The Hague Skyline in Holland
After a long wait, we had the opportunity to return to what is undoubtedly one of our favorite countries, Holland.
On this occasion, and coinciding with the arrival in its final stage of the Volvo Ocean Race, we have visited a city that we did not know and, like the rest of the country, the more we know it, the more we fall in love.
Holland It is a country that from the moment you arrive, transmits you a cluster of continuous sensations very pleasant, which we do not perceive in other places.
Peace Palace in The Hague in Holland
The urban centers of the cities, despite being very crowded, are very quiet, something very strange in large cities.
I do not know if it will be due to the almost complete absence of cars on its streets to the detriment of bicycles, or because of the clean and green cities that are with their electric trams, but the soundtrack of the cities of Holland is very different from those of the rest of the world.
The predominant sounds through its streets are the cl clin of bicycles, when a tourist without realizing it is walking on one of the thousands of kilometers of bike lane available to the country.
And, it is true that when you travel to Holland For the first time you feel a little lost, seeing how the few cars that circulate continually give way to bicycles and pedestrians.
Feeling at first strange that begins to make sense and has to be very pleasant when you spend more time in the country.
And these feelings are experienced in a more amplified way when we talk about Hague (in Dutch, Den haag, and in English, The hague)
The Hague Pier
Curiosities of The Hague
There is a phrase that is told in the city that perfectly expresses its way of life.
TO Rotterdam he goes to work, to Amsterdam is going to buy and to Hague to live…
And it is that it is the cleanest and greenest city in the Netherlands and one of those with the best quality of life, within a huge historical framework.
Hague It is the third largest city in the Netherlands, but nevertheless it is the most important institutionally.
This is where their monarchs live and work and it is also the headquarters of the Dutch parliament, so it is the city where more Dutch diplomats reside.
We have returned from our 4 day trip by Hague surprised with some attractions that have exceeded our expectations.
Tram in The Hague
Long and wide beaches with beautiful sunsets, a forest inside the city and museums of all kinds, including some that play with the senses or museums with paintings by painters of the stature of Rembrandt or Rubens.
The idea of this article is to show you the most important places to visit in The Hague, while we give you practical information and curiosities of the city.
We not only want to give you a list, but we have ordered it in such a way that you can go around the city as a route following the order that we propose.
What to see in The Hague (Den Haag)
When selecting where to start visiting a city, the most common is to start with the most central area.
But before teaching you what to see in the city, this time we will start recommending a visit to a great museum, which has become the icon of the Hague.
1. Madurodam, the Dutch Museum in miniature
This curious museum is a miniature recreation of the most important places in Holland and is the perfect place to get a pretty concrete idea of what kind of architecture it has Holland.
He Madurodam It is one of the best known attractions in the Netherlands internationally and by which many people know the city.
In this Outdoor museum many of the miniatures have movement, so that you have the feeling of walking as a giant would do between the streets of the different important points of the Netherlands.
It is the favorite place and essential visit for families and as in all these miniature city museums, and also for the not so children.
Later in the article I will indicate at what time of the route this visit would be included.
2. Binnenhof Castle and current Parliament of The Hague
Parliament The Hague
Already back to the city and to start the tour, we start with a very important and representative monument of The Hague, it is the Binnenhof Castle.
Building from which the rest of the city develops, was the count Florencio IV who in the thirteenth century, looking for solitary lands to make a hunting estate, built this castle.
Gradually, over the centuries, this complex would begin to become the center of the political estates of the Netherlands.
This castle was extended over time with a square and the famous Ridderzaal, a beautiful building with an elongated hall that would end up becoming the Hall of the Knights.
Today this ancient castle houses the headquarters of the Dutch Parliament and the office of Prime Minister.
The building of Ridderzaal It is used once a year to inaugurate the parliamentary year, with a ceremonial event with the assistance of the king, and has remained as an area of celebrations for the Parliament.
At its back is a large lake, known as the Spring of the Court, and the photo taken from there is one of the most beautiful and representative postcards of Hague.
3. Mauritshuis Pinacoteca Museum
Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague
In this museum you will find the best collection of paintings by the Dutch Golden Age and of Flemish masters, in a building whose interior itself is already a work of art.
Works like The girl of the pearl from Vermeer and paintings of painters as famous as Rubens or Rembrandt, fill the carefully decorated walls that make the Mauritshuis museum Have a very special atmosphere.
Whether or not you love painting, this museum with works from the 17th and 18th centuries is much more than an art collection, since the building itself is a clear example of the style of the palaces of the Dutch royalty of the time.
If you are going to visit it, we recommend that you download the free museum application (it is called Mauritshuis), which contains the audio guide available in several languages, including Spanish and English.
This audio guide can also be hired there for 3.5 euros if you don't want to download the app.
He entrance fee to the Mauritshuis museum It is 15.50 euros for adults, and children up to 18 years have free access.
The Schedule They are from 10 in the morning until 6 in the afternoon.
4. Grenadierspoort Gate
Parliament The Hague
Just out of the Mautishuis museum. to your right and receiving the visitor at the entrance to the castle, you will find the call Grenadierspoort.
This beautiful gateway to the area of the current parliament, is one of the most photographed places in the city for its exquisite decorations.
5. Lange Voorhout, the oldest boulevard in Europe
World Championship of Sand Sculptures on The Hague Boulevard
This boulevard was the social center of Hague, everyone wanted to live in this area. In fact here are the narrowest houses in the city.
It was said that it was better to live here in a small place, than anywhere else.
Whether this is the case or not, the reality is that people gathered here to walk in circles through the shape of the square, and hence the name came up.
This tree-filled boulevard is located in the heart of the city opposite the Binnenhof Castle.
During the summer months a World Championship of Sand Sculptures, a very easy material to get in the Hague.
In addition every Sunday a market is set up that lasts all day, although if you are going to visit it, do better in the morning that is more lively.
6. Hotel Des Indes a Luxury
Hotel Des Indes Luxury The Hague
In this same boulevard you will find the luxurious 5 star hotel Des Indes a Luxury.
This hotel is a work of art in itself, and regardless of whether you stay in it or not, it is worth visiting.
A hotel of more than 100 years through which all kinds of historical figures of royalty and nobility have passed.
It was recently renovated and as advice if you do not stay in it, at least go to meet him or take something to restore you because the decorations are worth it.
7. Museum of optical illusions Escher in het Paleis eb
Escher in het Paleis eb Museum in The Hague
Also on the boulevard is this small museum that focuses on a permanent collection of optical illusions, with pictures and photos that play with sensory perception.
This continuous game between what the eye sees and how the brain reacts is something very recurrent in the historical artistic legacy and culture of this country.
8. The Hague Canals
The Hague Canals
Between the aforementioned hotel Des Indes a Luxury and one of the big parks of the city, Malievel (where there are deer in captivity), near the The Hague Central Station, is one of the most photographic areas of the The Hague canals.
It is true that this city is not one of the most channels in Holland, in fact it has few.
But in this area a few charming corners meet for their boats, their houses full of flowers and the bicycles that surround them.
9. Royal Palace of The Hague (Noordeinde)
Royal Hague Palace in Holland
Holland is one of the European countries that still have a monarchy, but it must also be said that the Orange royalty It is a bit particular.
its Royal Palace It is located in the city, on the most important shopping street in The Hague, where the most exclusive and elegant shops are located.
The Dutch royalty it is considered the most monarchy Campeche of the European nobility; As an example, it is quite common to find the monarchs riding a bicycle, either when arriving or leaving the Royal Palace.
At the entrance of the palace there is a flag of the country, which when honing high means that the king is inside it.
If you are thinking about how to visit it, we have to tell you that what you can always visit are its gardens. The interior is hardly visited at some times of the year since it is a living palace in which the kings reside.
10. Statue of William de Orange
Statue of King William of Orange in The Hague
Right in front of the Royal Palace is the king statue William of Orange.
As a curiosity, the king who was the one who ordered the construction of the palace never came to live in it since he was killed.
And the data of his way of death is seen in his statue, because the horse on which he is riding has his right leg raised, indicating that his death was not due to natural causes, which is represented with the left leg in tall.
If all four legs are supported his death, it means that it was due to an accident.
This curious fact can be observed in the rest of the city statues.
11. Panorama Mesdag 360º
Panorama Mesdag 360 Museum in The Hague
Continuing with the perception and optical illusions so characteristic of this country, this museum has become famous for its 360 degree panoramic scene.
It is a classic museum with paintings, but its most important part is not that, and it is very difficult to describe the feeling you have when entering the assembly that is inside.
You will find yourself before a circular room where you are located right in the center at the top, with 360º views as if you were at the top of a lighthouse, with all the free view.
From there different historical moments of the city are observed, from the town to the beaches where war scenes are recreated.
When they told us we thought, "So far so good"
The point is that the Mesdag Panorama of The Hague It is mounted in such a way that when you arrive, you go up to the lighthouse and appear on the scene, small optical illusions are created with depth.
To put it in some way, it is difficult to calculate the real depth of the room.
The best thing is that you visit it and you experience it yourself, because it is a very curious experience.
12. Noordeinde, the street of luxury stores in The Hague
Noordeinde shopping street in The Hague
Noordeinde It is not just any street: in this same way you will find the shops of all international brands, the most exclusive brands, and all this next to the aforementioned Royal Palace.
It is a street full of buildings typical dutch architecture, but also with some buildings tort nouveau.
As a curiosity, when we visited this area they were under construction and you could see one of the curiosities of the city.
The Hague is built on beach sand, not on land, and when you lift the ground you could see lots of sand, something very curious on the same street where the Royal Palace is located.
This is why it seems that The Hague buildings tend to move slightly.
13. The Sting inGravenstraat
Gravenstraat in The Hague
In Gravenstraat there is a building of the early twentieth century with decorations tort nouveau and striking colors, which has become an icon of the city.
It is part of a shopping center where the clothing store is located The Sting, and eIt is located at the tram stop with the same name, at the end of the luxury shopping street.
But this building is not the only one with decorations art nouveau In the same square, there are several buildings that maintain this style, some of them more modern but respecting the aesthetics.
14. The Passage
The Passage shopping center in The Hague
On the way from Gravenstraat towards the castle is a small piece of italy.
The mall The passage It is built in the style of Italian commercial galleries, such as the famous Vittorio Emanuele in Milan
This is the oldest shopping center in the Netherlands, and there is a small coffee shop where they sell some famous candies well known in The Hague, obviously coffee. 100% recommended!
15. Peace Palace
From here we leave the historic center and start touring the city on the way to the beach.
He Peace Palace It is a huge building built over 100 years ago and is now the headquarters of the famous International Court of Justice of The Hague.
This global justice icon can only be visited for its exteriors and gardens, free of charge; its interior only opens to public visits a few weekends a year.
16. Scheveningse Forest
Madurodam next to the Scheveningse Forest in The Hague
This forest is the real lung of the city, an area like many trees and the perfect place to walk, but beware! that you know that it is one of the few areas with a little altitude in The Hague.
The whole city is practically flat, and the highest points of the city are in this green area, but don't worry because the altitude is a few meters, although it is somewhat striking when you visit it.
At Scheveningse Forest is the Marudoram miniatures museum which we talked about at the beginning of the article.
Therefore, if you follow the route to visit the city as we are considering in the article, this will be the time to visit the mentioned museum.
17. Haags Gemeentemuseum and the Museum of Photography
Mondrian The Hague exhibition museum
These two museums are together, and one of them is very interesting for photography lovers.
At Museum of Photography You can see photographic exhibitions that vary over time. We could see one in very curious where there were photos of people from all over the world at his desk.
Very striking differences in the offices of rich countries and those that have less.
On the other hand, in the Haags Gemeentemuseum the work of the famous artist is exhibited Piet Mondrian.
If you are a museum lover, these two are very worthwhile.
This whole area where museums are located is where the tram that takes you to the beach (line 16) passes and where many houses with the characteristic architecture of Holland are concentrated.
Definitely worth a walk in this area or cycling or tram.
18. Scheveningen Beach and Hague Harbor
Ferris wheel in the Hague Pier
Without doubt one of the factors that give this city a special charm is the sea, its promenade and the port.
Being 20 minutes from the center by tram or bicycle, the beach forms another important second urban center, which extends the city.
The beach is surprisingly large, and when we visited it it was full of windsurfers at sea with their kites on the fly, which created a beautiful postcard.
The entire port and promenade is a very lively area, full of restaurants and places to enjoy dinner with the sunset falling into the sea.
19. Sunset at The Pier (Sky view) in The Hague
Pier The Hague
But if we talk about sunset, the most beautiful is in the dock.
The pier It is not just a pier, but it also has a ferris wheel that gives it a different atmosphere, which you can reach through the said pier.
Although we warn you that the best photos are from the beach with the pier backlit.
If you like photography, here you can make some very nice photos.
20. Louwman Museum of classic cars near The Hague
Louwman Museum of classic cars in The Hague
Although this visit is not strictly in the city, but is located slightly outside, it is well worth it if you like cars.
This museum is a review of the motor racing history since 1886, through about 250 models of old and historical cars.
In this museum you will find some of the oldest cars in the world, as well as several peculiar, unique and very special cars.
Other topics of interest about The Hague
How to get from Amsterdam airport to The Hague?
Hague It is only 60 km from Amsterdam, that's why the most common way of get to The Hague is previously going through the schipol airport.
Here we leave you all the information needed to reach the Hague without problems and in just 30 minutes by direct train.
Where to stay in The Hague?
It will also be useful to know what are the best areas to stay in The Hague according to your preferences, either near the train station or the historic center, or in the beach area.
Here is the link tofind a hotel in The Hague inbooking.com.
Excursions and guided tours in The Hague
If you go to visit The Hague and you are looking for where to sign up tours or excursions with guides To know the city, on this page you will find what you are looking for.