5 things you need to do when in The Hague
The Hague, or Den Haag in Dutch, is the capital of the province of South Holland. It is home to some popular attractions and sights, such as the Dutch government and the embassies, but aside from these visit-worthy points of interest, there are also many fun things to do.
Here are our top five picks:
Visit the Binnenhof and feel like a diplomat
The Binnenhof is a courtyard surrounded by a collection of historical parliamentary buildings, where the most important events in Dutch politics have taken place, and continue to, to this day.
Situated next to the Hofvijver lake, the Binnenhof houses:
- The Dutch Senate
- The Dutch House of Representatives
- The Ridderzaal (Knights’ hall)
- The office of the prime minister of the Netherlands
Together, the Dutch Senate and the Dutch House of Representatives make up the Dutch Parliament, or States-General.
The Ridderzaal is a particularly popular part of the Binnenhof and was built in the 13th century as a palace for the Counts of Holland. Today, it is known as the place where the King gives the Speech from the Throne, and the annual governmental budget is presented on Prinsjesdag.
The Binnenhof is well worth a visit, and who knows, you might even spot a member of parliament.
Take a look at The Hague skyline (and maybe a photo)
Close to the Binnenhof area, you will come across the town square: the Plein. Here it is impossible to miss the amazing contrast of old, quaint buildings against a backdrop of modern towers just in the distance. This is just the place to take impressive photos, or sit down to lunch.
Visit Scheveningen beach
Yes, The Hague is a city, but the beach is not that far away! Scheveningen is just a 15-minute tram or bus ride away. Perfect if you fancy swimming on a warm summer’s day, or just clearing your head with ocean breeze and enjoying the waves.
There is plenty more to do at the beach as Scheveningen also hosts events, such as the International Fireworks Festival, amongst others. If you are done with your walk across the beach, you can, of course, visit the Pier and take a ride on the Ferris wheel.
Try some delicious herrings
You can eat herring in pretty much every Dutch city or town, as it is a typical Dutch snack, but The Hague has some of the best herring shops. One shop even scored third place on a “herring test” carried out by the Dutch newspaper AD. So, if you like fish you should definitely try some of the herrings sold in The Hague or Scheveningen. With or without onions? That’s up to you.
Shop till you drop at the oldest shopping centre in the Netherlands
Who doesn’t like shopping? And why not do so in the oldest shopping centre in the Netherlands?
De Passage, as it is called, is not like the shopping centres we know today, it was built in the 19th century by local dignitaries and is actually a covered shopping street. So, you can shop and not be hassled by the Dutch weather. It has a whole range of shops including boutiques and food and drink establishments.
What do you think people should not miss out on when visiting The Hague? Share your best picks below.