Sunday 22 May 2022

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

Rotterdam rules: why the Netherlands’ second city is a top place to buy

Rotterdam rules: why the Netherlands’ second city is a top place to buy

Rotterdam has a sleeves-rolled-up reputation. So it’s no wonder the city has been hard at work building a perfect opportunity for house buyers, says mortgage broker Expat Mortgages. The question used to be ‘why live in Rotterdam?’ Now, some people believe the question is: ‘Why not?’ A port city with just over 650,000 people of 170 different nationalities, Rotterdam is leading the way in building houses the nation desperately needs. Last year, the Zuid-Holland region constructed 13,300 new homes and,... More >


Priest and journalist who defied the Nazis is first Dutch saint for 15 years

Priest and journalist who defied the Nazis is first Dutch saint for 15 years

A Dutch priest and journalist who was killed by the Nazis for refusing to distribute anti-Semitic propaganda during the German occupation has been canonised by the pope. Titus Brandsma is the first new Dutch saint for 15 years, following the canonisation of Limburg priest Karel Houben in 2007. Pope Francis proclaimed him a saint on Sunday at a symposium organised by the Dutch embassy and the International Association of Journalists Accredited to the Vatican. The Vatican said the Carmelite priest... More >


Dutch destinations: further down the lanes of Leiden

Dutch destinations: further down the lanes of Leiden

We wrote about Leiden for the Dutch destinations series back in 2018, but there’s plenty more to experience and explore. Here’s a second glimpse at one of the most overlooked cities in the Randstad region.  Leiden is a city of several contrasts. Throughout much of the 20th century it was considered something of a backwater despite being located in the Randstad and serving as the home of Leiden University. Its industrial and blue collar past still echo through the streets... More >


Howzat! The Netherlands gears up for a summer of first class cricket

Howzat! The Netherlands gears up for a summer of first class cricket

A mower is moving slowly over the main pitch at Amstelveen cricket club VRA, while the birds sing. In the background, the sound of an electric drill within the club house is the only noise to disturb the rural peace. Even the planes heading for Schiphol are quiet. But in three week’s time, the green will be filled with fans, marquees and television crews as VRA kicks off the biggest season of international cricket the Netherlands has ever seen, hosting... More >



Story of crops and gender fluidity wins €50,000 Libris book prize

Story of crops and gender fluidity wins €50,000 Libris book prize

Mariken Heitman has won the Netherlands’ most prestigious book prize, Libris Literatuur Prijs, for her novel Wormmaan. Heitman was a surprise winner from a shortlist that also included Dutch-Ukrainian writer Lisa Weeda, whose novel Aleksandra examines the postwar history of her grandmother’s homeland. Wormman (‘Worm Moon’) connects diverse themes including the development of agriculture and gender identity through the story of Elke, who wants to cultivate more diverse crops by reintroducing a wild species of pea. It is the second... More >


Amsterdam ombudsman fights red tape and purple crocodiles

Amsterdam ombudsman fights red tape and purple crocodiles

Amsterdam’s new ombudsman tells Senay Boztas that he wants to be there for all Amsterdammers suffering bureaucratic pain, and why no government should think it is boss of the people. When your city council moves your vehicle (without telling you), then fines you repeatedly for ‘parking’ in the wrong zone, then clamps your car and demands an eyewatering fine…who are you going to call? If Munish Ramlal succeeds in his mission, in six years, this bureaucratic nightmare will be easily fixed... More >


The Netherlands wants to lead Europe’s hydrogen strategy – but should it?

The Netherlands wants to lead Europe’s hydrogen strategy – but should it?

With the world hydrogen summit kicking off in Rotterdam on Monday, the Dutch are hoping to play a key role in Europe’s clean energy portfolio. In 1959, while prospecting for oil in a beetroot field in eastern Groningen, the Dutch Petroleum Company found gas instead. The sky-high flame could be seen for miles around. In time, neighbours would learn that they were living on top of the largest gas field in Europe. Within a few years, this hidden resource supplied... More >


Moving to NL for love? Sign up for a special event and get all the tips you need

Moving to NL for love? Sign up for a special event and get all the tips you need

When Florin asked Diana to live with him in the Netherlands there was a catch: Diana’s life, job and home country were in Romania, while Florin lived in Amsterdam. But, after meeting while skiing with a mutual friend and then cementing their bond on holiday in Bali, Diana decided to take the plunge. Like thousands of other expats each year, she moved to the Netherlands, and found herself sending out scores of job applications, building a life, and eventually having... More >


From mining to Moroccan art and majesty: 11 great things to do in May

From mining to Moroccan art and majesty: 11 great things to do in May

There is plenty for culture vultures in May, with a new museum devoted to mining history, Art Rotterdam and ground-breaking show in Amstelveen devoted to the modern artists of Morocco. Explore Dutch mining history As in other countries, Dutch mining history is one of pride, hard work, affluence, lung disease and, ultimately, unemployment. In Heerlen, in Limburg, a new mining museum opens its doors to the public on May 1 in former Kneepkens department store which dates from the days... More >


Sinking ‘culture palace’ strikes a bad note with councillors in The Hague

Sinking ‘culture palace’ strikes a bad note with councillors in The Hague

The Hague’s controversial new cultural centre has received a fresh setback after its architects confirmed parts of the complex are sinking into the ground. The five buildings of the Amare centre, which opened last September, were built on separate foundations to prevent vibrations from concerts dragging down the whole structure. However, the concert hall and the Royal Conservatoire music academy’s hall have sunk so far that some doors in the building no longer shut properly, Omroep West reported this week.... More >


On the clock: part-time work and being an entrepreneur

On the clock: part-time work and being an entrepreneur

In some countries, you don’t need to do much to start working freelance: you might just register for value added tax and get started. Being a freelancer or self employed is increasingly popular in the Netherlands. In fact,  the proportion of people who are classed as freelance workers has risen from 8% of the working population in 2003 to 13% in 2020, according to national statistics office CBS. At the same time, there has been a growing discussion about whether... More >


‘A pluffy pillow pleasure island’ – Dutch Venice Biennale focus is touch and consent

‘A pluffy pillow pleasure island’ – Dutch Venice Biennale focus is touch and consent

The Venice Biennale, the art world’s most anticipated event, opens on 23 April. The Dutch entry, melanie bonajo’s whimsical When the body says Yes, is sure to stand out. We meet the artist to find out more. ‘I’d just finished somatic sex coaching training and then I got the phone call,’ the multidisciplinary artist melanie bonajo (lowercase, they/their) told DutchNews.nl. Being selected by the Mondriaan Fund to represent the Netherlands at the Venice Art Biennale, the world’s most prestigious international... More >


‘To say Holland Festival is highbrow or lowbrow is to misunderstand it’

‘To say Holland Festival is highbrow or lowbrow is to misunderstand it’

Emma Moloney will always remember the moment a man whispered quietly in her ear as she was sitting in the theatre. She was at an award-winning play called The Encounter during the 2016 Holland Festival and, like the rest of the audience, wearing a set of headphones. Director and writer Simon McBurney was the one blowing, whispering, then shouting in her ear, through those headphones. ‘The whole audience went: oooh!’ she recalls. ‘It still gives me the creeps. It was... More >


Americans, accidental or otherwise, are fighting against FATCA

Americans, accidental or otherwise, are fighting against FATCA

Many Americans in the Netherlands have been feeling the effects of FATCA in recent years. The infamous law has caused plenty of headaches for both them and the financial institutions they rely on.   If you’re an American living in the Netherlands, you may have already felt the impact. Perhaps it was a stern letter from your bank or maybe you’ve had trouble trying to hire a financial adviser? There’s a reason for that and it’s the Foreign Account Tax... More >


From chasing thieves to celebrity shoppers – The American Book Center looks back on 50 years

From chasing thieves to celebrity shoppers – The American Book Center looks back on 50 years

The American Book Center, online and in-store, is a go-to for English language readers in the Netherlands. As the team celebrate their 50th anniversary, we look back at how it all began. In the course of 50 years, some things have stayed the same in the Netherlands. 1970s Amsterdam, for example, was full of Dutch people with fluent English and Internationals with limited Dutch. But the shortage of English-language reading material at this time was a business opportunity waiting to... More >


A home in Amsterdam? Look beyond the canals to the wider region

A home in Amsterdam? Look beyond the canals to the wider region

The late Amsterdam mayor’s favourite song was about living on the Amsterdam canals – or, more accurately, being priced out of them. But housing experts Expat Mortgages say that despite a challenging market, there are still investments to be made and beautiful homes in and around the Dutch capital. ‘I see something changing,’ says Henk Jansen, founder of Expat Mortgages, who was born and grew up in Amsterdam. ‘In the past, Amsterdam was divided in areas: you had the city... More >


Wooden eggs, hares and fires: How to celebrate Easter the Dutch way

Wooden eggs, hares and fires: How to celebrate Easter the Dutch way

Easter (Goede Vrijdag, 1e and 2e Paasdag) takes place this weekend (April 15-18). Easter Monday is a public holiday but Friday is a normal working day, apart from government workers, lucky things. Here is our list of Dutch Easter habits. Easter breakfast box If you have children at a Dutch primary school, they, rather you, will probably have to make an Easter breakfast box which they will give to another child in their class. This is a shoe box beautifully... More >


Housing update: soaring interest rates and market moves

Housing update: soaring interest rates and market moves

Interest rates have doubled since January, and there are signs house prices might not be rising so quickly any more. So what does this mean for the housing market? And should you consider remortgaging? Here is a round-up of the latest housing market news. What to do about interest rates Interest rates have hardly been out of the news since the start of the year when they began to rise in earnest. Basic rates have actually gone up about 1%... More >


‘Zwarte Piet is not an exception’ – the long history of racism in NL at last on show

‘Zwarte Piet is not an exception’ – the long history of racism in NL at last on show

From grotesque caricatures in children’s books to artwork depicting Sinterklaas as a woman of colour, a new exhibition in Amsterdam explores the depiction of black people in Dutch society and the ongoing battle for self-definition. Mitchell Esajas is driving in his car from the Black Archives on Amsterdam’s Zeeburgerdijk, which he co-founded in 2015, to an appointment he has across town. The monumental building soon disappears from his rear-view mirror, but the whole city stretching ahead of him is a... More >