There is a certain sophistication and a regal striking presence about The Hague. You can feel the power and strength in the air here as you walk through the streets that are a cocktail of modern and historical architecture scattered with the romance of canals.
I had the pleasure of spending four nights in The Hague recently, staying at the wonderfully charming Mövenpick Hotel Den Haag-Voorburg. A mere four minute train ride into the city center ensured plenty of opportunity to explore this city in depth.
The Hague is Holland’s third largest city and is the seat of Government in The Netherlands.
There is so much history here, the city is enrobed with majestic monuments and located on the edge of the coastline, no wonder it is nicknamed the Royal City by the Sea as you can feel the sea breezes from the North Coast Sea. The buildings of the Binnenhof and the Royal palace of Noordeinde must also be sighted for their breathtaking beauty.
In addition, there are quite a number of the Dutch Royal Family who are based here amongst the enchantment.
Culturally, there is much diversity as 40% of residents are born internationally. This multiculturalism is also present by the wonderful mouth watering array of culinary options available in the city.
If being amongst it all is your thing, I’d suggest visiting the Grote Markt and Plein Squares. Here you will find a smorgasbord of cafés, night clubs, pubs and restaurants buzzing with excitement as you decide where you choose to eat or drink. Don’t forget to visit Chinatown on the Wagenstraat for a cultural shock.
From the city’s electricity to history, The Hague hosts 30 thought provoking museums, including the most well known – The Gemeentemuseum which holds more than 70 top pieces from the former Maurtishuis Museum collection. The museum harbors an impressive collection of Dutch masterpieces including the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer from the 17th century and other Dutch Golden Age paintings.
However, if it’s shopping you prefer, what a wonderful place to visit! The Hague has some of the visually classiest boutiques I have ever seen. You will find antiques, original art pieces, designer labels and jewellery. Don’t forget to wander through the side streets as this is where you may find exactly the piece you have been looking for all your life.
If you’re on a budget, even window shopping is rewarding as this charming city has some of the best dressed window displays I have seen anywhere around the world. The most popular city center shopping precincts are in the vicinity of Spuistraat and Grote Marktstraat where you will find lavish department stores and well known international chains. You may even surprisingly stumble toward a quirky outdoor market which is an experience in itself.
Scheveningen Beach is definitely the place to be seen if you want to do all of the above in the one location. Eating, drinking, shopping, dancing and swimming! A twenty minute tram ride from The Hague Central station gets you here amongst it. Regardless of the weather, the locals will flock here on the weekends to sip wine by the water or coffee by the pier.
This successful balance shines a bright spotlight on The Hague as a definite part of your Holland travel experience!
Have you been to the Hague? What do you recommend to do here?