The Hague (Den Haag) is the seat of government, parliament and the royal court, the third largest and one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. But above all, it is known for the fact that the Palace of Peace is located here, in which the International Court of Justice sits.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Netherlands is 17.53 million (2021).
The Hague is much calmer and quieter than Amsterdam. The streets here are slightly wider, which gives it a more continental feel. The city has many typical Dutch Renaissance buildings from the 17th century, as well as baroque and classical houses from the 18th century. Surrounding the area are surprisingly pretty and eclectic 19th century houses, a prime example of Art Nouveau style. In the last 10 years, buildings of modern architecture have also begun to appear in The Hague. For example, the City Hall Central Library by American architect Richard Meyer, the Snoeptrommel shopping center, popularly known as the “Candy Box”.
How to get to The Hague
The Hague does not have its own airport, the nearest one is in Amsterdam. There are direct trains from the airport (platforms 5-6) to The Hague. A ticket costs 10-18 EUR, travel time is 30 minutes, the carrier is InterCity (off site in English), arrival at the Central Station of the city. Also, bus number 93 runs from the airport to The Hague: 1 hour on the way, ticket price 3-5 EUR.
A taxi from Amsterdam airport to The Hague will cost 120-150 EUR, on the road – 40-50 minutes.
Cheaper to go from Rotterdam: from the Central Station (bus number 33 goes there from the airport) trains depart every 20 minutes, the ticket will cost 6-11 EUR, the carrier is the same – InterCity. Another option is to take the metro from the Meijersplein station to the final station of the blue line – The Hague, the fare is 3 EUR.
The city has a developed transport network: 10 bus lines and 13 tram routes, allowing you to get to any point in The Hague. To save money, you can purchase a single QV-chipkaart card (7.50 EUR) and top it up with the required amount. This is an electronic ticket that can be used to pay for travel on any public transport, including metro and suburban trains in the Netherlands. The system works as follows: when entering the salon, you must attach the card to the reader. It will automatically be charged EUR 0.89 for landing, and EUR 0.15 for each kilometer traveled. Before leaving the transport, you must attach the card to the reader again, otherwise it will be charged for the longest route.
You can learn more about the card and purchase it online at the office. website (in English).
Most Europeans prefer to travel by bike. Bicycle rentals are available at the main stations: Den Haag Centraal and Den Haag HS, open from 5:30 to midnight. Renting costs 7.50-10 EUR per day and is calculated not for days, but for days, that is, if you rent a bike in the evening and return it the next morning, you will have to pay a tariff for two days of use.
The Netherlands has a single calculation system that takes into account travel time, route traveled and speed. Especially for tourists, green taxis run on sightseeing routes, which can be hired to see key sights.
You can catch taxi drivers right on the street, pre-ordering a car will not change the cost of the trip (from 2.2 EUR for each kilometer traveled).
Hotels in The Hague
The Hague is one of the most expensive tourist cities, and it is quite difficult to find a budget hotel. The best hotels are concentrated in the center, accommodation in “three stars” will cost 90 EUR per night. For this price, the traveler gets a small clean room with the necessary appliances. For example, a stay at the Mozaic Den Haag hotel will cost at least 144 EUR, breakfast (buffet) is included in the price. To save on accommodation, you can consider hotels on the outskirts of the city or hostels: the price per bed starts from 31 EUR.
There are several five-star hotels in The Hague, such as Hilton The Hague and Crown Plaza Den Haag Promenade, where politicians and celebrities often stay. You will have to pay for such a neighborhood from 120 EUR per night.
The beaches of The Hague
The Hague stands on the coast of the North Sea and is proud of its beaches: Scheveningen and Kaikduin. Both are distinguished by wide strips of clean sand, a convenient gentle entry into the sea and cleanliness. Entrance is free for everyone. During the tourist season, which lasts from April to November, there are surf equipment rentals: there are almost always waves and wind. In the cafe you can order food and drinks, they will be brought directly to the sunbeds. The cost of renting the latter depends on the institution and starts from 3 EUR per day.
It is more convenient to get to Scheveningen by bike or public transport, because due to the large number of vacationers it is problematic to park near the beach. It attracts with good service and well-established infrastructure: a well-groomed promenade, an open-air sculpture museum, and many souvenir shops. Kaikduin is further away, it is a wilder and more deserted place. Bus number 24 is heading towards it. Nearby are the dunes and an observation deck.
The Hague is famous not only for its beaches, but also for shopping arcades. Original souvenirs can be purchased in the Hof district on Prince, Pope, Toren streets in the vicinity of Noordeinde Castle. Porcelain made by local craftsmen, clothes, shoes, clogs (traditional wooden shoes) are sold here. Prices are quite high and are aimed at wealthy travelers.
A feature of local shopping: an unusual mode of operation of shops and shopping centers. Many shops are open for half a day, closed on Mondays until lunch, and rarely any shop serves after 17:30. Sales are rare, they are timed to coincide with major holidays, such as Christmas.
Interesting to visit are small antique shops concentrated on Piet Heinstraat. In addition to antiques, you can buy delicacies from all over the world in the shops: it’s easy to find even a Russian or Portuguese shop.
Prices for souvenirs on the counters of antique dealers start from 0.50-1 EUR.
The most famous shopping district is Haagsche Bloof (in English), decorated in traditional Dutch style and offering everything from food and wine to perfumes and art. The city also hosts one of the largest European open-air markets, Haagse Markt, which receives more than 25,000 customers a day. Open 4 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) from 9:00 to 17:00 and is famous for its fruit and vegetable rows.
Cuisine and restaurants in The Hague
There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and street food shops in The Hague where you can grab something on the run. But the city is truly famous for its seafood. You can try the freshest ones in the bars and cafes on the Scheveningen beach: the fishing catch is immediately prepared and served at a price of 3-5 EUR. For example, here you can order the famous Lekkerbek – white fish fillet fried in dough. A full meal will cost at least 20-23 EUR per person.
In the evening, it is better to go to Plain Square, where the best restaurants of the city are concentrated, including famous places where local politicians relax. Dinner with wine and in a pleasant environment will cost at least 65-70 EUR per person.
It is difficult to find restaurants specializing in traditional Dutch cuisine in The Hague. If you want to feel the local gastronomic flavor, you need to find a street food kiosk: classic dishes are easy to prepare. These are all kinds of seafood fried in oil, served with a potato side dish. Also, travelers are recommended to try herring with onions, potato and vegetable balls Bitterballen and hot thin waffles Stroopwafels. A Dutch-style snack will cost 7-10 EUR.