Friday 29 May 2020

12 great things to do in June

Festivals, exploring the great outdoors and an exhibition of traditional fishermen’s jumpers – there is something for everyone in June. Reconnoitre some Rotterdam roofs It is not often the public are given the chance to get on top of important and iconic buildings but once a year, during the Rotterdam Open Roof Days, you will be spoilt for choice. Here’s your chance to explore the roofs of Rotterdam, learn about the buildings themselves and enjoy the skyline of a great... More >

Gas, power, internet? Ask PartnerPete

So, you’ve got the job, you’ve found a new place to live and you are ready to get stuck into a new challenge. But what about internet, gas and electricity – those tedious but everyday essentials which can easily get forgotten? In the Netherlands, you have a myriad of gas, electricity and internet companies to chose from, all offering you what they say are great deals, green energy and super-fast download times. It takes a lot of time and effort... More >

Wynia's Week: The EU election results

Populist parties were wiped out and the PvdA topped the polls, but it would be easy to be wrong-footed by the Dutch results of the EU elections, writes columnist Syp Wynia. In last week’s European elections, the PvdA bagged the biggest win while the CDA and VVD managed a decent score. The populist parties on the left and right (SP and PVV) were wiped out and Forum voor Democratie got fewer votes than expected. GroenLinks won and D66 lost. It... More >

When school’s out, holiday camp is in

The school bell goes, and the long, long weeks of summer holiday stretch ahead. Great news for kids, but what about the parents who need to juggle work, households and – eventually – the inevitable complaint of ‘I’m bored!’? One option is summer camp. For children from 4 to 12, who can’t go away for a whole week at overnight camp, there is still a great variety of day long multi-activity and themed programmes filled with activities and field trips... More >

Free Morgan foundation in court again

On Wednesday, the highest Dutch administrative court will hear legal arguments in the case of the wild-born orca know as Morgan, who was captured in the Wadden Sea and now languishes in Spanish tourist attraction. The Dutch government is to blame for her plight, say Matthew Spiegl and Dr Ingrid N Visser. Infringement of EU law  – including wildlife law – undermines the very foundation of the union. When acts of infringement are alleged, they must be acknowledged, addressed and... More >

Podcast: The Hipster Santa Claus Edition

In this week’s podcast we try to unravel the logic behind the European election debate featuring two men who weren’t in the running but not the leader of the winning party, the blunder that led to hundreds of children being sent to the wrong secondary school, and the end-of-season football relegation play-offs. Duncan Laurence’s Eurovision victory inspires an archetypal Dutch discussion about splitting the bill, Erik Wiebes triggers rumblings of discontent in Groningen and another VVD minister, Mark Harbers, resigns... More >

Wynia's Week: of taxation and inflation

The Dutch government knows how to look after itself but is leaving its citizens out of pocket, writes commentator Syp Wynia. The third Mark Rutte-led government is still failing to deliver on spending power.  Supermarket prices and energy bills are rising faster than wages. Taxes have been mounting to a record high, resulting in budget surpluses and rapidly diminishing government debt. Meanwhile the economy is showing signs of fatigue before people have even started to enjoy the fruits of its... More >

How to sell a house in the Netherlands

You might think you can go it alone without an estate agent, but selling a house is about more than simply putting a ‘te koop’ label on your home and waiting for the offers to flood in. In today’s housing market you need to all the help you can get to avoid the sharks and reel in the maximum profits. ‘A photo of a grey street with a grey sky and untidy garden is not exactly going to get the... More >

Game not over: video arcade games in NL

Video arcades were all but extinct by the end of the 20th century, but they’ve managed to bounce back in recent years. Here in the Netherlands, you can find retrocades, arcades, barcades, pinball parlors, clubs, hotels, and museums devoted to the best games of the past, present, and future. De TonTon Club – Amsterdam (various locations) This small chain of cafes/barcades in Amsterdam was among the first in the recent string of video game centres to pop up in the... More >

The woman behind a 'vote for a woman' idea

Strongman, iron lady…the awed terms we give our leaders are all wrong, according to Devika Partiman. This 31-year-old Dutch woman wants to radically change politics in the Netherlands and Europe, so that more people see themselves reflected in a diverse team of politicians. ‘We tend to look at the number one on the list – but he may not be the best politician but is probably the best spokesman, debater or salesman,’ says Partiman.’ The number five might be a... More >

Podcasts galore: English radio in NL

Radio is back and the number of podcasts out there has been growing steadily for years. The Netherlands is no exception and while there are plenty of Dutch-language podcasts, there are also plenty of English-language ones as well. Here’s a roundup of podcasts, in English, about the Netherlands. jumped on the podcasting bandwagon years ago and Molly Quell, Gordon Darroch and Paul Peeters take you through the week’s news and, most importantly, the week’s ophefs. The podcast is released... More >

Podcast: Eurovision Is Worse Than Brexit

Plenty of sea changes in this week’s podcast as Mark Rutte takes the fight to Thierry Baudet, Sybrand Buma becomes the second coalition party leader to abandon ship in mid-term and Amsterdam’s mayor decides not to impose a booze ban on the city’s canals. The Hague opts out of the cabinet’s plan for legalised cannabis cultivation, there’s a poignant edge to Ajax’s title celebrations and the food safety board warns people about the dangers of eating filet americain. In our... More >

A new location for Eindhoven's Expat Fair

Want to learn Dutch? Find a house? Experience Dutch culture, find a job, make connections, or solve immigration and tax issues? Or just want to have a fun day? You can do it all at the I am not a tourist Expat Fair & Feel Good Market in Eindhoven in June. This year makes it four in a row for the I am not a tourist Expat Fair Eindhoven, organised with the Holland Expat Center South and the event is... More >

Young Dutch Moroccans are doing well: D66

Despite a worse than useless integration policy, young Dutch Moroccans are doing very well in the Netherlands, write D66 parliamentary party chairman Rob Jetten and integration spokesman Jan Paternotte. It is 50 years ago this week that the Netherlands and Morocco signed to a special deal regulating the migration of Moroccan workers to the Netherlands. Despite a completely inadequate integration policy, integration has been a resounding success as the new and successful generation of Moroccans shows. Although three quarters of... More >

'Albert Heijn's 35% off is the best thing'

Raquel García Hermida-van der Walle is a Spanish national who works for an animal rescue charity and has lived in the small Frisian town of Gorredijk for the past seven years. She is also standing for election to the European parliament on behalf of D66 on May 23. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I met a man from Gorredijk while I was at a bachelorette party in Barcelona. We had a long distance relationship for a while,... More >

Dutch destinations: Terschelling

If you want to get away from it all for a few days, the Wadden Sea island of Terschelling is easy to get to, offers great empty beaches and has enough to keep you busy even if you hit a wet weekend. Terschelling and Texel are the most touristy of the Wadden islands, yet both are very different. Texel is bigger and less dominated by holidaymakers. Terschelling is more an elongated sand dune and tourism is clearly its main source... More >

Podcast: Swedish Men Are Better Edition

The podcast returns from a two-week break to commiserate with Ajax fans over their shock exit from the Champions League, catch up with Forum voor Democratie’s fruitless search for a senate leader and find out why the tourist board has started telling visitors to get out of Amsterdam. We also bring you the latest on the arrest of a suspected serial killer and why organic labelling is less wholesome than it sounds. In our discussion we take a deep dive... More >

Organic food scandal needs addressing

This week broadcaster RTL found that hundreds of Dutch organic food producers were being allowed to sell their products as organic, even though they did not meet all the rules. Organic expert Hugo Skoppek says the findings are a national scandal. I am simply shocked. Nothing in life is 100%, but the fact that RTL investigators found hundreds of ‘organic’ products on sale that do not fully comply with the regulations for organic food in the Netherlands is indeed scandalous.... More >