The Hague or Den Haag has been the political heart of the Netherland for 500 years. Parliament is located here, and it is also the centre of diplomacy. The international court of justice also makes it the global city of peace and justice. The third-largest city in the Netherlands has a lot to offer the visitors; you will not need to worry about the things to do here: historical places, prestigious museums and galleries, many shopping opportunities, and a rich culinary experience. There are more attractions per square meter in The Hague than anywhere else in the Netherlands. This is a cultural treasure chest beside the sea.
Den Haag is home to the royal family as well as the Dutch seat of government. Before Louis Bonaparte had his way in 1806, Den Haag was the capital. It wasn’t until eight years later, when the French had been ousted, that the government came back to Den Haag, but the title of capital remained with Amsterdam. This is also where foreign embassies in the Netherlands are based, giving the city a significant international community of ex-pats.
The Hague originated around 1230, when Count Floris IV of Holland purchased land alongside a pond, the present-day Hofvijver, to build a hunting residence. In 1248, his son and successor William II, King of the Romans, decided to extend the residence to a palace, which would later be called the Binnenhof, meaning Inner Court. The Binnenhof is the political heart of Holland. This is an important political hub, housing the meeting place of both houses of the State’s General of the Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
After visiting The Binnenhof, feel the warmth of the peace flame on your back as you admire the most photographed building in The Hague – the Peace Palace. This is an international law administrative building in The Hague. And also pay a visit to the Palace Gardens.
Museums and Galleries
See all the interesting places in the city by riding a bicycle as it a typical Dutch activity, or you can have a boat ride throughout the canals.
Visit Escher in the Palace and experience the works of imaginative artist M.C. Escher; admire the Masterpieces at Gemeentemuseum, find the girl staring at you wanting to say something in Mauritshuis. Well, this is the famous painting called Girl with a Pearl Earring belongs from the Dutch Golden Age. No photo can do this place justice; you just have to see it for yourself. It’s incredible!
Whether you are interested in old masterpieces, want to know more about the history of The Hague, or prefer to visit the old prison gate, there is plenty to do. Some museums are child-friendly too. If you love art and seek a truly unique experience, head to Panorama Mesdag for the largest circular painting in the world.
You will find one of the world’s oldest private collections of cars here in the Louwman Museum. More than 100 years of automobile history can be admired in this museum. You don’t have to be a car fanatic to enjoy it.
Discover the Noordeinde Palace, one of the three official palaces of the Dutch royal family. Noordeinde is known for its shopping and diversity. Here you can find shops with international designers as well as locally here. It is a great combination of high fashion boutiques, quality catering, and galleries. Get away from the masses and discover – that is the theme.
The city centre has numerous attractive shopping lanes to wander through. Because shopping in The Hague is shopping in style. The Passage is the most fascinating one to go nostalgic among all the malls. It has countless speciality stores against a unique backdrop. The Passage is designated a UNESCO monument because of its gorgeous architecture with arcades, glass stones, and ornamental facades.
Haagsche Bluf is the city’s hidden treasure. It is a huge shopping area with lovely architectural details and works of public art.
Parks and Other Entertainments
Although The Hague is home to many beautiful parks, the gardens at Clingendael Estate are easily some of the most impressive. The magnificent Japanese Garden is the crown jewel of Clingendael Park, with beautiful and rare trees and plants. Because the garden is extremely fragile, it opens only six weeks in spring and 2 weeks in the autumn season.
Madurodam is a very interesting place to visit with the wonderful miniature version of the Netherlands. You can make an appointment with the local Beeldentuin Clingenbosch, a sculpture garden with a range of unique arts.
One of the most popular activities is relaxing in Scheveningen. Enjoy a night out in the seaside beach resort, full of easy-going beach clubs, pubs, and restaurants. It’s always holiday time here. You can discover the fascinating life under the sea at Sealife in Scheveningen. Here you can experience how beautiful and diverse the underwater life is, and teaches people about the importance of nature conservation.
The organization plays an important role in protecting the ocean with its exhibits, and breeding programs. A large part of Sealife has transformed into a tropical jungle. All the animals here come from the Amazon.
For the enthusiasts for Asian, China Town near the city centre is the perfect place to enjoy. The whole atmosphere consists of Asian restaurants, groceries, and supermarkets, as well as acupuncturists and furniture stores. This is a mixture of Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian cultures.
The city of peace and justice has a lot to offer her guests – from culture to culinary, and from shopping to business.