The Hague, The Netherlands | The City of Dutch Royalty


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View from the Hofvijver to the Binnenhof
View from the Hofvijver to the Binnenhof

In this article we are going to tell you ALL about The Hague, one of the most important cities in the Netherlands. The Hague is not only the third largest city in the country after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but also the administrative capital of the Netherlands and the residence of the Dutch royalty. As the capital of the province of South Holland, one of the most important in economic terms, it has a wide variety of attractions such as museums, historical heritage, beaches and much more. The Hague is also within easy reach of other cities that are well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. Without further ado, we invite you to read this complete article to find out all about The Hague and its surroundings!

How to get to The Hague?

The Netherlands is not only widely recognised for the quality of its cycling infrastructure and routes, but also for its excellent public transport offer. For this reason, it is very easy to reach The Hague from almost any point not only within the country but also from neighbouring countries. For example, the train journey from Amsterdam to The Hague takes about 50 minutes, while from Rotterdam it takes only 30 minutes. If you are coming from Belgium, the best option is to take the train from Brussels to Amsterdam with a stopover in Breda, a journey that takes about 1.5-2 hours.

Another interesting option could be to rent a car and thus enjoy some freedom to move around the area at will, which is also ideally located within what is considered one of the most beautiful tulip routes in the country.

Top attractions in The Hague

Although The Hague is a very large city, its historic centre is small and therefore easy to navigate. Here is a list of its main attractions:

  1. The Inner Court (Binnenhof): This complex of buildings, dating mainly from the 13th century, originally served as the residence of the Counts of Holland and it was not until 1584 that it became the political centre of the Dutch Republic. Today it houses the seat of the States General of the Netherlands, the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. It is also the oldest parliamentary seat in use in the world. The lake next to the Binnenhof, called Hofvijver, is widely cited as one of the best views of the city. In particular, we were struck by the contrast between the low, old structures and the nearby skyscrapers. Definitely a great place for photo enthusiasts!

  2. Picture of the Hall of the Knights (Ridderzaal) and William II Fountain (inside the Binnenhof)
    Hall of the Knights (Ridderzaal) and William II Fountain (inside the Binnenhof)
  3. St. James Church (Grote de Sint-Jacobskerk): This late medieval church is one of the oldest buildings in The Hague along with the Binnenhof. Members of the House of Orange-Nassau have used the building for centuries for their baptisms and weddings. The last people to be baptised there were Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (Willem-Alexander) and his daughter Catherine Amalia (Catharina-Amalia), heir to the throne of the Netherlands.

  4. Old Town Hall (Oude Stadhuis): Built in 1564 it was later enlarged in 1733. It now has various administrative functions. As a curious fact, it was here that the births of the princesses Catherine Amalia, Alexia and Ariadne (Ariane), daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, were registered.

  5. Photo of the former town hall of The Hague
    Former town hall of The Hague
  6. The Square (Het Plein): Ideally located in the historic city centre, surrounded by beautiful old structures and a variety of bars and restaurants, this square is crowned by a statue of William the Silent, the founder of the Orange-Nassau Branch. We recommend you to sit in one of its many bars, especially in the evening, to enjoy at first hand its festive atmosphere!

  7. Photo of the Mauritshuis Museum
    Mauritshuis Museum
  8. Scheveningen Beach (Scheveningen Strand): After visiting the main attractions of the city, be sure to visit this beach, which is one of the most popular in the Netherlands. We reached it by tram, from the central station the trip takes only 20 minutes. It is a gigantic sandy beach that stretches for 3 km, ideal for sunbathing and long walks along the sea. Although we visited the city in autumn, the weather was good enough to enjoy some delicious mates!

  9. Photo of Scheveningen beach
    Scheveningen beach
  10. Museums:

    • Mauritshuis: It is an art museum that exhibits paintings by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Paulus Potter, among others. The building dates back to the 17th century and is owned by the Dutch government.

    • Escher Museum (Escher in het Paleis): A museum featuring the works of Dutch graphic artist Escher, it is located in the former Royal Palace in Lange Voorhout.

    • Municipal Museum (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag): This museum is renowned for its large collection of paintings by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

    • Madurodam: In this museum you will find 1:25 scale models of the main structures of the most important cities in the country.

  11. Canals: Like all good Dutch cities, The Hague had numerous canals in ancient times, which were used not only for the transport of goods but also as sewers. As the population grew, they became increasingly polluted, which had serious health consequences and led to epidemics. This is why in the 19th century sewers began to be built and many of the canals were filled in at the same time. Nowadays, it is still possible to find some of them and they are worth a visit if you have enough time in the city.

  12. Shopping: For shopaholics, we recommend a visit to the Grote Marktstraat, one of the city's main pedestrian streets, where you will find a wide variety of shops.

  13. Guided tours of The Hague: Another interesting option to get to know The Hague is to take a guided tour. Generally, it is the locals who provide this type of service and are therefore the best people to tell you not only about the historical curiosities of the city but also to show you its most hidden corners. In case you would like to take one of these tours, here is our recommendation.

Last but not least, we provide you with an interactive map of The Hague, where you can easily identify the location of each point of interest mentioned above. Furthermore, by clicking on the markers, you can go directly to the paragraph containing the information about that point. Furthermore, if you allow us to obtain your geographical location by clicking on the button below the map, you will also be able to see your position and find the points of interest more easily (reverse search provided by LocationIQ.com).

What to see near The Hague?

  • Leiden: A 15-minute train ride (18 km) from The Hague Central Station is Leiden, a renowned university town that was the birthplace of Rembrandt, a famous master painter. It also has a beautiful old town, with many canals and two windmills. A visit not to be missed!

  • Delft: Only 10 km from The Hague (15 minutes by train) is Delft, a 100% Dutch city that is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the Netherlands. Besides being known for its ceramics, it has many canals, a windmill and even an old medieval gate. We really recommend to visit it and get lost in its little streets!

Photo of Delft and Leiden
Leiden (left) and Delft (right)

Is it worth staying overnight in The Hague?

As we said before, The Hague is a big city with a small historic centre. Therefore, if you are only interested in visiting this part of the city, we consider that one day is more than enough. However, for those who wish to visit its museums or take advantage of the opportunity, as we did, to sleep in the city and make day trips to other neighbouring cities, we consider an overnight stay in the city to be one of the best options. We stayed at the Dutch Golden Hotel, a beautiful hotel located in the historic centre of the city, very close to the central station, which we highly recommend.

Further information?

Below is our video of The Hague where you can take a virtual tour of this beautiful city with us. If for some reason you have difficulties playing it, by clicking here you will be able to watch it directly from our YouTube channel.

We thank you very much for making it to the end of this article. If you enjoyed it, please feel free to share it on your social networks by clicking on the icons below and to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Until next time!


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