. Most importantly, you need one in order to receive your salary. Furthermore, you will need one to rent or buy accommodation, pay for gas and electricity, getting a phone line, and many other necessities.
EU citizens need a valid passport and "proof of address" in order to open a bank account. Some banks may, in addition, ask for proof of work and a Sofi-number (Social Fiscal Identification number), and even proof of "residence permit" application. Non-EU citizens are sometimes requested to bring proof of registration with the foreign police in addition to the above.
Choosing a bank
The largest banks in the Netherlands are the ABN-AMRO, ING, Rabobank, Postbank, Fortis and SNS. The Postbank used to be state owned, it was privatised and is now owned by the ING Bank, but you still find Postbank branches in Post offices.
Commissions are quite similar in all banks. The Postbank is slightly cheaper than the others, but you will have a lower level of service and longer waiting times as the branches are in the Post Office. Most banks have good internet banking facilities. Your best bets are ABN-AMRO, ING, Rabobank, and the Postbank.
For a local office near to you, check out the websites of each bank.
030 216 0000
0900 - 18 50