Whether you’re spending a week or one day in the Hague, this article is packed with helpful tips, practical info, and of course, the best things to do in the Hague, the Netherlands!
The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) is a lively, international city with lots to offer and many reasons to add it to your itinerary.
Still, we don’t think one day in the Hague would be enough to see all the incredible places in this city, so if you can, stay a day longer, and you’ll be impressed with the number of things to do in the Hague there truly are.
With numerous museums, art galleries, and beautiful parks, the Hague is the third largest Dutch city and the seat of the Dutch Parliament.
Curious about this place? Read on to know what to do in the Hague then!
Looking for accommodation in the Hague? If you’re staying in the city, you might want to book your accommodation in advance to ensure the best rates.
Even though the city is much more affordable than Amsterdam, booking in advance is crucial in vacation planning.
- Holiday Inn Express – This hotel’s location is excellent! It’s only a 2-minute walk from Mauritshuis and Binnenhof and 164 feet from the Plein, where you can find many bars and cafés. You can visit most places on foot if you stay here! Also, the spacious rooms have a TV, desk, and free WiFi. Click here to check availability.
- The Collector Hotel – Although this 4-star hotel is also located in the city center, its highlights are the amenities, comfort, and style. The cool rooms are spacious and have air conditioning, tv with cable channels, free WiFi, minibar, and tea/coffee maker. Besides, they are beautifully decorated with Dutch art–charming and quirky. We love it! Oh, and guests rave about their breakfast. Click here to check availability.
Where Is The Hague
The Hague is located in the province of South Holland on the Dutch coast. It’s surrounded by Delft, Zoetemeer, and Leiden.
How to Get from Amsterdam to the Hague
It’s super easy! Take a train at the Amsterdam Central Station toward Den Haag Centraal (The Hague Central Station), and you’ll be in the heart of the city. The trip takes about 50 minutes and costs around 13 euros.
Mind you, there might be delays or detours in the journey during the weekends when the Dutch railways plan their maintenances.
How to Get from Rotterdam to the Hague
Take a train at the Rotterdam Central Station toward Den Haag Centraal, and you’ll be in the heart of the city in about 25 minutes. This trip costs around 6 euros.
Best Things to Do in the Hague, the Netherlands
Here are our favorite things to do in the Hague in no particular order.
1. Check out the Mauritshuis Museum
Ask a museum lover about what to do in the Hague, and they will direct you to the Mauritshuis in the city center without a second thought.
The museum houses an impressive collection of paintings from the so-called Dutch Golden Age.
From Vermeer’s ‘The Girl with the Pearl Earring,’ Fabritius’s ‘The Goldfinch’, to Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson,’ the museum has no shortage of medieval painting masterpieces.
You can take an English-guided tour and treat your eyes to the fabulous artwork of the Dutch masters.
Built in the 17th century, the Mauritshuis building has a stately feel and is a gorgeous structure to hang out in.
2. Explore the Binnenhof and Ridderzaal
Binnenhof and Ridderzaal are located right beside the Mauritshuis. These three historic buildings are must-visit attractions in the Hague.
Binnenhof is the House of Parliament, while Ridderzaal, with its Knights’ Hall, is the heart of the Binnenhof.
Interestingly, the Binnenhof is the oldest parliament building in the world!
Ridderzaal boasts of the magnificent Gothic-style structure, glass-stained windows, and timber roof that looks like an inverted ship.
The section of buildings here dates back to 1250 and is still used for functions and receptions.
You must admire the stunning architecture and spend some time on the medieval grounds.
3. Visit Escher in the Palace
The Netherlands is known for its notable masters and the renowned Dutch artist, M.C. Escher, was one of the first graphic designers in the 20th century who applied mathematics and geometry in his artwork.
Escher in the Palace is an art museum that houses an impressive Escher’s original prints, woodblocks, and lithographs.
Visiting this museum is by far one of the best things to do in the Hague if you are traveling with kids, as it offers the little ones a chance to interact, experiment, and go on a scavenger hunt while creating their own optical illusions.
Besides, the building was once a Winter Palace, and nowadays, it maintains its royal charm with its stunning ballrooms.
4. Admire the Artwork at the Panorama Mesdag
Housed in a purpose-built museum in the Hague, Panorama Mesdag is a giant cylindrical painting painted by HW Mesdag and his wife, Sientje Mesdag, in the 19th century.
The artwork has been designed to create a 360-degree view of coastal Scheveningen, offering a 3D illusion.
It is the world’s largest painting of its type and gives you an illusion of standing in the middle of a beautiful coastal landscape.
The museum also contains a collection of artworks of other notable artists and is one of the popular Hague attractions where you can take a guided tour.
5. Discover the Miniworld at the Madurodam
Madurodam is one of the most unique attractions in the Hague that depicts life in the Netherlands on a 1:25 scale.
This miniature city displays exact replicas of the important landmarks in the Netherlands.
You can find tiny reproductions of the windmills, Dutch tulip fields, cheese markets, the seaport of Rotterdam, Anne Frank’s house, and the Peace Palace at Madurodam.
If you visit nighttime, you will find all the streets and buildings lit up beautifully. Madurodam is probably one of the best things to see in the Hague for all age groups.
6. Check out the Kunstmuseum Den Haag
Kunstmuseum Den Haag, formerly known as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, is located in the modern residential district of Duinoord in the Hague. It is a museum housing various artifacts ranging from fashion to fine arts.
The museum has the world’s most extensive collection of Piet Mondrian’s work, including the ‘Victory Boogie Woogie.’
You can also discover the works of Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, and Egon Schiele at the Kunstmuseum Den Haag.
The collections are presented uniquely with the help of different colors and interactive techniques. Visiting the Kunstmuseum is the best thing to do in Hague for all the art-lovers.
7. Tour the Louwman Museum
The Louwman Museum contains the world’s oldest private collection of classic and antique cars, which is why it is amongst the best things to see in the Hague.
The museum features more than 250 automobiles worldwide, with the earliest model from 1886. A visit to this museum will make you learn all about car history while having fun.
Make sure you start your tour from the second floor with the horse wagons and slowly come down to understand the evolution of the motor industry.
Automobile lovers can easily spend half a day here admiring the Mercedes and Presley’s.
8. Take a Trip to the Peace Palace
If you ask a Dutch local regarding what to see in the Hague, chances are the Peace Palace tops their list.
The Peace Palace is a brick building built in 1913 that features a mix of Gothic and neo-renaissance architecture. The construction was sponsored by the American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
It is considered one of the most significant symbols of international peace as it houses the court of arbitration that settles international disputes.
The interiors of the Palace are pretty lavish and very difficult to assess as it can only be visited when courts are not in session. The guided tours sell out quickly; hence make sure you book well in advance.
9. Relax at the Scheveningen Beach Resort
If you are looking for a place to go for suntan and water sports while visiting the Netherlands, then visiting the Scheveningen, the city’s beach resort, and promenade areas are the best things to do in the Hague.
Besides, this seaside resort boasts a vast coastline with a gorgeous pier, while the promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops.
You will find Skywheel, the famous bungee jump tower beside the pier. A Ferris wheel-type deck offering a gondola ride also sits on the pier, where you can enjoy a hearty meal with a view.
There is no doubt the sandy beach and endless outdoor activities available are probably what sets the city apart from the other Dutch cities.
10. Admire the Views From Skybar at The Hague Tower
The Hague Tower is a tall skyscraper located near the Hague railway station. It is 433 feet tall, making it the fifth tallest building in the city.
The Skybar, located on the 42nd floor of the Hague tower, is the highest bar in the town. Here, you can treat yourself to fantastic panoramic views of the city while enjoying an evening cocktail.
There’s even a restaurant named ‘The Penthouse’ adjacent to the Skybar, where you can savor international cuisines.
It is one of the best places to visit in the Hague after a tiring day exploring museums and historical landmarks.
11. Grab Something to Eat at the Chinatown
The Chinatown in the Hague is massive. It’s literally the largest one in the Netherlands.
The Hague’s Chinatown is located in the city center and welcomes visitors with impressively sculptured dragon gates.
It’s named so because of the dense Chinese settlement in and around the area. Here, you will come across countless Asian stores, restaurants, and cafes.
Besides, you can savor many Asian delicacies, including Indonesian food. You’ll find many Indonesian restaurants throughout the country because this is a former Dutch colony.
At this Chinatown, you can also purchase beautiful Chinese silk clothes, and visit Chinese acupuncture clinics. If you’re lucky, you can also be part of the several Chinese festivals celebrated out on the street.
12. Visit the Prison Gate Museum
The Prison Gate Museum is an old prison that housed convicts since the 1400s. You can visit the museum to learn about the history of crime and punishment in the Netherlands.
This is the location where several famous Dutch regents were imprisoned. The best way to explore the museum is by taking a guided tour; however, the English language tour is available only on Sundays.
Besides, the Prison Gate Museum houses the most extensive collection of torturous instruments like hand clamps and iron bars used to administrate justice in that era.
13. Have a Meal at the De Haagse Markt
De Haagse Markt is the largest outdoor market in Europe, offering a variety of goods ranging from food, clothes, flowers, and household goods.
If you ask a food lover about what to do in the Hague, they will definitely direct you to the De Haagse Markt. The locals come here for their regular grocery shopping.
The market also features luxurious and innovative shops and wide walkways to attract tourists.
It’s a great place to buy cheap and trendy souvenirs with endless selections. Besides, the market is easily accessible from almost all Hague via trams and public transport.
14. Go Shopping at the De Haagse Passage
A visit to the De Haagse Passage is one of the best things to do in the Hague for all shopaholics. De Haagse Passage is the only remaining covered shopping arcade in the Netherlands.
The passage has been recognized as a state monument with a glass-domed roof and distinct architectural features.
The dry and sheltered arcade houses luxury shops, high-end fashion stores, as well as a few bargain basement types of shops where you can pick cheap souvenirs. Do stop by the Hop & Stork store for some coffee and chocolates.
15. Explore the Hofjes
The Hague is one of the Dutch cities known for its historic hofjes. Hofjes are almshouses built around a courtyard by private financiers or charitable trusts and given to poor families for housing.
The elderly, people with low incomes, and single women tend to live in the Dutch hofjes.
Some hofjes in the Hague date back to the 1600s and still hold their old age charm. These are difficult to access as the residents are obviously protective of their identities; that’s why you need to pre-book your visit.
The most popular hofjes in the Hague are Hofje Van Nieuwkoop, Wijnand Esserhof, and Kleinste Hofje amongst others.
16. Climb the Tower at the Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk
The Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk, or in Dutch the Church of St. James, was built in the 15th century and is one of the oldest buildings in the Hague.
The church has a 217-foot-high tower that can be climbed and explored as a guided tour. The tower is hexagonal in structure and gives a beautiful view of the Hague from atop.
A carillon with 51 musical bells was incorporated in the tower in the 1950s. There’s a daily concert mid-afternoon that you shouldn’t miss.
Also, don’t forget to notice the elaborate stained-glass windows and grand organs inside the church.
17. Sample Drinks at the Van Kleef Distillery
Van Kleef distillery is the only remaining jenever (Dutch gin) and liqueur producer in the Hague. Today, it is part museum, liquor shop, and tasting center.
Here, you can tour the Van Kleef Museum, get to know the distilling equipment, and understand the craftsmanship behind producing liquor the traditional way.
You can also sample the products during a tasting session and buy the ones you like. The jenevers are delicious and come in distinctive bottles, making them excellent souvenirs.
18. Go For a Day Trip to Duivenvoorde Castle
The Duivenvoorde Castle is located about 10 miles away from the Hague in a small town named Voorschoten.
It is one of the few castles never sold and always passed down the generations.
The castle is now converted into a museum; however, few parts are still intact, giving the visitors an impression that the royals still live as they walk around their house.
Guided tours are organized to explore the Duivenvoorde Castle, where you can see the exhibited artifacts and learn a bit about the castle’s history.
19. Stroll Through Japanese Garden
Exploring the national heritage listed Japanese Garden is amongst the best things to do in the Hague for nature lovers.
Clingendael Park houses the only Japanese Garden in the Netherlands and is open only for a few weeks in the spring and autumn season.
The garden dazzles in bright colors in different seasons due to the azaleas, rhododendrons, and Japanese maple trees.
It also features a range of artifacts brought down from Japan by the former owner of the garden, including stone lanterns and water casks.
20. Sip Your Favorite Drinks
The Hague has a lively vibe and cafés are often crowded–unless there’s a worldwide crisis, of course!
Besides, the beer culture in the Netherlands is broadly celebrated so whether you want to have a taste of Dutch beer or sip your favorite drink, know that the Hague, the Netherlands, has excellent places for you to do that.
Some of the areas worth checking out are the Grote Markt, Plein, and Bierkade.
These spots are not far away apart, but if you have a bike, it would be easier to hop between them in case you wanna go on a self-guided libation tour.
21. Admire the Noordeinde Palace, the King’s Working Palace
The list of best things to do in Hague is incomplete without mentioning Noordeinde Palace. It is one of the three official palaces that the Dutch royal family owns.
The royal palace is open to visitors only for a few days in the summer, and hence you’ll have to time your visit to get a sneak peek into the palace.
However, the Noordeinde Palace has stunning exterior views, and you can spend a good time walking around the palatial grounds.
Besides, the Noordeinde Palace Gardens also provides a great view of the Royal Stables, where the horses used to pull the Royal Coaches are housed.
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