The Hague (known in Dutch as ‘Den Haag’) is not just politics, embassies, and ambassadors, although it obviously has that as well! Instead, the town is really a thriving metropolis home to countless cultural destinations as well as its very own seaside resort. Cheaper in which to stay than Amsterdam, The Hague also makes for a great base for exploring the rest of the Netherlands. Here’s your ultimate guide to the very best day trips from The Hague!
The beautiful university town of Leiden is easily one of the most underrated cities in Holland… But it definitely shouldn’t be! Home to the oldest university in the country, the oldest botanical gardens, as well as where the Heineken Star logo originated from, Leiden can be found only a fifteen-minute train ride from the Hague.
Or, if you’re feeling brave enough, turn your visit right into a day adventure and cycle the 15 km or so each way! A cycle ride excursion to Leiden may be easily combined with a day trip to Kasteel Duivenvoorde. Other highlights of Leiden include Rembrandt’s birthplace, a church with strong ties to the Mayflower, and also the chance to spy some of The Miniaturist filming locations.
Read more: Here’s why you should visit Leiden
Delftware pottery and many of the most impressive church towers in Southern Holland are available in Delft, a town around the train line between your Hague and Rotterdam. Once there, be sure to go to the De Delftse Pauw (The Delft Peacock), one of the last authentic Delft blue factories.
You can enjoy a totally free tour of the porcelain manufacturer, in addition to get the opportunity to purchase some authentic Delftware for yourself (though bear in mind that it's really a little on the pricey side!). Elsewhere in the city, the Nieuwe Kerk offers one of the best views of the main city square, as the oldest bar within the city dates back some three hundred years.
Read more: Visiting the oldest bar in Delft
Modern, quirky, and vibrant, there’s not one other European city quite like that of Rotterdam. During the Blitzkrieg of WWII, the city was near flattened, abandoning an empty canvas on which some of the most innovative and weird structures in Europe have since been built.
One of the greatest things to do in Rotterdam is simply to wander round the city (or cycle, Rotterdam is fairly vast and is most definitely best seen by bike) and admire the architecture. In the Markthal (which is the largest archway in Europe and home to the ‘Horn of Plenty’, the largest artwork within the Netherlands) to the Cube Houses by Piet Blom, there’s no shortage of fantastical architecture to spy.
Read more: Why you should visit Rotterdam, the architectural Dutch city
Synonymous with the cheese of the same name which comes from this Dutch city, Gouda is a beautiful city the place to find a traditional cheese weighing station, city hall, and countless canals. In the event you opt to visit this beautiful Dutch settlement between April and August on a Thursday, then you’ll likewise be able to savor the city’s world-famous cheese market.
Read more: Why you must visit Gouda (and it’s not just the cheese!)
The capital of the Netherlands is as beautiful as everything you’ve read. With that said ,, there’s no denying that in the past decade, Amsterdam has become something of a victim of their own popularity. As a result, I suggest visiting the city within the shoulder seasons and mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) if at all possible in order to make the most of the city with no crowds.
Read more: The best Amsterdam bucket list
Located around 10 km in the Hague city centre, Kasteel Duivenvoorde is easy to go to by trains and buses (the nearest village of Voorschoten is really a handful of kilometres away) or via bicycle (there’s ample bike parking within the castle grounds).
First founded as a fortified structure as soon as the 13th-century, much of what you see today was actually built-in the 17th. Though tours of the home are solely in Dutch, the grounds could be visited for just EUR1 and also the adjacent café serves wonderful coffee.
Read more: How you can visit Castle Duivenvoorde, the closest fairytale castle to The Hague
Molendriegang & Voorburg
For those people who are seeking to experience Dutch windmills close up, Molendriegang is really a group of three quintessentially Dutch landmarks, in the very heart from the flat landscape. Simple to reach via bicycle, a visit to the windmills (which can sadly 't be visited and can instead simply be admired in the exterior) may be easily combined with a trip to the nearby beautiful and historic villages of Leidschendam and Voorburg.
Read more: The gorgeous windmills of Molendriegang
Though technically a district of The Hague, Scheveningen has its own seaside vibe and is far enough from the city centre to merit a spot on this list concerning the best day trips from The Hague. Flocked to by tourists because the 19th-century like a go-to beach destination, the beach can be reached in only fifteen minutes by bus or bicycle in the city centre.
Highlights of Scheveningen include its long sandy beach, as well as an impossibly high Ferris Wheel, offering views onto the crashing waves below. While in Scheveningen, make sure to also take a look at one of the numerous beach-front cafés serving all manner of beverages and food. Personally, i recommend the fries at the Fat Mermaid!
Read more: Riding around the first over the sea Ferris Wheel in Europe
The oldest city within the Netherlands can be found on a direct train line in the Hague, around a forty-minute train ride in the city centre. Often dubbed the ‘Venice of Holland’ because of its many waterways, maui only has been attached to the remaining Netherlands via roads for the shortest period. And when there, you’ll soon understand why!
Read more: The most amazing cities in the Netherlands
Lisse & the Keukenhof Gardens
Other than plenty of place names which are difficult to pronounce (try saying Scheveningen five times in a row!) and clogs, there is perhaps anything emblematic from the Netherlands than its tulips. After all, during the Dutch Golden Age, tulips fetched impossibly high costs. In some instances, a single tulip bulb might be valued at around the same price as a small canalside house in Amsterdam!
As such, if you’re visiting the Netherlands during tulip season, then one of the greatest day trips in the Hague would be to the Southern Holland tulip belt and directly into the tulip city of Lisse. Once in Lisse, the town hosts attractions like a tulip museum and the Keukenhof Gardens, that is where you’ll find some seven million flowers!
Read more: How to visit Keukenhof, the largest flower gardens in Holland