Whether you want to enjoy your holidays in a countryside village away from the city buzz, want to spend quality time in nature, or enjoy the sea on the splendid beaches, the Hague Netherlands, is one of the prominent parts of Netherland’s Tourism and attracts loads of foreign tourists.
1. History and Importance of the Hague Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands, is home to many foreign embassies and is the headquarters of many major Dutch and international companies. It has also been the home of international law for centuries.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established at the Hague in 1899 to resolve international disputes. The International Criminal Court and International Justice Court are also in the Hague, Netherlands, and for this reason, it is also called the judicial capital of the world.
The Hague lies on the western coast of the North Sea. Though it is not the capital city of the Netherlands, it still holds significant historical and political importance in the history.
The Hague is the administrative as well as the royal capital of the Netherlands, with the presence of the Royal Palace of the Dutch royal family. It is also the place of the Dutch parliament and the Dutch government. Due to its central location, it is the most common place for protests and political rallies.
2. How to Reach the Hague?
Hague is easily accessible by means of road, air, and train from the major cities of the Netherlands and other cities of Europe, such as Brussels, London, and Paris. This amazing city is approximately 25 Km from Rotterdam and 65 Km from Amsterdam. So, if you are planning a trip to the Hague, you don’t have to worry about transportation.
2.1. By Air
The Hague shares an airport with the city of Rotterdam, which is easily reachable by the Randstad Railway line (Line E) from Den Haag Central Station.
Rotterdam Den Haag airport is 20 kilometres away from the Hague City Centre. As Amsterdam Airport is not far from the Hague, you can also catch a flight to Amsterdam Airport, which is primarily used by travellers.
2.2. By Train
There are two major train stations in the Hague, Netherlands, namely Den Haag Central Station and Hollands Spoor train station. They are not far from each other, only at a walking distance of nearly 1.5 kilometres.
Many trains run from the major cities of the Netherlands, like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Hague Central Station is just 5 minutes away from Den Haag City Center.
2.3. By Road
Apart from rail and air transportation, one can also use the roads to reach there and make their journey memorable. There are several roads connecting the Hague to major cities of the Netherlands, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. The A12 highway passes through the Hague’s City Centre and finishes on the outskirts of the traffic junction.
3. Top Things to do in the Hague, Netherlands
There are many places to see and plenty of activities to do here in the Hague, Netherlands. You can explore the Royal Picture Gallery, or you can just roam around the royal palaces or the City Centre area for outings at the cafes or casual shopping on the shopping streets, or you can visit the Hague Market, which is the largest outdoor market in Europe.
You can also rent a bicycle if you ever want to reach a spot and it is a little far from the city centre. Let’s look at the top things you can do in the Hague, Netherlands.
3.1. The Mauritshuis
The Mauritshuis is a modern art museum in Den Haag. The museum exhibits the Royal Collection of Dutch Artwork, which has more than 800 pieces, the majority of which are Dutch Golden Age paintings.
This historical museum holds amazing artworks by renowned artists such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter, Frans Hals, Jacob van Ruisdael, Hans Holbein the Younger, and others.
This stunning art museum is maintained by the Dutch government and is one of the top 100 Dutch historic monuments. The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis has a unique collection of artworks by the 17th-century group commonly known as the Dutch Masters.
3.2. The Peace Palace
This Peace Palace is one of the most visited places and the most photographed architecture in the Hague, Netherlands. It is the home of the International Court of Justice, the United Nations’ only judicial instrument not based in New York, and the Permanent Court of Arbitra.
The Eternal Peace Flame burns right next to the Peace Palace’s entryway. The inscriptions on the monument read, “May all beings find peace.” Since 2004, the World Peace Path has encircled a path made up of 196 big and tiny stones from 196 different nations.
Many of these stones are one-of-a-kind, such as a fragment of the Berlin Wall and a stone from Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was jailed for several years.
If you only have a few days in Amsterdam but want to visit more, then Madurodam, a miniature city near the Hague, is the answer.
Consider visiting windmills to watch various Dutch Delta waterworks that allow people to live below sea level. The realistic miniature city representations of towns such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague will stun you.
Madurodam originally opened its doors on July 2, 1952, and has welcomed millions of visitors since then. It was initially constructed as a memorial to rebel fighter George Maduro. Every year, more than 500,000 people visit this little metropolis. The money from the tourists goes to the Madurodam Support Fund Society, which helps poor and needy students.
The Binnenhof is a building complex in the Hague, Netherlands. It comprises the meeting site for the Netherlands’ States-General, the Ministry of General Affairs, and the Prime Minister’s office.
Even after several upgrades and repairs, the buildings in the Binnenhof can still be used. Consequently, students will be aware of the everlasting link between the past, present, and future.
Parliamentarians and Ministers participate in politics at the Binnenhof; civil officials, journalists, and activists can also be seen in the legislative maze’s hallways. Even after ages, the Binnenhof is still used extensively and beautifully.
3.5. Japanese Garden
This breathtakingly gorgeous Japanese Garden was created in 1910 by the former owner of the Clingendael country home. Lady Daisy and Marguerite M. Baroness van Brienen were passionate about Japanese nature. Lady Daisy travelled to Japan repeatedly to choose flowers and works of art for her garden.
The garden now has a variety of Japanese plants and trees, as well as real Japanese lights, artworks, miniature bridges, and a pavilion. The garden was designated a national monument in 2001 due to its uniqueness.
This magnificent property is encircled by wide and breathtaking natural beauty. You can walk through the woods, visit many gardens, feed the ducks and swans, or have a picnic by the lake.
3.6. The Prison Gate
This structure was previously the entrance of the Counts of Holland’s castle, the Binnenhof. The ancient gate became the most significant jail of the Royal Court of Holland in the 15th century. The gate was later enlarged to include the prison cells.
The accused were imprisoned in the underground Jail cells. They were sat in this room, waiting to be questioned and punished. They were forced to confess in the torture chamber. The penalty was carried out once the court decided, preferably in front of a large crowd.
Renowned Dutch people jailed at the Prison Gate were Cornelis de Witt and Dirk Volckertszoon Coornhert. They resided in the Ridderkamer, or Knights Hall, which was their own luxurious cell. The Lady’s Room provided a view of the Hofvijver and city life.
The Prison Gate has been a provincial museum and home to the national collection of punishment and torture implements since 1882. The Hague’s Prison Gate Museum depicts crime and punishment from the 15th to the 19th centuries—four centuries of incarceration, questioning, and punishments.
3.7. Duivenvoorde Castle
Duivenvoorde Castle is in the Dutch town of Voorschoten, South Holland. It was first referenced in 1226, making it one of South Holland’s earliest castles.
The palace is a notable exception among Dutch castles, as it has never been sold—a rarity shared by only a few others in the country. Instead, it has been passed down through different aristocratic households, sometimes following the matrilineal line. This unique history adds to the palace’s significance and distinguishes it from most Dutch castles that have changed hands through sales or other means.
One family, the van Duivenvoordes, owned the castle throughout the first five centuries of its history, and they gave it their name – at the time, van Duvenvoirde. Despite their name, the van Duvenvoirdes were members of the House of Wassenaer, a historic aristocratic family that played an important role in Dutch history.
4. Transportation in The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague has a vast network of buses and trams, making moving around the city easy. Earlier, one had to pay for bus and tram rides in cash or with a Strippenkaart, a national zone-based ticketing system. However, a chip card later took over Strippenkaart.
There is a facility for night buses on Friday and Saturday, and these buses run from Buitenhof bus station to Scheveningen, Leidschendam-Voorburg, Rijswijk, Ypenburg, Leidschenveen, Nootdorp, and Delft.
4.1. Renting a Bike or Bicycle
You can also choose to travel around the city by renting a bike, which will cost you around 50 Euros to 160 Euros.
4.2. Taxi in the Netherlands
Generally, it is costlier to travel in European countries by taxi, but in the Netherlands, the taxi fare is charged by considering the fair charges. There is the easy availability of taxis on the street, but it is advisable to always try to use taxis that are recognized by blue number plates.
One can also use cab booking applications such as Uber to book cabs and avoid any hassle of finding cabs.
The train is the best way to explore the outer side of the Hague, Netherlands. There are two stations: the Hague Central Station and the Hague Holland Spoor station. The Netherlands and the Hague have vast rail networks connecting the entire country and many other countries like Germany, Belgium, and others.
In general, 4 to 6 trains travel between Hague and these cities each hour. Sprinter trains stop at every junction. However, intercity and international trains only stop at large stations.
4.4. By Car
If you take the 13 motorway bus straight from the airport, it will take you to the Hague City Centre. The travel takes around 30 minutes. If you want to travel into Rotterdam, take the S112 and N471 routes. The trip takes around 15 minutes.
There are several parking spaces within the walking distance from the airport in the Hague, Netherlands. You can save time and money by booking your slot online.
5. Best Time to Visit the Hague, Netherlands
If you want to know the best time to visit the Hague, Netherlands, consider the weather around May to October because it is pleasant.
The summer season is particularly nice; wintertime is longer and chilly and breezy all year round. Throughout the year, the temperature normally ranges from 35°F to 70°F, with temperatures seldom falling below 24°F or rising over 79°F.
From June to September, the temperature is modest, with plenty of sunshine and little rain. You can see the flowers bloom in April and May; from June to August, you can swim on the Scheveningen beaches.
6. Accommodations in the Hague
While travelling to any country or city, it is always better to take special care while choosing your accommodation. While choosing an area, one should always look for a stay near the attractions and places you want to cover to make things easier. Talking about the Hague, Netherlands, the majority of the city’s attractions are located in Hague’s City Centre.
Binnenhof, a group of Parliamentary buildings that surround the Hofvhijver lake, are photogenic, and it is a pleasure to visit it at any time of year. This place is located in the neighbourhood of the City Centre. The Hall of Knights looks a bit different than any other building in Binnenhof’s structures of its Gothic architecture.
The City Centre is a wonderful place to stay in the Hague because of its cultural offerings, including museums such as the Mauritshuis, which is dedicated to art, the Museum of History of the Hague, and a crime museum housed in a former medieval jail.
There are several renowned dining places and cafes here, so you will not have to struggle to find the best restaurants for dining. Also, this area is best considering the accessibility of transport here due to the presence of a train station and tram lines.
7. Eating and Drinking Options in the Hague
The Hague is a vibrant and bustling seaside city known for its variety of eateries right on the edge of the sea, like Scheveningen Beach, all offering a diverse range of fresh seafood. On the other hand, local, lesser-known fish stalls and markets provide unique glimpses into the nation’s seafood market and culture, as well as many of the greatest local fish delicacies.
Whether you are hunting for memorable delicacies, fresh seafood, or a glimpse into the conventional Dutch fishery industry, Scheveningen Beach and the Hague offers everything you are looking for.
7.1. Den Haag Market
The Hague Market, commonly known as the Den Haag Market, is the busiest and largest weekly market in the Netherlands, with around 600 stalls and more than 50,000 people on a typical market day. This market is renowned for its well-known and wide variety of local items, such as fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers, seafood, apparel, gadgets, and artifacts.
The Hague Market is between the Transvaal and Schilderswijk districts, near the Hoefkade and Hobbemaplein tram stops. The market’s unique cuisine, housewares, textiles, and fashion are popular among residents.
7.2. Scheveningen’s Fish Stalls
If you are looking for a quick bite, try the famed Dutch herring at one of Scheveningen’s many fish stalls on the Scheveningen beach. Tap your head back, slurp a herring straight from the early morning fish auction, or eat it on bread with chopped onions and pickles (uitjes en zuur).
You can visit Henk Kraan, Roeleveld, Het Haringhuisje, and Simonis aan de Haven. If herring is not your thing, try the fried cod – a simple yet excellent meal of fluffy and lightly battered cod – or kibbling, the ever-popular morsels of fried white fish best enjoyed with a garlicky tartar sauce. The smoked eel sandwiches are also recommended.
7.3. Scheveningen Harbour Restaurants
Scheveningen Harbour is lively, with fishermen heading out to get the best fish, boats moored in the marina, and visitors joining in on the excitement. The waterfront is the centre of the Dutch fish trade and one of the most frequent sites in the Hague’s Scheveningen neighbourhood, attracting many tourists yearly.
Until the 1960s, the main function of this region was fishery, but it has since evolved into a one-of-a-kind destination recognized for its great fish restaurants and cafés. Sit in one of the restaurants that line the quay and watch the yachts arrive and go while enjoying some of the best fresh seafood.
8. Events and Festivals in the Hague
8.1. North Sea Regatta
The North Sea Regatta is a sailing festival held yearly in the Hague. Scheveningen has become the main base of Dutch competitive sailing every Whitsun weekend. Approximately 1500 sailors with a variety of boats race towards the Hague’s coast.
A fantastic pop and rock musical extravaganza with something for everybody to enjoy. Schollenpop is located parallel to the pier on South Beach. Take your swimming shorts or bikini to cool down in the seawater.
8.3. Scheveningen Kite Festival
The annual Kite Festival Scheveningen takes place near the coastal resort of the Hague. Kite builders and fans from all around the world gather to fly their masterpieces. Visitors may also learn about the latest kite-powered sports.
The International Kite Festival Scheveningen in the Hague is a yearly event demonstrating how much fun kites can be for adults and children.
The festival, the largest of its type in the Netherlands, fills the beach with excited spectators as the sky is filled with soaring colours and designs from over 100 kite flyers worldwide, who perform exhibitions and feats. Hence, if you are a kite-flying enthusiast, you should add this festival to your bucket list.
Therefore, if you are planning to visit the Netherlands and want to have some memorable moments, then the Hague, Netherlands, is the place for you.