Sunday 18 August 2019

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

From sailing ships to poetry; here’s 10 great things to do in June

From sailing ships to poetry; here’s 10 great things to do in June

From classical music by the sea to roaring motor bikes and from lovely photos of the Dutch royal family to poets reading their own work, here’s our pick of the best things to do in June. Hear the slap of canvas in the sea breeze The Round Texel Race is the world’s largest catamaran race with around 500 single and double-handed catamarans taking part. There is also kite surfing and raceboard slalom competitions during the four-day event. Mandy Mulder and... More >



Seven-year legal battle over ‘inburgering’ comes to a head in court

Seven-year legal battle over ‘inburgering’ comes to a head in court

This Friday, lawyer Jeremy Bierbach will be in court in Utrecht to hear the verdict in his seven year battle against a key component of the compulsory Dutch integration programme, or inburgering. If he wins, it could help fuel a significant change in how the controversial programme is administered. By Brandon Hartley Years ago, an American known as ‘P’ and a New Zealander known as ‘S’ were shocked when they received letters from their local councils informing them that they... More >


This year’s Holland Festival is on the Edges of Europe

This year’s Holland Festival is on the Edges of Europe

Tickets are now on sale for the Netherlands’ biggest international theatre festival, featuring 45 productions, including 12 world premiers. Esther O’Toole takes a peek behind the curtain. ‘Urgent and political’ is how artistic director, Ruth MacKenzie, describes the 69th edition of the Holland Festival which opens in Amsterdam on June 4. Taking inspiration from the Netherlands’ leadership of the EU this year, the festival is entitled The Edges of Europe and it aims to be edgy in more ways than... More >



The Next Web: technology takes centre stage in Amsterdam

The Next Web: technology takes centre stage in Amsterdam

What started out as a couple of tech entrepreneurs trying to promote their new startup to a gathering of some 220 interested people, has metamorphosed into one of the biggest and most important technology events in the world. Esther O’Toole sat down with Wytze de Haan, the managing director of events for The Next Web, to talk about this year’s offering. Wytze de Haan went to The Hague’s Hotel School hospitality industry college; he was no ‘techie’ or ‘geek’ by... More >


Dutch National Opera wins opera company of 2016 award

Dutch National Opera wins opera company of 2016 award

The Dutch National Opera was named opera company of 2016 at the international opera awards ceremony in London’s Savoy theatre on Sunday night. Director Pierre Audi, who has headed the company for 28 years, said in reaction he would use the prize to ‘strive even more for excellence’. ‘We want to dedicate this award to the future of our art form, to striving deeper to achieve excellence, to the need to risk and innovate, to the joy of educating and... More >


Forty years on, Amsterdam’s EYE film venue celebrates punk

Forty years on, Amsterdam’s EYE film venue celebrates punk

It’s 40 years ago that punk first burst upon the public imagination and left its indelible mark on pop culture. The music, artists and, most of all, the attitude are celebrated later this month in a special programme of events at the EYE cinema in Amsterdam. Esther O’Toole finds out more. Lead programmer Ronald Simons freely admits that he didn’t know much about punk until a few months ago when, together with fellow programmer Anna Abrahams, they set out to... More >


Rembrandt wedding portraits in Amsterdam in July

Rembrandt wedding portraits in Amsterdam in July

Two Rembrandt wedding portraits, which were the subject of a heated dispute between France and the Netherlands last year, will go on show at the Rijksmuseum in July. The portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit were eventually bought jointly by the French and Dutch governments for €160m from the wealthy Rothschild family. Dating from 1634, they were sold to the Rothschilds by Amsterdam’s Van Loon family in 1877. The portraits will hang in the Rijksmuseum for three months before... More >


‘With euthanasia, you can say goodbye and it can be a loving memory’

‘With euthanasia, you can say goodbye and it can be a loving memory’

Chronic depression, tired of life, dementia… an Amsterdam conference discusses controversial reasons for euthanasia as Dutch cases rise 75% in five years, writes Senay Boztas The woman had a three year old daughter, and was just 34 years old. But after years of suffering with a personality disorder, PTSD and chronic depression, she didn’t want to live any more. Because she was in the Netherlands, this woman did not commit suicide. Instead, she said goodbye to her loved ones and... More >


Novel giving Ted Hughes a voice on Sylvia Plath wins book prize

Novel giving Ted Hughes a voice on Sylvia Plath wins book prize

Dutch author Connie Palmen has won the €50,000 Libris literature prize for a novel telling the story of the love affair between poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Their iconic marriage is more often thought of in the terms Plath portrayed it, with him as a monster and her as the victim. Plath committed suicide in 1963. But Palmen’s novel, Jij zegt het (‘you say it’) retells the love affair in his words. The prize jury said, according to NRC:... More >



Former refugee boats now sail on calmer waters in Amsterdam

Former refugee boats now sail on calmer waters in Amsterdam

A cruise around Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Graham Dockery took a different sort of tour of the city’s waterways, on a boat which had carried asylum seekers to Sicily. ‘My name is Sami and I came here from Eritrea,’ our tour guide tells us. ‘Before I made it here, I spent a year in a Libyan jail for nothing, just for being a refugee.’ Sami himself is not here, but his... More >


Dutch designer Aziz Bekkaoui pops up in Nieuw-West

Dutch designer Aziz Bekkaoui pops up in Nieuw-West

You might think renowned Dutch-Moroccan designer Aziz Bekkaoui would be more at home in Amsterdam’s luxury shopping district around the PC Hooftstraat than an old school in Amsterdam’s much maligned 1970s overspill. Natasha Cloutier paid him a visit to find out why he’s opted for Nieuw-West. This January, Aziz quietly opened a pop-up store and a gallery in Lola Luid, a former school transformed into a pop-up mall, which features a café, shops and galleries of local artists, as well... More >


A suitcase full of secrets found in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter after 70 years

A suitcase full of secrets found in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter after 70 years

The discovery of a suitcase filled with photographs and paintings and hidden in a cupboard in an Amsterdam flat was the beginning of a story stretching back to 1920s Berlin. Gordon Darroch unravels a mystery which plays out across the globe. Cities are shaped by their past: it courses through them like blood, unseen but vital. Charlaine Scholten’s boyfriend told her about the suitcase in his attic shortly after they started dating last February. It was a hard brown leather... More >


The Hague’s Japanese garden opens to visitors for just six weeks

The Hague’s Japanese garden opens to visitors for just six weeks

The fragile Japanese garden on the Clingendael estate near The Hague is open to the public for the next six weeks, one of just two periods a year when visitors can enjoy its collection of rare plants and trees. The garden was created in the beginning of the 20th century by the former owner of the country estate, Marguérite M. Baroness van Brienen (1871-1939), also known as lady Daisy. Lady Daisy undertook several voyages by ship to Japan, bringing back ... More >


10 great things to do in May

10 great things to do in May

From swinging over a 100-metre drop and celebrating spring with a festival to learning about Meissen porcelain and getting fit at the fair, here’s our pick of the best things to do in May. Admire the winning press photos This year’s winning World Press Photo is the Australian photographer Warren Richardson’s image of a baby being handed through the barbed wire along the border between Hungary and Serbia. It takes pride of place in the exhibition of other winners in... More >


10 ways to survive King’s Day – this year, take an umbrella

10 ways to survive King’s Day – this year, take an umbrella

If you are in the Netherlands at the moment, you cannot fail to have noticed it. Yes, King’s Day is upon us. This year the weather forecast is not doing us any favours… rain (possibly sleet), hail and a chilly 8 degrees. Event organisers have been reviewing their plans to take account of the expected chill, and the best way to make money this year will probably be to sell waterproof orange ponchos. King’s Day is when the Dutch really... More >


Anne Frank House aims to cut queues with timed tickets

Anne Frank House aims to cut queues with timed tickets

  The Anne Frank House is introducing a new timed ticketing system to reduce the length of queues outside one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions. Visitors who want to see the museum before 3.30 pm will have to book their tickets online before they go, Nos reports. They will be allocated a 15-minute time slot so they can go in without having to wait outside. After 3.30 pm tourists will be able to pay at the desk as before and... More >


Prince was ‘phenomenal’ says North Sea Jazz festival chief

Prince was ‘phenomenal’ says North Sea Jazz festival chief

The surprise death of pop star Prince at the age of 57 dominated the front pages in the Netherlands on Friday, as commentators analysed the career of the man dubbed by the NRC as the ‘biggest little renewer of funk’. The Melkweg concert venue held a spontaneous memorial for Prince on Thursday night, opening its doors to fans free of charge from midnight. Prince had given two concerts in the club in 2011. Dutch artists and concert organisers who had... More >