Sunday 23 January 2022

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

Freshly squeezed and full of goodness: 24 Oranges goes Dutch News

Freshly squeezed and full of goodness: 24 Oranges goes Dutch News

24oranges.nl, the blog that is now a freshly squeezed column, will continue to press weird and fun Dutch things for your entertainment via DutchNews.nl. Although I’m trying to grab your attention, I’m exorcising a demon at the same time. One of the biggest word searches ever in 15 years of 24oranges.nl was ‘animal porn’. In 2007, The Netherlands was a huge online and hardcopy distributor of it because it was not yet forbidden by law. Vade retro satana! And recently,... More >


Coronavirus at work: can your boss ask if you have been vaccinated?

Coronavirus at work: can your boss ask if you have been vaccinated?

The employment law experts at GMW lawyers share insights on your rights in the workplace regarding corona vaccination, and when it is worth contacting a lawyer. The rules surrounding corona change frequently. GMW lawyers is pleased to share some clear answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dutch employment law and corona vaccination. The following is a general advice on your rights in the Netherlands and is correct at the time of writing (12 January 2022). Can my employer... More >


Fringe movement: my walk-on part in the great hairdressers’ revolt

Fringe movement: my walk-on part in the great hairdressers’ revolt

When I was younger I thought joining a rebel alliance meant hanging out in the jungle with an assault rifle and a bandana, or distributing underground literature by motorcycle under cover of darkness. Even two days ago I wouldn’t have imagined that my biggest act of civil disobedience to date would involve cycling down the road to an improvised hair salon in a suburban theatre. But these are unpredictable times we live in. De Nieuwe Regentes is a small venue... More >


Bye-bye, boring book: online inburgering course simplifies Dutch society exam

Bye-bye, boring book: online inburgering course simplifies Dutch society exam

Do you know who fought in the 80 Years’ War? Can you name all 12 Dutch provinces? And what should you do if your neighbour’s dog keeps fouling in your garden? A new online course covering these questions and many more makes preparing for the Knowledge of Dutch Society paper easier for inburgerers than ever. ‘They are very free and very organised’ – that’s the overwhelming impression candidates get of the Dutch when they have completed the Knowledge of Dutch... More >



Get the picture, no matter what: A conversation with Chas Gerretsen

Get the picture, no matter what: A conversation with Chas Gerretsen

Dutch photographer Chas Gerretsen’s work is currently featured in three recent books and an exhibition at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. In this interview, he discusses his experiences as a photojournalist during the Vietnam War and as a photographer on the set of the infamous 1979 film Apocalypse Now. If you spend an afternoon chatting with Dutch photographer Chas Gerretsen you might find yourself longing to quit your day job, grab a camera, and head out into the furthest reaches... More >


Dutch Housing Update: new rules in 2022 and a new minister

Dutch Housing Update: new rules in 2022 and a new minister

With house prices reaching record levels again in 2021, and interest rates remaining extremely low, the housing market will remain challenging in 2022. Here is a round-up of the latest news. New rules Several new pieces of legislation come into effect in 2022 which you should know about if you are planning to buy a home. For example, the government has brought in new rules to stop investors from buying up to a certain price (such as an official value... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews: the 11 cities of Friesland

Inburgering with DutchNews: the 11 cities of Friesland

What better way to pass the winter than brushing up your knowledge of all things Dutch? Tuesday marks 25 years since the last Elfstedentocht took place, the gruelling 200 kilometre skating race held over natural ice between the 11 cities of Friesland. But you can also travel the famous route by bike, by boat, on horseback, on foot… however you like. Here’s what you need to know about the towns en route. Lesson 28: the 11 cities of the Elfstedentocht... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: start off 2022 with some culture

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: start off 2022 with some culture

Why not start 2022 by brushing up your expertise in all things Dutch, with DutchNews.nl’s very own inburgering course? Here’s a round up of the lessons so far. Lesson 1: An introduction to Dutch history Being the well organised folk that they are, the Dutch have drawn up a list of 50 key events and periods which shaped the country and made the Netherlands what it is today. This mighty list is known as the Canon of Dutch history and... More >


The best of 2021: some good reads you may have missed

The best of 2021: some good reads you may have missed

What could be better on a wintry day than to curl up with a good read? Here’s some of this year’s most popular features that you might have missed. Selfies in cemeteries: dark tourism in the Netherlands Dark tourists on a quest for the Netherlands’ nastiest narratives raises ethical questions about the commodification of some of the country’s most solemn sites. But condemning the practice without considering its context, say some, misses the point. Read on Seven famous Dutch riots... More >


Four ways to instantly save on your health insurance in 2022

Four ways to instantly save on your health insurance in 2022

Health insurance costs can be quite steep in the Netherlands but luckily, there are a lot of things you can do to save money. Here are the four most effective ways of cutting your health insurance bills. 1 Compare and switch to a cheaper plan This may sound straightforward, but the best way to save money is to switch to a cheaper health insurance plan. With over 40 insurance companies and over 200 policies, chances are high there is a... More >


Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: key facts about supermarkets

Inburgering with DutchNews.nl: key facts about supermarkets

Our favourite bars and cafes are all closed at 5pm because of coronavirus, so where else to hang out but the supermarket. The DutchNews.nl inburgering course guides has the lowdown. Lesson 27: Supermarkets Foreigners always complain about Dutch supermarkets – not enough choice, too many queues, no-one to pack up your groceries etc etc – so here are some tips to survive them. 1 Colours Colours are important: Albert Heijn is blue, Dirk is red, Jumbo is yellow and Plus... More >


Why you should opt for the National Mortgage Guarantee, if you can

Why you should opt for the National Mortgage Guarantee, if you can

If you are buying a home costing less than the national average, you may well qualify for a special mortgage guarantee, known as the NHG. Mortgage advisor José de Boer explains all. The Nationale Hypotheek Garantie is a very Dutch thing – a sort of insurance, if you will, for people buying a more modest house. It was developed in the last century with the aim of giving home buyers an extra layer of protection in case they were unable... More >


Winter warmers: Seven reasons to be cheerful this holiday

Winter warmers: Seven reasons to be cheerful this holiday

This article started out as six reasons to be cheerful, rose to nine, then 10 and now, thanks to the new lockdown, is back down to seven again. Omicron may have put paid to a lot of traditional winter holiday fun, but here is a list of things which you can still do to bring a little Christmas cheer into your life. Drink! Are booze shops essential? We think so. Baby, it’s cold outside, as Dean Martin sang, which means... More >


Better than average: how a tax rule could give you a refund

Better than average: how a tax rule could give you a refund

As the pandemic has shown us, sometimes one year is significantly better than another financially. If your income has been affected by coronavirus, for better or for worse, remember this when you come to do your next tax returns. If you have income that has varied considerably over the past few years, there’s a Dutch tax ruling that might help you even things out. ‘Middeling’ – which means averaging – looks at three consecutive tax years to find your average... More >


Northern star: why properties in the north are a bright prospect

Northern star: why properties in the north are a bright prospect

When house prices are rising hard across the nation, it may pay to look north, says Expat Mortgages northern expert Erwin Berghuis. Although the Rabobank predicts parts of Groningen will be one of the Netherlands’ hottest regions in terms of price growth this year, housing experts believe that in the north and east of the Netherlands, there are still some beautiful homes and excellent deals to be had. Erwin Berghuis, mortgage adviser and area manager for Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe... More >


Caroline van der Plas: unrest that drove farmers’ protests has not gone away

Caroline van der Plas: unrest that drove farmers’ protests has not gone away

As if the Dutch political landscape wasn’t enough of a hutspot, the election last March added four new ingredients to the parliamentary pot-pourri, taking the total number of parties to 17. Perhaps the most unexpected newcomer was the Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), led by former agriculture journalist Caroline van der Plas. BBB was founded two years earlier and only appeared on pollsters’ radar near the end of the election campaign: the poll of polls run by Leiden University political scientist Tom... More >


Coronavirus vaccination at work – legal FAQ

Coronavirus vaccination at work – legal FAQ

The employment law experts at GMW lawyers share insights on your rights in the workplace regarding coronavirus vaccination, and when it is worth contacting a lawyer. The rules surrounding coronavirus change frequently. GMW lawyers is pleased to share some clear answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dutch employment law and coronavirus vaccination. The following is a general advice on your rights in the Netherlands and is correct at the time of writing (26 November 2021). Can my employer... More >


A new biography of Elizabeth Stuart brings the Winter Queen in from the cold

A new biography of Elizabeth Stuart brings the Winter Queen in from the cold

Elizabeth Stuart, queen of Bohemia, arrived in The Hague in April 1621 after a perilous five-month journey across Germany. Her husband, Frederick V, had fled his kingdom in Prague the previous November after his army was defeated at the Battle of White Mountain. Elizabeth sought refuge in Brandenburg, where she gave birth to her fifth child, Maurice, in January. The choice of name was no accident: three months later Frederick accepted an invitation from his cousin and Calvinist ally, Maurice,... More >


Home work: the practicalities of buying a house in the Netherlands

Home work: the practicalities of buying a house in the Netherlands

You’ve found your dream house, or you are looking for one. But what is the exact process for taking out a mortgage in the Netherlands? The first step, actually before you even start looking, is to properly understand the Dutch house financing system, says Michael Smits, mortgage adviser for expats at ABN AMRO. For a start, you must intend to live in the Netherlands within the next six months to buy a house here with major lenders. However, it is... More >