Monday 23 November 2020

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

What evil lurks in Leiden’s canals? The Plastic Spotter team are on the case

What evil lurks in Leiden’s canals? The Plastic Spotter team are on the case

Since 2019, a fearless team of Leiden University students and other local residents have been dedicated to removing and studying the random stuff that winds up in the city’s waterways. A strange leather vest. A tea kettle. A Troll doll with a scuba mask. These are just three of the unusual items Plastic Spotter’s team has retrieved from Leiden’s canals during their weekly boating treks. Far more common are cigarette butts, plastic bags, and random detritus from a certain indomitable... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: seven artists and why they are so important

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: seven artists and why they are so important

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 19: Seven Dutch artists Dutch artists were pioneers of artistic techniques and evolving aesthetics long before Dutch designers took centre stage in the 20th century. Here is our list of seven key artists who had a major impact on the art world. Pieter Bruegel The Elder  (1525-1569) Period: Flemish Renaissance Born in Breda, Bruegel lived in France and Italy before settling in Antwerp... More >


Fashioning the new from the old: 9 Dutch organisations making clothes and accessories from recycled waste

Fashioning the new from the old: 9 Dutch organisations making clothes and accessories from recycled waste

Fashion is one of the Netherlands’ most wasteful industries with over 100,000 tonnes of textiles discarded each year and just 1% recycled. The nation’s eco-minded innovators believe we can do better. Here are nine clever initiatives creating clothes and accessories from recycled materials.  Van Hulley If your best-loved shirt is no longer fit for purpose, it can be made into your new favourite underpants thanks to Groningen-based social enterprise Van Hulley which recycles unwanted shirts into boxer shorts, face masks... More >


Take a tour around BlueCity, Rotterdam’s centre of circular experiments

Take a tour around BlueCity, Rotterdam’s centre of circular experiments

­A circular innovation hub housed in a former swimming pool, Rotterdam’s BlueCity is setting trends in the Dutch sustainability scene. The aim is to prove that waste, be it a building or coffee grounds, is a useful resource. A visit to BlueCity begins with a sensorial experience: the building smells better than the finest cosmetics shop. A fresh mixture of fruity and herbal scents penetrates every corner. ‘Today one of our entrepreneurs is making soap,’ explains BlueCity’s communications manager Diana... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Nine great Dutch reads in translation

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Nine great Dutch reads in translation

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Here’s a list of nine great Dutch reads in translation to expand your literary horizons. The Dinner by Herman Koch Novelist Herman Koch’s fifth novel takes place in a well-known Amsterdam restaurant (a thinly disguised De Kas) popular with the upwardly mobile. Two brothers and their wives meet for dinner and as the evening wears on some very unsavoury truths emerge. The book... More >


Blog watching: History, Art Deco and other hidden treasures to discover at the City Archives

Blog watching: History, Art Deco and other hidden treasures to discover at the City Archives

  Amsterdive is a personal blog where Ana V. Martins writes about all things Amsterdam, art and culture, and her experiences as a local / foreigner. She aims to promote different artistic scene(s), sustainable ways of living, as well as bringing people together. On wet weekend days, when museums and cafes get swamped by people, and all I crave is a calm, culturally-stimulating place: that’s when I typically end up at the Stadsarchief. Getting to the City Archives by bike... More >


Simplicity, speed and security – crucial issues in choosing a webhosting company

Simplicity, speed and security – crucial issues in choosing a webhosting company

Covid-19 is driving more and more business online. But you don’t have to be an internet wizard to start your own website and there are lots of sources out there to help you. Since the lockdown was imposed in the Netherlands in March, over 250,000 new dot nl domain names have been registered in the Netherlands. That figure, according to domain registration agency SIDN, is unprecedented, and illustrates just how much businesses are moving online. There are now some six... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: traditional ‘games’ involving animals

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: traditional ‘games’ involving animals

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 17: ‘games’ involving animals The Spanish chase bulls in the streets, with or without their horns on fire, the Brits used to stuff ferrets down their trousers and the Belgians swallow live fish, all in the name of tradition. So what do the Dutch do to animals for a bit of ‘harmless’ fun? Here’s a few examples, past and present. Zwintie tikken... More >


Dutch tuition online with Taalthuis: the lockdown legacy that’s staying for good

Dutch tuition online with Taalthuis: the lockdown legacy that’s staying for good

Taalthuis’s new online Dutch lessons are proving popular with busy internationals from all over the world. We find out how the corona crisis has revealed the value of online tuition. When the country was locked down due to the coronavirus, Dutch language school Taalthuis had to act quickly to meet the needs of its 800 students. On March 16 a new format was born, with students accessing online teacher-led lessons from home. A change worth keeping But what was meant... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: more weird places to spend the night in NL

DutchNews.nl destinations: more weird places to spend the night in NL

If you want to go on a holiday during these uncertain times, it might make sense to stick close to home and aim for the more rural corners of the Netherlands. Here’s some unique rentals and other lodgings around the country that can help you avoid as many other human beings as possible. A camping raft – De Heen and other locations These somewhat difficult to describe floating huts are called vlots and you can find them bopping on the edges of... More >


What’s in a name? Making sure your website gets noticed for the right reasons

What’s in a name? Making sure your website gets noticed for the right reasons

With more and more activities moving online thanks to coronavirus, this might be the perfect time to take the plunge and develop your own website – or even a set up a new one, if you are already active. So where do you begin? It all starts out with the name. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Airbnb – they are all website names which have become part of every day life, and one thing they all have in common is that they... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 10 Dutch cheeses you ought to try

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 10 Dutch cheeses you ought to try

The lockdown may be over but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 16: Cheese There is more to Dutch cheese than the plastic versions of Gouda and Edam you tend to find in foreign supermarkets. Here are some of our favourites. Dutch cheese, by the way, is either jong (young, 4 weeks),  jong-belegen (young-mature 8-10 weeks), belegen (mature, 16-18 weeks), extra belegen (extra mature, 7-8 months), oud (old, 10-12 months) or overjarig (very old,... More >


Romans, roofs and miracles: 11 great things to do in August

Romans, roofs and miracles: 11 great things to do in August

Celebrate the sofa bed, get some outdoor entertainment and do some star-gazing. Here are 11 great things to do in August. See what the Romans left for us Some two thousand years ago Roman soldiers guarded the limes, or the northernmost frontier of the Roman empire, along the river Rhine and remnants of their presence are on show at the Leiden archaeological museum. But it’s not just swords and helmets because women, children and servants came too, which explains the... More >


Self-portrait of young Rembrandt expected to fetch €15 million at auction

Self-portrait of young Rembrandt expected to fetch €15 million at auction

A self-portrait by Rembrandt is expected to fetch around €15 million when it goes on sale in London on Tuesday evening. The intricate work, measuring 17 by 22 centimetres, was painted in 1632 when the artist was in his prime and had just established his name with The Anatomy Lesson. Although around 80 Rembrandt self-portraits are known to exist, only three are in private hands, making the sale at Sotheby’s a rare opportunity for collectors. It depicts Rembrandt in his... More >



Meet the Netherlands’ stopaholics who no longer buy new clothes

Meet the Netherlands’ stopaholics who no longer buy new clothes

Many people in the Netherlands are now putting a full stop on buying new clothes. We investigate what makes the nation’s stopaholics and shopaholics tick and ask the question, is buying new clothes now finally going out of fashion? ‘I’m a self-proclaimed shopaholic,’ says Sebastian Walburg van Gent (51), a hotel operations manager from Amsterdam, who admits to loving the ’buzz’ of in-store shopping and ‘the anticipation of delivery’ when making purchases online. Smart shirts from Hawes & Curtis are... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 11 Dutch foods protected under EU law

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: 11 Dutch foods protected under EU law

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer. Lesson 15: protected foodstuffs You thought the Netherlands was all mashed potato dishes, cheese and herring when it comes to traditional food? But there are a fair few Dutch items on the EU’s official lists – even if rather a lot are cheese. And just so you know what we are talking about the EU logos PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI... More >


Princess Alexia is magazine cover star in Argentina at the age of 15

Princess Alexia is magazine cover star in Argentina at the age of 15

Princess Alexia, the second of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima’s three daughters, has become a magazine cover star in her mother’s native country. The Argentinian edition of Hola! features the 15-year-old on its cover with the tagline: ‘Is she the rebel princess of her generation?’ Inside the magazine focused on her social media presence, mainly on Instagram, as well as her talents for playing the guitar and ‘mischief’. The photoshoot for the magazine was taken during the royal family’s annual... More >


Brisk North Sea and free-flowing beer: holiday makers divert cancelled trips to ‘Costa Holanda’

Brisk North Sea and free-flowing beer: holiday makers divert cancelled trips to ‘Costa Holanda’

Swimming costume packed and beach gear on, Jennie Fix was looking forward to a day of relaxing sun. Except this care home worker from IJsselmuiden was not on the way to the ‘Turkish riviera’ of Antalya as planned. Face masks on, in a coach together with her husband Dick and daughter Gera, she was on her way to ‘Costa Holanda’ — having swapped her Turkish Corendon break for a holiday on the North Sea. ‘We were going to Turkey for... More >


Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: Key facts about windmills

Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: Key facts about windmills

The lockdown may be over, but we are continuing our very own inburgering course over the summer.  Lesson 14: Windmills Coronavirus put paid to this year’s national windmill day in May, but the windmill association has called on mill owners to open their doors on September 12 and 13 instead as part of National Heritage Day. Here are some facts and figures about the Netherlands’ most enduring industrial monuments. 1 The oldest windmill The oldest remaining mill in the Netherlands... More >