So are you planning to visit South Holland? Looking for some ideas on things to do in The Hague?
The Hague (Den Haag) is known as the political heart of the Netherlands. Where most of the government offices are located including the International Law administration of the United Nations.
The Dutch Royal family also lives in the outskirts of The Hague.
Where is The Hague?
The Hague is located around 45 minutes away from the capital of the Netherlands – Amsterdam. Located in South Holland and it is the capital of the region. It is only the big city of the Netherlands that is a stone throw away from the North city. It is 10x smaller than Amsterdam but its significance to the Netherlands is considered as one of the top important city of the country.
How to travel from Amsterdam to the Hague?
The Hague is around 45 minutes away from Amsterdam via trains. You can easily get a direct train from Amsterdam Centraal station to The Hague. The return fare is around €25. You can buy the train ticket from the big yellow ticket machines in the Amsterdam Centraal or head towards the ticket counter at the station (But if you hate to queue up, just use the yellow ticket machine).
If you have decided to drive to The Hague from Amsterdam. The Hague is around 65 Kilometres away using the A4 highway heading south. The Hague is a great day trip destination from Amsterdam.
Best things to do in The Hague, Netherlands.
1. Admire the fine arts at Mauritshuis
The Mauritshuis is located at the centre of The Hague. The museum is the home of the best Golden age Dutch paintings including the world known and admired painting of the Johannes Vermeer – The Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The museum also has some of Rembrandt’s painting like the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp. This painting is one of the main highlights of the museum.
All the art afficionados’ favourite things to do in the Hague is visit to Mauritshuis. You can purchase your ticket online to avoid the queue. You can also book this guided tour of Mauritshuis. Alternatively, you can buy a Holland Pass that will let you have access to hundreds of museums for 30 days.
2. Enjoy the Madurodam
Want to see the beauty of Holland in a short time? Consider visiting Madurodam, it is one of the best things to do in the Hague most especially for families.
Madurodam is known for the miniature model villages of the various famous attractions around Holland. You can see some known tourist attractions from Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and the UNESCO Mills “Kinderdijk”.
The political centre of the Dutch government. The Binnenhof is where the Dutch parliament meets and you can watch the debate live if there is a session. It is one of the most visited places in the Hague. One of the free places to visit in The Hague.
Inside the Binnenhof is the Ridderzaal, which translate to “Knight’s hall’. Located at the centre court of Binnenhof. This is the place where the King of Holland makes his public speech from the throne. Just in front of the Ridderzaal, you can find a well ornamentally designed golden fountain dedicated to Count William II of Holland.
Just outside of Binnenhof is a small lake called Hofvijer. I personally love the view of Binnenhof sitting in front of the Hofvijer. A relaxing way to spend an afternoon in the Hague.
4. Peace Palace
The Peace Palace in the Hague was opened in 1913. Home of the International Court Justice of the United Nations, Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), The Hague International Law and the Peace Palace Library. The Peace palace serves mainly as the administrative building for international law and relations between countries in conflict.
The Hague convention is any of the international peace treaty, peace talks, conference and agreements by different conflicting parties/countries made in the court or the Peace Palace of The Hague.
There are some guided tours offered to see the beauty of the Peace Palace. You can also find here the Dutch Royal Family-sponsored, Andrew Carnegie Foundation.
5. Visit the Scheveningen Beach
If you want to see the beach and relax, head to the Scheveningen beach in The Hague. It is one of the most popular beach destinations in Holland. The whole stretch of sandy beach gives a great recreational space for the locals and visitors of The Hague.
There are loads of activities, beach and water sports that you can do in the area. You can also just spend the whole day relaxing on your sun lounger. The Scheveningen pier is the main focal point of the beach area. The 400 metres long and 45 metres high, it’s definitely noticeable and provides a good view of the town.
6. Shop at the Hague Market
If you love to shop, you came to the right place. The Hague Market is the largest outdoor market in Europe! Located at the Herman Coster street, this is the mecca of pretty much of all shoppers in the region. Visiting the market is one of the best things to do in the Hague.
The Hague Market is open every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm. You can find pretty much anything here from fresh goods up to exotic bric-a-brac that you can possibly think of. There are around 500 stalls to choose from to do your shopping, so better ready your most comfortable shoes and your wallet.
You are up for a serious shopping spree here! Time to flex those haggling skills.
7. See the Noordeinde Palace
One of the three palaces in The Hague. The Noordeinde Palace is used by the current monarch as the “working palace”. This palace is not open to the public and only used for a special state visit by other foreign royalties and dignitaries.
Behind the Noordeinde Palace are the palace’s garden and the Royal stable.
The Palace garden is one of the free places to visit in The Hague. Enjoy some fresh air from the serene ambience of the garden. A perfect way to spend some quality time with the family.
The Royal stable is where horses and royal coaches are kept.
8. Huis Ten Bosch
Another one of the three palaces in the Hague. The Huis Ten Bosch is the official residence of the Dutch Royal family. The palace was built in 1645 and was then passed on to the various members of the Dutch Royal Family.
The palace is not open for the public. However, the woods around the palace is open to the public to enjoy the tranquil garden that surrounds the palace.
9. Visit the Gevangenpoort
The Gevangenpoort was once a gate to the Binnenhof. In the fifteenth century, it became a prison of the Hague.
The Gevangenpoort became a medieval prison for the outlaws that were waiting for their trials and sentences. In 1828, the Gevangenpoort became an abandoned prison and then in 1882, it was then turned into a museum.
Until now, the Gevangenpoort museum, tells the grim and infamous stories of the that only the walls of this building have seen over the centuries.
10. Enjoy the beer garden and cafes
The Hague has a more relaxed city centre atmosphere than Amsterdam. Catching with your breath after a busy day roaming around The Hague or even just catching up with your friends, enjoying the pleasant beer gardens and cafes in the city is the best way to go.
Sitting in a cafe and watching the world go by is one of my favourite thing to do when I’m in a foreign city. So would you like to experience it first-hand? Book this city-centre beer tour around The Hague
11. Admire the beauty of The Passage
If you are up for a serious luxury shopping, the head towards The Passage arcade in The Hague. The Passage was built around 1885 specially created to serve the upper market by selling luxury goods from Paris. It is known as the “Oldest Shopping centre in the Netherlands”.
It is a unique place to visit in The Hague high street, due to its beautiful Parisian architectural design. The high ceiling, glass atrium, marble floor and the intricately decorated facade will give you the luxury vibes.
In 2014, they opened a new part of The Passage to expand a whole new shopping experience and a great addition to the great places to visit and things to do in the Hague.
So definitely include these awesome places and things to do the Hague on your next visit to the Netherlands!