Wednesday 06 July 2022

Longer articles about living in the Netherlands, Dutch society, culture and travel plus third party content from our partners

Summer favourites: 14 great things to do in July and August

Summer favourites: 14 great things to do in July and August

It’s almost all outdoor fun in July and August, and if June was anything to go by you can leave your umbrella at home. Pick your sporting event The 16 best women’s hockey teams in the world will take part in the World Cup from July 1 to July 17, with the group matches and cross-overs split between the Spanish Olympic Stadium in Terrassa and the Wagener stadium in Amstelveen. The semi-finals and final will take place in Spain. The... More >


Housing newsletter: rising interest rates and rural retreats

Housing newsletter: rising interest rates and rural retreats

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages. Interest rates Interest rates have more than doubled since the start of the year and you will now pay around 3.5% for a 10-year fixed rate mortgage. Economists expect rates will go up even more, given inflation is hovering around 8%, thanks to a wide variety of factors. ‘The real low rates of around 1% are gone and I don’t think this is something we will ever... More >


‘You have to have an opinion in the Netherlands’

‘You have to have an opinion in the Netherlands’

Indonesian national Irene Anggreeni from Rotterdam came to the Netherlands in 2006 to do a PhD in Industrial Design, but clinical depression forced a change of direction and she retrained as a psychotherapist and mental wellness coach, drawing on her own experience to help others recover from trauma. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I came to the Netherlands for a PhD position in industrial design at the University of Twente in Enschede. I have a Bachelor’s from... More >


The three types of donations and when you can deduct them from tax

The three types of donations and when you can deduct them from tax

It is always good to give – and in the Netherlands, there can be a tax advantage too. If you donate more than 1% of your taxable income in any given year to certain good causes, you can deduct this sum from your income before you pay tax on the rest. Sing in a church choir at the weekend, and send them an annual donation? Give money to your local mosque? Made gifts to the major Ukraine appeal Giro555 or... More >


Inburgering with Dutch News: celebrating the humble herring

Inburgering with Dutch News: celebrating the humble herring

So, with summer almost with us, it is time to once again take some lessons in our very own inburgering course. To start, here’s a quick catch up on one essential subject – given today is the start of the new season. Lesson 11: The herring The new herring season starts on June 15 and this year the fish is described by experts as ‘especially fatty’, which is a change from the usual lekker, or nicely, fatty. The fat content,... More >


Why have overseas shipments to the Netherlands become such a nightmare

Why have overseas shipments to the Netherlands become such a nightmare

If you’ve received a package from overseas in recent months, there’s a good chance you had to pay substantial fees on it, even if it was a gift or a personal item. You may have even found yourself in an aggravating ordeal with the customer service departments of PostNL, DHL, or another delivery service. Here’s the rundown on what’s happening…and why it’s going to continue. A birthday gift from my sister and a family heirloom for my partner Marie. These... More >


Concertgebouw appoints Klaus Mäkelä as its new ‘artistic partner’

Concertgebouw appoints Klaus Mäkelä as its new ‘artistic partner’

The Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam has appointed 26-year-old Finnish musician Klaus Mäkelä as its new ‘artistic partner’, who will take over the role of chief conductor in 2027. Mäkelä, who was earlier a guest conductor in Amsterdam, is currently chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, music director at the Orchestre de Paris and artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. The Concertgebouw orchestra has been without an artistic leader since Daniele Gatti was sacked in 2018 over sexual harassment... More >


Selling up? How to get the best possible price for your property

Selling up? How to get the best possible price for your property

With interests rising, there are signs that people hoping to get a foot on the property ladder are reconsidering their options. When a house does come on the market, fewer people are attending viewings. So how as a seller can you make the most of this difficult market? The first thing you need to do is ensure that you have the best possible online listing, says Mie-Lan Kok, who has been in the business for some 20 years. ‘You need... More >


How to easily watch foreign TV from the Netherlands in 2022

How to easily watch foreign TV from the Netherlands in 2022

    Missing your favourite television programmes from back home, or worried about internet security? A VPN might be the answer. A VPN (Virtual Private Network – read more about it here) is a way of protecting your connection while you’re using the internet. It makes your browsing private, hides your IP (Internet Protocol) address and ensures your internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t track you. A VPN will encrypts your internet traffic, making your browsing more secure and private but... More >


Shifting ground: British artist Antony Gormley brings lifetime’s work to The Hague

Shifting ground: British artist Antony Gormley brings lifetime’s work to The Hague

  When you stand inside the end of ‘Passage’ – a 12-metre tunnel in the shape of a mechanical man – the outlook is frighteningly black. But turn around and the entrance has become a cross of stunning light, and a kind of epiphany. This tension between despair and hope is the common thread in an exhibition by the British sculptor Antony Gormley, in the stunning surroundings of the Voorlinden museum in The Hague. The show is called ‘Ground’ and... More >


What’s all the fuss about nitrogen in the Netherlands?

What’s all the fuss about nitrogen in the Netherlands?

Nitrogen-based pollution is behind delays to the building of new homes and roads, has led to plans to reduce the number of cows and pigs in the Netherlands and is causing damage to rare habitats. Here’s what you need to know. Nitrogen, or N2, constitutes 78% of the atmosphere and is harmless to life on earth. In a reactive form it is essential for life: all organisms need reactive nitrogen. It is a colourless, odorless element and is found in... More >


Rotterdam rooftop walkway promotes using extra city space

Rotterdam rooftop walkway promotes using extra city space

For one month only, visitors with a head for heights can buy tickets for the Rotterdam Rooftop Walk − an experience which offers a new perspective on some of the problems the Netherlands’ cities face. In 2017, tightrope walkers inaugurating the third edition of the Rotterdam Rooftop Days festival, made a daredevil crossing on a 130m-long slackline between the roofs of two Lijnbaan apartment blocks, sparking the idea that one day bridges at roof level might allow the public, intrepid... More >


Child’s play: family plans for those long summer holidays made easy

Child’s play: family plans for those long summer holidays made easy

Time flies, and with just six weeks until the schools close for the summer break, it is time to start planning how you can make the most of the holiday season. Here are some things to think about: Looking forward to the summer holidays Now that foreign travel is an option again, many families will be heading off to visit friends and families abroad this summer. But unless you can get away for the whole summer – and if you... More >


From sport to the Nookie Monster: 12 great things to do in June

From sport to the Nookie Monster: 12 great things to do in June

Stock up on crisps and beer because the Dutch are gearing up for some serious sporting action even if you are not. But don’t worry, non-sporty types, there is plenty of other stuff going on in June as well. Find out what design can do In a packed programme, the Internationaal Theater in Amsterdam is hosting the 10th edition of What Design Can Do. How can the the most pressing social and environmental problems be helped by design? Top designers... More >


Amsterdam exhibition unpicks Fashion Week past, present and future

Amsterdam exhibition unpicks Fashion Week past, present and future

In the lead-up to Amsterdam Fashion Week, the Fashion for Good Museum is exploring the evolution of international fashion shows and how these decadent displays are seeking to become more sustainable. A 1966 lipstick-pink Balenciaga dress, its skirt ballooning with fluffy ostrich feathers, is one of the many eye-catching designs now on display at Amsterdam’s Fashion for Good Museum. The dress is an ethical no-no for many designers these days, but a fitting metaphor for the fabulous but flawed Fashion... More >


Battle for the residential streets: dark stores vs Amsterdammers

Battle for the residential streets: dark stores vs Amsterdammers

In the past, Amsterdam struggled with holiday rentals; now a new battle is on between super fast delivery firms and residential streets. When Robbert Scholtus bought on an Amsterdam street with plans to reduce car traffic, he foresaw a quiet life. Then a ‘flash delivery’ store opened next door. ‘It’s hell,’ he said, as another delivery van drove up outside his home. ‘This part of the street has become an industrial zone. The thing I have the most nuisance with... More >


Rotterdam rules: why the Netherlands’ second city is a top place to buy

Rotterdam rules: why the Netherlands’ second city is a top place to buy

Rotterdam has a sleeves-rolled-up reputation. So it’s no wonder the city has been hard at work building a perfect opportunity for house buyers, says mortgage broker Expat Mortgages. The question used to be ‘why live in Rotterdam?’ Now, some people believe the question is: ‘Why not?’ A port city with just over 650,000 people of 170 different nationalities, Rotterdam is leading the way in building houses the nation desperately needs. Last year, the Zuid-Holland region constructed 13,300 new homes and,... More >


Priest and journalist who defied the Nazis is first Dutch saint for 15 years

Priest and journalist who defied the Nazis is first Dutch saint for 15 years

A Dutch priest and journalist who was killed by the Nazis for refusing to distribute anti-Semitic propaganda during the German occupation has been canonised by the pope. Titus Brandsma is the first new Dutch saint for 15 years, following the canonisation of Limburg priest Karel Houben in 2007. Pope Francis proclaimed him a saint on Sunday at a symposium organised by the Dutch embassy and the International Association of Journalists Accredited to the Vatican. The Vatican said the Carmelite priest... More >


Dutch destinations: further down the lanes of Leiden

Dutch destinations: further down the lanes of Leiden

We wrote about Leiden for the Dutch destinations series back in 2018, but there’s plenty more to experience and explore. Here’s a second glimpse at one of the most overlooked cities in the Randstad region.  Leiden is a city of several contrasts. Throughout much of the 20th century it was considered something of a backwater despite being located in the Randstad and serving as the home of Leiden University. Its industrial and blue collar past still echo through the streets... More >


Howzat! The Netherlands gears up for a summer of first class cricket

Howzat! The Netherlands gears up for a summer of first class cricket

A mower is moving slowly over the main pitch at Amstelveen cricket club VRA, while the birds sing. In the background, the sound of an electric drill within the club house is the only noise to disturb the rural peace. Even the planes heading for Schiphol are quiet. But in three week’s time, the green will be filled with fans, marquees and television crews as VRA kicks off the biggest season of international cricket the Netherlands has ever seen, hosting... More >