Living the Dutch life - April

Flower Power for Expats in the Netherlands

Tulip Festival

Admire millions of blooming tulips in venues all over Amsterdam during the Tulip Festival 1-30 April. Inspired by the tulip festival in Istanbul, the city aims to plant one tulip for every Dutch citizen. This year, half a million tulips have been planted in different public locations and gardens outside notable buildings, such as the Rijksmuseum, Bijenkorf and NEMO. The city will offer a free festival guide that shows all participating venues, the names of the tulips on display and a map where to find them. Some locations, such as museums and gardens, may charge a fee.

Gouda Cheese Market

Visit the traditional Gouda Cheese Marketa nostalgic spectacle at the heart of the Dutch cheese industry in the city of Gouda, from 1 Apr-31 Aug. The world-famous Gouda cheese is still made and traded in the same way it was when initiated in 1395. On Thursday mornings, except Ascension Day, you can watch the distinctive cheese wheels being delivered to the market by horse and cart and then arranged and nicely stacked for sale. Farmers and traders seal their bargains for the best cheeses through symbolically shaking hands. At the Gouda Cheese and Crafts Museum, located in the weighing house, more about the history of cheese-making can be explored. 

IamExpat Fair

Learn all about life in the Netherlands on 6 April. The IamExpat Fair takes place twice a year, with this edition in Amsterdam, designed to connect and support the expat community in the Netherlands. It offers information about a wide range of topics, such as housing, career, education and leisure. There will also be free workshops and presentations. Entrance to the fair is free after online registration.


Get into the Greenhouse

Take to opportunity to see what is happening in the Dutch greenhouses from 6-7 April. Get into the Greenhouse (Kom in de Kas) is the largest horticultural event in the Netherlands and lets you discover a world of vegetable, flower and plant cultivators. There will be fun activities for all ages, such as tasting sessions, seeing robots watering plants or health nutrition cooking workshops. Find out where you can visit a greenhouse on the website or ask a local tourist information office.

National Museum Week

Discover art treasures and unique show pieces during National Museum Week 8-14 April. Around 400 different museums will showcase their unique collections, with special exhibitions, guided tours and children activities available to the public. This year’s theme is 'discovering the real gold together' - looking to connect the cultured capital's history with the present.


Flower Parade

Enjoy the delicious perfumes and beautiful sight of decorated floats and cars during the Flower Parade 13 April. The parade follows a 42 kilometre route through the so-called Flower Bulb area, from Noordwijk to Haarlem (passing the Keukenhof), and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Good viewing spots go quickly so make sure you're on time. If you cannot make the parade, the floats will remain on view in Haarlem until the end of 14 April. To see how millions of flowers, such as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils, are pinned to the floats by hundreds of volunteers the hall of De Leeuw Flowerbulbs in Sassenheim can be visited in the three days before the parade.


Celebrate the magic of Amsterdam‘s spring when the Elm trees throw natural confetti by unleashing their seeds in a flurry of white blossoms. There is no other place in the world where so many Elm trees can be found. It is the signature tree of Amsterdam and has been defining the cityscape for centuries. During Springsnow, the Amsterdam Spring Celebration 21 April until 21 May, there are all kinds of activities. For example, catching the spring snow on the eight-kilometre-long elm route or visiting a spring snow photo exhibition at Amstelpark.

King’s Day

Join the biggest Dutch street party of the year where everyone is covered in orange to celebrate the King’s birthday 27 April. In the entire there country will be celebrations on the streets and canals (often with music), flea markets, fun fairs and many children activities. The capital city, Amsterdam, will literally be crowded with people and certainly has the most exuberant celebrations. Traditionally the party already starts on the night before with King’s Night, what the city of The Hague is most know for. With any luck you might also see the Royal family yourself as each year they visit one of the municipalities in the Netherlands during the celebrations. Learn more about King’s Day traditions by reading these fun facts!

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Living the Dutch life - March

Fun for expats in The Netherlands

HISWA Boat Show

Visit the largest event for water sports lovers in The Netherlands from 6-10 March. The HISWA Boat Show in Amsterdam is the official opening of the sailing season and attracts more than 35,000 visitors. Here you will discover the latest trends and designs and learn all about equipment or boat hire. It is a wonderful day out for both adults and children as you can participate in all kinds of fun water activities, such as surfing and wakeboarding. Since last year, the event has completely renewed and now offers more information about lifestyle and recreation.

The European Fine Art Fair

Experience Maastricht’s yearly feast for art lovers during The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) 16-24 March. The fair is recognized as the world’s leading art fair because of its commitment to excellence, expertise and elegance. Over 7000 years of art history will be presented by more than 275 internationally renowned exhibitors. You will find a total of 35,000 pieces for sale, such as Old Master paintings, antiques, classical antiquities, modern art, photography and jewellery.

Opening Keukenhof

Experience the most beautiful views of blooming Dutch tulips and other flowers during Keukenhof’s Spring opening from 21 March until 19 May. Keukenhof is the most famous and largest flower park in the world, where more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year. This year's theme, 'Flower Power’, celebrates the inspiration and joy the Keukenhof flower gardens bring to people from across the globe. You will see this theme reflect in various events, such as a Flower Power weekend and Woodstock Festival.

Movies that Matter Festival 

Watch movies with a message during the Movies that Matter Festival in The Hague 22-30 March. It is a film festival by Amnesty International to create awareness for situations where human rights and human dignity are at stake, using film's capacity to open eyes. Their mission is to stir debate and promote human rights education. Besides movies you can also participate in talk shows and debates and enjoy music performances.

Amsterdam Open Tower Day

Get a unique view of Amsterdam from the top of various historic and modern towers during Open Tower Day on 23 March. Beautiful buildings, that are usually closed to the public, open their doors on this special day. Previously, classical buildings such as the Beurs van Berlage and the Westertoren participated, but also famous company buildings like the ABN Amro headquarters and the Crown Plaza. Various activities will be arranged, such as guided tours and a photography and film competition. The event is free, however access to some towers is limited and/or requires advance registration (available from 10 March).

Summer time!

On Sunday the 31st of March, in the early hours, the clocks go forward for Summer time/Daylight savings time. This means that the sun will come up a bit later in the morning and the sun will stay out until later in the evening. So don’t forget to put your clocks forward 1 hour before going to bed on the night of the 31st.


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SIRVA Global Mobility Report 2018

Key highlights from 245 participants

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Living the Dutch life - February

Fun for expats in The Netherlands

Feel at Home in The Hague

Meet other expats at the biggest international community event in the Netherlands on Sunday 3 February. The Feel at Home in The Hague Fair takes place at the City Hall, where knowledge and top tips are shared about how to make the most of your time in The Hague. Exhibitors will be there to provide information, entertainment and a fantastic array of international food. Entry is free for pre-registered visitors, and on-the-day visitors will need to pay a small charge. It is sure to be a fun and informative day out for all expats!

Chinese New Year

Celebrate the start of the new year once more with the Chinese New Year celebrations! The Chinese New Year officially starts on 5 February, where we head into the year of the Pig. The traditional Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar and each year is related to an animal sign. During the celebrations there will be traditional dragon dances as well as lion dances, fireworks, performances and Asian markets. On 5 February you can take part in celebrations in Amsterdam and on 9 February The Hague puts on it's own special celebrations. Rotterdam extends its celebrations with special activities throughout the city from 4 -10 February.

Art Rotterdam

Enjoy the latest developments in visual arts during the international art fair 'Art Rotterdam' 7-10 February. Presenting a mixture of video, paintings, performances, sculptures and design, prepare to be taken on a journey through youthful and varied creations. At the heart of the fair, located in the iconic Van Nelle factory, the work of the most talented artists will be displayed across 75 international galleries. This spectacular location has been a World Heritage site since 2014 and boasts interesting features as a former coffee and Tobacco factory. Keep your eyes peeled as there are other interesting exhibitions dotted around the city.  

Homemakers’ Fair Amsterdam

Immerse yourself in innovation at the Homemakers’ Fair from 16-24 February. Find out about all the latest products on the market at this household and shopping fair! The event was founded in 1950 originally as an event for Dutch housewives. Now it has grown into a huge annual event incorporating beauty, fashion, health and interior design and regarded as a real day out. A ticket to the Homemakers’ Fair also gives access to the Nine Months Fair, taking place 20-24 February, offering a wide range of products relating to pregnancy and babies. Both fairs take place at the event location RAI Amsterdam.

Chocoa Chocolate Festival Amsterdam

Enter the sweet world of chocolate and learn all about the origin, production and taste of quality at the Chocoa Festival on 24 and 25 February. Taking place at the Beurs van Berlage, a beautiful location in Amsterdam and monument of trade, more than 75 stands with patisseries and chocolate manufacturers. Expect a full days' programme of tasting, expert talks and important documentaries and films about sustainability. The event is fully dedicated to making chocolate sustainable and organises an open debate on this subject on 23 February. For anyone interested in getting into the chocolate trade, here you can meet cocoa producers. For anyone interested in chocolate making, there is the Chocoa Trade Fair on 22 and 23 February.

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Living the Dutch life - January

A great start to the New Year!

Holiday Fair

Feel like you're on vacation without leaving the country at the Holiday Fair in Utrecht 9-13 January! It is a great place to get information about the most exciting and mind-refreshing tourist spots and make holiday plans for the new year. The fair provides information about a wide range of trips and destinations both locally and worldwide. Activities include  workshops, a virtual reality-street and a green picnic area!


Admire special classic cars at InterClassics in Maastricht 10-13 January, the largest vintage car show of the Benelux! At this stylish event you can check out rare cars and even place bids at the auction, buy parts and enjoy spectacular demonstrations! During this edition the Italian brand Lancia will be in the spotlight with its rich history of more than 100 years.


Whiskey Weekend

Let yourself be introduced to a world of whiskey during the Whiskey Weekend in Amsterdam 18-19 January. In the beautiful Posthoornkerk (church) all kinds of whiskey brands and related products will be available to buy, with workshops and tasting sessions also on offer. You do not have to be a whiskey expert to attend this event and you are also invited to walk through the stalls and enjoy the Scottish music!

Hotel Night

Experience Amsterdam through the eyes of a tourist during the Amsterdam Hotel Night on 19 January. Every year, registered residents of Amsterdam are offered an overnight stay in a local hotel (at a reduced room rate) in a bid to promote Amsterdam as a holiday city. There will be a varied programme of culinary, creative and cultural events available to those who purchase a Hotel Night ticket. Note that tickets can be purchased without being an Amsterdam citizen at the normal rate. Expect canal tours, movie screenings and hip hotel parties!


National Tulip Day

Bring spring into your home with the opening of the tulip season on National Tulip Day. A huge tulip picking garden at Amsterdam’s Dam Square, created by Dutch tulip growers, is the highlight of the event on 19 January. On this day every year, thousands of people come to admire Holland’s trademark flower and pick a free bouquet. The special theme for 2019 is ‘Flower Power’ and is also used for the coming season at Keukenhof to celebrate the strength of flowers.

International Film Festival

Discover movies by established filmmakers and new talent from around the world at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam 23 January - 3 February. It is one of the largest public film events in the world and stands out for its focus on innovative and independent filmmakers. The festival will present a diverse selection of films, visual art exhibitions, live performances and networking events. To encourage young talented directors, the best works will receive the VPRO Tiger Awards, the highlight of the event.

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Integrated, global mobility

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