Wednesday 23 September 2020

Longer articles about living in the Netherlands, Dutch society, culture and travel plus third party content from our partners

Going green: the bunq community plants one million trees in Madagascar

Going green: the bunq community plants one million trees in Madagascar

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to enjoy the moments spent with our loved ones, to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and to take care of our planet. It’s a lesson which resonates with Amsterdam-based digital bank bunq, which is known for its rainbow coloured cards, but which has put going green at the core of the company ethos. bunq has always invested ethically and was the first bank in the world to offer ‘freedom of choice’, letting its... More >


Bored with broodjes? Six of the best alternative sandwiches

Bored with broodjes? Six of the best alternative sandwiches

Visit any Dutch office canteen at lunchtime (or, nowadays, many a Dutch home-office kitchen) and you can be sure of one thing: broodjes. Generally, two slices of bread (or perhaps a roll) filled with a couple of slices of Gouda cheese. All washed down with a glass of milk. Not that there’s anything wrong with this prandial tradition – it’s arguably what’s been making the Dutch so tall in recent generations. And I love a good Gouda as much as... More >


Know your rights: tenancy agreements in 2020

Know your rights: tenancy agreements in 2020

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, Dutch law applies to renting accommodation. Once a tenancy agreement is signed, it is legally binding, so it’s important to understand what type of contract it is, and what that means for your rights when it comes to terminating the lease. Read on for more on the different Dutch tenancy agreements, their respective notice periods and termination rights. Types of tenancy agreements in the Netherlands Tenancy agreements for residential space can be... More >


Dutch destinations: get away from it all in the Veluwe

Dutch destinations: get away from it all in the Veluwe

Many consider the Veluwe, an area of heathland between Arnhem and Apeldoorn to be a sanctuary. Its wilderness areas and small towns offer a welcome respite from the turbulence of the Randstad cities, especially during the off-season. Just watch out for the wolves and wild boars! The Veluwe is about as rural and isolated as things get in the Netherlands. As an area it is best known for the Hoge Veluwe National Park, but the rest of the roughly 1,1000... More >


The Dutch love insurance, but how much cover do you really need?

The Dutch love insurance, but how much cover do you really need?

Funeral, bike, dentistry, personal liability – the Dutch, you cannot have failed to notice, are very fond of insurance. In fact it has been said that the average person,  has eight different types. Here are 12 to choose from. Health insurance (zorgverzekering) This is the one everyone is required to have by law. The government determines the basic make up of the policy and insurance companies compete on price and conditions, such as free choice of healthcare provider. Expect to... More >


Putting people before profit – is this the key to scaling up your business?

Putting people before profit – is this the key to scaling up your business?

    Startups and scale-ups around the world can tap into international business expertise and learn about putting people ahead of profit, as the BASE 2020 conference goes digital. This year, the second edition of BASE is being held online on September 17 and 18, making it easy for companies to join, wherever they are. The 2020 theme is Humanising Business Beyond Profit, and features entrepreneurs and business leaders who scaled up and found success by putting people before profit.... More >


Blogwatching: You are not ready for the real Dutch coronavirus facts

Blogwatching: You are not ready for the real Dutch coronavirus facts

Amanda van Mulligen is British born but calls the Netherlands home. On her blog Turning Dutch, she writes about all aspects of life in the Netherlands. In her latest post, she takes a satirical look at the state of Covid-19 in the Netherlands.  Last week we found a coronavirus flyer in our mailbox. The flyer contains Dutch coronavirus ‘facts’ and counterarguments for measures taken against the spread of the virus. It looks like the viruswaarheid movement has found itself some followers... More >


House prices up, transfer tax down? A round-up of the latest housing news

House prices up, transfer tax down? A round-up of the latest housing news

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages. Good news for home buyers in the budget The Dutch government will present its 2021 spending plans to MPs and the public on September 15 but as usual, some of the plans are already being leaked – and there is some good news for young first-time buyers. Overdrachtbelasting – the transfer tax which you pay on the price of your new home – is being scrapped for... More >


Gargoyles and the world’s most beautiful painting: 13 great things to do in September

Gargoyles and the world’s most beautiful painting: 13 great things to do in September

We’ve a very varied package of suggestions to keep you entertained this September, from Shakespeare to moonlight walks, Syrian artists and gargoyles. Take an art break at Schiphol Anyone having to linger at Schiphol airport could do worse than to banish thoughts of coronavirus by visiting the small annex of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum there. Among the restful offerings to meet the anxious travellers’ eye are the atmospheric land and cityscapes of Dutch 19th century realists such as Jozef Israël, Anton... More >


Back to school: Leiden University versus coronavirus

Back to school: Leiden University versus coronavirus

Universities all around the world are facing one of the most difficult academic years in history. Here’s how Leiden University, the oldest in the Netherlands, has been dealing with the Covid crisis. Every August like clockwork, a gigantic fort made of beer crates materialises in a parking lot across the street from the A.L.S.V. Quintus building. It’s one of the most common sights during Leiden University’s EL CID, the name given to its annual multi-week introductory event for thousands of... More >


WWII bomber recovery in the Markermeer lake ends 12 year mystery

WWII bomber recovery in the Markermeer lake ends 12 year mystery

On a winter’s day just before Christmas in 2008, the Royal Dutch Rescue Society received a call-out to a boat that had broken down on the Markermeer lake, around six miles north-east of Amsterdam. The crew dropped anchor while they waited to be rescued, and when they pulled the weight back up again they found a piece of aircraft machinery attached. It was the first piece of a wartime puzzle that would take 12 years to piece together. More than... More >


‘We need to redefine what Dutch culture is’

‘We need to redefine what Dutch culture is’

Born in New York but with Surinamese heritage, and now a Dutch citizen, cultural historian Jennifer Tosch (56) moved to the Netherlands eight years ago to explore her Dutch roots. She is the founder of the Black Heritage Tours in Amsterdam and co-founder of arts and culture foundation Sites of Memory. She is happiest surrounded by water, but insists that Dutch culture is so much more than canals and herring. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I came... More >


What evil lurks in Leiden’s canals? The Plastic Spotter team are on the case

What evil lurks in Leiden’s canals? The Plastic Spotter team are on the case

Since 2019, a fearless team of Leiden University students and other local residents have been dedicated to removing and studying the random stuff that winds up in the city’s waterways. A strange leather vest. A tea kettle. A Troll doll with a scuba mask. These are just three of the unusual items Plastic Spotter’s team has retrieved from Leiden’s canals during their weekly boating treks. Far more common are cigarette butts, plastic bags, and random detritus from a certain indomitable... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: seven artists and why they are so important

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: seven artists and why they are so important

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 19: Seven Dutch artists Dutch artists were pioneers of artistic techniques and evolving aesthetics long before Dutch designers took centre stage in the 20th century. Here is our list of seven key artists who had a major impact on the art world. Pieter Bruegel The Elder  (1525-1569) Period: Flemish Renaissance Born in Breda, Bruegel lived in France and Italy before settling in Antwerp... More >


Fashioning the new from the old: 9 Dutch organisations making clothes and accessories from recycled waste

Fashioning the new from the old: 9 Dutch organisations making clothes and accessories from recycled waste

Fashion is one of the Netherlands’ most wasteful industries with over 100,000 tonnes of textiles discarded each year and just 1% recycled. The nation’s eco-minded innovators believe we can do better. Here are nine clever initiatives creating clothes and accessories from recycled materials.  Van Hulley If your best-loved shirt is no longer fit for purpose, it can be made into your new favourite underpants thanks to Groningen-based social enterprise Van Hulley which recycles unwanted shirts into boxer shorts, face masks... More >


Take a tour around BlueCity, Rotterdam’s centre of circular experiments

Take a tour around BlueCity, Rotterdam’s centre of circular experiments

­A circular innovation hub housed in a former swimming pool, Rotterdam’s BlueCity is setting trends in the Dutch sustainability scene. The aim is to prove that waste, be it a building or coffee grounds, is a useful resource. A visit to BlueCity begins with a sensorial experience: the building smells better than the finest cosmetics shop. A fresh mixture of fruity and herbal scents penetrates every corner. ‘Today one of our entrepreneurs is making soap,’ explains BlueCity’s communications manager Diana... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Nine great Dutch reads in translation

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Nine great Dutch reads in translation

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Here’s a list of nine great Dutch reads in translation to expand your literary horizons. The Dinner by Herman Koch Novelist Herman Koch’s fifth novel takes place in a well-known Amsterdam restaurant (a thinly disguised De Kas) popular with the upwardly mobile. Two brothers and their wives meet for dinner and as the evening wears on some very unsavoury truths emerge. The book... More >


Blog watching: History, Art Deco and other hidden treasures to discover at the City Archives

Blog watching: History, Art Deco and other hidden treasures to discover at the City Archives

  Amsterdive is a personal blog where Ana V. Martins writes about all things Amsterdam, art and culture, and her experiences as a local / foreigner. She aims to promote different artistic scene(s), sustainable ways of living, as well as bringing people together. On wet weekend days, when museums and cafes get swamped by people, and all I crave is a calm, culturally-stimulating place: that’s when I typically end up at the Stadsarchief. Getting to the City Archives by bike... More >


Simplicity, speed and security – crucial issues in choosing a webhosting company

Simplicity, speed and security – crucial issues in choosing a webhosting company

Covid-19 is driving more and more business online. But you don’t have to be an internet wizard to start your own website and there are lots of sources out there to help you. Since the lockdown was imposed in the Netherlands in March, over 250,000 new dot nl domain names have been registered in the Netherlands. That figure, according to domain registration agency SIDN, is unprecedented, and illustrates just how much businesses are moving online. There are now some six... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: traditional ‘games’ involving animals

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: traditional ‘games’ involving animals

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 17: ‘games’ involving animals The Spanish chase bulls in the streets, with or without their horns on fire, the Brits used to stuff ferrets down their trousers and the Belgians swallow live fish, all in the name of tradition. So what do the Dutch do to animals for a bit of ‘harmless’ fun? Here’s a few examples, past and present. Zwintie tikken... More >