My day in The Hague (or Den Haag as they say in The Netherlands) was a pleasant surprise. After a few days in the architecturally exquisite city of Rotterdam (see my blog on the beauty of Rotterdam at night!), one day in Amsterdam, and one day in the Hague, I would have to say that as cities in Holland go, I enjoyed the Hague the most!
Den Haag Centraal station is only half an hour by train from Rotterdam Centraal, or one hour from Amsterdam Centraal, making it the perfect short day trip! Internationally recognised not only as the official seat of government for The Netherlands, but also as the home of the International Court of Justice, there are a wealth of landmarks unique to a city so entrenched in the United Nations and International law.
The Peace Palace, The Hague
One of these Landmarks is the Peace Palace (the Vredespaleis in Dutch), a stunning Neo-Renaissance palace known also as the seat of International Law and designed by the French architect Louis Marie Cordonnier. I have always wanted to see inside the Peace Palace, but unfortunately it is only open on weekends and as I would be leaving The Netherlands before the weekend I had to make do with the view from the outside.
Just to the left of the Peace Palace is a small tourist information centre currently hosting a great exhibition detailing the history and intentions of the palace which I definitely suggest taking a peek at!
The Ridderzaal & Binnenhof, The Hague
Currently the oldest Parliament House to still be in use in the world, the Binnenhof is a collection of antique gothic structures that houses various governmental ministries, as well as being home to the Ridderzaal.
Also known as the Hall of Knights, the Ridderzaal acts as the official building from which the reigning monarch annually ‘opens’ Parliament with a throne speech.
The Mauritshuis, The Hague
As art galleries go, the Mauritshuis is beautifully placed on the corner of the Hofvijver pond in the centre of The Hague.
Resting place of the famous portrait of Vermeer’s Girl With The Pearl Earring, the art museum costs €14 for adults to enter, of €11 if you have a student card. Except on special holiday days the Mauritshuis is open daily from 10am until 6pm (aside from Mondays when it opens at 1pm and Thursdays when it closes at 8pm).
Haags Historisch Museum, The Hague
The local History Museum is located just around the corner form the Mauritshuis, also along the bank of the Hofvijver pond. With the €7.50 entry you can immerse yourself in The Hague’s local history, and learn all there is to know about the past of the Kingdom of Netherlands and her monarchy. The museum is open every day except Monday (from 10am Tuesday to Friday, and from 12pm on Saturday and Sunday) and closes daily at 5pm.
More of The Hague
With the wealth of history that resides within this small city, it is easy to get caught up with trying to absorb facts and figures instead of enjoying the The Hague for what it is; a beautiful and architecturally historic city. I spent far longer than I had originally intended wandering about the long streets from landmark to landmark, and I highly suggest you do too!
Where To Drink In The Hague
If you start to get a bit thirsty, I stopped at a fabulous café at the intersection of Bazarstraat and Anna Paulownastraat called Room for a cappuccino. Even though it was a little cold and grey outside, the coffee did wonders to warm me up and I can imagine the little intersection is buzzing on a summers day!
If you’re looking for something a little stronger than coffee, I also had a great time at HAVANA Den Haag and you can read my full review on my experience of their cocktails by clicking here!
I tried to see as much as I could on the dreary day I had in The Hague – so let me know if I’ve missed a must-see spot for next time I return!
Lots of love,