Friday 24 January 2020
From heather fields to eagles – seven Dutch national parks to visit

From heather fields to eagles – seven Dutch national parks to visit

The first national parks in the Netherlands were established in the 1930s and they now cover over 130,000 hectares nationwide. Esther O’Toole takes you on a tour through seven of the Netherlands’ natural treasure troves. If you have been led to believe that the natural landscapes of the Netherlands are flat, grey, largely rainy and agricultural then you have been mistaken. There are hills, dunes, forests and a beautiful coastline to explore; where you may encounter, wildlife as diverse as... More >


Blogwatching: Cycling through Limburg history (and a message to the countess)

Blogwatching: Cycling through Limburg history (and a message to the countess)

Welcome to Waking Up on the Roof, where Kim Stokes share stories, thoughts and photos from her bicontinental life, her travels throughout Europe and Canada, and her road-trips in Electric-Blue, her trusty VW van. About two years ago I invested in a bike with battery power. Very un-Dutch, I know, but we live in a very un-Dutch part of the Netherlands. A hilly part. And since I bought that bike (and Arthur followed suit), we’ve been spending an increasing amount of... More >


The 10 quirkiest locations to eat dinner in Amsterdam

The 10 quirkiest locations to eat dinner in Amsterdam

The Dutch have a long history of turning old buildings into something else. Think of the Kruisherenkerk (church) in Maastricht that is now a hotel. Or the old tram depot in Amsterdam that’s now the Foodhallen. So it’s no surprise that there are some weird and wonderful places to eat dinner in Amsterdam and its environs… Here are 10 of the quirkiest, for next time you feel like dinner with a difference: 1 Revolving office block: Moon When the old... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: go Dutch with a holiday in the countryside

DutchNews.nl destinations: go Dutch with a holiday in the countryside

Looking for good weather, green woods and excellent beer? Head to the Dutch countryside for a summer break. Esther O’Toole takes you south to the small towns of Overloon and Venray, on the Brabant/N. Limburg border. There is plenty of history down this neck of the woods. The St Peter ad Vincula church in Venray has a large collection of medieval wood sculpture and the area in and around Venray and Overloon saw heavy fighting during WW2, as it lies... More >





Planes give way to trains as holidaymakers dodge airport stress

Planes give way to trains as holidaymakers dodge airport stress

More Dutch holidaymakers are choosing to take the long-haul train route than ever before. Ticket sales were 15% higher in June, the main month for holiday bookings compared to the year-earlier month, train operator NS International said. Dutch Rail (NS) sells tickets to 3,000 international destinations, the Telegraaf reported. Ticket sales to London doubled in a year, following the launch of the twice-daily direct Eurostar service to Amsterdam. London was the biggest benefactor of the rise in train travel, followed by... More >


Le grand départ – summer holidays begin with traffic warnings

Le grand départ – summer holidays begin with traffic warnings

As summer holidays begin across Europe, the ANWB motoring organisation warns that it expects a weekend of traffic jams. Dutch schools in the south begin their long vacation on Friday afternoon, joining the north of Germany and Belgium – plus a number of European businesses, which shut entirely for a few weeks. ‘Holiday makers who are planning to leave this weekend should plan for traffic jams,’ counsels the organisations in a press release. The organisation offers detailed predictions and live... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: there’s more to Delft than blue and white china

DutchNews.nl destinations: there’s more to Delft than blue and white china

Best known for its pottery, the city of Delft offers plenty of quaint streets to wander through and some delicious places to eat. Molly Quell lives there and tells you why you should visit. Delft’s reputation is one of polar opposites. It’s picturesque, quaint and adorable, but it also boasts the oldest and largest university of technology in the Netherlands and the largest start-up incubator in Europe. You can’t walk through the city centre without bumping into houses from 1500... More >


Man in hospital after car driven by 17-year-old collides with train

Man in hospital after car driven by 17-year-old collides with train

The driver of a car that collided with a train on a level crossing near Groningen was a 17-year-old girl driving under supervision, police have said. The driver escaped injury in the incident, which happened at Hoendiep at around 10am on Monday. Her 47-year-old male passenger was seriously injured and had to be cut free by firefighters before being taken to hospital. Since March this year it has been legal for 17-year-olds to drive on the roads if they are... More >


Trains suspended as car collides with train on crossing near Groningen

Trains suspended as car collides with train on crossing near Groningen

Two people have been injured after a car collided with a train on a level crossing near Groningen on Monday morning. The passenger in the car had to be cut free by firefighters following the collision on the crossing at Hoendiep, on the outskirts of the city, at around 10am. Nobody on board the train was reported to be hurt but local train service operator Arriva had to arrange alternative transport for the passengers. Trains running to Eeemshaven and Delfzijl... More >


Bus and train strike called off as unions agree deal on pay

Bus and train strike called off as unions agree deal on pay

Buses and regional trains are expected to run as normal this week after unions and employers agreed an outline deal on public transport workers’ pay. The FNV union halted a strike that began last week, affecting most bus routes and a number of regional train services, after saying they were close to an agreement with employers’ organisation VWOV. The unions are demanding a 3.5 per cent pay rise for their 12,000 members as well as a number of measures to... More >


Public transport strike set to go ahead this week as talks stall

Public transport strike set to go ahead this week as talks stall

A strike by bus, tram and train drivers this week looks set to go ahead after trade union CNV said there was little hope of reaching a settlement before Wednesday. Most regional public transport services will be brought to a halt by the 72-hour stoppage, which is the result of a dispute over pay and conditions. Unions want a 3.5% pay rise for transport workers and measures to reduce work pressure, while the employers have offered a 2% increase and... More >


So you think you know the Netherlands? Here are 13 Dutch ‘streken’

So you think you know the Netherlands? Here are 13 Dutch ‘streken’

The Netherlands has plenty of well defined provinces, towns, cities and regions. But there is also such a thing as a streek, an area whose borders are very often much more difficult to pinpoint. Here’s a list. Achterhoek Many people only have a vague idea about the Achterhoek (literally back corner) except that its main export was a band called Normaal whose performances usually ended in total mayhem. It lies at the eastern end of the province of Gelderland, with... More >


Schiphol to crack down on drunk and dangerous passengers

Schiphol to crack down on drunk and dangerous passengers

Catering managers at Schiphol airport say they will step up moves to curb in-air drunkenness. The airport’s 2,800 catering staff have been trained to spot problem situations and intervene earlier, by refusing to serve drinks to passengers and calling ahead to warn airlines about aggressive individuals. Walter Seib of HMSHost, an organisation representing around 70% of Schiphol’s bars and restaurants, said spending on meals and drinks had grown twice as fast as the number of passengers in the past year. Seib... More >


DutchNews podcast – The Did You Spill My Coffee Edition – Week 23

DutchNews podcast – The Did You Spill My Coffee Edition – Week 23

This week’s podcast asks if Amsterdam can hold back the rampant spread of tourism in the age of Airbnb and stag weekends. We also look back at a week in which Mark Rutte’s handiness with a mop broke the internet, universities once again asked if English is taking over on campus, AD’s fishy judging panels kicked up a stink and two fallen giants of world football went through the motions in Turin. Ophef of the week Frosty reception for Leidschendam... More >


Dutchnews.nl destinations: explore 2,000 years of history in Nijmegen

Dutchnews.nl destinations: explore 2,000 years of history in Nijmegen

Nijmegen, the oldest city in the Netherlands, started life as a Roman military encampment in the 1st century BC. Esther O’Toole spent a weekend exploring. Despite its location on the Waal river, Nijmegen is not the prettiest of Dutch cities – much of it was bombed in World War II and planners in the 1960s and 70s helped finish the job. So, although the charming main square retains a sense of history and the centre is welcoming to visitors, if... More >


DutchNews.nl destinations: go north to Leeuwarden

DutchNews.nl destinations: go north to Leeuwarden

It’s the capital of Friesland, in which case its name is spelt Ljouwert . The elfstedentocht starts and finishes here. It’s home to Mata Hari and Escher and the 2018 European Capital of Culture. Molly Quell has been checking out Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is north. Like any well-integrated person in the Netherlands, I consider any place more than 20 kilometres far. So the two hour train trip (from Amsterdam) seems like an eternity. But the trek was worth it to spend... More >


The adventures of young Rembrandt; follow in his footsteps in Leiden

The adventures of young Rembrandt; follow in his footsteps in Leiden

Centuries before The Night Watch would go on to become one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Amsterdam, Rembrandt was just another struggling artist living down in Leiden. Here is Brandon Hartley’s rundown on his time in the city and various local attractions you can visit if you’d like to learn more about his early days. A stroll through the centre of Leiden can lead you past the historic Beestenmarkt, several picturesque canals, and more than a few friendly... More >