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Living the Dutch life - September

Immerse Yourself in Dutch Culture

World Port Days (Rotterdam)

From 7-9 September 2018 you'll be able to go behind the scenes of Europe's largest seaport! For lovers of all things maritime, as part of World Port Daysthis event offers a wide range of activities including harbour tours, demonstrations, spectacular stunts and a nautical market. Taking place in Rotterdam from 7-9 September 2018, this year's theme is Energize, of which you will be immersed in the energy of the port and all of it's new innovations. One of which is making the port a cleaner area.

Heritage Day

Enjoy exploring countless historical buildings and sites as they open their doors to the public. This special weekend, from 8-9 September 2018, is dedicated to celebrating Dutch heritage. In addition to having free access to monuments, there will also be a range of activities such as exhibitions, guided tours and music. The event is a celebration of Europe’s diverse cultural heritage and falls in-line with the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. To find out what sites you can visit, see here.

Philharmonic Gergiev Festival (Rotterdam)

Enjoy this lively classical music event, celebrating the 30-year relationship between Valery Gergiev, a famous Russian conductor, and the city of Rotterdam. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra also celebrates its 100th anniversary, so expect an all-round programme of performances across several stages, including international opera productions, major symphonic works and new Russian music. Taking place from 13-16 September 2018, this is not an event to miss! More info & tickets here.

Prince’s Day (The Hague)

An important event in Dutch politics, witness the King reading his speech from the throne on 18 September 2018. The speech, or troonrede in Dutch, mainly outlines the governmental budget for the year ahead. Prior to the speech, you can witness a royal procession and catch members of the Dutch Royal Family moving from the Noordeinde Palace to the Ridderzaal in a sublime glass carriage. Seen by many as the highlight of the day, expect a great atmosphere as thousands of people line the route. Besides being a political event, Prince’s Day offers many festivities!

Dutch Film Festival (Utrecht)

Taking place from 27 September - 5 October 2018, the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht offers hundreds of screenings, along with premieres, talk shows, debates, workshops, parties and red-carpet events. As the largest event focusing solely on the Dutch film industry, it is an important platform for Dutch directors and actors, with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the Golden Calf - the top prize in the Dutch film industry. Programmes are also made accessible for non-Dutch speakers. 

Kite Festival (The Hague)

See the skies of Scheveningen beach fill with colour as kites of all shapes and sizes are flown for the Kite Festival, 29-30 September. With over 100 international participants showing off their biggest and most impressive kites from around the world, it is a unique spectacle. This year's theme is Sea Aquarium and will feature flying fish, crab, snails and other sea creatures. Throughout the weekend there will be kiting demonstrations, stunts and workshops for you to enjoy. On Saturday evening, watch an impressive display of kites all lit up to decorate the sky.

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Living the Dutch life - August

August's best open-air events

Floating Flower Parade (Westland)

Admire the Floating Flower Parade,  a colourful spectacle on the water from 3-5 August in the Westland region. Boats decorated with flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables will sail different routes, passing through cities like The Hague, Delft and Vlaardingen. The mission of the parade is to present and promote local produce of the Westland region, famous for its glasshouse horticulture.

Various activities will be organised along the route, such as markets and music performances. It is recommended to visit the boat parade by bike, since the event draws over 500,000 visitors and the Westland region is equally as beautiful for cycling!


Experience the largest inshore sailing event, the annual Sneekweek in the province of Friesland. This event, taking place from 4-9 August, attracts thousands of water sports lovers. The event kicks off with an opening ceremony, followed by a fleet show, traditional sailing competitions, fun fair, market and entertainment by local music bands.

Sailing Championships

The Skȗtsjesilen Sailing Championships, from 4-17 August, are also organised on the Frisian lakes. These spectacular competitions with historic flat bottom boats (skȗtsje sailboats) see the skippers fight for the honour and chance to gain the challenge trophy. It is a unique experience for both young and old and one of the top events for Dutch tourism.

International Fireworks Festival

Enjoy the exciting and famous International Fireworks Festival in Scheveningen from 10-11 August and 17-18 August. Each night, teams from around the world put on their most impressive displays from a pontoon at sea, whilst the audience enjoys the view from the boulevard and the beach of Scheveningen. In addition to being mesmerised by the light and colour of the sky, you can also enjoy music, jugglers and fire eaters on the boulevard. The festival is very popular and attracts up to 100,000 visitors, so it is best to plan ahead to avoid traffic.

Balloon Fiesta (Barneveld)

Visit the impressive hot air balloon festival in Barneveld from 22-25 August. The Fiesta is a unique experience, giving you the opportunity to view hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes prepare and take-off to the skies. The balloons will slowly drift towards the cities of Apeldoorn and Arnhem and then return to the festival ground for an evening of magical Nightglow. During this show the balloons will light up as lanterns and decorated with lasers which dance to the festival music, a breathtaking spectacle!

Music and more

10 – 19 August: Grachtenfestival Amsterdam

Classical music festival on the Amsterdam canals. The most unlikely spots will be transformed into stages for performances by young talents and established artists.

23 – 25 August: Jazz in de Gracht The Hague

Find yourself a spot along the canal to see the floating Jazz Festival pass by on characteristic flat bottom boats.

24 – 26 August: Uitmarkt Amsterdam

A richly varied programme offering the best arts and culture at different venues throughout the city. It is the largest cultural festival in the Netherlands and is free!

24 – 26 August: Jordaan Festival Amsterdam

Visit this typical Dutch event in the old folk district called the Jordaan. A must for those who like to sing along with traditional folk songs by Amsterdam’s famous artists.

25 – 26 August: OVG Veerhaven Concert Rotterdam

Discover Rotterdam’s maritime atmosphere at the Veerhaven while enjoying an open air concert by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Arrive by boat or take a seat by the docks and enjoy the last days of summer.



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Denmark - a destination for highly skilled labour


At the end of May we attended a networking event with Erhverv Aarhus & Vestas in Aarhus. The focus of the event was how businesses function in globalised markets. and the difficulties it poses for them.

Many of our customers want to hire skilled foreign nationals to keep up with the rising demand for product development in the engineering industry. Understandably this is not as simple as it seems. The problem isn’t finding highly skilled candidates, but the candidates themselves questioning if Denmark is the right destination for them.

The ease and wealth of information available to today’s workforce mean news and current developments can be found at the click of a button. Before making the big decision of settling in Denmark, candidates will naturally research their options, ultimately asking if Denmark is the right fit for them.

The media tends to portray Denmark’s political climate in a somewhat harsh light. The stance on immigrants has toughened, directly affecting all businesses’ ability to hire foreign employees.

Our customers and businesses in similar positions experience many questions from potential candidates – highly skilled candidates that can choose to work anywhere in the world. ‘Why choose Denmark, if Danish people and the system don’t like foreigners?’

We just want to make it clear – in Denmark we welcome everyone.

We have a great social atmosphere, a unique sense of humour (once you get the hang of it), a safe society with low crime rates and fantastic work-life balance with the possibility of enjoying one or more hobbies after work. Most importantly, you are welcome here, and we have great programmes and communities that can help you settle in well, whatever your background or situation.

Before allowing the media and news to adversely affect your decision to move to Denmark, try to learn more about Denmark and your new employer. Speaking to current employees is a great way of finding out about a company’s work culture, and also the social life available outside of work. Reading up on an employer’s mission and values is also a great reflection on the company and a way to work out if you would fit in there.

- Emilie Falk

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Living the Dutch life - July

Have fun this summer

Amsterdam Roots Festival

Experience an exciting musical journey through the most diverse cultures and styles during the Amsterdam Roots Festival from 1 until 8 July. It is the leading festival of non-western music and includes fado, zouk dance, hip hop, Latin-jazz and rumba. In the 35 years of its existence it has grown in diversity and evolved from what used to be just the Africa Roots Festival. Now the performers come from all corners of the world, from the Caribbean and Cape Verde to South Africa and Mongolia. The highlight of the festival takes place in the Oosterpark where you will be able to enjoy over 40 performances. At other indoor venues, such as Carré and the Melkweg, there will also be a series of lectures and performances.

North Sea Jazz Rotterdam

Enjoy star-studded performances by the best international jazz, soul, blues, funk and pop artists at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam from 13 until 15 July. It is the largest indoor music festival in the world and known globally for its multitude of music styles and exciting line-ups. Although the number of visitors has reached up to 70,000 in recent years, each stage has an intimate atmosphere as the performances are spread across different floors in Ahoy. The event is a must for every jazz lover who wants to see internationally renowned jazz legends perform or discover upcoming talents.

Funfair Tilburg

Visit the biggest funfair of the Benelux region in the city of Tilburg from 20 until 29 July. This enormous fair, offering some 250 attractions and rides, covers the entire city centre to create a fairground of 4.5 kilometres long. It is a unique event with lots of festivities and spectacular fireworks on the last night of the fair. Pink Monday also takes place at the fair, one of the biggest gay emancipation and integration events in the country, attracting thousands of visitors and making it the busiest day of the fair.

Rotterdam Unlimited

Celebrate the summer with a five-day cultural and tropical festival during Rotterdam Unlimited taking place from 24 until 28 July. It is one of the biggest free street festivals in Europe offering a mix of live music, dance, theatre and carnival parades. The vibrant atmosphere will make the festival a trip to remember with a colourful and spectacular street parade and a battle of drums as the main events. Furthermore you will find music and food from all kinds of different cultures representing the cosmopolitan diversity of the city.

Gay Pride Amsterdam

Join Amsterdam’s celebrations around diversity and acceptance for all sexual orientations and genders during Gay Pride from 28 July until 5 August. It is a well-known event in- and outside the Netherlands and attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year. The festival offers a cultural programme with a range of exhibitions and movie events throughout the city. The biggest spectacle is the Canal Parade, with decorated boats sailing along the canals carrying costumed dancers and often statement-making messages. 

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Living the Dutch life - June

The festival season has started!

Open Garden Days Amsterdam

Take a look behind Amsterdam’s impressive canal-side homes during the Open Garden Days from 15 until 17 June. It is the perfect opportunity to get to know Amsterdam and to see some of the most beautiful gardens that are normally hidden. This year’s theme is Garden Design and gardens will boast both classic and contemporary designs by renowned landscape gardeners and designers. A ticket will allow access to more than 30 gardens on all three days.


Flag Day Scheveningen

Taste the first New Dutch herring of the season on Flag Day in Scheveningen on 16 June. The event celebrates the first herring catch of the year with a festive programme that offers something for everyone. There will be music, boat trips, miniature ships, traditional clothing, Old Dutch children’s games and of course herring and other sorts of fish! The first edition of the festival dates back to 1947, although its history goes back to as far as the 18th century. Originally the celebration occurred around the departure of herring ships out to sea, but now the festival simply celebrates the return of New Dutch herring.

Flower Festival Aalsmeer

Go on a cultural outing amid the most beautiful flowers during the Flower Festival in Aalsmeer from 16 until 17 June. Aalsmeer is the heart of the flower-growing region and also hosts the largest flower auction in the world. The festival takes place at a former flower auction venue as well at the horticultural museum. There will be demonstrations, workshops and special exhibitions taking place, allowing you see flowers and plants in ways you have never seen before. Think of flowers integrated into art installations, colourful flower masks or edible flowers!


As soon as June begins, many festivals start to kick off  in the Netherlands. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite festivals taking place this June. 

1 – 10 June: Oranjewoud Festival

A unique classical music festival, with the greatest international musicians taking place on the beautiful greens of Oranjewoud in Heerenveen. Enjoy classical music like never before, from a swimming pool, a hammock or in a gigantic plastic bubble.

7 June – 1 July: Holland Festival

For over sixty years this festival has been popular for its broad scope of international performing arts. It offers a mixture of theatre, dance, music, opera, literature and more at different locations in Amsterdam. Each year shows innovation in art and exploring new forms of theatre.

15 – 17 June: Pinkpop

Pinkpop is Holland’s biggest open-air festival and is sold out almost every year. It is a multiday event taking place in Landgraaf, and has previously featured musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

15 – 24 June: Oerol

Since 1982 Oerol has grown to become a true phenomenon on the island of Terschelling. It is one of the most fun and exceptional theatre festivals in Europe, with ten days of street theatre, dance, art and music at many exceptional locations. 

 29 June – 2 September: De Parade

This travelling festival is a theatre, circus, carnival and funfair all in one. In June through to September it hits Holland’s four main cities – Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and then Amsterdam.

22 – 24 June: Parkpop

The biggest free pop festival in Holland is held in The Hague - the number one pop city! Tens of thousands of music lovers gather in Zuiderpark to enjoy many top musicians and upcoming talented bands.

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Living the Dutch life - May

Head outside for May's festivities


North Sea Regatta

Admire the yachts and enjoy the unique atmosphere during the North Sea Regatta from 8 until 20 May. One of the most exciting events of the year for competitive Dutch sailors takes place at the harbour of Scheveningen and includes various sailing races, music and plenty of food and drink. Thousands of watersports fanatics are drawn to this annual event; however non-sailors of all ages are more than welcome too!

Flower Market Leeuwarden

Visit the largest market of the Netherlands on 10 May when the city of Leeuwarden holds their annual traditional flower market. Each year thousands of visitors come to the market to shop the most beautiful flowers and plants. There are more than 200 stalls across the city’s centre creating a sea of flowers as far the eye can see! Besides the flower market Leeuwarden has much more to offer. This year the city won the title of Cultural Capital of Europe and has lots of events and activities coming up. You can find out more on the city’s website.

Asparagus Market Arcen

Taste the juicy White Gold of the Provence of Limburg during the asparagus market in Arcen on 10 May. Due to the large amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients asparagus is really healthy and therefor often called the queen of vegetables. You will be surprised by their versatility and find various unique asparagus products on the market, such as asparagus liqueur! The market takes place at the Raadhuisplein from 11:00 till 18:00. During the harvest months of the asparagus, from April until June, the Limburg region offers many other activities within this theme.

Open Farm Days

Experience the real farm life during the Campina Open Farm Days on 11 May and 21 May. Various dairy farmers and family farms throughout the country will offer informative and fun activities for the whole family! Farm tours, tasting Campina’s dairy products, obstacle courses and skippy cow races are a selection of what will be taking place for children. The farms can be visited from 10:00 till 16:00 after online registration.

National Mill Days

Visit the Netherlands’ iconic and historical heritage during the National Mill Days on 12 and 13 May. More than 950 mills will open up to the public and the millers will explain everything about the type of mill, it's history and their trade. Various fun activities will also be organised by the millers, such as pancake baking, cycling tours and fairs. Mills have always played an important role in the Netherlands, however they now barely have an economic value as most are not operating anymore. During the Dutch Mill Days you will be able to see most of the mills turning and might even be asked to give the miller a hand!

Day of the Castle

Discover the magical history of centuries-old castles, country estates and ruins during the Day of the Castle on 21 May. This year’s theme is Hidden Stories Told, which will bring castles to life with intriguing tales and stories of recent happenings. In addition guided tours, expositions, theatre performances and demonstrations will let you relive the past and also teach how people live and work in a castle today. All across the Netherlands there will more than 120 locations to visit on this day.

Dutch Beer Week

Taste the greatest possible variety of Dutch beers during the Dutch Beer Week from 24 May until 3 June. All over the Netherlands beer-related activities will be organised with the Dutch Beer Tasting Festival in The Hague and the Dutch Brewery Days as the two main features. The three day Dutch Beer Tasting Festival takes place from 24 until 26 May in the Grote Kerk (church). Visitors can enjoy at least 250 types of beers in combination with tasty food. On 1, 2 and 3 June hundreds of Dutch breweries will open their doors for public for the Dutch Brewery Days. Expect brewing demonstrations, beer tastings and presentations. Since the Netherlands is a country strongly associated with beer brewing, the Dutch Beer Week is a great way to learn more about the Dutch culture!


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