The Hague (in Dutch it’s Den Haag) is home to many of the Netherland’s judicial and administrative buildings as well as the International Criminal Court. As such, this is a very government oriented town, and many residents work for either the Dutch government or the ICC. While that can make it a “stuffy” place to visit, the city has fascinating architecture, an amazing array of parks, museums, and even a beach that is hugely popular in the summer (head there for some great seafood restaurants on the boardwalk any time of the year). The Hague may be more “stuffy” than youthful Amsterdam, but it is no less interesting.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in The Hague
1. Walk around the Plein
2. Tour Mauritshuis
3. Visit the Binnenhof
4. Go to the beach
5. See Madurodam
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Shop along Denneweg
Although some of the restaurants in this area are pretty upscale, you can walk down the main street here, window shop and stop off at a pub for lunch.
2. Relax in Westbroekpark
If you want to get away from the touristy parts of the city, come to this serene park, which has over 20,000 types of roses that bloom from June through November.
3. Visit the Hague Municipal Museum
If you’re an art lover, don’t miss this museum. It contains some of the early works of Picasso, Monet, and van Gogh. Admission is 13.50 EUR. The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 11am-5pm.
4. Visit the Museum de Gevangenpoort
The Gevangenpoort has an extensive history. In the 1400s it was a prison but for the past two centuries has been a museum. It’s interesting to walk through and learn about medieval torture. Admission is 7.50 EUR. The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 10am-5pm on weekdays and 12pm-5pm on weekends.
5. Check out the Escher Museum
M. C. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist whose work is famous all over the world. This museum is dedicated entirely to him and gives an interesting overlook of his life’s work. For about 9 EUR, you get to wander 2 floors worth of exhibits and make some art of your own. Admission is 9.50 EUR. The museum is open daily (except Mondays) from 11am-5pm.
6. Walk through the Japanese garden
Originally designed and constructed during the 1870’s, this garden is a beautiful alternative to the Dutch culture that is predominate throughout The Hague. It is complete with a tea-house, beautiful rocks laid out in manicured areas, Japanese lanterns and statues, and plenty of idyllic pathways lined by flowers. Admission is free.
7. Visit the Ridderzaal Knights Hall
Originally built between the 13th and 14th centuries, this castle once belonged to the Earls of Holland. The building is visually striking and the interior is filled with famous wood carvings. It’s open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.