Sunday 29 March 2020

When a serviced apartment fits the bill

When I landed in the Netherlands 10 years ago, it was a surprisingly soft landing. Pregnant and disorientated, I was very grateful for the comfortable beds and cosy, white bedding in a swish block of serviced apartments. A decade later, this building in Amsterdam Zuid still feels perfectly cool, modern and inviting and Corporate Housing Factory is now a locally-managed company with more than 200 serviced apartments in seven locations. From the new and super-sustainable Hoge Duin in The Hague – just open... More >

'There’s a sense of energy in Amsterdam'

Héloïse Hooton grew up in a French and English household in Carlisle near the Scottish border. She now lives in the Netherlands, owns a PR consultancy firm, and co-directs the event series 5×15 Amsterdam. How did you end up in the Netherlands I was living in Paris in 2010 but, despite being half French and bilingual, I didn’t quite gel with the Parisians or the Parisian way of life. It’s a pretty traditional and formal lifestyle. I missed the openness... More >

When can you claim partner alimony?

Divorce and partner alimony are two topics that often come up at the same time. When you divorce, the consideration must be made whether one of the partners is entitled to maintenance. This contribution is known as partner alimony (or partner maintenance). Partner alimony is determined by several factors: the need of the maintenance creditor (the person who needs partner alimony), the amount required to meet the maintenance creditor’s needs, and the capacity of the person liable for maintenance (the... More >

How not to find a home in Amsterdam

The experiences of a young Brexit escapee trying to find a place to live in Amsterdam have proved quite an eye-opener. When your own offspring have flown the nest, the rooms they have left behind collect all manner of waifs and strays who need a place to stay. The longest was with us for almost a year while she found her feet after 15 years away from the Netherlands, but most stay a few days while they InterRail around Europe... More >

Podcast: The Sexplaning the Ophef Edition

At last we can reveal the results of the most undemocratic vote since the Brexit referendum: our very own Ophef of the Year Awards. Mister Stikstof puts a spanner in the works of Schiphol’s expansion plans and joins the chorus of VVD mayors calling for a fireworks ban. Lego is urged to take the Dutch approach to road design, while the tax office gears up for a structural overhaul. And there are big New Year developments in the careers of... More >

Make the most of living in The Hague

If you feel that your social life or career need a boost, that you need to take more exercise or that you would simply like to give something back to the community – why not pick up some inspiration at the Feel at Home Fair in The Hague this February? The Feel at Home International Community Fair is a celebration of the uniquely connected and cosmopolitan community of The Hague, providing a warm welcome to newcomers and a friendly meeting... More >

Pessimism about integration is misplaced

It’s time for the media and politicians to overcome their pessimism about integration, says Leiden professor Leo Lucassen. Twenty years ago the Netherlands witnessed the rise of Pim Fortuyn. In the wake of his death on May 6 2002, his party Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) scored 26 seats in the elections. Many were taken completely by surprise by the massive win and the social discontent about immigration and integration that was at the bottom of it. Journalists and commentators, as... More >

Sustainable tourism in Amsterdam?

With mass tourism now marring the quality of life in Amsterdam, Deborah Nicholls-Lee looks at initiatives to make a trip to the Dutch capital a more sustainable affair. A three-person line of defence along one side of the boat seems to work best, our nets semi-submerged and poised to entrap passing flotsam. We – two boat-loads of eco-conscious visitors – are cruising the Amsterdam canals on a plastic fishing trip with Plastic Whale, clearing the greasy waters of rubbish, while... More >

Podcast: The Condemned Condom Edition

An even more explosive New Year’s Eve than usual has forced politicians to talk seriously about banning neighbourhood fireworks. We discuss whether 2019 will prove to be the tipping point in the annual debate about a tradition that leaves hundreds of people injured each year. The Netherlands pulls its troops out of Iraq, Hudson’s Bay pulls out of its Dutch stores and Ajax defender Sergino Dest pulls out of the team’s controversial winter tour. Plus we’ve got a red-hot ophef... More >

Is brainwashing key to learning Dutch?

Is your New Year’s resolution to improve your Dutch? Albert Both of Talencoach, AKA Mr Dutch Brainwash, believes you can do it in just seven days. We find out more about an original method which is getting brilliant results. Albert Both never stops smiling and is the antithesis of the strict Dutch teacher. And Talencoach’s premises, to the rear of a monumental building on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht, is not your typical classroom. On one side, there’s a heap of cuddly toys... More >

Try a day trip from Amsterdam

With more and more tourists visiting Amsterdam, why not combine your visit to the Dutch capital with some time spend exploring the countryside? Website has lots of suggestions for day trips. One of the best things about Amsterdam, and the Netherlands in general, is its size, which makes it easy to get around. That, combined with great public transport and cycling routes, means day trips from Amsterdam are relaxed and easy. Even The Hague is less than an hour... More >

‘The Dutch are among the most travelled'

Artist Jimmy Nelson (52), originally from the UK, is best known for his photographs of indigenous people. His work has taken him to many unexplored corners of the earth, but Amsterdam is home to him and all three of his passports are Dutch. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I met my [Dutch] ex-wife in Greece when I was 23. We had a two-day fling then I had a two-year assignment in China to photograph a book. She... More >

What will 2020 mean for your tax bill?

Feeling the pinch after the holiday break, or are you enjoying your year-end bonus? Here is a round up of the main tax changes for 2020 and how they will affect your finances. 1 Fewer tax brackets From this year, the tax office will only work with two tax brackets (it was four). Earnings up to €68,507 will be taxed at 37.35% while earnings over that limit will be taxed at 49.5%. As both rates have come down, a lot... More >

So what do you mean by cozy?

What do you do if you have been sent to live in the Netherlands as a trailing husband, while your wife works in a high powered job? Columnist Joe Weeg, who was here in 2018, has been back again for a short visit. Part 4: Cozy. ‘Joe, it’s not so cozy.’ Really? ‘It’s not so cozy’? They have great fries. And I love their coffee. And look at their apple pie. ‘I’m sorry, but it’s not so cozy,’ repeats my... More >

Where to buy a house in the Netherlands

Mortgage interest rates are still at a record low, so if you have not yet taken the plunge and bought a home in the Netherlands, here are some suggestions of where to go, courtesy of Expat Mortgages. Why Leiden might be the best location for buying a new home Leiden’s sense of community is on full display every October, with a day off for feasting on fish and local stamppot, beer, and partying. This neighbourly spirit, as well as charming... More >

The most popular features of 2019

So, if you are nursing a New Year hangover, recovering from an icy dip in the sea or just taking it easy, here is a recap of the best read features on in 2019. Rain in the Netherlands has a texture it does not have back home What do you do if you are the Netherlands as a trailing husband while your wife works in a high powered job? Visiting columnist Joe Weeg wrote a personal piece about how... More >

12 great things to do in January

From New Year traditions to trunks, fortresses and tropical rain forests – there is a lot going on to keep you busy this January. Bring in the New Year with a dip It’s mad, it’s cold, and best viewed from the sofa in your toasty living room but if you’re brave you too can be part of the great Dutch tradition that is the Nieuwjaarsduik. Submit your bloated Christmas body to the cleansing effect of an icy cold North Sea... More >

Looking for some legal advice?

Looking to get divorced, solve problems at work, divide an inheritance, appoint a guardian for your child or deal with defects in your house? Here’s a round-up of what you need to know, courtesy of law firm GMW. Who will take care of your child when you’re gone? Historically, if you wanted to designate a guardian for your child in case something should happen to you, it had to be done by will. Today, a new option is available which... More >