With a historical centre in which everything is in walking distance and a kilometres-long sand beach only 15 minutes by tram away, The Hague is an ideal city to explore in one day.
Stare the Girl with the Pearl Earring in the eyes in the morning, go to one of the many cosy terraces for lunch, stroll past the palace of the King and the Peace Palace, enjoy a relaxed afternoon at one of the many beach bars and go for dinner in the harbour. It sounds like a stressful and tight itinerary for a day but is actually easily doable in The Hague, where nothing is ever far away.
Start your day with a cup of coffee on the square Plein, the buzzing heart of The Hague as seat of the Dutch government. From your table at the outdoor terrace of one of the many cafés, you have a perfect view on the parliament buildings on one side and the modern skyline of the government ministries on the other side. Housed in a beautiful palace in a corner of this square sits the Mauritshuis museum, where you can start your cultural journey through The Hague. The museum has an impressive collection of paintings from the Golden Age of the Netherlands, the 17th century. You will recognize iconic paintings such as The Girl with the Pearl Earring of Vermeer, The Goldfinch of Fabritius and an impressive collection of Rembrandt’s. The Mauritshuis is at the entrance of the Binnenhof, the oldest parliament buildings in the world that are still in use. Stroll through the gate on to the inner court and don’t be surprised if you see the Dutch Prime Minister passing by on his bike. The impressive gothic building on this inner court is the Hall of Knights, now used by the Dutch Senate and the location where the King presents the annual government plans on the third Tuesday of September.
Use the remainder of your morning to zigzag through the streets of the historic centre. Walk through the 19th century shopping Passage, the only of its kind in the Netherlands. Stroll through the streets between Noordeinde and Oude Molstraat for unique boutiques where even the Royal Family shops, spot that rare item in one of the many antique shops and gaze at the art in the local ateliers. On your way, stop for coffee at Lola Bikes & Coffee, that specialises in both things that its name consists of. After a great coffee, visit the Panorama Mesdag museum that has the largest 360 degrees painting in the world on display: a panorama of the beach of The Hague. You will be hungry after your morning walk; go to the cosy Anna Pauwlonaplein square for lunch in one of the many great cafés. A short after-lunch walk brings you to the Peace Palace, the impressive building hosting the highest court in the world. After visiting the Visitors Centre there, take tram 1 that stops right in front of it, in the direction of Scheveningen. Try to pronounce that!
Scheveningen is the main beach resort town within The Hague. Get off the tram at the stop Kurhaus and walk past this grand hotel to get to the boulevard and the beach. A landmark on the Dutch coast is the Pier. Walk on to the Pier, grab a snack and drink at one of the food stalls and enjoy it on the top sun deck or one of the balconies overhanging the sea. Feeling adventurous? Take a ride in the ferris wheel, ride the zip line or jump from the bungy tower! After so much exploring it is time to unwind. Along the 11 kilometres of wide sand beach that The Hague has, more than 75 beach bars pop-up from March to end October. Enjoy the sunshine, refreshing sea wind and clear view of the sea from a lounge bed with a cool drink. Finish your day with a great meal in one of the superb fish restaurant in the fishing harbour. Not tired yet after dinner? Scheveningen has much nightlife to offer, such as Crazy Pianos, or venture back to the centre for some beer tasting in the Oude Molstraat area. All that in one day, and you will not even have to rush.
This article was produced in cooperation with The Hague Marketing Bureau