Sunday 23 January 2022

Great reads you might have missed

Finished your holiday books and looking for something else to pick up, or just wanting to catch up on items you may have missed? Here are some of the best reads so far this year. Dutch exceptionalism: Superior failure in the year of coronavirus The Dutch are very fond of international comparisons if they come out well, but when it comes to coronavirus, they see the Netherlands’ position as one of ‘superior failure’, writes Ben Coates. Read on Who... More >

Go Caribbean in central Amsterdam

It’s summer, so the time is right to get into that sunny vibe, settle back in your easy chair and relax with a Caribbean cocktail. To help you really slip into summer, luxury hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam has reopened the doors to The Grand Beach after the great success of last year’s edition. This year, The Grand’s atmospheric courtyard has been transformed into a real sandy city beach, inspired by the beauty of the Caribbean. Step barefoot into... More >

'Shared' e-mopeds are not shared or green

There is a new scourge in the Netherlands which is clogging up already overcrowded pavements – the supposedly environment-friendly, ‘shared’ electric moped, says Natasha Cloutier in this personal column. They buzz up behind you at the traffic lights, they park on the pavement where ever they like and they are making money out of being able to do so. Felyx, Check and GO Sharing – the names might be friendly, but what looks like a new form of transport is... More >

Inburgering with DN: marriage

The summer break may be in full swing, but why not catch up on some Dutch culture with the inburgering course? Lesson 22: Key facts about marriage Planning to marry a Dutchie or attend the wedding of Dutch friends? Here’s a few key facts and other things you ought to know first. 1 How many weddings? Around 50,000 couples tied the knot in the Netherlands in 2020 (of which 1,114 were same sex couples). In addition around 24,000 people... More >

'The Dutch can speak out freely'

Gabriele Gobbi relocated from Rome to attend university in The Hague four years ago and is still here. He currently works as an intern at the Elemental Water Foundation, an organisation devoted to fighting water scarcity around the world. How did you end up in the Netherlands? After graduating from the Deutsche Schule Rom, the German School of Rome, I was searching for a political science bachelor’s programme and a city or an environment where I could grow academically and... More >

Everything you need to know about VPNs

You have probably heard about VPNs and maybe you have even been thinking about getting one for yourself. But how much do you really know about how they work in the Netherlands? Here are five key questions and answers to help you get started. 1 What is a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a tool that enhances the privacy and security of internet users. ‘A VPN essentially does two things,’ says Koen Kuijper from ‘First... More >

Dutch destinations: Baarle-Nassau-Hertog

It’s a town so nice they named it twice. Actually, the story of this unusual community that engulfs the Dutch/Belgian border in and near North Brabant is actually quite a bit more complicated. The borderlines that divide Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog are so convoluted they’ve been making the eyes of real estate agents, legal scholars, and bureaucrats water for centuries. Baarle-Nassau is the name of a Dutch town that’s entwined like a hopelessly knotted ball of yarn with a Belgian one called Baarle-Hertog.... More >

Experience bank: moving to the Netherlands

An ABN AMRO banking expert shares his decades of experiences in helping people move to the Netherlands and set up their affairs here. Two decades ago, moving to the Netherlands was quite an adventure. ‘A client came not knowing what was happening here,’ recalls Daniel Poot, who has spent his 50-year career at ABN AMRO assisting all kinds of immigrants from well-travelled diplomats to first-time expats. ‘I was downstairs at a desk and everyone who wanted to open an account... More >

Inburgering with DN: having a baby

With rain at home and the prospects for summer breaks abroad still open to question, why not catch up on some Dutch culture instead? Back by popular demand – the inburgering course. Lesson 21: What you need to know about having a baby in the Netherlands The Netherlands is notorious for its painkiller-free home births. But there are lots of other essential things you need to know to make sure you have a baby the Dutch way. The home... More >

'Here, I don’t have to bring my work home'

Courtney Schellekens works as both a project leader at the University of Groningen and as a freelance photographer who documents conflict and post-conflict environments. Originally from Boston, she loves the sensible work-life balance found in the Netherlands but Dutch nachos? Not so much. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I used to be married to a Dutch guy. We moved here from Boston when he got a job at the  University of Groningen back in 2009. I’ve been... More >

D66 MP Lisa van Ginneken breaks boundaries

In a curious way, Lisa van Ginneken’s political career might never have happened if it hadn’t been for far-right nationalist leader Thierry Baudet. Van Ginneken became the Netherlands’ first transgender MP when she was elected in March for the progressive liberal D66 party. She had been a prominent activist as chair of the advocacy group Transvisie since 2017, but the moment that prompted her to stand for parliament came during the provincial election campaign of 2019. Baudet’s Forum voor Democratie... More >

Podcast: Komkommertijd is Cancelled

It’s the last podcast before the summer holiday, but there’s little respite in prospect for thousands of people in Limburg hit by unprecedented flooding in the Maas valley. The chances of anyone going abroad are diminishing fast as the surge in coronavirus cases turn the Netherlands red on the EU’s travel map. The country is shocked by the murder of investigative journalist Peter R de Vries in broad daylight in Amsterdam. Mark Rutte apologises after clashing with reporters over the... More >

Inburgering with DN: 12 Unesco sites

With rain at home and the prospects for summer breaks abroad still open to question, why not catch up on some Dutch culture instead? Back by popular demand – the inburgering course. Lesson 20: 12 Dutch sites on the Unesco world heritage list 1 Schokland Schokland was a peninsula that by the 15th century had become an island which kept getting flooded. In the end the authorities were so exasperated by the islanders, who insisted on returning to their... More >

The best Amsterdam breweries with food

The Dutch tradition of brewing beer goes back centuries, when there were hundreds of breweries fermenting their own, unique brews. Gradually, a few big players took over and the Netherlands became primarily a lager-producing country, until only 15 breweries were left by 1980. Fortunately for us, all that has now changed and Dutch micro-breweries have reclaimed their rightful place at the pinnacle of the beer world – brewing everything from blonde beers to bock beers and from IPAs to porters.... More >

Podcast: Third Wave Dancing Shoes Edition

Alarming news dominates this week’s podcast as journalist Peter R de Vries is shot in the street and coronavirus infections spread like wildfire through the country’s nightspots. Was De Vries targeted for his investigations into the Netherlands’ drug gangs? And what measures will the government bring back to save everyone from long Cov- sorry, from having to cancel their holidays? MPs say goodbye to the Binnenhof for the last time before a renovation that’s expected to last five years, so... More >

'This whole place is a social experiment'

Alison Fisher is a Scottish-Canadian who moved to the Netherlands in the ‘90s to work as an editor. She lives in Amsterdam, loves the bike tunnel through the Rijksmuseum, and continues to work as both a translator and a life coach. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I planned when I left university to work my way all around the world. First, I’d look for a job, then I’d go to a country, live there for a few... More >

The Great Pyramid of...the Netherlands?!!

If you didn’t already know, the Netherlands is home to a 36-metre-tall pyramid. You can find it in Woudenberg. Here’s the fascinating history of one of the country’s most peculiar monuments. Keeping a regiment of 18,000 soldiers entertained back in the early 19th century was no easy task, especially one that was stuck in the middle of the Netherlands and far from the front lines of the Napoleonic Wars. That was the problem that French General Auguste de Marmont faced... More >

Refugee crisis sees museums unite

Opening on Friday at Foam Amsterdam is an exhibition of photographs taken by refugees inside the infamous Camp Moria on the Greek island of Lesbos. But the exhibition is far from exclusive, with new venues opening each week. finds out why Now You See Me Moria has museums breaking with convention. Now You See Me Moria, a collection of 446 campaign posters displayed alongside photographs taken by migrants inside Europe’s largest refugee camp, has attracted 33k followers on Instagram... More >