Monday 16 September 2019

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

Sparking your interest: boosting female start-up entrepreneurs

Sparking your interest: boosting female start-up entrepreneurs

In a city as entrepreneurial as Amsterdam some may find it unusual that a community focused on female entrepreneurs would be needed, let alone that it would be growing and thriving year on year. Amsterdam offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs, a culture which allows for flexible working and a creative vibe which encourages innovation irrespective of gender. Isn’t that enough? Look a little closer though, and you will find a different story, because if women make up 52 % of... More >


Naturalis settles case with architect for €1.5m to stave off bankruptcy

Naturalis settles case with architect for €1.5m to stave off bankruptcy

Leiden’s natural history museum Naturalis can restart work on an extension that was held up by a row with the building’s architect after settling the case. Fons Verheijen won an injunction last week in his case to block the development, arguing it infringed on his original 1998 design for the museum. A judge agreed that the building was distinctive enough to entitle Verheijen to copyright protection. The museum agreed to pay the architect €1.5 million to settle the dispute. Verheijen... More >


From a hedgehog with a sweet tooth to a rapist duck: 11 dead animals

From a hedgehog with a sweet tooth to a rapist duck: 11 dead animals

The Natuurhistorisch Museum  in Rotterdam is home to an extraordinary collection called ‘Dead animals with a story’. The stories of how the animals came to their sticky ends are told, very entertainingly, by curator Kees Moeliker who, as the following selection shows, has a particularly good nose for sniffing out a carcass. The domino sparrow Just when the organisers of an attempt to break the world domino toppling record had painstakingly placed four million tiles in the right place, a... More >


On election day, 12 reasons to be cheerful about life in the Netherlands

On election day, 12 reasons to be cheerful about life in the Netherlands

If you listen too much to the politicians, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Netherlands is on the verge of collapse. Integration has failed, refugees are running riot, pensioners are impoverished and everyone supports Geert Wilders. Nonsense! The economy is on the up, crime is down and 80% of people don’t vote for the PVV. Politicians may be waxing lyrical about the way the Netherlands used to be, but nostalgia for the 1950s is largely misplaced. Women were... More >


The annual tax return: seven ways of cutting your Dutch tax bill

The annual tax return: seven ways of cutting your Dutch tax bill

It’s that time of year again… the deadline for filing your annual tax return (May 1) is fast approaching. But don’t be fooled by the Dutch tax office advertising slogan –  ‘we can’t make it nicer, but we can make it easier’. Anyone with anything but the standard situation will know that ‘easy’ is not the best word to describe the stress of filling in a Dutch tax return. Take heart, however, from the fact that as a foreign resident,... More >


Normen en waarden – everyone talks about them, but what are they?

Normen en waarden – everyone talks about them, but what are they?

Normen en waarden – when the Dutch aren’t arguing or worrying about them, they’re telling everyone else to observe them. Everyone agrees they’re important and they have become a key election theme, but nobody seems to be quite sure what distinguishes the normen from the waarden. Here’s our attempt to lead you through the moral maze. Who started the discussion? It goes back to Christian Democrat prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende (CDA) who first put norms and values on the agenda in 2002. Balkenende was worried that society was becoming more... More >


The perfect PVV antidote: hummus, baba ganoush and couscous

The perfect PVV antidote: hummus, baba ganoush and couscous

Where would Amsterdam be without the cuisine of all those countries under fire from the current wave of anti-immigration politicians? Food writer Vicky Hampton picks her favourite restaurants run by North African and Middle Eastern immigrants – the perfect antidote to PVV populism. As a British immigrant (just about – I’ve applied for Dutch citizenship in this post-Brexit world), I don’t merit a vote in the upcoming general election in the Netherlands. But all the polls are pointing to one... More >


Forget hygge, here’s 11 essential steps to Dutch gezelligheid

Forget hygge, here’s 11 essential steps to Dutch gezelligheid

You can hardly move at the moment for books and articles singing the praises of hygge – the Danish art of getting snug and cosy at home. But we think the Dutch version – gezelligheid – is unfairly overlooked, easier on your pocket and less of a nightmare to pronounce. Like hygge (or so we’ve been told), it’s a blend of simple pleasures: cosiness, togetherness, conviviality, jolliness, contentedness. Here’s our 11-step guide to the essentials of chilling out, Dutch style. 1 Firstly, make sure... More >


Nyenrode moves full-time MBA programme to heart of Amsterdam

Nyenrode moves full-time MBA programme to heart of Amsterdam

Nyenrode Business Universiteit is moving its full-time MBA programme into the heart of Amsterdam to to better integrate students with the European business community. From September, the university’s flagship programme will be located at De Vijf Keijzers on the Keizersgracht. The relocation is part of a wider initiative to further immerse the programme within the European business landscape. Nyenrode already connects students with the Dutch labour market through activities such as ‘Meet the CEO’ sessions, careers events held through the... More >



The net broadcaster helping refugees connect in the Netherlands

The net broadcaster helping refugees connect in the Netherlands

In a modern office complex in Hilversum, all sleek elevators and glass walkways, are four journalists who know the value of free speech. Deborah Nicholls-Lee went to meet Arash, Basel, Besan and Kowfurow – refugees who were denied the right to speak their mind in their home countries. It is a far cry from fleeing your homeland to working in the heart of the Dutch media landscape, but Arash, Basel, Besan and Kowfurow have been lucky. In November 2016 they were selected... More >


Vermeer exhibition in the Louvre is ‘victim of its own success’

Vermeer exhibition in the Louvre is ‘victim of its own success’

Opened on 22 February, the show of 12 of Johannes Vermeer’s works at the Louvre in Paris has already been hailed as the Paris museum’s greatest exhibition of the year. French newspaper Le Figaro said that the exhibition is a ‘victim of its own success,’ with the Louvre imposing time slots to view the paintings for the first time in its history. When the exhibition opened last Wednesday, a record 9,000 visitors saw it. A maximum of 250 visitors is... More >


In ‘Holland’s most right-wing town,’ nothing is black and white

In ‘Holland’s most right-wing town,’ nothing is black and white

Nestled alongside a picturesque seafront just a few kilometers outside Amsterdam, Volendam draws tourists with its hammed-up depiction of the Netherlands of old; all fishing boats, clogs and cheese shops. But there’s a new kind of gawker in town: the foreign journalist hungry for some homegrown Dutch xenophobia, as Graham Dockery reports. Volendam has become known to the foreign press as a bastion of conservatism in an otherwise liberal country. Far-right populist Geert Wilders may have won 17% of the... More >


We’ve gotta get outta this place: some of the best Dutch escape rooms

We’ve gotta get outta this place: some of the best Dutch escape rooms

Escape rooms have been popping up all over the Netherlands over the past few years. Brandon Hartley checks out the best of these adventure games that involve solving puzzles to get out of everything from old bank vaults to former prisons. The clock on a screen mounted on the wall said we had two minutes left. I ran over to the staircase while a flustered colleague shouted out some instructions. ‘STEP ON THE FIRST STAIR, THEN JUMP ON THE THIRD... More >


Sign a pink hat love letter to the Netherlands if you live here!

Sign a pink hat love letter to the Netherlands if you live here!

They marched in the Women’s March on January 21, 2017 against hate and for inclusion. Now Carrie Ballard and Hugo Skoppek are spearheading an open letter to the Netherlands. Dear the Netherlands, We are all people who live in the Netherlands. We are normal people; your neighbours. Some of us are foreigners, and some of us are Dutch. We all care about the Netherlands. The United States woke up to the election of Donald J. Trump only a few weeks... More >


Election interview: The Netherlands was always this safe, prosperous bubble

Election interview: The Netherlands was always this safe, prosperous bubble

Former British parliamentary researcher Ben Coates says the recent economic upheaval has created an opportunity for politicians such as Geert Wilders to exploit the uncertainties surrounding globalisation and portray it as a threat. By Gordon Darroch It was a happy accident that first brought Ben Coates to the Netherlands. Stranded at Schiphol airport one day, he called up a Dutch girl he’d met on his travels and went round for dinner. By the end of that year he’d turned his... More >


New Rijksmuseum exhibition focuses on Dutch relationship with South Africa

New Rijksmuseum exhibition focuses on Dutch relationship with South Africa

The Netherlands’ ‘disturbing and striking’ colonial history in South Africa is the centre of an new exhibition covering 400 years of the Dutch South African relationship at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Julia Corbett has been finding out more. ‘The arrival of the Dutch changed South Africa once and for all,’ says Martine Gosselink, head of the Rijksmuseum’s history department and the exhibition’s producer. ‘The population’s composition and the introduction of slavery by the VOC (the Dutch East India Company) result from... More >



Election interview: There are no ‘A’ and ‘B’ classes of Dutch people

Election interview: There are no ‘A’ and ‘B’ classes of Dutch people

You can travel a long way in Europe before you find a politician who is upbeat about the future of the European Union at the moment. But not all is doom and gloom, as D66 MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma tells Gordon Darroch. Eurosceptics have been buoyed by both the Brexit vote in the UK and the election of Donald Trump, who has predicted that other member states will follow Britain out of the EU. The day after Trump took office, far-right... More >


With Valentine’s Day approaching, here’s some tips for amorous Amsterdam

With Valentine’s Day approaching, here’s some tips for amorous Amsterdam

When Amsterdam’s canal bridges light up at night and the frost sparkles on the branches of the trees, it’s like a film set for lovers. Valentine’s Day, on the 14 February, is the perfect excuse to explore all things romantic in the city. Deborah Nicholls-Lee has 14 ideas to get you started. Dinner with a view Hop on the ferry at Central Station and take a trip across the IJ to the imposing A’DAM Tower. Ride the elevator to the... More >