Monday 22 July 2019

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

Don’t pose for selfies on railway tracks, Dutch rail operator urges

Don’t pose for selfies on railway tracks, Dutch rail operator urges

Dutch rail company ProRail has launched an urgent appeal to people not to take selfies of themselves posing on or next to railway tracks. An average of nine people are caught walking on or too close to the railway and they are the biggest external factor for delays, ProRail spokesman Jaap Eikelboom told the AD. ‘It could be people taking the dog out or taking a short cut, but increasingly, we see people taking photographs,’ he said. In 2012, railway... More >


May the fiets be with you: a bikepacking trip in Noord Holland

May the fiets be with you: a bikepacking trip in Noord Holland

Bikepacking is a new cycling trend. It’s basically lightweight touring/camping on a mountain bike or racing bike using the latest generation of bags which don’t need carriers or racks.  Mike Cooper went on a bikepacking trip through Noord Holland and Friesland The great whites were following me. There were eight of them. They were big. I wasn’t nervous, I was enjoying their company. One thing about long-distance solo bikepacking: alone is the default. Great white egrets, herons more common to... More >



As the takeover battle for AkzoNobel heats up, just how ‘Dutch’ is it really

As the takeover battle for AkzoNobel heats up, just how ‘Dutch’ is it really

Dutch paint maker AkzoNobel is being hotly pursued by American peer PPG. The potential takeover has prompted economic affairs minister Henk Kamp to say it is  in the Netherlands’ interests to make sure Dutch multinationals continue to be led from the Netherlands.’ So just how Dutch is AkzoNobel? True, the company is headquartered in the Zuidas business district in Amterdam. True, its shares are traded on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. And AkzoNobel operates in more than 80 countries around the... More >


DutchNews podcast – The Fifty Shades of Orange Edition – Week 17

DutchNews podcast – The Fifty Shades of Orange Edition – Week 17

As the king turns 50 we look at the enduring popularity of the Dutch royal family. Meanwhile the other great orange institution – the national football team – finally finds a new coach, firefighters rescue a dog from a rabbit hole, Jeroen Dijsselbloem rescues himself from a Greek tragedy and a building in Amersfoort has a very modern facade. Top story TV interview marks king’s 50th birthday Full interview on NOS website News Dick Advocaat expected to be appointed national football coach for... More >


Celebrate freedom, Dick Bruna and beer: 10 great things to do in May

Celebrate freedom, Dick Bruna and beer: 10 great things to do in May

From celebrating freedom to celebrating beer – here’s our round-up of some of the best things to do in the Netherlands this May. Celebrate freedom and harmony Liberation Day – May 5 – sees Bevrijdingsfestivals taking place across the country. National and international bands will be performing on stages from Amsterdam to Zwolle, under the banner ‘Geef vrijheid door’ (‘Pass freedom on’). The festivals are free and there’s a dedicated website where you can find out what’s happening near you. Check out the other... More >


12 key facts about Dutch king Willem-Alexander, as he turns 50

12 key facts about Dutch king Willem-Alexander, as he turns 50

King Willem-Alexander turns the ripe old age of 50 on April 27. To mark the occasion,  here are some random facts about the Dutch king. 1 Willem-Alexander was a ‘completely normal Dutch boy’, according to his primary school teacher. But unlike other completely normal Dutch boys he had to submit to much attention from the press. ‘Alle Nederlandse pers opgerot’ (all Dutch press buzz off), the nine year-old Willem-Alexander famously piped up at a gathering of journalists. The royals’ relationship... More >


The richest men in the Netherlands – Charlene Heineken does not count

The richest men in the Netherlands – Charlene Heineken does not count

While it may be harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, the ranks of the rich in the Netherlands are swelling. Reflecting this, business magazine Quote doubled the length of its annual rich list in 2016 as part of its 20th birthday celebrations. The Quote list is complicated by several factors: many rich Dutch live elsewhere for tax reasons (or perhaps an unsated lust for skiing)... More >



Queen Maxima opens show of porcelain not good enough for the emperor

Queen Maxima opens show of porcelain not good enough for the emperor

  Artefacts once considered not good enough for the gaze of the Chinese emperor have now finally been viewed by Dutch royalty. Moira Holden finds out more about a collection of porcelain which was never meant to be seen. Queen Maxima opened Forbidden Porcelain: Exclusively for the Emperor, a painstaking restoration of broken china from the Far East, now on display at the Prinsenhof Museum. The porcelain was originally made and destroyed without being used by the emperor because it... More >


Can Dutch firms ban their staff from wearing headscarves?

Can Dutch firms ban their staff from wearing headscarves?

Does a recent European Court ruling mean Dutch companies can ban their employees from wearing headscarves? The answer is, to put it simply, both yes and no. Bans on wearing ‘any political, philosophical or religious sign’ are not discriminatory, the European Court of Justice said in its ruling last month. However, employers can only implement them as part of broader rules regarding employee appearance. The Court ruled on the case of Samira Achbita, a receptionist employed by G4S Security Company... More >


From sex to smoothies: reforming Amsterdam’s red light district

From sex to smoothies: reforming Amsterdam’s red light district

The city of sleaze is cleaning itself up. Fed up with brothels, low-rent snack bars and sex shops, Amsterdam city council is busy trying to gentrify the red light district. But not everyone is happy, particularly police and the sex workers themselves, as Graham Dockery finds out. Is the city losing a central aspect of its identity? Or is this a long overdue clean up? Either way, the effects are already visible. Tourists walking through the district a couple of... More >


Easter bonfire cancelled as great tit nests in stack of wood

Easter bonfire cancelled as great tit nests in stack of wood

A great tit with elevated ideas has made its nest in a  6 metre high ‘bult’ or stack of wood meant to go up in flames on Easter Monday, regional broadcaster Omroep Flevoland reports. The Easter bonfire, which was to take place at the Roggebotstaete, a nature reserve in Dronten in the province of Flevoland, will now be cancelled until the great tit has hatched its eggs and the little ones have flown the nest. ‘I was just about to... More >


Flower power: Nine ways to get your tulip fix this spring

Flower power: Nine ways to get your tulip fix this spring

While tulip bulbs may no longer be hard currency here, tulip mania continues to infect the Netherlands from late March to late April when the fields are in flower. Deborah Nicholls-Lee suggests nine ways to get your tulip fix this spring. Visit the bulb fields The greatest expanse of tulip cultivation in the country can be seen in the Noordoostpolder in Flevoland, which boasts a tulip route of 106 km. Spot the tulip mosaics proudly displayed by the villages as... More >


Holland Festival celebrates 70th year in June with ‘democracy’ theme

Holland Festival celebrates 70th year in June with ‘democracy’ theme

The Holland Festival is back in June and this year it is celebrating its milestone 70th birthday. Julia Corbett spoke to the event’s artistic director Ruth Mackenzie who is bowing out after five years at the helm. The programme of this year’s Holland Festival includes 17 world premiers, a befitting celebration for the longest-running performing arts event in the country. Since being launched in 1947, the Holland Festival has increased in size and popularity, becoming known around the world for... More >


Bridge named after athlete Dafne Schippers opens in Utrecht

Bridge named after athlete Dafne Schippers opens in Utrecht

A bridge named after world sprint champion Dafne Schippers has opened in her home city of Utrecht. The Dafne Schippersbrug carries pedestrians and cyclists across the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, connecting the districts of Oog in Al and Leidsche Rijn. Schippers, who lives in Oog in Al and went to school in Leidsche Rijn, will be in the city for the ceremonial opening of the bridge on May 13. The 24-year-old athlete is the reigning world champion and European record holder at 200... More >


From big wheels to big hats: 12 great things to do in April

From big wheels to big hats: 12 great things to do in April

So much to do, so little time… Hanneke Sanou has a list of some of the best things to do in April. View Rotterdam from a giant ferris wheel Europe’s largest mobile ferris wheel is in Rotterdam until April 9, so you’ve still got a few days to appreciate the view. The ferris wheel is 55 metres high with 42 gondolas and can take 800 people an hour. Tickets cost €6 for an adult and €4 for children. Website See... More >



Game for a laugh? The best Dutch game cafes and shops

Game for a laugh? The best Dutch game cafes and shops

Board and card games have made a big comeback in recent years largely due to the increasing complexity and maturity of newer titles. Indeed, they’ve become so popular that there are shops and cafes devoted to them. Brandon Hartley picks some of the best. Whether you love battling goofy monsters in Munchkin, losing your faith in humanity while playing Cards Against Humanity or having it restored while curing diseases in Pandemic, there’s plenty of places in the country where you... More >