Sunday 08 December 2019

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

DutchNews podcast – The Arkmageddon Alpacalypse Edition – Week 1

DutchNews podcast – The Arkmageddon Alpacalypse Edition – Week 1

The DutchNews podcast returns after an extended Christmas break with a feast of news from the old year and the new. We catch up on the Dutch winter storm that was too fierce for Noah’s Ark, the former minister who crashed his bus while texting behind the wheel and the whirlwind of fake news that engulfed the new US ambassador. Plus what happened when Rotterdam police unveiled plans to undress suspects in the street and an alpaca went walkabout in... More >


Key changes to Dutch taxes you need to know about in 2018

Key changes to Dutch taxes you need to know about in 2018

The new Dutch government is planning to make quite a few changes to the current tax system. While most of them won’t come into effect until 2019, it is time to start planning for their impact now. The centre-right Dutch coalition government sees giving people more cash to spend as key to ensuring future economic growth. Part of the strategy involves simplifying the income tax system and raising taxes from other sources. 1. Income tax The biggest shake-up in the... More >


Five techie tools for getting to grips with Dutch

Five techie tools for getting to grips with Dutch

If learning Dutch was one of your New Year resolutions but you don’t fancy going back to the classroom, help is at hand. Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the latest technological tools designed to help you get to grips with a new language. The language exchange app Due for release in early 2018, the Ananas app (pictured above) lets users find affordable help with Dutch while earning some extra cash themselves. Founder Gezi Fu, a perennial expat who has lived in... More >


From sugar in art to hemp in chocolate: 11 great things to do in January

From sugar in art to hemp in chocolate: 11 great things to do in January

Bag a bloom You know spring is on the way when the tulip season kicks off on a bitter January day. It’s National Tulip Day on January 20 and growers are creating a huge tulip garden on Amsterdam’s Dam square with some 200,000 tulips which you are welcome to pick, for free. The event begins at 1pm. Website Bring your specs Aptly enough you only have a very small window left to see ‘Xtra small. Miniature books in Museum Meermanno’,... More >


20 of the best: The most read features on DutchNews.nl in 2017

20 of the best: The most read features on DutchNews.nl in 2017

From Dutch food with EU protected status to the king’s 50th birthday and reforming the red light district – this year DutchNews.nl has published over 150 features. Here’s a round-up of the best longer reads of 2017. 1 Dutch TV show says Hello Mr Trump, this is the Netherlands 2 Dutch TV documentary claims Trump has ties to Russian mobsters 3 11 key facts about king Willem-Alexander as he turns 50 4 Who can vote for whom and how the... More >


How to celebrate New Year in the Netherlands – with recipes

How to celebrate New Year in the Netherlands – with recipes

New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands is celebrated in a most untypical over-the-top way. Here’s list of 10 things you must do to fit right in. 1. Buy fireworks – lots of them and enormous ones – if you have not smuggled them in from Belgium or Eastern Europe months ago. This year you can only buy fireworks on December 28, 29 and 30 – and for some reason, garages seem to be popular licenced stockists. Start setting off your... More >


To change or not to change health insurance company? Five key questions

To change or not to change health insurance company? Five key questions

There are just a couple of days to go before you have to decide whether or not to change health insurance company. Here’s the answers to some of the questions which expats most frequently ask about Dutch health insurance and the healthcare system. Changing healthcare insurance company does not have to be a complicated business. But there are some things you do need to think about before you do. When do I need to pay the deductible excess? The deductible... More >


Going home for the Christmas holidays is about more than nostalgia

Going home for the Christmas holidays is about more than nostalgia

The winter holiday season in the Netherlands is magical, with all the trees and houses lit up by twinkling lights. But for DutchNews.nl editor Robin Pascoe, the Christmas period is also about an intangible nostalgia for ‘home’, wherever that is. When I first came to the Netherlands in the early 1980s, Christmas was something that just happened between Sinterklaas and New Year. You had a tree and a family dinner and that was about it. More and more, however, the... More >


Add a bit of Dutchness to your Christmas celebrations

Add a bit of Dutchness to your Christmas celebrations

December is in full swing and that means it is time to begin preparing, enjoying, and celebrating Christmas. A sparkling tree in the living room, the smell of baking biscuits floating out of the oven and Christmas songs on the radio—Christmas celebrations really do start at home. But just how do you give your Christmas that extra touch of ‘Dutchness’ while living in the Netherlands? Here is a list to inspire you, based on some of the ways the Dutch... More >


From Gouda by candlelight to a Christmas Carol – a round-up of holiday family fun

From Gouda by candlelight to a Christmas Carol – a round-up of holiday family fun

The school holidays are finally coming up! Esther O’Toole has a run down of special Christmas events and activities, for young and old, up and down the country, traditional and alternative; starting on December 15. Countrywide: winter circuses A trip to the circus is a popular Dutch tradition at Christmas. You will find Christmas Circuses all over: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Nijmegen, Sittard…Eindhoven’s will be in the Park Theater and offers lots of extra activities for kids throughout the... More >


The Dutch love their cats – and here’s the proof

The Dutch love their cats – and here’s the proof

They peer down at you from the windows of canal houses and slink past your legs while you’re hanging out in cafes. Indeed, cats definitely seem to be everywhere in the Netherlands. According to one estimate, there’s over 2.8 million of them currently living in the country. Brandon Hartley has nine key facts about Dutch cats Cats in the Kunsthal You can sink your claws into an exposition devoted entirely to cats at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum, until January 14, 2018.... More >


Supplementary health insurance: what is it and do you need it?

Supplementary health insurance: what is it and do you need it?

Supplementary health insurance policies have been in the news a lot this month, with the central Dutch bank suggesting they could disappear in the future. So what’s all the fuss about? Here’s a handy guide to what supplementary health insurance policies cover, how they work and whether or not you need one in 2018. What should you look out for when assessing supplementary health policies? Cover The basic health insurance (basisverzekering) is the compulsory part of Dutch health insurance. It... More >



André Rieu spared child labour fine after pan pipe concert runs late

André Rieu spared child labour fine after pan pipe concert runs late

Violinist André Rieu has won his appeal against a €100,000 fine for breaching child labour laws at a concert featuring a Romanian pan pipe band. Rieu and his orchestra shared a stage in Maastricht in 2015 with pan pipe maestro Gheorghe Zamfir and his band, which included 12 schoolchildren. The concert at the Vrijthof ended at midnight, but Dutch rules state that children under 17 are not allowed to engage in ‘cultural work’ after 11pm. Rieu’s production company was initially... More >


Books, clocks and tulips: we’ve got some great gifts to give away

Books, clocks and tulips: we’ve got some great gifts to give away

December is a time of giving and that’s just what we are doing this month at DutchNews.nl. We’ve got some great gifts to give away to several lucky readers. NLXL by Karel Tomei The Netherlands might like to consider itself a small country – a kleine kikkerlandje, as the Dutch are so fond of saying – but this is one mighty big book. Karel Tomei’s NLXL weighs in at a whopping 3.5 kilos but is such a joy to look... More >


Cats, kings and the American dream: 12 great things to do in December

Cats, kings and the American dream: 12 great things to do in December

Not everything on the calendar for December is about Sinterklaas and Santa Claus but inevitably lots of events at this time of year are Christmas-themed.  We’ve got top notch theatre, ice sculptures, cat karaoke and the American dream in our latest listing. Savour some savoir-faire If you haven’t bought a single present yet and are not short of a euro or two why not visit the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam for inspiration. Meesterlijk is a three day extravaganza of ‘style, specialisms... More >


No more Hema and Shema: Gender-neutral marketing hits the Netherlands

No more Hema and Shema: Gender-neutral marketing hits the Netherlands

This is your last weekend to pack in the pre-Sinterklaas shopping. So will it be pink for the girls and blue for the boys? Gender-neutral marketing has finally arrived in the Netherlands but, as Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports, not everyone is happy. In June 2015, following a particularly depressing visit to toy store Bart Smit – whose signage suggested that my five-year-old daughter had no business looking at toys that had to do with engineering, natural history or science – I... More >



DutchNews podcast – The Random Descriptions of Boners Edition – Week 47

DutchNews podcast – The Random Descriptions of Boners Edition – Week 47

We look back on a week of thwarted protests as MPs fail to talk out a bill to scrap a tax break for homeowners and the A7 motorway is gridlocked by the Zwarte Piet debate. Amsterdam emerges as the first big winner in the Great Brexit Clearance Sale (and immediately frets about the effect on house prices), the Yugoslavia tribunal in The Hague delivers its verdict on the Butcher of Bosnia and a Dutch men’s sports team shocks Europe by... More >


How to get on as a woman in tech? Trust in your individuality

How to get on as a woman in tech? Trust in your individuality

Earlier this month, over 1,000 women (and a few men) piled into the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam to take part in the specialist European Women In Tech conference. Esther O’Toole was among the delegates. It was just last week that ING economists forecast the Dutch technology sector will need to recruit a massive120,000 workers over the next 12 years if it is to maintain current growth trends. Between 20% and 25% of companies in the sector say staff shortages... More >