Monday 23 September 2019

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

Nearer, not dearer: why house hunters are looking to Almere

Nearer, not dearer: why house hunters are looking to Almere

Want to find your dream house? Why not build it yourself, in the green stretches of Almere, a new town and a space where more than 2,000 people have done just that. If embarking on a quirky construction is a little ambitious for you, Almere still has plenty to offer, according to local experts. It may not have an ancient historic centre, but pretty much everything else you might want is there or nearby (including the dream houses other people... More >


Wynia’s Week: Thierry Baudet’s meteoric electoral rise explained

Wynia’s Week: Thierry Baudet’s meteoric electoral rise explained

A first time participant in the provincial elections and newcomer to the senate becomes the biggest party in the land in one fell swoop. It’s not something the Netherlands has ever experienced before, says columnist Syp Wynia. Forum voor Democratie, the party of Thierry Baudet, Henk Otten and Theo Hiddema, all of three years old, scorned by politicians as well as the Hilversum media, was hoisted to the top of the political tree by the voters. It is now the... More >


A taste of home: International food stores in the Netherlands

A taste of home: International food stores in the Netherlands

We asked you where you buy the food and drink that makes you think of home. This is what you told us, in no particular order. Brazil Finalmente Brasil has outlets in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and its range includes home grown cosmetics and over the counter medicines. Romania The Netherlands’ Romanian community obviously misses a lot from home. Website Români în Olanda lists shops in Tilburg, Breda, Roermond, Boxtel and The Hague as well as a butchers in Dordrecht! British,... More >


Thinking of going freelance? Here’s six key issues to consider

Thinking of going freelance? Here’s six key issues to consider

Becoming self employed is increasingly popular in the Netherlands – in fact nearly all the 191,000 new companies registered with the Chamber of Trade last year were one-man operated firms. If you are thinking of taking the plunge, what key issues should you think about? 1 Can you set up a company as a non-Dutch national? Yes, nationality as such is not relevant for registering a business, particularly if you are already living in the Netherlands. However if you are... More >


Medicinal cannabis users left high and dry by Dutch tolerance policy

Medicinal cannabis users left high and dry by Dutch tolerance policy

Many patients find cannabis calms their symptoms, eases pain and reduces the side-effects of other medication – but despite the relaxed attitude to marijuana in the Netherlands, acquiring this alternative medicine is often a battle. Deborah Nicholls-Lee investigates. ‘I wish I could tell you that this was conventional – it isn’t,’ says Dutch-Israeli multiple sclerosis (MS) patient Anat Avissar Koren. Inhaling cannabis is one of the few things that helps relieve her chronic pain but socially, even in the Netherlands,... More >


Ministry bans dancing, mass meetings and extreme photocopying on safety grounds

Ministry bans dancing, mass meetings and extreme photocopying on safety grounds

Civil servants and wild dance parties aren’t generally mentioned in the same breath, but a Dutch ministry has had to explicitly ban the practice in its restaurant because the floor of the building is too weak to support them. Staff have also been told not to pile up paper too high in the print room, place more than one row of chairs around conference room tables or install heavy cupboards in the new headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.... More >


Dutch destinations: Go south and mooch around in Maastricht

Dutch destinations: Go south and mooch around in Maastricht

Maastricht is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, and it elegantly combines classic architecture with modern twists. Here you’ll find a vibrant bookstore and coffee bar in a centuries-old cathedral, electrifying boutiques located along cobblestone lanes, and what some say is the best bar in the country.  As one of the country’s most gorgeous (and strategically located) cities, it should come as no surprise that various empires have tried to seize Maastricht over the years. No one can... More >


On International Women’s Day, here are 10 remarkable Dutch women

On International Women’s Day, here are 10 remarkable Dutch women

Dutch women get a lot of stick at times – for working part-time, for dressing down and for letting their children run riot. So here, to celebrate International Women’s Day, are the brief stories of 10 Dutch women who broke the mold. A businesswoman and soldier To be called a Kenau in Dutch is not a compliment – it means you are a harridan – and yet Kenau Hasselaar (1526 – 1588) was by all accounts courageous and clever. When... More >


Home ownership is hot in the Netherlands: Here’s how not to burn your fingers

Home ownership is hot in the Netherlands: Here’s how not to burn your fingers

While there are signs that the rise in house prices in the Netherlands may be slowing down, the market is still extremely tight. So what can you do to boost your chances of buying a home of your own? Rotterdam-based estate agent Wil Jansen of @Work Real Estate Agency has been watching the housing market closely, as prices pick up in the port city. House prices in the most popular areas have more than doubled in the past two years,... More >


Inheritance law for expats in the Netherlands – key considerations

Inheritance law for expats in the Netherlands – key considerations

Inheritance is fundamentally a difficult subject to think about, but as an expat with family in other countries, it can be even harder as you have to deal with contradictory and confusing international laws during a difficult time. Here are some key considerations to simplify inheritance law for expats living in the Netherlands. Determining which country’s law applies to an inheritance is an important first step, as it can affect how the estate is divided, as well as the rights... More >


Blogwatching: The worst place on earth

Blogwatching: The worst place on earth

The blog Amsterfam is the creation of Lauren Collett. She moved from London to Amsterdam nearly two years ago with three kids and her other half, My Lawyer. These are her adventures. On Tuesday, My Lawyer says: ‘I might go to Dubai next week.’ I reply: ‘What is the likelihood in percent?’ ‘Like…. 50%.’ ‘Okay,’ I nod. ‘Keep me updated.’ On Wednesday, My Lawyer says: ‘I am 80% not going to Dubai next week.’ ‘Okay,’ I say. ‘Good to know.’ On... More >


The Amsterdam IamExpat Fair is bigger and better than ever

The Amsterdam IamExpat Fair is bigger and better than ever

Amsterdam’s biggest expat event is moving to a new location this year – the iconic Gashouder in the city’s Westerpark. And that means the IamExpat Fair, which targets newcomers and established internationals, will be bigger and better than ever. Looking for a new job? Need mortgage advice? Looking for a good school or day-care for your kids? Want to enrol in a quality Dutch course or advance your career with an MBA? Find all the answers at this year’s bumper... More >


Hockney to Hair Peace – here’s 14 great things to do in March

Hockney to Hair Peace – here’s 14 great things to do in March

The John and Yoko peace protest in Amsterdam, English-language theatre, amazing art and the missing link in photographic history – these are just some of the events in our March list of great things to do. See nature through their eyes David Hockney’s elegiacal homage to nature  begins on the first of this month at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. ‘Nature is never boring,’ Hockney says, ‘and Van Gogh knew that’. Hockney-Van Gogh – The Joy of Nature explores... More >


It’s Carnaval time – here’s where to celebrate south of the rivers

It’s Carnaval time – here’s where to celebrate south of the rivers

This weekend Carnaval breaks loose in the southern part of the Netherlands. Here’s what you need to know about this most Dutch of events. In Brazil they have the famous Rio Carnival; in Greece, Italy and other parts of the southern Mediterranean religious parades take place through towns large and small. In the Netherlands, predominantly in North Brabant and Limburg, we have Carnaval – without either the sparkly costumes or the religious overtones. Carnaval derives from the latin, carne vale,... More >


Good grades: Amsterdammer of the Year tackles pupil underachievement

Good grades: Amsterdammer of the Year tackles pupil underachievement

Studiezalen (Study Rooms) is a non-profit organisation helping children from disadvantaged backgrounds get a foot back on the education ladder. Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets founder, and newly-elected Amsterdammer of the Year, Abdelhamid Idrissi to find out more. ‘Better grades is something that’s easy to achieve,’ says Abdelhamid Idrissi (29) from Slotermeer, who was voted Amsterdammer of the Year in January, amassing around a third of all the votes cast. ‘Everybody can do that,’ he explains. ‘But if someone is not happy,... More >


Nine things to take into account when filing your tax return

Nine things to take into account when filing your tax return

February is the month that most of us get a blue envelope from the tax office, telling us it is almost time to file our annual tax return. Here are nine key issues that you need to take into account. 1. It is all down to boxes The Dutch tax system distinguishes three types of income for tax purposes. Each type of income is referred to as box 1, 2 or 3 and has its own tax rate. Box 1... More >


Who will take care of your child when you’re gone?

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 makes this process cheaper and easier: appointing a guardian via the parental authority register. As a parent in the Netherlands, you want to know that if something happens to you, your child will have someone to protect their best interests. However, until recently the only way that a... More >


Leiden’s not-so-visible oddities: Mysterious stairways, stone tables and Gandalf

Leiden’s not-so-visible oddities: Mysterious stairways, stone tables and Gandalf

Leiden dates back all the way to the 9th century. Over the past 1,100 years, it’s steadily acquired its fair share of historical oddities and other curiosities that are unique or simply bizarre. Here’s a few that are often overlooked by visitors and locals alike. 1 A mysterious stairway Outside Leiden’s medieval Stadhuis, there’s a stairway that leads to a small platform. Together, they seem pretty pointless but they served an important purpose back in the day. The platform was... More >


Marry for a day? Dutch mock weddings which are surprisingly sincere

Marry for a day? Dutch mock weddings which are surprisingly sincere

At Wed and Walk, marriage isn’t for life, it’s for just one day. Deborah Nicholls-Lee finds out why romantics are flocking to Amsterdam to take part in a mock wedding. Toon and Tetty exchange rings under an arch festooned with roses and ribbons and crowned with two white doves. The birds, flowers and wedding are fake, but the sentiments are all real. Despite having presided over around 6000 mock weddings, Jona Rens (39), whose business Wed and Walk ‘marries’ people... More >


Indian designer bridges east and west to go Dutch

Indian designer bridges east and west to go Dutch

A fashion designer in India is reaching out to the international community in the Netherlands in a bid to break into Europe. Dutch women may not be renowned for their passion for high fashion, and their casual approach to both work and formal wear is one of the first things which new arrivals often notice. But Indian designer Amit Sachdeva hopes his cross-over designs will help change all that. Amit uses simple cuts and classic drapes for his designs, which,... More >