7 series and films on Netflix to help you learn Dutch

Browsing for a Netflix show or film to watch on a gloomy day in the Netherlands? Maybe you’re about to visit your Dutch partner’s parents or simply want to brush up on your Dutch skills. Well, we’ve got a treat for you!

Watching films and series in Nederlands is a great way to develop comprehension skills. This is the strategy the Dutch have used to speak near-perfect English (they don’t dub English movies or series) — so they must be onto something! 🎬✨

Grab some popcorn, and let’s take a look at some Dutch films and series available on Netflix now! 🍿👀

1. Anne+

Anne+ follows the life of a 24-year-old lesbian living in Amsterdam. After breaking up with her girlfriend, she reflects on her love life over the years and reminisces about how they led her to become the person she is. 

READ MORE | The best tips to learn Dutch: my experience of grasping the language

This show is a lovely but realistic exploration of sexuality, relationships, and love! 🏳️‍🌈 ❤️ It’s also great if you’re looking to add a dash of Dutch to your day. 

📺 Type: Series
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Beginner
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: If you want something short and sweet for beginners, then this is the series for you! At only 8 minutes long, the storyline is easy to follow and to the point. Sometimes, the dialogue does go fast, but the conversations are normally very short. 

2. Bankier van het Verzet (The Resistance Banker)

The Resistance Banker takes place during World War II in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. This film tells the story of a Dutch banker who risked it all to build a secret underground bank to fund the Dutch resistance against the Nazis. How heroic!

READ MORE  | 7 unmissable movies about the Netherlands in WWII

The film is suspenseful, thrilling, and absolutely heart-wrenching. It hits even harder when you find out it’s based on true events. 😔

📺 Type: Film
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Intermediate
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: The actors speak quickly but clearly in this film. The phrases aren’t too difficult, but the plot is also fast-paced. Some parts are also in German but with Dutch subtitles. It’s definitely a film for someone who’s been studying Dutch for a while. 

3. Keizersvrouwen (Women of the Night)

In the mood for a thrilling Dutch crime series with a female protagonist? Look no further! Keizersvrouwen is available to stream on Netflix. 

The show follows Xandra, a woman with a stable, happy life with her husband and daughter. However, she longs for something more out of her life. 

When she gets an opportunity to organise an event for her friend’s escort agency, she is drawn back into the dark underbelly of a world she thought she escaped forever. 

📺 Type: Series
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Intermediate
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: This series has a medium pace, with sentences that aren’t too long or complicated. The storyline can sometimes be difficult to keep up with, but the actors generally speak clearly.

4. Poeslief: Een Ode Aan De Kat (Kitty Love: A Homage To Cats)

Fed up with films about people and their problems? We totally get it. How about a super cute and gezellig film about cats instead?

Introducing Poeslief: Een Ode Aan De Kat! A film based on the life of the most famous cat in the Netherlands, Abatutu (A.K.A the George Clooney of the cat world.)

Follow Abatutu as he narrates his journey of starting his own cat-sting agency in search of other talented superstars! The film is part documentary, part cat video compilations — what more could you want? Purrfect for a night in. Miauw! 😻

📺 Type: Film
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Beginner
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: If you’re a Dutch beginner and love cats, this is the perfect film for you! The narrator speaks slowly and clearly, and there’s no real plotline, so it just feels like hanging out for an hour with some cute kitties and other cat lovers!

5. Undercover

Okay, so maybe you’ve already binged on tons of drug-related crime series like Breaking Bad or Narcos. Good news! There’s a Flemish/Dutch drama that is worth just as much hype — AND it’s based on a true story. 🤯

Undercover follows secret agents Bob Lemmens (Belgian) and Kim de Rooij (Dutch), who are investigating a drug kingpin, Ferry Bouman. They track him down to Limburg, the ecstasy capital of the world, and pose as friendly neighbours at a campground where Ferry spends his weekends. 👮

The series was very well-received, with IMDB giving the show a 7.8/10! And they say that there aren’t any good Dutch shows out there!

📺 Type: Series
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Intermediate
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: If you’re looking for a slow burn to expand your Dutch accent skills and learn a little of Flemish, we would recommend taking on this challenge once you are at a more intermediate level. The actors do speak clearly and at a moderate pace, but the plot can be complicated, so be prepared to pay attention!

6. Ares

In the mood for something scary? This Dutch horror series will definitely give you goosebumps! 👻

Ares follows the story of a first-year medical student in Amsterdam, Rosa Steenwijk. She joins a secretive Dutch student society and uncovers dark secrets and nightmarish experiences that will leave you gasping — and perhaps a little wary of your local student groups. 👀

The series also has subtitles in TONS of languages, such as English, Arabic, Korean, etc. 

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, suicide, hazing, gore. Definitely don’t watch this before bed, or if you don’t like blood or gore!

📺 Type: Series
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Intermediate
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: If you’re an intermediate learner and you’re looking for a Dutch series that’s suspenseful, intense and gory, then look no further than Ares. Also, if you’re a student, this is also a good place to pick up Dutch student slang, as well as the Amsterdam dialect.

7. Pietje Bell (Peter Bell)

If your childhood was shaped by classics like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, then this is the Dutch film for you! 

Based on the book series, the story follows Pietje Bell, the son of a shoemaker in Rotterdam. Pietje is known to get into all kinds of antics and trouble at school and in the town, much to the dismay of the townsfolk. However, his pranks and adventures have become so famous that they end up in the newspaper. 

But when he tries to stop a criminal, nobody believes him! So it’s up to Pietje to find a way to save the day! ✊

📺 Type: Film
💪 Minimum Dutch level recommended: Beginner-Intermediate
✅ Why it’s great to learn Dutch: This film is great for adults and kids who are starting out with the Dutch language. As a children’s film, the language isn’t overly difficult, and the actors speak clearly and in an exaggerated manner. A good pick for the family! 👩‍👩‍👧

Ready to leer Nederlands while sitting on the couch? With this list, you’re well on your way — succes! ✨

Which Dutch series or films would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below! 

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2021 and was fully updated in October 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Unsplash
Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).

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