English-speakers will find themselves quite at home in the Netherlands as Dutch TV broadcasts a wide range of British programmes, and English-language newspapers are readily available too.

Newspapers and magazines

British newspapers are on sale in every major city on the day of publication. Newsagents located at train stations will almost always have copies if no one else does. Current issues of UK and US magazines are widely available as well, as is the International Herald Tribune.

Of the Dutch newspapers, NRC Handels-blad (w nrc.nl) is a right-of-centre paper that has perhaps the best international news coverage and a liberal stance on the arts; De Volkskrant (w volkskrant.nl) is a progressive, leftish daily; the popular right-wing De Telegraaf (w telegraaf.nl) boasts the highest circulation figures in the country and has a well-regarded financial section; while Algemeen Dagblad (w ad.nl) is a right-wing broadsheet. The left-of-centre Het Parool (“The Password”; w parool.nl) and the news magazine Vrij Nederland (“Free Netherlands”; w vn.nl) are the successors of underground Resistance newspapers printed during wartime occupation. The Protestant Trouw (“Trust”; w trouw.nl), another former underground paper, is centre-left in orientation with a focus on religion.

Television and radio

Dutch TV isn’t the best, but English-language programmes and films fill up a fair amount of the schedule – and they are always subtitled, never dubbed. The big global cable and satellite channels are routinely accessible in hotel rooms and most give access to a veritable raft of foreign television channels, including Britain’s BBC1 and BBC2.

SMT Dutch radio has numerous stations catering for every niche. Of the public service stations, Radio 1 is a news and sports channel, Radio 2 plays AOR music, Radio 3 plays chart music and Radio 4 classical, jazz and world music. Of the commercial stations, some of the main nationwide players are Radio 538, Veronica and Noordzee FM; most of them play chart music. The Dutch Classic FM, at 101.2FM, plays mainstream classical music, with jazz after 10pm. There’s next to no English-language programming, apart from the overseas-targeted Radio Netherlands (w rnw.nl), which broadcasts Dutch news in English, with features on current affairs, lifestyle issues, science, health and so on. Frequencies and schedules for the BBC World Service (w bbc.co.uk/worldservice), Radio Canada (w rcinet.ca) and Voice of America (w voanews.com) are listed on their respective websites.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

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