Golden sand dunes, lush parks, and a history to rival that of Amsterdam: The Hague is one of the best-kept strategies of the Netherlands. Located South of Amsterdam in the Holland region, here’s why you need to visit The Hague on your next Europe trip!
After all, the town boasts a fantastic foodie scene, attractions for everyone to savor, and creates a great base by which to explore the wider region. Not only that, but the city is also home to its very own beach, used to be the haunt of numerous an acclaimed writer and artist, as well as houses several of the Netherland’s greatest treasures.
The Hague is the perfect mix of the City and the Beach
You might not exactly know this, however the Scheveningen area is really a area of the Hague. Located around a fifteen to twenty-minute cycle ride from the city centre, the fishing district is characterised by its sandy dunes, cobbled lanes, and historic buildings and used to be an urban area on its own.
However, as The Hague grew, the community was integrated into the fabric of the larger city, although it has since maintained its very own distinctive vibe. Visit today and you can expect to find sandy beaches, a maze of cobbled lanes that is the centre of Scheveningen, and lots of water-sports opportunities. For the ultimate romantic getaway and the opportunity to wake up to views of the sea, check out some of the best places to stay in the sand district here.
The UNESCO passage is really worth checking out
The most well-known from the UNESCO listed destinations in this region from the Netherlands is that of De Passage Den Haag. A horse-shoe shaped covered arcade having a selection of independent shops and eateries, this regally appointed structure dates all the way back to the 19th-century and was created so as to ‘mimic’ the covered arcades of Paris.
The Girl using the Pearl Earring
Many people mistakenly go to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, believing that they’ll be able to spy 17th-century Dutch Master. Johannes Vermeer’s, most well-known masterpiece, the Girl With the Pearl Earring. This famous Dutch masterpiece is to Den Haag exactly what the Mona Lisa would be to Paris.
And that’s not only because the painting is superbly executed. Instead, little is known behind the painter behind iconic artwork. A guy likely born in Delft during the 1630s, Vermeer is as much of a mystery as the subject of his most well-known painting, which could certainly be based in the Mauritshuis within the Hague.
Coffee Culture within the Hague is fantastic
It might surprise you, but The Hague boasts an impressive café scene, with lots of independent shops and eateries. Although some Dutch hotspots are perfect for brunches with friends, other cafés boast amenities such as speedy WiFi and therefore are great spaces to sip on speciality coffee while catching up with work!
Some of the best cafés to go to within the Hague include Mugs & Mermaids (as you can imagine from the name of this café, the theme of this cosy venue is mythical by having an underwater vibe), Filtro // Speciality Coffee Bar (ideal for the caffeine lovers out there), and Walter Benedict (without doubt, this eatery may be the brunch destination to frequent!)
The Hague is home to a Royal History
History buffs need only one reason to go to The Hague! And that’s the city’s Royal History. Although the Dutch money is probably best-known because of its political buildings today (after all, this is when you’ll find the Peace Palace!), thanks to its strategic position in South Holland, Den Haag includes a rich royal history and was the political seat of power for Holland during a lot of the center Ages.
There’s an amazing vegan scene within the Hague
Between fast food joints and fine dining experiences, I was pleasantly surprised to find out upon a trip to Den Haag that the city offers some of the best vegan and vegetarian experiences of anywhere in Europe. Some of the best foodie meat-free hotspots within the city include FOAM (for brunches and lightweight lunches) and Hortus for any more luxurious, fine-dining experience.
The city of Den Haag is easy to cycle around
Like a lot of Holland (such as the city of Amsterdam), The Hague is especially simple to circumvent with either on your two feet, or preferably by bicycle. While you can explore most of the central museums and photo spots by foot, if you wish to get a sense of the city’s parks, outer districts, and easily go to the beach, then you’ll want to rent a bike (which can be done at a number of points throughout the city).
For people who enjoy cycling and wish to escape the confines from the city during the day, the other of the greatest bicycle excursions from The Hague is the fact that to Kasteel Duivenvoorde. A sumptuous brick castle surrounded by its very own parkland and moat, the former family home can be found halfway between Leiden and Den Haag, and is around a forty-minute cycle ride from The Hague city centre.
The Hague is a great place by which to take day trips towards the remainder of Holland
If you’re searching for a cheaper destination than Amsterdam and yet with easy access towards the remaining Holland region, you might well want to consider booking a remain in The Hague. After all, in the political city it’s easy to take day trips towards the nearby university cities of Leiden and Delft.
It also couldn’t be easier to result in the journey to the architectural town of Rotterdam or perhaps the tulip fields of Keukenhof throughout the tulip season of late March- mid-May. For additional ideas and inspiration regarding day excursions, check out this help guide to the very best day trips in the Hague.
Mondrian was born within the Hague
Even if you’re not familiar with the name ‘Mondrian,’ I’m sure you’ll recognise the Dutch designer’s pieces of art. Characterised by their blank canvases, stark black lines, and primary blocks of colour, Piet Mondrian is widely regarded to be one of the biggest names in Dutch abstract art.
Today, you can follow within the footsteps of Mondrian in The Hague, including at the Gemeentemuseum, where there is an entire wing of the museum devoted to the iconic artist. The gathering may be the largest group of Mondrian artworks on the planet. Elsewhere within the city, you will find bars, accommodations, or even a school named for the famous Dutch artist!
The Hague hosts windmills!
I think it’s fair to say that many people visit the Netherlands with the expectation of visiting a traditional Dutch windmill or two! Created centuries ago in order to help grind grain and diminish water in the low-lying fields, today only a handful of these historic monuments survive.
Of course, the most famous of the wooden windmills are those of Kinderdijk, some stunning mills which could easily be visited like a excursion from Amsterdam or being an excursion from Rotterdam. But what many people don’t know would be that the Hague, too, features its own set of windmills.
'Molendriegang' is very literally translated as 'three windmills,' and when upon a time, the mills were used to dry mill the De Driemanspolder. For all those not really acquainted with the word 'polder', it's a bit of low lying land which has been reclaimed from the river or from the sea that is then protected by levees.
Things to know before going to the Hague for that first time
You ought to know before you go that Dutch individuals are among the best English speakers on the planet! Which means that holland is ideal for solo travel and you’ll easily get by, even if you don’t know the local language. With that being said, it’s only polite to understand several words from the local language having a simple Dutch phrasebook like that one.
Though The Hague boasts easy rail links towards the rest of Europe, if you’re travelling from a little even further away, then Schipol Amsterdam Airport terminal is one of the best and most convenient airports in Europe. Situated a mere half-hour train ride away from The Hague city centre, it couldn’t be easier to reach this area of the Netherlands!
Finally, if you are visiting The Netherlands in the USA, UK, Canda, and a plethora of other countries, then you need to know that you will need to take along a travel adaptor. If you wish to save money, then purchase this all-in-one travel adaptor that will permit you to employ your electronics in over 150 countries!