Friday 27 January 2023

The long and winding road to getting a Dutch driving licence

The long and winding road to getting a Dutch driving licence

Getting a driving licence in the Netherlands is far from easy – and if you are not lucky enough to come from an EU country, you will have to pass the skills and the theory test, even if you have been driving for decades. You may have a driving licence from another country, but in the Netherlands, you will need a rijbewijs. Some, like EU nationals and people from parts of Canada can just swap out their original licences in... More >

6 self-study tips for improving your Dutch

If improving your Dutch or passing your integration exams are personal goals for 2023, self-study course Inburgering Online can help you get on track. Bart Nawijn, founder of Inburgering Online, a self-access course which prepares students for the Dutch integration exams, has just got back from his vacation in Mexico. ‘I have barely any Spanish and once again I experienced how exciting it is to learn a new language, getting to know the people and the culture better and becoming... More >

A bird’s eye view of Lithuanian nature

Just a short haul flight away from the Netherlands, the Lithuanian spa town Druskininkai is famous for more than its mineral water and therapeutic mud. The town is located in the picturesque Dzūkija region, surrounded by pine forests and oak groves, making it the perfect location for fans of the great outdoors as well. An abundance of sights, activities and entertainment attract travellers to Lithuania throughout the year. And visitors heading to Druskininkai, the pretty spa town located in the... More >

Podcast: Ballistic Bitterballen Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, bessenjenever and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer Mark Rutte went to Washington this week and said the Netherlands would definitely send some weapons to Ukraine at an unspecified time in the near future. Mayors in three cities suggested digital banning orders to curb gang violence, even though they don’t know what they are, how they’d work or whether they’re even legal. Good news on... More >

No more excuses! Learn Dutch at Talencoach

Dull lessons, unsympathetic native speakers… It’s easy to become disheartened with learning Dutch. But shaking up traditional language learning, Talencoach’s Dutch Brainwash course is getting great results. ‘It was probably the worst thing I could do,’ says Olga Maksymova (36), who moved from Ukraine to the Netherlands in 2010 to take up a job at an IT agency. ‘Work wanted me to speak Dutch, but no one was helping me, so I was using Google Translate.’ The conversations were stilted,... More >

Why are gas bills still so high?

Wholesale gas prices have plunged in recent weeks but consumers are have not yet noticed the difference. The big Dutch energy suppliers are still charging between €2.80 and €3 for a cubic metre of gas. Here’s what to do. You may be tied to an expensive energy contract or find yourself facing soaring bills at the start of a new contract period this year. Yet research by price comparison website Energievergelijk shows you can make major savings by switching to... More >

The Hague exhibits unseen Mondrian photos

A new exhibition and a new book bring together a wealth of old and new images of Dutch modernist painter Piet Mondrian. Silly, flirty, a bon viveur are not descriptions that would normally be associated with modernist painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), more commonly shown in schoolmasterly poses in front of his famous primary-coloured grid paintings. But the Fotomuseum Den Haag’s newest exhibition Strike a Pose | Mondrian and Photography, which opened on Saturday, has photographic evidence that Mondrian was far more... More >

Podcast: The Jurassic Borrelplank Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, bessenjenever and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer 2023 gets off to a shaky start with Gert-Jan Segers stepping down as leader of the ChristenUnie party. The cabinet’s plans to control immigration come unstuck in court, forcing asylum minister Eric van der Burg to kick the latest measures into the long grass. The looming recession has puts a dampener on the housing market as prices... More >

'I would, 100%, back having a baby here'

Elizabeth de Libero lived in various places across Europe and America before she moved to the Netherlands with her family. She currently works at the British School, would love to meet Iris van Herpen, and relishes the challenges of beach walks on cold and windy mornings. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I guess it starts with the fact that I’m married to an Italian. We met while I was studying abroad during university. I moved back to... More >

Dutch destinations: Rotterdam

Often overlooked by international visitors who flock to its famous sibling up north instead, Rotterdam is arguably cooler and more eclectic. Head here for a vibrant culinary scene and architecture straight out of a sci-fi film. If you want to see the future of the Netherlands, visit Rotterdam. At street level, you’ll hear dozens of languages and encounter people who hail from nearly every corner of the globe. Look up and you’ll see buildings that look like they’ve been cut... More >

Sorry, what was I writing about?

Our regular columnist Molly Quell can’t seem to remember anything that happened in the last year and places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the pandemic.  Earlier this month, the editor of Dutch News asked me if there were any particular photos I thought we should use for our year-in-review series, 2022 in pictures. It recaps the most read stories of each month and highlights the biggest news story with a photo. I answered honestly: ‘I have totally blanked... More >

10 great things to do in January

There are some great exhibitions on in January to get all you culture vultures off to a good start in 2023. See Rembrandt in a red beret No, it’s not, yes, it is: expert opinion has now declared Man in a red beret to be a self portrait by Rembrandt. In its long history it has travelled the world, from august walls to – presumably – a drafty lockup when it was stolen. Originally in the possession of the Dutch... More >

Inburgering with DN: New Year

New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands is celebrated in a most untypically over-the-top  way. Here are 10 things you must do to fit right in. Lesson 35: New Year 1 Let off fireworks. If you live in one of the few places that have decided to ban fireworks this year, do not think you will escape the annual frenzy – because if the past two years are anything to go by, the ban will be ignored by just about everyone.... More >

It’s almost 2023: tax changes ahead

This might be a time of year for gifts and resolutions – but there will be money to pay back in 2023. That is the message of finance minister Sigrid Kaag, who has warned that the state will be folding up its safety net for some people and raising funds for the treasury in the months to come. ‘It might have been Christmas, but Scrooge is still with us,’ said an expert from tax advisors Blue Umbrella. ‘The government is... More >

Find the best Dutch health insurance

You only have a few days left to find the best health insurance for 2023. But how do you find the best deal for you and what do you need to think about? Here’s a checklist to help you on your way. Check what type of healthcare you need First of all, make a list of the healthcare things you require next year, such as: Family doctor visits Hospital medical check-up Medication One dental check-up and 10 minutes of deep... More >

Looking to the housing market in 2023

Rising interest rates, falling house prices, fewer deals, more properties – it can’t be said the Dutch housing market has been dull in 2022 – anything but! We started out with an annual house price rise of 21% and are concluding the year with house prices going down. In fact, according to the national statistics agency CBS, the price of the average house has  dropped by around €18,000 over the past three months. Interest rates started out at around 1.4%... More >

Inburgering with DN: Christmas

Like most other places where they celebrate Christmas, the Netherlands does tend to grind to a halt until the New Year. But what else should you be aware of about the festive season in the Low Countries? Lesson 34: Christmas Christmas trees The Dutch love their trees – in fact they love Christmas decorations in general and now the old adage about not thinking about December 25 until after Sinterklaas has been well and truely ditched, trees are appearing earlier... More >

'By leaving my country, I got to know it'

For French-Canadian Julie Couture (41), project coordinator at Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House, it took a move thousands of miles away from her family in Québec to rediscover the history of her people and their special connection with the Netherlands.  How did you end up in the Netherlands? I met a Dutchman in Spain in 2005 when I was there travelling with my sister. She just had a relationship which had broken down and she did not want to spend Christmas... More >