As someone not yet fluent in Dutch, but excited to get there, I’ve been looking for free and affordable Dutch resources beyond classes where I can practice discussing various topics. Although I have been quite happy with the classes that I’ve been taking, I’m excited to practice Dutch with native speakers in the ~wild (so they say). These are some
For many of the conversation-type meetups, you generally need to be at around A1 level (or higher) to enjoy the meetup as it will be harder to keep up if you’re not. It’s not to say that you can’t go if you’re a beginner in the true sense, but these language resources are maybe best accessed after you reach A1 level!
My biggest issues with many of the free resources that most of the events tend to be during the day, which is great if you’re off day-time, but tougher if you work full-time. If you work full-time, I’d recommend checking out the Bibliotheek Den Haag Centrale for their free Wednesday night language cafe or the Dutch Language Club (marginal cost; not free), which meets in the evenings as well as on Saturdays for games/events. You can always go to the library for Dutch language books if you’re on a budget. The Central Library has a great section!
taalhuis / speaking hours in the hague
The most popular option for practicing Dutch is at a
You can practice your Dutch and usually, this is a great opportunity for those at the beginning of your journey as some of the options might not be as good for those at a basic level of Dutch (A1). The Central Hague library website [sidebar], as well as the information desk at your local library, will have the updated information about these times.
Although the Central library holds a big Dutch language cafe on Wednesday nights (this is subject to change), you might want to head to the smaller local libraries for their programs near you to talk more as it’s a bit frustrating to be in a larger group as you get to talk less. Some of the
One good initiative by Taalhuisdenhaag.nl (a great source of events for those learning Dutch) is the Samenhaags Broodje Taal, which takes place for an hour around lunchtime closer to the Haagse Markt. If you’re nearby, it might be worthwhile to chat then. Similarly, they hold a talking cafe (P
The idea behind this program is that volunteers meet with speakers one-on-one to have conversations about Dutch culture and language. You have to pay for an intake with Samenspraak, but the service is otherwise free (as far as I know) and a great way to talk to a native Dutch speaker outside of a language cafe. You can maybe enjoy a museum or do something together, but it’s up to you.
Many of the local community centres have their own coffee hours and programs, often intended for residents of the neighborhood. These programs will be in Dutch and they might be a good way just to relax while talking with fellow neighbors. You’ll also sometimes find a coffee hour intended for discussing issues in the neighborhood.
taal aan zee
If you’re an asylum seeker, you have many more options and Taal
language cafes / MEETUPS
There are a couple of language cafes in the Hague that hold regular events. One is the Dutch Language Cafe, which generally meets close to Laan van NOI. For a nominal fee, you can have unlimited tea/coffee and talk/play games only in Dutch for a few hours. They have events about twice a week.
There’s a larger free language cafe in the Gemeente Den Haag held on Thursdays where you can practice
I saw another group on Facebook that meets regularly to discuss classic films in Dutch, but this would definitely require a higher level and it also cost more than 15 euros per session. Thanks, but no thanks.
Although the Dutch schools are generally not free, some of them (like Direct Dutch) hold easier movie nights (for beginners) with discussions. If you have taken a language course, it might be good to ask for their events coming up!