Monday 22 July 2019

Calling all scale-ups - get ready for BASE

This May a new international event for scale-ups is being held in Amsterdam. The BASE Conference, launched by local entrepreneurs, is dedicated to businesses which are about to, or already, scaling up. BASE is an acronym for Build, Advance, Sustain and Elevate – the four pillars that founders Veronica Guguian and Lana Jelenjev see as fundamental to grow a business to the next level. ‘We believe that building relationships and managing resources are key for scale-ups’, says Guguian. ‘They can... More >

Amsterdam has international school places

Finding a place at an international school has just got easier. We visit the newly opened Amity International School Amsterdam, which is creating much-needed places for expat families in search of an English-speaking education. Any conversation among expat newcomers to Amsterdam about finding a good quality international education for their children invariably includes two words: waiting list. Rapid economic growth in the Netherlands has seen Amsterdam emerge as a European hub for commerce, finance and technology, attracting twice as many... More >

Kings Day and lino: things to do in April

There is a lot going on in April, from the traditional festivities of Kings Day to the start of the spring school break, plus a lot of gold, glitter, polka dots and crazy coloured glass at museums around the country. See Venice in Carré A musical theatre version of Death in Venice, directed by Ivo van Hove and performed by Theater Amsterdam and the Concertgebouworkest, is coming to Carré in Amsterdam and if you’re quick (and flush) you may just... More >

Bank on bunq to challenge the status quo

They don’t do fat banker bonuses, overdrafts or loans. Built like a mirror image of the financial systems that brought on the last economic crisis, bunq is a mobile-only bank that wants to shake the foundations of the system. If you don’t have the money to buy something, they advise you to save rather than offering a high-interest loan. Instead, for a straightforward monthly fee, they will offer you 25 interest-paying joint or solo accounts, bank cards that link to... More >

Things to know about Dutch holiday lets

The Netherlands is stuffed full of places where you can rent a cottage for a few days to get away with friends and family. Center Parcs is, after all, a Dutch invention. But there are a few things you should be aware of before you get too excited. It looks so great on the website – that May holiday bargain cottage for four, which will cost you just €319 for three nights. But, as we at have all discovered... More >

Podcast: The Owls are Not What They Seem

Thierry Baudet’s success in the provincial elections stirred up plenty of ophef (as well as sparking a speech cobbled together from off-cuts of Oswald Spengler and rejected Nick Kershaw lyrics), but has it really changed the political landscape? We dissect the results and discuss the implications for Mark Rutte’s cabinet on this week’s podcast. Plus the latest on the Utrecht shooting, which is now being treated as a terrorist act, where the Netherlands ranks on the world happiness index, and... More >

Nearer, not dearer: Almere

Want to find your dream house? Why not build it yourself, in the green stretches of Almere, a new town and a space where more than 2,000 people have done just that. If embarking on a quirky construction is a little ambitious for you, Almere still has plenty to offer, according to local experts. It may not have an ancient historic centre, but pretty much everything else you might want is there or nearby (including the dream houses other people... More >

Wynia’s Week: Baudet’s meteoric rise

A first time participant in the provincial elections and newcomer to the senate becomes the biggest party in the land in one fell swoop. It’s not something the Netherlands has ever experienced before, says columnist Syp Wynia. Forum voor Democratie, the party of Thierry Baudet, Henk Otten and Theo Hiddema, all of three years old, scorned by politicians as well as the Hilversum media, was hoisted to the top of the political tree by the voters. It is now the... More >

'People speak their mind but aren't rude'

Originally from Plymouth in the US, New York Times author and illustrator Brooke Barker moved with her husband from America to Amsterdam a few years ago. She loves real ginger tea with ginger slices, is baffled by the local love of toothpicks and says she is too short to ever feel really Dutch. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I’ve always loved the Netherlands, and I’d always wanted to live there so I found a job with an... More >

International food stores in NL

We asked you where you buy the food and drink that makes you think of home. This is what you told us, in no particular order. Brazil Finalmente Brasil has outlets in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and its range includes home grown cosmetics and over the counter medicines. Romania The Netherlands’ Romanian community obviously misses a lot from home. Website Români în Olanda lists shops in Tilburg, Breda, Roermond, Boxtel and The Hague as well as a butchers in Dordrecht! British,... More >

Podcast: Ministry of Silly Dancing Edition

In a week when the government agreed to bring in a “polluter pays” tax on CO2 emissions, the atmosphere turned poisonous at an Amsterdam school where staff are accused of having terrorist sympathies and in the fishing community of Urk, where a mob descended on the home of a migrant family. Mark Rutte nears the end of his tether over Brexit, though if if he’s hopping mad or stockpiling Marmite he’ll have to stay away from the Foreign Affairs ministry’s... More >

Six things for freelancers to think about

Becoming self employed is increasingly popular in the Netherlands – in fact nearly all the 191,000 new companies registered with the Chamber of Trade last year were one-man operated firms. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, what key issues should you think about? 1 Can you set up a company as a non-Dutch national? Yes, nationality as such is not relevant for registering a business, particularly if you are already living in the Netherlands. However if you are... More >

Dutch drug policy hits medicinal cannabis

Many patients find cannabis calms their symptoms, eases pain and reduces the side-effects of other medication – but despite the relaxed attitude to marijuana in the Netherlands, acquiring this alternative medicine is often a battle. Deborah Nicholls-Lee investigates. ‘I wish I could tell you that this was conventional – it isn’t,’ says Dutch-Israeli multiple sclerosis (MS) patient Anat Avissar Koren. Inhaling cannabis is one of the few things that helps relieve her chronic pain but socially, even in the Netherlands,... More >

Wynia’s Week: Let Rutte go to Brussels

Mark Rutte is doing everything in his power to please in case he is offered a top job in Brussels. If they want him and if he is willing – which would be sensible – CDA and D66 mustn’t stand in his way, writes Syp Wynia. During the first RTL election debate of 2019, Klaas Dijkhoff, chair of the VVD parliamentary party, let slip a couple of times that after ‘Rutte Three’ there would be a ‘Rutte Four’. Dijkhoff had... More >

Dutch destinations: Maastricht

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and it elegantly combines classic architecture with modern twists. Here you’ll find a vibrant bookstore and coffee bar in a centuries-old cathedral, electrifying boutiques located along cobblestone lanes, and what some say is the best bar in the country.  As one of the country’s most gorgeous (and strategically located) cities, it should come as no surprise that various empires have tried to seize Maastricht over the years. No one can... More >

Podcast: The Name Goes Here Edition

Plenty of ground to cover in this week’s podcast, from Ajax’s swashbuckling conquest of Madrid to Wopke Hoekstra’s peacemaking mission to Paris and a setback for Albert Heijn in Belgium. Dutch ministers call for short-haul flights to Brussels to be scrapped, IS fighter Yago Riedijk is told he’ll have to find his own way back to Arnhem and Willem Holleeder’s long career as the Netherlands’ most notorious gangster may be running out of road. In our discussion we look at... More >

Introducing 10 remarkable Dutch women

Dutch women get a lot of stick at times – for working part-time, for dressing down and for letting their children run riot. So here, to celebrate International Women’s Day, are the brief stories of 10 Dutch women who broke the mold. A businesswoman and soldier To be called a Kenau in Dutch is not a compliment – it means you are a harridan – and yet Kenau Hasselaar (1526 – 1588) was by all accounts courageous and clever. When... More >

Housing is hot, don't burn your fingers

While there are signs that the rise in house prices in the Netherlands may be slowing down, the market is still extremely tight. So what can you do to boost your chances of buying a home of your own? Rotterdam-based estate agent Wil Jansen of @Work Real Estate Agency has been watching the housing market closely, as prices pick up in the port city. House prices in the most popular areas have more than doubled in the past two years,... More >