Saturday 11 July 2020

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

Trunks and tropical rain forests: 12 great things to do in January

Trunks and tropical rain forests: 12 great things to do in January

From New Year traditions to trunks, fortresses and tropical rain forests – there is a lot going on to keep you busy this January. Bring in the New Year with a dip It’s mad, it’s cold, and best viewed from the sofa in your toasty living room but if you’re brave you too can be part of the great Dutch tradition that is the Nieuwjaarsduik. Submit your bloated Christmas body to the cleansing effect of an icy cold North Sea... More >


Looking for some legal advice? Here’s five subjects which might help

Looking for some legal advice? Here’s five subjects which might help

Looking to get divorced, solve problems at work, divide an inheritance, appoint a guardian for your child or deal with defects in your house? Here’s a round-up of what you need to know, courtesy of law firm GMW. Who will take care of your child when you’re gone? Historically, if you wanted to designate a guardian for your child in case something should happen to you, it had to be done by will. Today, a new option is available which... More >


Four days to go: this is how to save money on your health insurance

Four days to go: this is how to save money on your health insurance

You’ve only got four days to decide whether or not to change health insurer this year, before the switching window closes at the end of December. You may ask yourself: but why should I change my current insurance plan? The answer is simple: you may end up saving a large sum of money. Premiums may only have gone up marginally this year, but there is still a massive €492 gap between the most expensive and the cheapest policy. Find out... More >


Weekends away in the Netherlands: where to go and where to stay

Weekends away in the Netherlands: where to go and where to stay

When we carried out our readers’ survey in October, two-thirds of you told us that you would be having a weekend away in the Netherlands in the coming year. So here is a round-up of this year’s travel features, to help you on your way. I thought I would hate the Efteling. I was wrong With the holidays upon us, your thoughts may be turning to taking the kids to an amusement park. Deborah Nicholls-Lee was dreading her visit to... More >


Shorts in the office? The lowdown on today’s business etiquette in the Netherlands

Shorts in the office? The lowdown on today’s business etiquette in the Netherlands

This summer, the Dutch social affairs ministry brought on an unexpected storm with an in-house magazine article on appropriate business dress for hot days: short skirts, it banged home in a tweet, should only be worn without tights if ‘the condition of the legs’ is good enough. Cue a national Twitter and media storm, including a defiant photograph from staff at the ministry of defence featuring all kinds of short skirts, bare legs and footwear in the office. But according... More >


Car insurance in the Netherlands: here’s what you need to know

Car insurance in the Netherlands: here’s what you need to know

So, you’ve become the proud owner of a car. Here are a few things you need to think about when it comes to making sure it is properly insured. First things first. To take out car insurance in the Netherlands you must be an official resident, you must have a European driving licence and the car licence plate has to be Dutch. In the Netherlands all cars have to have at least a third party liability insurance, which covers damage... More >


Would you let a robot vacuum your floor or use your phone to turn off the lights?

Would you let a robot vacuum your floor or use your phone to turn off the lights?

One-third of Dutch households are using some sort of smart home technology, to regulate their heating, monitor security and even switch off lights. Intelligent robot vacuums that clean the floor, your children telling the bathroom light to turn itself off and checking who is ringing your doorbell while you are having drinks with the neighbours – smart home technology is seeping into many aspects of our lives. Yet despite the advantages smart home technology offers, research published in September shows... More >


Good grub: Are insects the answer to unsustainable pet food?

Good grub: Are insects the answer to unsustainable pet food?

  With an increase in environmental awareness, some pet owners are opting for sustainable pet food – and that’s where insects come in! Several Dutch companies are harvesting grubs to make eco-friendly alternatives for pets, but are insects really worth all the hype? Veganism is surging in popularity at the moment, but what about a plant-based diet for your pet? The meat industry is one of the world’s most polluting and through their meat-based diets, pets contribute to the environmental... More >


So you bought a house with defects – what now?

So you bought a house with defects – what now?

It is your worst-case scenario: you bought a property in the Netherlands – but after you signed the purchase agreement, you discovered there are defects. What can you do? What are your rights? Glenn Kerver of GMW lawyers explains what Dutch law means for you in this situation. The essential role of the purchase agreement Under Dutch housing law, the purchase and sale of a residential home (whether house or apartment) must be recorded in a written agreement. This describes... More >


From carol concerts to seascapes – 12 great things to do in December

From carol concerts to seascapes – 12 great things to do in December

Is it ‘bah humbug’ for you in December or are you Christmas crackers? This month’s round-up of great things to has something for everyone. See the mighty fall The John Adams Institute invited Pulitzer price winning journalist Megan Twohey to  discuss her and fellow New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor’s book She Said which explores the sexual abuse that toppled Harvey Weinstein and the underlying mechanisms which made it possible in the first place. December 3. Website See Sinterklaas! Every... More >


What you need to read: our holiday season recommendations

What you need to read: our holiday season recommendations

Sinterklaas and Christmas are fast approaching, and what better gift than a book?  Here are our recommendations for the best buys, including some suggestions for those of you whose bookshelves may already be groaning with books about the Netherlands. Order a book marked with an asterisk and you will get a 10% discount, courtesy of Holland Books, if you use this code: DNHB1119 1 New to the Netherlands and still finding your feet? Holland Handbook: the indispensable guide to the... More >


PissWife: Don’t mess with the Dutch feminist zine and community

PissWife: Don’t mess with the Dutch feminist zine and community

The feminist magazine and art collective PissWife is more than just a magazine – it’s a community, too. They’re on a mission to empower women and open minds with their writing, poetry and art. ‘The name derives from the word zeikwijf which is a very Dutch, old Amsterdam term for women who have an opinion…it means something like ‘whine-y bitch’,’ Robin Jay explains in an empty bar at midday in a hip part of Amsterdam. ‘We used that word as... More >


How to cut your energy bills and save hundreds of euros a year

How to cut your energy bills and save hundreds of euros a year

With chilly days upon us and the nights drawing in, you are bound to be using more gas and electricity at home – something you cannot fail to see if you have a smart meter. Making sure your home is well-insulated, turning off the lights when you leave a room and even turning down the central heating a degree will all help cut your energy spending. But you can also save money by shopping around to make sure you have... More >


Despite internet, clubs and societies still have a key role for internationals

Despite internet, clubs and societies still have a key role for internationals

It’s 2019. The internet is beyond prevalent and internationals in the Netherlands are very online. Yet groups that meet face to face to socialise and network are still a key part of the international community. Ionna Dimitriou would describe herself as a person who is very online. The 27-year-old Greek native plays Fortnite, a cooperative video game where she and her teammates battle against zombies. She’s active on a forum to discuss the game, which is how she met her... More >


Weather warnings, bikes and waterproofs: your tips for newbies

Weather warnings, bikes and waterproofs: your tips for newbies

We asked our social media followers for the single most important tip they would give a newcomer to the Netherlands. These are your answers. Customs Learn that please (alstublieft) is when you give someone something not when you ask for it Choose wisely – you can only have one (1) cookie with your cup of coffee. Buy an agenda and get used to know what are you are going to do two weeks in advance. Start eating slice of bread... More >


By Frankey: street art to make the city smile

By Frankey: street art to make the city smile

Have you sometimes thought that a strange public sculpture looks rather like a skate park? That there are some house numbers missing, or that a bit of brickwork looks a bit like a pizza oven? If you are street artist Frank de Ruwe, that means that it is crying out for an intervention. This 41-year-old from Eindhoven, a creative director of ad agency Natwerk, has a mission to raise a smile on the faces of Amsterdam’s city dwellers. On dozens... More >


Little change in health insurance premiums in 2020, so what should you do?

Little change in health insurance premiums in 2020, so what should you do?

If you are considering switching health insurer, all the big health insurance companies have now published their premiums for next year. And there is bad news in particular for people with a collective policy – because their discount is being halved. Health insurance premiums are going up marginally in price for the basic package next year, according to an overview by Zorgwijzer.nl. While some policies will actually be slightly cheaper,  the price differences between policies is increasing yet again. In... More >


When does gaming get too much? Experts answer parents’ questions

When does gaming get too much? Experts answer parents’ questions

Gaming. The word triggers worry and fear in many parents and caregivers. Gaming addiction is a growing problem but at the same time, kids who game are acquiring valuable knowledge and skills. Gaming makes digital environments and experiences familiar and helps them understand gamification (using game design and game principles outside of gaming) which is a tool being used by companies and organizations such as ING, Nike, Starbucks and Microsoft to engage people, sell products and services, and influence behaviour.... More >


Meet Pixie the school dog, Amity International School’s classroom assistant

Meet Pixie the school dog, Amity International School’s classroom assistant

The newest recruits to the classroom are furry and four-legged. We visit Amity International School Amsterdam to learn how their school dog helps create an innovative and nurturing learning environment. It might sound barking mad, but the staff list at Amity International School Amsterdam includes Miss Pixie, a three-year-old dog. Fitting in snugly with the school’s caring philosophy, where social and emotional development is as important as academic excellence, the adorable cockapoo – a cross between a miniature poodle and... More >