Tuesday 04 October 2022

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

New online Dutch integration course sets learners up for B1

New online Dutch integration course sets learners up for B1

With the government planning to up its Dutch language requirements for integration, Inburgering Online is extending its popular online exam preparation courses to include B1. We find out more. A good grasp of Dutch, believe the Dutch government, is key to successfully integrating in the Netherlands and increasing your chance of finding work. They therefore intend to increase from A2 to B1 the language level tested in the Inburgering (integration) exams. For more information about what applies to your personal... More >


From Klimt to Dutch weirdness: 12 great things to do in October

From Klimt to Dutch weirdness: 12 great things to do in October

Autumn is upon us, so what better thing to do that check out the highlights of the October cultural calendar. Judge a book by its cover Gloomy predictions about the inability of youngsters today to retain even a smidgeon of what they ‘read’ have been proliferating, as they do each year. High time to drag your sprogs to the Stedelijk Museum which is displaying the the best looking books of 2021 because, let’s face it, a nice pic helps. The... More >


What is the energy price cap? And how to keep your bill low

What is the energy price cap? And how to keep your bill low

The Dutch government is planning to introduce a price cap on energy bills to offset the surge in prices. But what does the price cap mean for individual households? And more importantly, what else can you do to keep your bill as low as possible? Although the details still have to be finalised, and MPs want the plan to be made broader, the energy price cap basically means: A maximum price for electricity of €0.70 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) up to... More >


Amsterdammers come out to meet their new neighbours

Amsterdammers come out to meet their new neighbours

Some 60 asylum seekers centres nationwide threw open their doors to the public on Saturday, as part of Open AZC Dag. The aim of the annual event is to give locals a glimpse of the daily lives of asylum seekers while meeting their newest neighbours. Lauren Comiteau went to Azc Willinklaan in Amsterdam to learn more. The festive scenes at the asylum seekers centre on Willinklaan in Amsterdam’s district of Nieuw West were about as far away from the images... More >


Balenciaga – the master of couture who seeded fashion’s love affair with black

Balenciaga – the master of couture who seeded fashion’s love affair with black

Cristóbal Balenciaga’s extraordinary dress designs resculpted the female body and made black a mainstay of international fashion. Balenciaga in Black at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag tells the story of his most iconic pieces. Couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga famously claimed that his designs could work magic. ‘A woman has no need to be perfect or even beautiful to wear my dresses,’ he said. ‘The dress will do that for her.’ A Balenciaga gown conferred confidence and elegance, and the most glamorous and... More >


Social Dutch budget will be tougher for entrepreneurs

Social Dutch budget will be tougher for entrepreneurs

  Small businesses and entrepreneurs will pick up the tab for a 2023 budget that aims to help the poorest in society who are struggling to make ends meet. The Dutch government’s spending plans for 2023 were announced in The Hague on ‘Prinsjesdag’, the third Tuesday in the month of September, with a sober message from the Dutch king. Boosting purchasing power is the main aim of the plan, with hand-outs worth €17.2 billion to support ‘vulnerable groups and people... More >


Mondrian biography paints new picture of misrepresented artist

Mondrian biography paints new picture of misrepresented artist

For six years, the most comprehensive biography ever written on the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian was only available in Dutch. Thanks to a new translation, English-speaking audiences can now learn more about one of modernism’s most important figures. Mondrian, it turns out, was not the man we thought he was. A century on, the influence of his iconic grid paintings is still everywhere to be seen, from architecture and interior design, to clothing on the catwalk. Yet, according to a... More >


Dutch destinations: Drift down into Delfshaven

Dutch destinations: Drift down into Delfshaven

There’s plenty of history stuffed into this district in Rotterdam that’s seemingly locked in time. Journey back through the centuries while you attempt to get a hole-in-one or a high-score on a Stranger Things pinball machine. Delfshaven packs plenty of history into a few streets. Located in Rotterdam, this district was once its own municipality. It initially sprung to life as a port for nearby Delft in 1389 because the largely landlocked town to the north lacked a significant waterway.... More >


Inburgering with Dutch News: understanding Dutch ‘normen en waarden’

Inburgering with Dutch News: understanding Dutch ‘normen en waarden’

What better thing to do at the end of summer than brush up your knowledge of the Netherlands with our very own inburgering course. Lesson 33: Normen en waarden Normen en waarden – when the Dutch aren’t arguing or worrying about them, they’re telling everyone else to observe them. They are frequently mentioned during election campaigns but nobody seems to be quite sure what distinguishes the normen from the waarden. Here’s an incomplete list. 1 Speak your mind Yes, you can... More >


Bike, health, happiness: children’s bike scheme calls for donations

Bike, health, happiness: children’s bike scheme calls for donations

Myla Brouwer’s mother is single and lives on a disability allowance. Buying a bicycle for her daughter, she told Dutch travellers’ association ANWB, was out of her reach. All of Myla’s friends had bikes, as most children in the Netherlands do. Without one, Myla was excluded from much of the social life that is so common in this flat, bike-riding country. Enter ANWB’s Children’s Bicycle Plan, which collects used bikes, fixes them up and distributes them through a nationwide network... More >


New looted art claim for salt cellars by master silversmith Lutma

New looted art claim for salt cellars by master silversmith Lutma

They are a glittering reminder of the wealth of the Dutch ‘golden age’, where the well-to-do held extravagant dinners in their marble-lined canal houses. But four 17th century silver salt cellars created by master craftsman – and friend of Rembrandt – Johannes Lutma have been claimed as looted art. At a restitutions committee hearing, descendants of a Jewish woman from Hamburg, Emma Budge, claimed the €3 million set now at Amsterdam Museum and the Rijksmuseum, were wrongly taken from the family... More >


Old hand or newbie? The IamExpat Fair has something for everyone

Old hand or newbie? The IamExpat Fair has something for everyone

An old hand in The Hague, or a newbie in the Netherlands? The 11th edition of the IamExpat Fair will take place at the Grote Kerk on October 1 and, the organisers say, there really is something for everyone.   Expats might be citizens of the world, but they still have local needs and that, says IamExpat founder Panos Sarlanis, is where the IamExpat Fair comes in. ‘We like to help people from the moment they arrive in the Netherlands,... More >


World’s first ever Solar Biennale opens in Rotterdam

World’s first ever Solar Biennale opens in Rotterdam

Rotterdam might not be known for its sunny skies, but for the next seven weeks it will host the world’s first Solar Biennale, celebrating the potential of solar power to provide clean energy, and positioning Rotterdam at the forefront of emerging technologies. The Solar Biennale is centred around the Design and Architecture museum Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam’s Museumpark and runs from 9 September to 30 October. The event is expected to attract 40,000 visitors, from members of the public... More >


Going off grid in Wapenveld to a life without wifi

Going off grid in Wapenveld to a life without wifi

To mark the occasion of my wife’s retirement our daughters awarded us a two night stay in an off-grid eco hut in the Zwolse Bos where we could stare at trees and mentally flagellate ourselves over our combined 135 years worth of emissions. We do our bit for the planet – we’ve scaled down on steak, car use, travel programmes, and scaled up on Greta Thunberg – but to call us eco-warriors would be a gross ecozaggeration. In my 20s... More >


Buying a new home or leaving NL? What should you do about your current property?

Buying a new home or leaving NL? What should you do about your current property?

Do you own a house in the Netherlands but are moving to a new country? Or are you about to buy a new home in the Netherlands and would you like to keep your original property? Here’s what you need to know. If you work for an international company, you could find yourself being moved to a new country. Or you might simply be interested in moving to a bigger home in the Netherlands itself. So should you sell, or... More >


Dutch destinations: get the flavour of Flevoland

Dutch destinations: get the flavour of Flevoland

Host to top-name beach festivals, herds of wild horses and the Floriade garden festival, the Netherlands’ newest province is easing itself onto the tourist map. With a fascinating creation story and acres of lush nature that belie its young age, Flevoland is well worth a visit. The treacherous coastline of the Zuiderzee, with its many hidden sandbanks, was once the world’s largest gravesite for shipwrecks, devastating crops and forcing mass evacuations. When a flood disaster in 1916 claimed 50 lives,... More >


Home from home: a small-scale boarding school in the Dutch countryside

Home from home: a small-scale boarding school in the Dutch countryside

The location of the Netherlands’ only international boarding school could not be more idyllic. The school also offers a broad, problem-solving approach to learning, in which the countryside is as important as the curriculum. Housed on a country estate in Overijssel, Eerde International Boarding School looks out over the fields and forests. The old orangerie has been turned into a studio for the school’s budding artists. The 17th century castle is home to the library and dining rooms while the... More >


Summer in the city: The Dutch News crew’s favourite museums

Summer in the city: The Dutch News crew’s favourite museums

The Netherlands might have lots of tourists, but with half the Dutch population decanted into France, Spain and Turkey, summer can be a great time to visit a museum. Here are the Dutch News crew’s favourites. Molly Quell The botanical gardens in Amsterdam are a really fun and weird oasis in the middle of the city. It’s beautiful and quiet and you don’t expect to see giant agaves and palm trees. It’s so peaceful. And I like the butterflies because... More >


Inburgering with Dutch News: 10 myths about the Netherlands debunked

Inburgering with Dutch News: 10 myths about the Netherlands debunked

If you believe the tourist industry and tabloid newspapers, the Dutch like nothing better than to race around on bikes in clogs, eat cheese, smoke weed and kill off their old folk. So the next lesson in our inburgering course deals with some of the cliches. Lesson 32: debunking the myths Tulips come from Amsterdam It’s spring again, I’ll bring again, tulips from Amsterdam, the song goes. But did tulips originate in Amsterdam, or even the Netherlands? No, they didn’t.... More >


Summer reads: our favourite books for that holiday feeling

Summer reads: our favourite books for that holiday feeling

There are plenty of great summer reads out there. Here’s the Dutch News’ crew’s favourite Dutch reading – most of which is in translation. Molly Quell Summer house with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch is really appropriate for the weather because it is about a family that has gone away for a summer holiday. Koch does a great job writing really smart books that are easy to read and addressing Dutch class anxiety which does not get talked about a... More >