Friday 22 November 2019

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

‘Colours of the World’ on display at next year’s Keukenhof flower show

‘Colours of the World’ on display at next year’s Keukenhof flower show

The Keukenhof bulb park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands and work is now beginning on getting ready for next year’s flowering season. If you have any tulip bulbs that need planting, now is the time to do it. With summer officially over, the planting season has begun. This means the gardeners of the Keukenhof Botanical Garden have been hard at work setting up the flower display for next spring. The centre piece of the... More >


Workshops and fun galore at the ‘I am not a Tourist fair’ in Amsterdam

Workshops and fun galore at the ‘I am not a Tourist fair’ in Amsterdam

There are dozens of presentations and engaging workshops at the I am not a tourist Expat Fair 2019 in Amsterdam on Sunday. Check out some of the events on offer. This year the I am not a tourist Expat Fair in Amsterdam includes a wide variety of workshops and presentations, all geared towards making your transition to life in the Netherlands easier. More than 40 professionals will introduce you to everything you need to know about their area of expertise:... More >


How to get divorced in the Netherlands: here’s what you need to know

How to get divorced in the Netherlands: here’s what you need to know

The world is global, and so are today’s marriages. When it comes to getting divorced this can make it complicated. But even if you are not Dutch and if you got married in another country, you may be able to divorce here. Here’s what you need to know. If you want to get divorced, and you live in the Netherlands, you need to: 1 – Confirm if you can get divorced in the Netherlands 2 – Get a lawyer. You... More >


Jan Lul, Jan Modaal and Pietje Precies – just who are these people?

Jan Lul, Jan Modaal and Pietje Precies – just who are these people?

The English language has a Hooray Henry and a Johnny come lately but Dutch also hitches – usually pejorative – epithets to otherwise innocuous first names. Some suffer more than others. Here’s a few samples. Jan Hen: a henpecked man. Jan Lul: Literally, Jan Dick, also known as Jan met de korte achternaam (Jan with the short last name) for the euphemistically inclined. You are usually made to look like one, i.e. ridiculous. Jan Doedel: a clumsy person. Jan Modaal:... More >


Art, theatre and how to spend your money: 11 great things to do in October

Art, theatre and how to spend your money: 11 great things to do in October

Serious art, serious spending on art and art to keep you amused at the seaside are among the offerings in October. Find out what do do with your dosh The John Adams Institute in Amsterdam is hosting American author of the book The Purpose of Capital Jed Emerson to discuss ‘impact investing’ i.e. getting your money’s worth but in a nice way. He is billed as outspoken en ‘sometimes cantankerous’ so that should be fun. October 1. Website Come to... More >


Why Leiden might be the best location for buying a new home

Why Leiden might be the best location for buying a new home

White rolls and herring – they are more than just another quick Dutch meal in Leiden. Every year on the 3rd October, everyone who signs up is entitled to this free fish dinner to celebrate the city’s liberation from a Spanish siege in 1574. Leiden’s sense of community is on full display every October, with a day off for feasting on fish and local stamppot, beer, and partying. This neighbourly spirit, as well as charming old buildings, quiet canals and... More >


Highly-skilled, happy and at home – Indian expats share their experiences

Highly-skilled, happy and at home – Indian expats share their experiences

Plugging a knowledge gap in the Dutch workforce, Indian migrants make up one of the fastest-growing expat groups in the Netherlands. So how does this new community experience the Netherlands and its changing cultural landscape? In October 2009, a giant tent went up in the centre of Amstelveen for the town’s first Diwali festival. Inside, the group of organisers – a mix of council officials and Indian residents – turned to each other nervously. Would the 900-person tent dwarf the... More >


The 2020 budget: what will the changes mean for your finances?

The 2020 budget: what will the changes mean for your finances?

Earlier this week the government announced a package of measures which it plans to implement in 2020, some of which were new, some of which had already been published and some of which had been leaked. Here is a round up of the main tax changes for 2020 and how they will affect your finances. 1 Fewer tax brackets From next year, the tax office will only work with two tax brackets (it is currently four). Earnings up to €68,507... More >


Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht is a fairytale castle with a jet set past

Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht is a fairytale castle with a jet set past

You may have never heard of Kasteel de Haar, but it’s the largest castle in the Netherlands, with a long and entertaining history. Today the castle is partly open to the public and photos of the jet set celebrities who visited line the walls in a hallway in the former stables, which house a cafe.  During his first visit to Kasteel de Haar in 1960, Gregory Peck got lost while searching for the bathroom in his bedchamber. To be fair,... More >



It’s back! Sign up here for the 17th Amsterdam ‘I am not a Tourist’ fair

It’s back! Sign up here for the 17th Amsterdam ‘I am not a Tourist’ fair

The annual ‘i am not a tourist’ Expat Fair for Internationals returns to the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, for its 17th edition! Sunday 6th October 2019 will soon be rolling round again and with it the annual ´i am not a tourist´ Expat Fair for Internationals, Amsterdam edition. Now in its 17th year the Expat Fair has more on offer than ever. Whether you are thinking of settling in The Netherlands, in the process of settling in, or have long... More >


Mortgages are getting cheaper, so is now the time to buy a home?

Mortgages are getting cheaper, so is now the time to buy a home?

Anyone who follows developments on the housing market cannot have failed to notice that mortgage interest rates are still going down. But what can you actually get for your money? Check out a mortgage interest rate comparison website and the trend is obvious. There is plenty of choice on a 10-year fixed mortgage for rock-bottom rates – and not just from the providers you may never have heard of. A 10-year mortgage of €600,000 will cost you around 1.7% from... More >


Government spending on royal furniture adds up to €10m over 40 years

Government spending on royal furniture adds up to €10m over 40 years

The Dutch royal family has received around €10 million from the government in the last 40 years for the upkeep and replacement of furniture in four palaces, according to a study of official documents by NRC. In 1978 the government agreed to buy the entire contents of the two ‘working palaces’ of Noordeinde and Huis ten Bosch, both in The Hague, in a deal which was later extended to Soestdijk palace and Het Loo in Apeldoorn. The agreement includes an... More >


Changing employment conditions? Here’s what you should know

Changing employment conditions? Here’s what you should know

When an employer and employee sign an employment contract, both are bound by this contract, including the terms and conditions of employment. So what happens when an employer wants to change the employment conditions that were agreed? Can an employer change employment conditions? Under Dutch employment law, an employer can always change employment conditions in consultation with the employee (with the employee’s consent). In addition, an employer can also sometimes change the employment conditions unilaterally (without the employee’s agreement). This... More >


Sound, lights action: boost your career with some acting experience

Sound, lights action: boost your career with some acting experience

Whether you have always dreamed of being an actor, or simply want to become more effective in giving pitches or at public speaking, a school of acting in Amsterdam might just be the answer. You don’t have to go to Hollywood, Bollywood, New York or London to become a successful actor – the Mulholland Academy in Amsterdam can help you on your way. Indeed, several Mulholland Academy students have already successfully auditioned for roles in films after just a few... More >


Blogwatching: How Rebekah survived the school trip

Blogwatching: How Rebekah survived the school trip

Rebekah was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met her Cornish husband in Catalonia. They now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia, with their two differently wired, small kids. She spends her days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around her. She writes at Write Now Rebekah. One afternoon, at school pick up, my son’s teacher asked me, ‘Can you come on the school trip? We need another volunteer.’ I said, ‘Yes’. And tried... More >



Good news? Interest rates on personal loans drop to record lows

Good news? Interest rates on personal loans drop to record lows

Buying a home but unsure how to finance that much-needed bathroom renovation or to install solar panels? A personal loan could be the solution, now interest rates are plummeting. Personal loans are becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands, particularly now the interest rate has dipped under 4% with some providers. The Nederlands Krediet Collectief, for example, has cut its interest rate for the second time this year, offering customers a record low rate of 3.9% on a 10-year home renovation... More >


Enjoy life with Ed: 11 great things to do in September

Enjoy life with Ed: 11 great things to do in September

This month we’ve steered clear of the big museums and shows to bring you a selection of exhibitions and events from smaller venues and promoters… plus a couple of last minute don’t miss items. Enjoy life with Ed The Nederlands Fotomuseum deserves a medal for saving all 42,000 of photographer Ed van der Elsken’s  colour slides, which had fallen victim to mould and had to be restored. Lust for Life shows his unfailing eye for a striking face or situation... More >


The Hague volunteering project takes the world into the classroom

The Hague volunteering project takes the world into the classroom

Looking to give something back to Dutch society and help share knowledge about your country of origin at the same time? The World in Your Classroom project takes internationals into Dutch schools, to help improve both pupils’ foreign language skills and their knowledge of cultures from all across the globe. The Dutch educational system is currently contending with funding cuts and a shortage of teachers so the demand for volunteers in schools is now larger than ever. Participants in World... More >