Friday 10 July 2020

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

Ten Dutch cheeses

Ten Dutch cheeses

There is more to Dutch cheese than the plastic versions of Gouda and Edam you tend to find in foreign or even some Dutch supermarkets. Here are some of our favourites, and hard cheese if we’ve missed yours out. Dutch hard 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 than 18 months). 1. Leidse... More >


10 myths about the Netherlands – debunked

10 myths about the Netherlands – debunked

If you believe the tourist industry and tabloid newspaper approach to the Netherlands, we all race around on our bikes in clogs, eating cheese, smoking weed and killing off our old folk. Yes, there are lot of myths about the Netherlands and the Dutch. Here’s 10 – debunked. Tulips come from Amsterdam It’s spring again, I’ll bring again, tulips from Amsterdam. But did tulips originate in Amsterdam, or even the Netherlands? No, they didn’t. The tulip (Tulipa) was originally a... More >


The Netherlands and fair trade – from coffee to bank notes and local councils

The Netherlands and fair trade – from coffee to bank notes and local councils

Most of us know how the Netherlands made its riches in the Dutch golden age – thanks to its strength as a trading nation – but hundreds of years later a new trading narrative seems to have grown out of the embers of that legacy – fair trade – writes Cathy Leung. Simply put, fair trade is a system of producing and selling goods that ensures the people selling them receive a fair price. During the 1940s to 1960s, mostly... More >


10 English expressions involving Dutch

10 English expressions involving Dutch

In the 17th century, when the English and the Dutch were trying to lord it over the rest of the world, the English tried to smear the competition by prefixing anything cowardly, fake or otherwise worthy of disdain with ‘Dutch’. Some of these expressions are still around and have taken on additional meanings. Here are 10 of them. Double Dutch is not only gobbledegook, or gibberish, it is also a rope skipping game played by two people turning two long ropes... More >


Dutch music exports rise 21%

Dutch music exports rise 21%

The export of popular Dutch music rose 21% to €158.8m last year, according to copyright organisation Buma/Stemra, quoted by news agency ANP. The first 12 places in the list of numbers of performances abroad are taken by djs and led by Bingo Players. He is followed by R3hab, Laidback Luke, Chuckie, Afrojack and Hardwell. The first pop artist on the list is multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner at number 13. More >


Eight Dutch castles not to be missed

Eight Dutch castles not to be missed

The Netherlands has some 300 castles and fortified palaces, dating from medieval times to the 20th century.  From five-foot-thick defence walls for protection against the enemy to lavish palaces to house the elite, Erin Wille picks out a few of the best. De Haar The Rothschild family funded a 20-year neo-gothic restoration project for De Haar, one of the most luxurious castles in Europe, and the largest in the Netherlands. Surrounding the castle, 7,000 40-year old trees transported from the... More >



Video: Amsterdam’s Light Festival in time lapse

Video: Amsterdam’s Light Festival in time lapse

Amsterdam’s canals and city centre squares are once again full of light sculptures and installations for the annual Light Festival. ‘Light festivals are flourishing, not just in Amsterdam, but everywhere around the world,’ a festival spokesman told the Telegraph. ‘They add more meaning to the public area, demonstrate culture and the beauty of simplicity and they bring people together.’ The art, which can be viewed either from the water or a special walk, is on show until January 18. More >


How to make sure you keep that New Year get fit resolution

How to make sure you keep that New Year get fit resolution

We all start the year off with New Year resolutions and getting fit and taking up exercise is always somewhere near the top of the list. That might be easier said than done… Determination is key, but so is having a friendly, expert club to put you through your paces. At the Westvliet, fitness & racket club in The Hague we are ready and waiting to help you achieve your fitness goals. And why not bring the family along too?... More >


Health insurance in the Netherlands: all you need to know

Health insurance in the Netherlands: all you need to know

Everyone living in the Netherlands must have health insurance, whether the Dutch public health insurance or private health insurance. Most expats living in the Netherlands long term will be eligible to apply for the Dutch public health insurance but if you’re not, or you want to take out extra cover, then you’ll have to take out private health insurance. Public health insurance in the Netherlands is divided into two forms: The basic insurance package known as Zvw (Zorgverzekeringswet) covers most... More >


The expert’s guide to having a baby in the Netherlands

The expert’s guide to having a baby in the Netherlands

If you’re having a baby in the Netherlands, here’s a guide to Dutch prenatal care, delivery, aftercare, and paternity leave in the Netherlands. When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, the Dutch philosophy is that it should be a natural process and not a medical condition. Therefore, the general attitude within the Netherlands is that the expert guidance should come from a midwife rather than a doctor or a gynaecologist, both of which play only a small role in the... More >


Things to do in the Netherlands with the kids this Christmas

Things to do in the Netherlands with the kids this Christmas

The weather outside may be frightful but, if you’re keen to escape the cabin fever of festivities and take the kids out to run off some energy then Esther O’Toole has ideas for you. She’s dug though Holland’s best seasonal activities for families to dig up some unusual and inspiring places to go this year. Amsterdam: Concertgebouw – sing along , Christmas concert and more December 20 sees the National Youth Choir arrive at the Concertgebouw for a special sing... More >


Christmas gifts with a touch of Dutchness

Christmas gifts with a touch of Dutchness

Gift-giving is becoming much more common at Christmas than it used to be. Here is the DutchNews.nl list of perfect presents with a touch of Dutchness for that last minute shopping list. Kids stuff Museum shop gifts have never been better. Forget the reproduction silver dishes and the wheelie suitcases featuring the Girl with the Pearl Earring. Start them off with Dutch art at a young age: Vermeer’s Melkmeisje from Playmobile €4.95       Learn to read the Dutch... More >


11 things you need to know about Christmas in the Netherlands

11 things you need to know about Christmas in the Netherlands

Like most other places where they celebrate Christmas, the Netherlands does tend to grind to a halt until the New Year. But what else should you be aware of about the festive season in the Low Countries? Here are 10 key things to know about Christmas in the Netherlands. Kerstpakket One of the joys of being employed by a Dutch company is the annual kerstpakket (Christmas hamper) distributed to staff in the days before the Christmas festivities. Around four million... More >


Festive food? Restaurants open in Amsterdam for Christmas 2014

Festive food? Restaurants open in Amsterdam for Christmas 2014

Looking for a restaurant in Amsterdam that is open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag to some of you!)? DutchNews.nl’s favourite food blogger Amsterdam Foodie – aka Vicky Hampton – has some suggestions.     This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few of the swankier places I’ve heard are open via various newsletters and press releases I receive. And it’s Christmas – so you want to go swanky, right? Incidentally, I’ve not actually been to all... More >


Rental housing update: some agencies do have a heart

Rental housing update: some agencies do have a heart

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that there has been quite a lot going on in the Dutch rental market in recent months. The commotion surrounding agency fees and who should pay who and for what has generated a lot of discussion in the media, among housing agencies, and at a local and national government level. For those involved in renting a property, listing a property or providing services, it has also been a period of uncertainty. Perfect Housing has been a... More >


Brabant: A province in the south that offers plenty of surprises

Brabant: A province in the south that offers plenty of surprises

Commonly referred to as Brabant, the province of Noord-Brabant attracts expatriates working in the high-tech industry and boasts a healthy economy. It might not be the obvious place for a day out, but Olivia van den Broek-Neri has plenty of suggestions. Also known as Den Bosch, ‘s-Hertogenbosch is the capital of Brabant and has retained the medieval character that continues to charm visitors. Begin your visit with a boat trip along the Binnendieze and discover the history of the former... More >


The Eternal Intern, or why it is so hard to find a paid job

The Eternal Intern, or why it is so hard to find a paid job

So you’ve got your degree, and you are ready to take that first or second step on your career ladder – but all the jobs you find that meet your profile are only open to an intern. Esther O’Toole takes a look at the minefield surrounding today’s internships.   ‘Is it just me, or is anyone else sick to death of seeing seven out of ten job ads asking for interns? […],’ wrote Leigh Cann, designer and curator at AfricanArtbeat.com, on... More >


Giants of the Ice Age – in Amsterdam

Giants of the Ice Age – in Amsterdam

As the cold weather sets in, an outing that fits perfectly with this festive period is taking the kids to visit the relatives at Amsterdam EXPO. That is, their long distant relatives – the Neanderthals – who, research suggests, make up a tiny part of most of us. The new EXPO show, Giants of the Age Ice, brings you face to face with the massive giant mammoth and the deadly saber-toothed cat as well as exploring what life was like... More >


Starting out as a start-up: creative hubs for entrepreneurs

Starting out as a start-up: creative hubs for entrepreneurs

If you are just setting up in business or have plans to take a leap towards entrepreneurship, the Netherlands has a great range of meeting places, networking and training schemes that you can dig into. Esther O’Toole has a few suggestions of where to look for the freshest inspiration.   Some 800,000 people in the Netherlands are now considered to be self-employed, or a ZZP’er. Amsterdam is busy repositioning itself away from tourist den of iniquity to creative international player,... More >