Sunday 29 March 2020

Forget leaves on the line: Your train has been delayed by storks

Forget leaves on the line: Your train has been delayed by storks

A pair of nest building storks are proving to be a headache for railway operator ProRail because they have built their nest on a pole supporting an overhead cable at Meppel station, local broadcaster Omroep Drenthe reports. The nest is above a set of points which is used to switch tracks. This is, says ProRail spokesman Michel van den Bogaert, an inconvenient spot because the birds drop branches as they are building their nest and that causes the points to... More >


Business gets the chills as corona crisis infects flights and tourism

Business gets the chills as corona crisis infects flights and tourism

The airline and hospitality industries in the Netherlands are already experiencing severe symptoms from the coronavirus. Hospitality sector association KHN reports that cancellations have risen by 48%, according to a survey of almost 4,000 of its members. Meanwhile Schiphol airport has announced that passenger numbers dropped by a fifth in the first week of March. If all flights to and from the United States are temporarily cancelled – as president Donald Trump has announced – Schiphol expects the fall to... More >



Had enough of pretty Dutch scenery? It’s time for a dismal day out

Had enough of pretty Dutch scenery? It’s time for a dismal day out

If at times you’ve had enough of medieval canal houses, tulip fields and picturesque villages, help is at hand. Treurtrips (dismal days out) is a new guide to some of the places the Dutch tourist board would rather you forget. Decaying snack bars in The Hague, sad playgrounds in the north and gloomy blocks of flats everywhere – they might not feature in the guidebooks and the ‘how to settle in Holland’ handbooks, but they are, nevertheless, an integral part... More >



Dutch destinations: beat the crowds at seaside Scheveningen

Dutch destinations: beat the crowds at seaside Scheveningen

The time has come for DutchNews.nl to cover Scheveningen, the famous, and some might say infamous, seaside community that sits on the edges of The Hague. Brandon Hartley took the plunge to find out what else the resort has to offer apart from sunburn and crowds.  All right, first things first. Scheveningen is not everybody’s cup of tea. Those searching for some good old fashioned peace and quiet should head to one of the more laid-back towns in the Wadden... More >



No tourist traps! What might a sustainable visit to Amsterdam look like?

No tourist traps! What might a sustainable visit to Amsterdam look like?

With mass tourism now marring the quality of life in Amsterdam, Deborah Nicholls-Lee looks at initiatives to make a trip to the Dutch capital a more sustainable affair. A three-person line of defence along one side of the boat seems to work best, our nets semi-submerged and poised to entrap passing flotsam. We – two boat-loads of eco-conscious visitors – are cruising the Amsterdam canals on a plastic fishing trip with Plastic Whale, clearing the greasy waters of rubbish, while... More >


Dutch destinations: I thought I’d hate the Efteling. I was wrong

Dutch destinations: I thought I’d hate the Efteling. I was wrong

With the autumn half term upon us, your thoughts may be turning to taking the kids to an amusement park. Deborah Nicholls-Lee was dreading her visit to the Efteling, but it turned out to be the ‘best family day ever’. Our children told us that they were the only ones at school who had not been to the Efteling theme park. Apparently, we had not parented them correctly and this was a deprivation of sorts. My husband and I had... More >


Dutch destinations: a mid-week in Amsterdam, avoiding tourist crowds

Dutch destinations: a mid-week in Amsterdam, avoiding tourist crowds

Amsterdammers may go on a lot about over-tourism, but there is plenty to see and do in the Dutch capital which does not involve waiting in queues for hours, or fighting your way through the hoards. A couple of years ago Amsterdam launched a deliberate strategy to try and spread tourism by pinpointing the highlights outside the centre, and urging visitors to spend time there. At the same time, it has attempted to hijack attractions well outside the city –... More >


Dutch Destinations: miracles and Mondrian in Amersfoort

Dutch Destinations: miracles and Mondrian in Amersfoort

Home of monastic miracles and medieval architecture, but also birthplace of Mondrian, icon of Dutch Modernism, Amersfoort, in Utrecht province, is a rich blend of the new and the old with plenty to discover. An unexpected guide accompanies us on our 15-minute walk from the station to Amersfoort’s historic centre. ‘Sofie’ – as she is known – steers us through the city’s trafficky outskirts, her iconic swishing ponytail and stout mini-skirted form illuminated in red and green on the traffic... More >


Forget the skates. Visit the 11 cities of Friesland at any time of the year

Forget the skates. Visit the 11 cities of Friesland at any time of the year

The 11 cities of Friesland very occasionally host a gruelling 200 kilometre skating race – if temperatures dip below zero for long enough, and just recently a swimming marathon. But you can also travel the famous route by bike, by boat, on horseback, on foot… however you like. Fansels! (That’s Friesian for ‘of course’). 1 Dokkum (the only one of the 11 without a different name in Friesian) In olden times Dutch school children were taught that ‘Bonifacius was killed... More >


Dutch destinations: good food and great shopping in Haarlem

Dutch destinations: good food and great shopping in Haarlem

It’s the namesake of the New York City borough, the city saved by a finger in the dike and was the epicenter for tulip mania. Haarlem is a mere fifteen minutes from Amsterdam and should be next on your list of places to visit.  Founded somewhere in the 10th century, Haarlem was given city status in 1245. It is located on a small bit of land above sea level which connects Leiden to Alkmaar and its geography provided the locals... More >


Weird places to spend the night in the Netherlands

Weird places to spend the night in the Netherlands

Normal hotels can be soooo boring. If you’re looking for a place to stay in the Netherlands that offers something beyond mere conventionality, why not try one of these unusual lodgings? Crane Hotel Faralda – Amsterdam It’s become one of the country’s most famous and downright bizarre hotels, but it’s also among the most expensive. A single night at Crane Hotel Faralda will run you upwards of €795. It’s hard to dismiss the view up there though, and the experience... More >


Dutch destinations: a weekend exploring the former island of Walcheren

Dutch destinations: a weekend exploring the former island of Walcheren

Walcheren was once an island but a dam, several bridges and a lot of reclaimed land have put paid to that. Today, it is at the heart of Zeeland, with beaches, pretty villages to visit and plenty of things to see and do, whatever your age. Beaches seem to be a key part of so many of DutchNews.nl’s destination guides – hardly surprising when you consider the length of the coastline, and how easy it is to get to from... More >


Dutch destinations: The Wadden Sea island of Terschelling

Dutch destinations: The Wadden Sea island of Terschelling

If you want to get away from it all for a few days, the Wadden Sea island of Terschelling is easy to get to, offers great empty beaches and has enough to keep you busy even if you hit a wet weekend. Terschelling and Texel are the most touristy of the Wadden islands, yet both are very different. Texel is bigger and less dominated by holidaymakers. Terschelling is more an elongated sand dune and tourism is clearly its main source... More >


Blowin’ in the wind: traditional windmills you can visit in the Netherlands

Blowin’ in the wind: traditional windmills you can visit in the Netherlands

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when most people think of the Netherlands? If this were a question on a game show, windmills would probably be the number one answer. If you’ve never experienced the joys of climbing to the top of one of these ubiquitous structures, or merely drinking a biertje beside one, here’s a few that you can visit (and, in some cases, even spend the night in).  Zaanse Schans – Zaandam Okay, let’s get the... More >


Dutch destinations: 14 suggestions for that perfect spring break

Dutch destinations: 14 suggestions for that perfect spring break

With the weather turning warmer, what better thing to do with your weekend than go on a spring break? Since last year, DutchNews.nl has carried a monthly travel feature in which we give you the lowdown on a Dutch destination. Here’s a round up to inspire you to see more of the Netherlands. Enjoy suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek Explore Leiden without the tourist hustle Deventer is an under-rated gem Explore Utrecht from high up and from way down Get... More >


Thinking of renting a Dutch holiday cottage: here’s what you should know

Thinking of renting a Dutch holiday cottage: here’s what you should know

The Netherlands is stuffed full of places where you can rent a cottage for a few days to get away with friends and family. Center Parcs is, after all, a Dutch invention. But there are a few things you should be aware of before you get too excited. It looks so great on the website – that May holiday bargain cottage for four, which will cost you just €319 for three nights. But, as we at DutchNews.nl have all discovered... More >