Sunday 19 January 2020

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

It’s spring, so to celebrate here are nine things to know about tulips

It’s spring, so to celebrate here are nine things to know about tulips

Spring is officially here and that means the Keukenhof bulb gardens in Lisse are now open. It is the 69th time that the gardens will have opened to the public and they are expecting over a million visitors in eight short weeks. This year’s theme is romance and so among the special gardens in 2018 are Cupid’s Garden, with a kissing gate, a Holiday Romance garden, with a tropical atmosphere under the palms and Rob’s Oriental Romance. For those of... More >


From tacos to tiras a la Mexicana – the best Mexican food in the Netherlands

From tacos to tiras a la Mexicana – the best Mexican food in the Netherlands

Many people from North America often bemoan the lack of quality Mexican food here in the Lowlands. Fortunately, things have been steadily improving on this particular culinary front in recent years. Whether your gut demands fajitas cooked to near perfection or you simply can’t shake your cravings for Grilled Stuft Burritos, here’s a few of Brandon Hartley’s picks that will help you get your fix. KUA – The Hague and Rotterdam What’s the best authentic Mexican restaurant in the Netherlands?... More >



A year without money: one Dutchman’s journey to find human happiness

A year without money: one Dutchman’s journey to find human happiness

When Mundo Resink (35) realised that money was holding him back in life, he chose a drastic solution: to live without it. Deborah Nicholls-Lee finds out more about his life-changing experiment. On the evening of January 6, 2013, Mundo Resink couldn’t sleep. Something had been growing inside of him: a resounding truth which this night refused to be silenced. ‘It was like something from my belly just came up and it was unstoppable,’ he says. That night Mundo realised that... More >


Extra €80m a year in cultural spending to focus on young talent

Extra €80m a year in cultural spending to focus on young talent

Nurturing young talent is one of the main strands of the government’s plans to invest an extra €80 million a year in culture, minister Ingrid van Engelshoven has told MPs. ‘If you look at the top level of our orchestras, societies and museums, it all looks fantastic,’ Van Engelshoven said in a letter to parliament. ‘But if you don’t invest it raises the question: will we still have such a fantastic top tier in 10 or 20 years’ time?’ The... More >


An allround experience: watching Sven and Ireen skate in front of their home crowd

An allround experience: watching Sven and Ireen skate in front of their home crowd

There are some things you just can’t avoid to really understand the Dutch and speed skating is one of them. Robin Pascoe went to see Sven (Kramer) and Ireen (Wüst) in action at the world allround championships. Many years ago, when my children were small, we did the obligatory skating lessons at the Jaap Edenbaan ice rink in Amsterdam. This usually involved spending all day of the one-week autumn holiday at the rink, watching small boys and girls strap skates... More >


Large Roman cemetery discovered but where did its occupants live?

Large Roman cemetery discovered but where did its occupants live?

A secret dig at the site of a new section of the A15 motorway has yielded a large Roman cemetery but no clues as to the provenance of its occupants, government roads department RWS announced this week. The find, in a field at Bemmel near Zevenaar, dates from the 2nd or 3rd century AD and consists of 48 graves, some with their stone funerary urns still present. Four of the graves were found to be more or less intact, which... More >


Dying is expensive: so do you need Dutch funeral insurance?

Dying is expensive: so do you need Dutch funeral insurance?

The Dutch are a pragmatic people about many things, not least of all about death. For many of them, that means planning ahead – and taking out insurance to pay for the cost of their funeral. Not surprisingly, a funeral insurance (in Dutch: uitvaartverzekering) is one of the most common types of insurance policies in the Netherlands. About 60% of the Dutch population have taken out insurance to cover the costs of their funeral. According to Dutch family spending institute... More >


Leftovers of roasted heron head for Rotterdam exhibition of dead animals

Leftovers of roasted heron head for Rotterdam exhibition of dead animals

The legs of a blue heron roasted over an open fire by a homeless man in The Hague are being added to a Dutch museum collection of animals which have had a strange death. The man, a Russian national, was arrested at the weekend after he was spotted in woods next to a smouldering fire. The legs of a blue heron were all that was left of the bird. The man has denied killing the bird, which is a protected... More >


Just how easy is it to buy a house in the Netherlands?

Just how easy is it to buy a house in the Netherlands?

So, you’ve lived in the Netherlands long enough to know that you plan to stay. Now it is time to get out of that rental apartment and buy a place of your own and really become a local. But how much do you really know about the process? Take our quiz and find out. You’ve decided to take the plunge and become a home owner. It should be pretty simple, right? Here’s 12 key questions to help you find out... More >


Albert Heijn drops football game ‘for boys’ in sexism row

Albert Heijn drops football game ‘for boys’ in sexism row

Supermarket chain Albert Heijn has withdrawn a football game from its shelves following complaints of sexism. The packaging on the ‘soccer box’ party set described it as being ‘for four boys aged 8-13’, prompting a barrage of criticism from parents. The set also contained cards featuring multiple choice questions including: ‘What do you really not want to see?’, with ‘crying girls’ as one of the possible answers. Hans Stam, who runs a football tournament featuring 10 girls’ teams, responded on... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: explore Leiden’s canals without the tourist hustle

DutchNews.nl destinations: explore Leiden’s canals without the tourist hustle

Once considered a broken down, blue-collar burg, Leiden has shed this reputation in recent years to become a sort of ‘mini Amsterdam’. Brandon Hartley shares a glimpse at one of the most often overlooked cities in the Randstad. At first glance, it might be easy to mistake the canals of Leiden for those in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district. They’re lined with picturesque houses, arched bridges, and the occasional house cat snoozing in the sun. While the city lacks the world famous... More >


DutchNews podcast – The Broken Referendum Edition – Week 9

DutchNews podcast – The Broken Referendum Edition – Week 9

    It may be just about the coldest start to March on record, but there’s plenty of hot topics to digest on this week’s podcast. We find out why Geert Wilders’s efforts to thaw relations with Russia got a less than warm reception from the MH17 relatives, how a teenager won the right to brand himself a prince and what burning issues the Netherlands plans to tackle as chair of the UN security council. Plus the Winter Olympians return... More >


Where’s the rainbow? Workers find pot of gold from 15th century

Where’s the rainbow? Workers find pot of gold from 15th century

Water company workers have stumbled on a hoard of hundreds of centuries-old gold and silver coins, broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday. The workers were laying pipes at a building site between Vianen and Hagestein in the province of Utrecht when they found a glazed earthenware cooking pot containing 500 coins which archaeologists think date from the 15th century. Twelve of the coins were found to be solid gold, the rest are silver. According to archaeologist Peter de Boer,  the time... More >


From bubbles to boats: Five Dutch initiatives which are tackling the plastics crisis

From bubbles to boats: Five Dutch initiatives which are tackling the plastics crisis

Empty drinks bottles, plastic packaging, microscopic plastic particles in the food chain: this once oh so useful invention is fast becoming an environmental catastrophe. Deborah Nicholls-Lee has been checking out some Dutch projects which are seeking solutions. The Great Bubble Barrier   Founded in Haarlem in 2015, The Great Bubble Barrier comprises an all-woman team of experienced sailors, who were tired of the plastic in the water spoiling their favourite sport. Based on a concept already used in the oil industry,... More >


Irish dancing, DIY and meeting monsters: 13 great things to do in March

Irish dancing, DIY and meeting monsters: 13 great things to do in March

The freezing temperatures may not make it feel like spring is on its way, but the Netherlands is gearing up for the start of the tulip season as the Keukenhof opens later this month. Here’s a selection of great things to do in March. Look at the beautiful people The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is celebrating the return of Rembrandt’s wedding portrait of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit after its restauration by tapping into the celebrity culture of centuries gone by.... More >


The bison are back: rewilding the Dutch dunes brings back a mega beast

The bison are back: rewilding the Dutch dunes brings back a mega beast

Hunted to near-extinction by the 1920s, European Bison clung to survival in a handful of zoos. Thanks to continent-wide conservation programmes, Europe’s largest megafauna now roams wild in one of its most densely populated regions: the Randstad. Joshua James Parfitt has been bison spotting. I stand gazing out over the dune slacks, as the sun sets orange behind apartment blocks in the distance. Within earshot, a motorbike noisily chases fame or fun at the Zandvoort race track. Distant cars zoom... More >


Den Bosch museum to show Nazi design in ‘long overdue’ exhibition

Den Bosch museum to show Nazi design in ‘long overdue’ exhibition

The Stedelijk Museum in Den Bosch is planning an exhibition on Third Reich design in collaboration with the Deutsches Historisches Museum, its director Timo de Rijk has announced. This an area that needs to be part of the public discussion like the Dutch colonial past which gave rise to an exhibition on slavery at the Rijkmuseum, De Rijk said in an interview with the Volkskrant. ‘Everyone said it was about time. And it’s the same with Nazi design. If you... More >


From 3D selfies to replica engagement rings, Local Makers can bring your product to life

From 3D selfies to replica engagement rings, Local Makers can bring your product to life

If you can’t find the product you need, you might like to create it yourself. We visited Local Makers, the product design team who are serving a growing market for self-made solutions. Amsterdam product development company Local Makers have had some odd commissions. These include a home enema kit, a hand-painted 3D-printed model of a clitoris for a science programme, and the VU University Medical Center once got in touch regarding a special holder for an anal probe. All of... More >


It’s Valentine’s Day. Here’s 11 reasons why you need a Dutch boyfriend

It’s Valentine’s Day. Here’s 11 reasons why you need a Dutch boyfriend

It’s Valentine’s Day, something a few years ago no self-respecting Dutch man or woman would think worthy of mention. Alas, this Anglo-American celebration of Cupid has become latest foreign fad to get the commercially-minded Dutch going. Not everyone has fallen for the marketing hype, however. A survey by ING economists in 2016 found just one in five Dutch people planned to give their loved one a Valentine’s Day gift and the average amount they spend is €16. We admire their thriftiness.... More >