Monday 21 September 2020

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

Corona-proof staycations: why not try a city break in a serviced apartment?

Corona-proof staycations: why not try a city break in a serviced apartment?

The summer holidays are coming and corona infections have slowed down – so why not book a staycation to get to know the Netherlands a little better? Normally, business service apartments are full of corporate customers but one advantage of the travel crisis is that these super-clean, modern spaces are now being offered to the leisure market – and at prices that are sometimes even cheaper than staying in a hotel. ‘Serviced apartments are perfect in corona time – they... More >


Give your kids a summer to remember: Join the adventure at Zein

Give your kids a summer to remember: Join the adventure at Zein

Summer is a time for rest, but also for exploration, sparking joy and building friendships. The run-up to summer has been very different this year, so the prospect of a long summer holiday may not be as exciting as usual – but Zein Holiday Activity Camps have the answer…! Zein offers a wide variety of day-long multi-activity and themed holiday camp programmes that allow children aged 4-12 to have fun, learn new skills, discover their talents, and make a few... More >


Losing your job in the time of coronavirus: what to do

Losing your job in the time of coronavirus: what to do

There’s not much worse than facing dismissal, except perhaps for losing your job now in the current crisis. Companies are failing, jobs are scarcer, and just getting to an interview is more complicated. As an expat, the threat to residence makes this an even bigger issue. So, if the worst happens, here’s what you need to know about your legal rights and options. As the impact of the lockdown increases, redundancy is becoming more common. The new government subsidy no... More >


Covid-19 and your taxes: an update on the latest government measures

Covid-19 and your taxes: an update on the latest government measures

The Dutch tax authorities have come up with a revised package of measures to help the self-employed, freelancers and small firms who may have been hard hit financially by corona virus. Here are the most important updates: For companies TOGS (Tegemoetkoming Ondernemers Getroffen Sectoren) is for businesses in specific industries with fewer than 250 employees. A one-time – tax free – cash payment of €4,000 will be provided to business owners experiencing a sudden revenue loss due the current crisis... More >


Dates for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam confirmed

Dates for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam confirmed

Next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam on May 22, organisers have confirmed. The musical extravaganza, a high-profile casualty of the coronavirus lockdown, will go ahead at the Ahoy conference centre, with the semi-finals on May 18 and 20. Jeangu Macrooy will represent the Netherlands, but competition rules require him to submit a different song from Grow, which he was due to perform this year. He is guaranteed a place in the final as the host nation’s... More >


Blogwatching: white asparagus – A Dutch ritual

Blogwatching: white asparagus – A Dutch ritual

Canadian chef Devan Cameron has been cooking since he was a teenager and has worked in kitchens in Canada, Italy and France. He now lives in Maastricht and writes about recipes you can make at home. During the months of April to June, white asparagus is exploding in the markets here in Maastricht, so it’s important to have a good white asparagus recipe. Nicknamed ‘white gold’, the asparagus has a slightly sweeter taste and is less bitter than its green... More >


The 1.5 meter office does not have to be made of plastic

The 1.5 meter office does not have to be made of plastic

How can you rig out your office to be coronavirus-proof, once we stop working at home and the 1.5 meter society really does become the new normal? Rebooting the economy and protecting people from contracting coronavirus in the workplace at the same time is proving a formidable challenge, not only for ruler-wielding logistics experts but for the environment. But there are creative and sustainable solutions out there, office design company Havic in Veghel has been exploring them to the full.... More >


Boost your home hygiene with 10 tips from Helpling

Boost your home hygiene with 10 tips from Helpling

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened our awareness of the importance of a hygienic home. But what should our cleaning priorities be at this time, and how best can we keep our homes clean? Helpling, an online platform for sourcing cleaners across the Netherlands, is here to help. Helpling, whose user-friendly platform has been helping clients in the Netherlands find local, customer-reviewed cleaners since 2014, is familiar with the quirks of Dutch houses and well-placed to advise on home hygiene here.... More >


A must-do this summer: an Amsterdam canal cruise on a private boat

A must-do this summer: an Amsterdam canal cruise on a private boat

There is, many aficionados of the Dutch capital would argue, no better way to appreciate Amsterdam than from the water – especially now that the tourist boats are currently out of the running.  A few good friends, something delicious to eat and drink… what could be better than gently motoring through Amsterdam’s waterways on a summer afternoon? And now that the city is still largely in the hands of its locals, you can really appreciate the beauty of the 17th... More >


Home buyers update: a round-up of the latest housing market news

Home buyers update: a round-up of the latest housing market news

A round-up of the latest housing news, brought to you by Expat Mortgages.  Coronavirus has little impact on house prices The housing market has so far experienced few problems because of coronavirus, with sales remaining steady and more rental properties on the market, according to Dutch real estate agents association NVM. Since mid-March, some 2,500 to 3,000 properties are changing hands every week via NVM agents and that is broadly in line with the pre-crisis situation. Prices too continue to... More >


Gefeliciteerd! Why do the Dutch have calendars in their loos?

Gefeliciteerd! Why do the Dutch have calendars in their loos?

While you’re knocking your knees against the wall or developing frostbite while washing your hands, you might have noticed a curious feature in the Dutch loo: a calendar. And not just any calendar, but a yearly birthday calendar. ‘Other than corona measures, what two things did the King’s speech and [prime minister Mark] Rutte’s speech have in common?’ asks Dr Irene Stengs, a senior researcher at the Meertens Institute, which studies Dutch culture and tradition. Answer: ‘That the people are... More >


Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam: experts in helping students settle

Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam: experts in helping students settle

Settling into a new school in a new country is not always easy. We talk to Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam to find out how their experienced, friendly approach helps students and parents to feel at home in no time. From Ecuador to Moscow, Myanmar to Kuwait, Nord Anglia’s 66 schools worldwide are experts in welcoming newcomers to often unfamiliar locations. The recently refurbished Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam (NAISR), which welcomes students aged 3-18 and currently has 260 students... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Ten broodjes for lunch

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: Ten broodjes for lunch

We may be less confined to base from today, but we’re continuing our very own ‘inburgering’ course. Lesson 12: Broodjes The Netherlands these days is full of cafes where you can get an organic wholewheat roll with rocket, locally-sourced goat’s cheese, roasted vegetables and a tomato salsa – and now they are open again – you have no excuse not to try them out. However, this is all about the classic Dutch ‘broodjes’. The classic is a soft, white stick-to-the... More >


Help with your mortgage: the charitable initiative to help cut payments with no strings attached

Help with your mortgage: the charitable initiative to help cut payments with no strings attached

According to a recent survey by the AFM Dutch financial services authority, one in seven people have worries about whether they can pay their mortgage because of the corona crisis. Meanwhile, mortgage providers such as Woonfonds have reported that a lot of clients are phoning them with questions about these concerns. So Expat Mortgages has joined an initiative to give advice and practical help to anyone who wants to investigate whether there is something they can do to reduce or... More >


More room to view: 10 great things to do in June (and one in May)

More room to view: 10 great things to do in June (and one in May)

Theatres and museums will open for business again from June 1, subject to coronavirus restrictions. Who will and who won’t be welcoming visitors is not clear yet so here are a couple of certs and a few maybes. You will need to buy tickets in advance for all exhibitions, but you will have a lot more room to view popular shows. Listen to the trees The world’s first international quarantine concert performed by trees is not in June but we... More >


Leiden 400 commemorates the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers

Leiden 400 commemorates the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers

In 1620, a group of pilgrims departed from Leiden to sail across the Atlantic and changed the world forever in the process. This year the city is marking the 400th anniversary of their voyage with Leiden 400, a series of events, museum exhibitions, and more.  Unfortunately, many of the plans to celebrate Leiden 400 had to be delayed or cancelled due to the Coronavirus crisis. On 16 May, a virtual kick-off event for Leiden 400 was held online to get... More >


Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

Dutch destinations: get away from it all on the island of Schiermonnikoog

If you are looking for a last-minute getaway for the Whitsun weekend, the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog is the perfect place – as long as you like the great outdoors. Earlier in May, broadcaster NOS reported that the island of Schiermonnikoog was crying out for visitors. The island is largely dependent on tourism and has been hit hard by the coronavirus lockdown. Having last been many years ago, we decided to take the plunge and head north. The weather... More >


Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 10 key facts about herring

Inburgering with Dutchnews.nl: 10 key facts about herring

So while we are all largely confined to base, what better time to brush up your knowledge of all things Dutch? DutchNews.nl is pleased to present its very own ‘inburgering’ course in, well, however many lessons it takes. Lesson 11: The herring The new herring season starts on June 12 and every year the fish is described by experts as being ‘lekker vet’ (nicely fat) and ‘of good quality’. Here are some key facts about this Dutch delicacy. The humble... More >


Dutch counterculture? It’s like a really long time since Provo, man

Dutch counterculture? It’s like a really long time since Provo, man

May 25 marks 55 years ago to the day when a couple of students got together to shake a nodding Dutch society out of its complacency. During its short existence – it only lasted two years – Provo, as the movement was dubbed, paved the way for the sexual revolution, the emancipation of women and gays, the peace movement, and brought about a greater awareness of the threats to the environment. Plus a couple of completely mad things. Here are... More >


Food glorious food! Foodwiki gives the lowdown on take-out dishes

Food glorious food! Foodwiki gives the lowdown on take-out dishes

We can’t go to restaurants at the moment – but we still have to eat. With the Dutch population home-based at mealtimes, first supermarkets and now takeaway restaurants are seeing a boom in orders. But what to do when you’ve had your favourite Indonesian meal six times in the past fortnight? Fortunately, Dutch meal delivery company Takeaway.com has the answer: it has created a Foodwiki to give hungry customers inspiration and information about 194 dishes from 10 international cuisines. The... More >