Monday 23 November 2020

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

Thinking about buying a house? Don’t forget you’ll need a home office

Thinking about buying a house? Don’t forget you’ll need a home office

Will we go back to the office full time, once the coronavirus crisis is finally over? Labour market experts and behavioural specialists are following developments closely. However, there are signs that the switch to home working is beginning to have an impact on the housing market. ‘I have definitely noticed a change in the way people are approaching buying a house since the start of the coronavirus pandemic,’ says real estate agent Mie-Lan Kok, who specialises in helping international workers... More >


Playing around with social robots in healthcare

Playing around with social robots in healthcare

Huawei’s TECH4ALL initiative aims to ensure nobody is left behind in the digital world by encouraging digital inclusion programmes and empowering technology adoption globally. The project is similar to some of the work happening within academia across Europe, where research projects are focused on harnessing technology for societal good. Professor Andrea Bonarini has spent 10 years investigating this cause at the laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics of Politecnico di Milano (AIRLab), through the development of games involving robots and... More >


New arrival Lemonade: making insurance easy, transparent and paper-free

New arrival Lemonade: making insurance easy, transparent and paper-free

A bubbly new personality might not be what you expect in the insurance world – but the data-driven company Lemonade likes to look for the upside. Lemonade, an American company with EU headquarters in the Netherlands, has just launched its contents and liability insurance on the Dutch market. Its tagline is that it’s built ‘for the 21st century’. Instead of dealing with brokers, and lots of ‘hold the line’ moments, it aims for instant everything and zero paperwork, offering a... More >


Home, not-so-sweet home. Expats leaving NL share their stories of reverse culture shock.

Home, not-so-sweet home. Expats leaving NL share their stories of reverse culture shock.

Many DutchNews.nl readers are former expatriates who have returned to their country of origin but maintain a connection with the Netherlands. For some, this homecoming was accompanied by an acute culture shock. What does this confusion about ‘home’ feel like and what is reverse culture shock? DutchNews.nl finds out. ‘It was like a case of mistaken identity or something,’ says Irish national Mary Queally (40), who in 2018 moved from Amsterdam back to the picturesque west coast of Ireland where... More >


A tax cut for new home owners? First-time buyers should not start celebrating yet

A tax cut for new home owners? First-time buyers should not start celebrating yet

First-time buyers have been having a hard time of it of late, but they should not start celebrating the recent budget tax cut just yet, writes José de Boer, of financial consultants FVB De Boer. Last month the government published its 2021 spending plans which, at first sight, contained some good news for first-time buyers. Ministers have decided to scrap the transfer tax – overdrachtsbelasting – that everyone buying a home has to pay over the cost of the property.... More >


Talking taxation: four issues which you might not have thought about

Talking taxation: four issues which you might not have thought about

The Dutch tax office has an advertising slogan about making it easier to sort out your tax affairs, even though this is something nobody likes to do. But can everybody file their taxes without the help of a specialist? And what is the impact of coronavirus and remote working likely to be on your 2021 tax return? ‘Of course, if you have a straightforward job, don’t own a house and speak Dutch you can file your taxes pretty easily,’ says... More >


From Barbie to dinosaurs – here are 14 great things to do in October

From Barbie to dinosaurs – here are 14 great things to do in October

Barbies, an extinct lion, Constable’s skies and even the odd dinosaur – there is a lot to see in the Netherlands this October. Celebrate two centuries of Naturalis Naturalis natural history museum in Leiden is celebrating its 200th birthday and has put together a special exhibition of 25 of its most valued possessions. You have 200 days to see the extinct Cape lion, Darwin’s finches, the En Tibi (the oldest herbarium in the world) and many other of the weird... More >


Spoiled for choice? Over 100 television and internet packages to choose from

Spoiled for choice? Over 100 television and internet packages to choose from

The Netherlands is home to dozens of television stations and a myriad of internet service providers. So how do you find the internet and tv subscription service that best meets your needs? According to the Business of Cities, a London based think-tank which specialises in urban development, the Netherlands is one of the best connected countries in the world. Not only do most households have internet, but they have fast internet – according to the Dutch government, 96% of Dutch... More >


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 >