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9 cultural memberships and passes expats should consider getting

9 cultural memberships and passes expats should consider getting

Hate to miss out on the latest film, exhibition or performance? Looking for more diversity in your cultural repertoire or you simply want to get as much culture as possible on a limited budget? No worries - there are great options to pick from!

Get out there and make the most of the Netherlands' rich and diverse cultural scene with these cards and memberships that offer great discounts on everything from cinema to restaurants, all year round.

Most of the cards can also be given as presents, so you can give the gift of culture too! 

Cineville

The Cineville card allows its members unlimited access to over 30 art house cinemas across the Netherlands, for just 19 euros a month.

The initiative began in 2008, with the goal of uniting the Netherlands’ community of independent cinemas, making them stronger in the face of industry pressures and the increasing ubiquity of watching movies online.

With the Cineville card, high-quality cinema is more accessible and affordable for the nation’s cinephiles - who are also granted access to a host of special programs, discussions, premieres and film festivals.

The card can be purchased online and there is a minimum subscription of four months.

Pathé Unlimited

If supersize screens, surround sound and blockbusters are more up your street than art house cinema, then the Pathé Unlimited card is the one for you.

With this card, you’re granted unlimited access to all Pathé cinemas in the Netherlands - including Amsterdam’s magnificent Pathé Tuschinski.

Choose from two types of membership: for 19 euros a month the Pathé Unlimited card grants you unrestricted access to all regular film screenings and a 10 per cent discount on drinks and snacks, whilst the Pathé Unlimited Gold card also includes free access to 3D and IMAX screenings and a 25 per cent discount on eating and drinking - for 26 euros a month.

Restaurant Kaart

It doesn’t take long to realise that eating out can be very pricey in the Netherlands. The Restaurant Kaart, which grants free dishes in over 500 Dutch restaurants for 65 euros per year, sounds too good to be true - but it is!

Well known restaurants like Bo Cinq in Amsterdam, Peacock in Groningen and La Villette in Rotterdam are three of the 500+ restaurants participating in the scheme.

Whilst you can order any number of courses, drinks are not included. Furthermore, in order to use the card there must be a minimum of two diners, only of whom may apply a Restaurant Kaart against the bill. Silver and Black card options are also available for 99 or 500 euros with additional benefits including access to Michelin starred restaurants.

Museumkaart

Museumkaart holders enjoy free entrance to over 400 museums for just 54,95 euros a year (27,50 euros for those aged 18 and under).

The scheme has been enormously successful in the Netherlands. There are currently one million cardholders and an estimated 6,4 million visits to museums made annually via the cards.

Most of the major museums in the Netherlands, as well as lesser-known ones, take part - making it a great option for tourists too.

Subbacultcha!

Subbacultcha! is an independent and alternative music and culture platform that aims to support and promote new artists on the cutting edge.

Based in Amsterdam, Subbacultcha! curates a monthly programme of events - films, concerts, exhibitions, parties - across the Netherlands and Belgium.

For eight euros a month, Subbacultcha! members get free access to all its events, a copy of the monthly magazine and a tote bag.

Subbacultcha members support the culture platforms’ various initiatives, including its record label, whilst guaranteeing a free spot at the Netherlands’ best parties.

CJP

The CJP card is the most wide-ranging discount card in the Netherlands, offering its cardholders savings across culture, mobility, accommodation, services and products. The only catch? You're only eligible up until the age of 30.

The CJP plan is part of the EYCA (European Youth Card Network) so young people can enjoy discounts on everything from cinema, festivals, clothes, travel and even insurance with the card further afield across Europe.

The idea behind CJP is to allow young people to broaden their cultural horizons with fewer financial constraints. The card costs 17,50 euros per year.

Hollandpass

More for tourists than locals, the Hollandpass extends across Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, acting as a bundle city pass.

Cardholders enjoy free entry into most of the Netherlands’ museums and attractions, as well as free public transport and city or boat tours.

There are four packages to pick from, depending on the number of attractions you want to see and the length of your stay. Prices range from 42 to 82 euros.

Rembrandt Passes

If you are dedicated to preserving the arts, and are an aficionado of the Dutch Masters, you could opt for one of the passes offered by the Vereniging Rembrandt.

These pricier cards are geared towards preserving the Netherlands’ artistic legacy, as well as offering cardholders free access to museums, lectures and receptions.

Annual passes range from 25 euros (for under 25s) to 65 or 90 euros (adults over 25) for an individual or couple. It's also possible to buy a lifetime pass for 1.000 - 3.000 euros depending on your age.

Zoe

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Zoe Neilson

Zoe Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Amsterdam. She is from Edinburgh, but has also lived in Strasbourg, London, Sydney and Leeds, and has now been based...

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