Whether you want to enjoy your holidays in a countryside village away from the city buzz or want to spend quality time in the presence of beautiful nature in the parks or want to enjoy the sea on the splendid beaches, the Hague Netherlands tourism is one of the most prominent parts of Netherlands Tourism and attracts loads of foreign tourists.
History and Importance of The Hague
The Hague lies on the western coast of the north sea. Though it is not the capital city of the Netherlands, still it holds significant historical and political importance in the history of the Netherlands.
The Hague is administrative as well as the royal capital of the Netherlands with the presence of the Royal Palace of the Dutch royal family and also is the seat of the Dutch parliament and the Dutch government. Due to its central location, it is the most used place for protests and political rallies.
The Hague Netherlands is also home to many foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many major Dutch and international companies. It also has been the home of International law for centuries.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established at The Hague in 1899 to resolve international disputes. International Criminal Court and International Justice Court have their home in The Hague Netherlands and for this reason, it is also called the judicial capital of the world.
How To Reach The Hague?
The Hague is easily accessible by the 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 to reach here.
1. By Air
The Hague shares airport with the city of Rotterdam, which is easily reachable by 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 the Amsterdam Airport, which is largely used by travellers travelling to The Hague.
2. By Train
There are two major train stations in the Hague Netherlands namely Den Haag Central Station and Hollands Spoor train station which are nearby each other to a walking distance of nearly 1.5 Kilometres.
There are many trains running from the major cities of the Netherlands like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and major train stations of Europe such as Moscow, Berlin, and others. The Hague Central Station is just 5 minutes away from Den Haag City Center.
3. By Road
Apart from rail and air transportation, one can use road transportation as a mode to reach here to make their journey a memorable one. There are a number of 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 traffic junction outskirts.
Top Things To Do in The Hague Netherlands
There are lots of places to see and plenty of activities to do here in The Hague Netherlands. You can explore Royal Picture Gallery or you can just roam around the royal palaces or the City Centre area for outings at the cafes or for casual shopping on the shopping streets or you can visit The Hague Market and Dutch Parliament which is the largest outdoor market in Europe.
You can also rent a bicycle if ever want to tour an area a little away from the city centre on the outskirts. Let’s look at the top things you do in The Hague Netherlands.
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 some 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 currently held and maintained by the Dutch government and is one of the top 100 Dutch historic monuments. The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis is a unique collection of artworks by the 17th-century group commonly known as the Dutch Masters.
2. The Peace Palace
This admirable place 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, as well as the Permanent Court of Arbitra.
The Eternal Peace Flame burns just next to the Peace Palace’s entryway. On April 18, 2002, the very first peace flame throughout the Netherlands was little near the entry gates of the Peace Palace.
The inscriptions on the monument read, “May all beings find peace.” Since 2004, a path made up of 196 big and tiny stones from 196 different nations have been encircled by the World Peace Path. Many of these stones are one-of-a-kinds, such as a fragment of the Berlin Wall and a stone from Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was jailed for several years.
If you only have a few days in Amsterdam but want to visit more of the Netherlands, Madurodam miniature city near The Hague is the answer. The scale-down of the structures and buildings that define the Netherlands can be seen here in this amazing place.
Consider windmills, various Dutch Delta waterworks that allow people to live below sea level, the Rotterdam Harbour, and much more. The highly 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 proceeds from the attraction go to the Madurodam Support Fund Society, which helps poor and needy students.
The Binnenhof is a building complex in The Hague Netherlands, adjacent to the Hofvijver. It comprises the meeting site for the Netherlands’ States-General and the Ministry of General Affairs and the Prime Minister’s office.
Owing to several upgrades and repairs, the buildings on the Binnenhof may still be used widely. As a consequence, students will be aware of the everlasting link that exists between the past, present, and future.
Parliamentarians and Ministers participate in politics at the Binnenhof; civil officials, journalists, and activists may also be found in the legislative maze’s hallways. Even after ages, the Binnenhof is still used extensively and is still beautiful.
5. Japanese Garden
This breathtakingly gorgeous garden was created circa 1910 by the former owner of the Clingendael country home. Lady Daisy and Marguerite M. Baroness van Brienen had a passion for Japanese nature. Lady Daisy herself travelled to Japan repeatedly to choose the 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 may take a walk through the woods, visit many gardens, feed the ducks and swans, or have a picnic by the lake.
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 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 rendered its decision, 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 the chronicle of crime and punishment from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Four centuries of incarceration, questioning, and punishments.
7. Duivenvoorde Castle
Duivenvoorde Castle is a castle 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 notable in that it is not been sold, which is true of only a few Dutch castles. It has been handed down through various aristocratic households, occasionally via the matrilineal line.
The castle was owned by one family throughout the first five centuries of its history, the van Duivenvoordes, who gave it their name – at the time, van Duvenvoirde. Despite their name, the van Duvenvoirdes were really members of the House of Wassenaer, a historic aristocratic family that played an important role in Dutch history.
Transportation in The Hague Netherlands
The Hague has a vast network of buses and trams that make moving around the city pretty easy. Earlier, one had to pay for bus and tram rides in cash or with a Strippenkaart, a national zone-based ticketing system. Although, later a chip card took over Strippenkaart.
There is a facility of night buses for Friday and Saturday and these buses run from Buitenhof bus station to Scheveningen, Leidschendam-Voorburg, Rijswijk, Ypenburg, Leidschenveen, Nootdorp, and Delft.
1. Renting 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. A cheaper option is also available here if you want to travel within the city which is renting a bicycle.
2. Taxi In The Netherlands
Generally, it is costlier to travel in European countries by taxi but here in the Netherlands, the taxi fare is charged by taking into consideration that the customer should be fairly charged. There is the easy availability of taxis on the street, but it is advisable to always try to use recognized taxis which are recognized by blue number plates.
Also one can use the application of cab booking services such as Uber to book cabs and avoid any hassle finding cabs.
For exploring the outer side of the Hague Netherlands, the train is the best way. There are two stations namely The Hague Centraal Station and The Hague Holland Spoor station. The Netherlands and the Hague have vast rail networks which not only connect the entire country but also many other countries like Germany, Belgium, and others.
In general, 4 to 6 trains each hour travel between Hague and these cities. Sprinter trains stop at every junction, however, intercity and international trains only stop at large stations.
4. By Car
If you take the A 13 motorway bus straight from the airport, it will take you right to the Hague City Centre. The travel takes around 30 minutes. If you would like to travel into Rotterdam, take the routes S112 and N471. The trip takes around 15 minutes.
There are several parking spaces within a few minutes’ walk of the airport The Hague Netherlands. You may save time and money by booking your slot online ahead of time.
Best Time to Visit The Hague Netherlands
If you want to know the best time to visit The Hague Netherlands, then considering the weather around May to October which is pleasant during this time is advisable to visit The Hague Netherlands around these months.
The summer season is particularly nice, wintertime is longer and chilly, and it is 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. In April and May, you can see the flowers bloom, and from June through August, you may swim on the Scheveningen beaches.
Accommodations in The Hague
While travelling to any country or city, it is better to always take special care when choosing accommodation. When choosing an area one should always look for a stay which is 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 pleasure to visit it at any time of year, this place is located in this neighbourhood of the City Centre. The Hall of Knights looks a bit different than any other building among Binnenhof’s structures of its Gothic architecture.
The City Centre is a wonderful site to stay in The Hague also because of its cultural offerings, which include 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 as well, so you will not have to sweat hard 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 cross lines.
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. Local, lesser-known fish stalls and markets, on the other hand, provide unique glimpses into the nation’s seafood market and culture as well as many 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.
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 artefacts.
The Hague Market is situated in The Hague between the Transvaal and Schilderswijk districts, near the tram stops Hoefkade and Hobbemaplein. The market’s unique cuisine, housewares, textiles, and fashion are particularly popular among residents.
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 located on the Scheveningen beach. Tip your head back and slurp a herring straight from the early morning fish auction or eat it on bread with chopped onions and pickles (uitjes en zuur).
Local families go to places like 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 recommended for those who are more daring in the kitchen.
3. Scheveningen Harbour Restaurant
Scheveningen Harbour is a lively place, with fishermen heading out to get the best fish, boats moored in the marina, and visitors joining in on the excitement. The waterfront is a centre for the Dutch fish trade and one of the most frequented sites in The Hague’s Scheveningen neighbourhood, attracting many tourists each year.
Until the 1960s, the main function of the region was a fishery, but it has since evolved into a one-of-a-kind destination recognised for its great fish restaurants and cafés. Take a seat at one of the restaurants that line the quay and watch the yachts arrive and go while dining on some of the best fresh seafood in the nation.
Events and Festivals in The Hague
1. North Sea Regatta
The International Kite Festival Scheveningen in The Hague is a yearly event that demonstrates how much fun kites can be for both 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 from around the world, who will perform exhibitions and feats.
The North Sea Regatta is a sailing festival held yearly in The Hague. Scheveningen is evolved into the main base of Dutch competitive sailing every Whitsun weekend. Approximately 1500 sailors with a variety of boats race towards The Hague’s coast.
Schollenpop is one of the music festivals that takes place on Scheveningen’s South Beach (Zuiderstrand). Sun, sea, sand and, of course, tonnes of live music are all part of this fantastic extravaganza.
A fantastic pop and rock musical extravaganza with something for everybody to enjoy; a fun day out in Scheveningen is assured. Schollenpop is located parallel to the pier on South Beach. Take your swimming shorts or bikini with you to cool down in the seawater.
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 that demonstrates how much fun kites can be for both 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 from around the world, who will perform exhibitions and feats. Hence if you are a Kite flying enthusiast you should add this festival to your bucket list.
Thereby, if you are planning to visit the Netherlands and want to make your visit a memorable one, The Hague Netherlands is the place calling you.