The top 24 best sights in The Hague
Located on the shores of the rugged North Sea, The Hague is considered the political capital of the Netherlands. Here are the ministries, government offices and the International Court of Justice of the United Nations. The royal family also lives here, which affects the culture and lifestyle of the city.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel.
Who needs to come to The Hague and why
The sights of The Hague are a fusion of the new and the old. This is a city where centuries-old traditions and current realities peacefully coexist.
Original architecture, typical only for this corner of Europe, will impress those who can subtly feel the beauty.
Natural parks invite the weary inhabitants of the metropolis to take a break from the smog-covered cities.
In Holland’s most distinctive city, more than 30 museums cater to a diverse public, from restless kids and art lovers to hipsters and avid car enthusiasts.
The Hague’s museums
The Royal Art Gallery occupies a beautiful 17th-century mansion designed by architect Jacob van Kampen. The museum has two floors and 16 halls with luxurious interiors, in which more than 250 paintings of prominent Dutch masters are exhibited. Among them are masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Bruegel and Rubens.
The museum is located in a beautiful mansion, built in the XVIII century on the Lange Woorhout. At various times it served as home and office for four Dutch queens. The last one to leave it was Beatrix in 1990.
In 2002, part of the premises were transferred to the Mauritz Escher Museum. The Dutch graphic artist became famous for his surrealistic prints, drawings and prints that create incredible optical illusions. The collection presents some of his most striking works.
This science and educational museum is worth a visit for the whole family. Numerous exhibits tell about culture, geology, industry, history, nature and human evolution.
There are about 300,000 exhibits, including stuffed animals and birds, including extinct ones, giant dinosaur bones, ancient tools, national costumes and other curiosities. Many of the exhibits are interactive.
It is considered the richest and most interesting museum in The Hague. It contains masterpieces of internationally renowned artists such as Mondrian, Degas, Picasso and Kandinsky. There are rooms devoted to contemporary photography, the history of fashion and musical instruments.
Within the walls of the museum you can also admire medieval tapestries, porcelain figurines from Japan, jewelry, leather, wood and other curious things. In total, the institution has a collection of more than 50,000 items.
This automobile museum, while not the largest in the world, is one of the most unusual. There are 240 unique exhibits from all over the world, from steam engines to concept cars. Aston Martin, which took part in the filming of the Bond movies, is a special pride of the museum.
Palaces and castles
Built in the middle of the 13th century, Binnenhof Castle is considered the best example of the Gothic style, and therefore is one of the top must-see attractions in Holland. Its medieval halls are the seat of Parliament, where laws are written and political life is in full swing. In the same place there is the residence of the Prime Minister.
Part of the castle complex is open to tourists. The main pearl is the Ridderzaal inner building. Rooms with stained glass windows, massive furniture, high ceilings and chandeliers guarantee a full immersion in a bygone era of glorious knights and beautiful ladies.
On the palace square in front of the Binnenhof stands the equestrian statue of King Willem II – a rare image of a monarch on horseback. A picturesque pond, in which the facade of the castle is reflected like a mirror, complements the architectural landscape.
The building of red brick, gray granite and light sandstone was erected in 1913. It is the seat of the International Court of Justice and the Court of Arbitration. The facade combines three styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine. On the left side of the palace rises an 80 m high clock tower – a copy of the town hall in Calais.
In the palace there is a rich library of jurisprudence and the Museum of the International Court of Justice. The complex can only be visited as part of an organized tour group.
The official residence of the royal family was built around the 16th century and later expanded in the 17th century. The works were supervised by the architects Pieter Post and Jacob van Kampen. The result is a neat building that meets all the canons of classical style. The palace gate is decorated with the personal coat of arms of the monarch – a golden lion with a sword and seven arrows.
Once upon a time, Heuss-en-Bos was located outside The Hague, and the royal family liked to go there for recreation. Today the palace complex lies within the city limits, surrounded by a beautiful park, and the monarchs still spend holidays and weekends there. The brevity of the facade made in the traditional Dutch style is compensated by the rich interior.
Natural attractions and parks
A picturesque park is located in Scheveningen, the spa district of The Hague. It is named after the landscape designer P. Westbroek, who has thought of every corner of this green area. In summer a lot of roses bloom here and a huge colorful carpet of fragrances fragrances. This is a time when Westbrook is especially full of visitors.
The park has benches and gazebos for relaxing, a picturesque pond with ducks, cafes and restaurants. Playgrounds are equipped for children.
The Hague Forest
The famous forest is located in the city center and occupies an area of about 100 hectares. Trees, shrubs and wild plants grow on its territory without human intervention.
Hague Forest is popular with people running, dog walkers and mothers with small children. If you want to rest from the noise, listen to birdsong and take a walk among the greenery, this forest is the best and most affordable solution. No need to leave the metropolis.
Surrounded by the French-style park of the same name, Clingendael Manor was built in the 17th century. Its territory is divided into several themed areas. Among them are neat green lawns, rose gardens, alleys of colorful plants, Dutch and Japanese gardens.
The latter is the most interesting. It was founded by a Dutch duchess in the early 20th century. She often accompanied her husband on trips to the Land of the Rising Sun, from where she brought back flowers, trees, and shrubs. Since exotic flora requires meticulous care in climatic conditions that are unusual and sometimes hostile to them, the Japanese Garden is only open to visitors for a few months of the year – from early May to mid-July.
Points of Interest
This is a park of miniatures, which gives an idea of the look of Holland. All buildings are made in 1:25 scale of plastic and wood. They realistically reproduce the Binnenhof Palace, the Basilica of Our Lady, Schiphol Airport, Rijksmuseum and other iconic sites located in different parts of the country. There are miniature canals, squares, markets and even a cheese factory.
Many of the layouts are interactive, which thrills children. For example, they can load a wagon at the station and send it on its way on the railroad.
Madurodam, like any real city, has a mayor. So in 1952 the city was run by Princess Beatrix. And since the 1980s, the mayor has been elected from among the schoolchildren of The Hague.
The resort area, located within The Hague, is a favorite vacation spot for locals and tourists. The shallow seabed is well heated by local standards, so windsurfing and kitesurfing are popular here. Sun loungers along the long, sandy beach await those who enjoy air bathing. There are cafes, bars, restaurants, stores and hotels nearby.
The picturesque street in the heart of The Hague invites you for a fascinating walk. Historic 18th and 19th century buildings stand on both sides of the Lange Woorhout. They house government and municipal institutions.
The avenue has four rows of beautiful linden trees, which will soon be 500 years old. The lanterns, decorated with crowns, immerse in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Every September, the current King of the Netherlands addresses the nation with speeches of thanks and farewell from the rostrum set up in this very street.
The main attraction of the spa area of the same name is equally popular with tourists and locals. The pier offers a beautiful panoramic view of the sea. The futuristic tower is the best backdrop for stunning selfies.
Right on the pier there is a Ferris wheel – the first in Europe, which rises just above the water surface. The opening of this object was repeatedly postponed due to fears that it would not withstand the harsh winds. However, after numerous examinations, in 2016 the “Ferris wheel” still worked.
St. James Church
The Protestant church, founded in the 13th century, is the oldest structure in The Hague. Despite its respectable age, it is perfectly preserved. The last global reconstruction was carried out in 1967. The main attractions are the intricate stained-glass windows, the organ and the wooden ceiling with a huge chandelier. There are also graves of prominent Dutch politicians and military officers.
This unusual church was built in 1656 on the Spuy Canal to a design by architect Bartholomeus van Bassen. The building combines two styles at once: Renaissance and classicism. In 1702, an organ was installed in the church. And in 1969 the building was closed for renovation, and then turned into a concert hall.
The Groté Kerk was built in the 16th century on the site of the wooden chapel of St. James. In the stone church all the heirs to the throne of the royal family of Oranje-Nassau were baptized and married. The interior decoration is ascetic and is of little interest, but the outside is worth a closer look at the church. By the way, the silhouette of a stork – the symbol of The Hague – can be seen on the bell of the Grote Kerk.
In 2005, excavations were done in the area around the church. Scientists were lucky enough to find many interesting artefacts. The most significant find is a fragment of the first stone city wall.
Old Town Hall
The Renaissance-style building was built in 1565. Previously there was a castle on the site of the town hall, which was later demolished. It is believed that one of the towers survived and became the town hall.
In 1882 the public office was repaired and expanded. Now its facade is decorated with statues symbolizing faith, justice, love, strength and hope. Inside there are well preserved stained-glass windows, decorative elements and paintings of the XVII century.
This original building is a mix of light Renaissance and bold expressionism. The semicircular Venetian roof lets in plenty of natural light. Numerous columns and arched bays complete the decoration.
The Place is The Hague’s most elegant square, filled with old buildings, cafes and restaurants. At its center is a statue of William of Orange. The square was originally the site of a royal kitchen garden with irrigation canals. Generous harvests went to the kitchens of Binnenhof Castle. In 1632, the farmland was turned into a square on the model of the Place des Vosges in Paris.
Hotel Amrath Kurhaus
The luxurious Hotel Amrath Kurhaus is the jewel in the crown of the Scheveningen resort. The monumental Art Nouveau building is impressive. Frescoes on the ceiling and walls, large windows with soft light, fancy chandeliers, and exclusive rooms – it’s all here in the palace-hotel. And from its huge terrace guests can admire the sea.
The building, built in 1904, was originally the “Circus Schumann” and until the mid-1960s performances were given there. Performances of acrobats, magicians and animal trainers gathered a full house. Then the circus was converted to a concert hall, where the famous pianist Arthur Rubinstein played during his farewell tour.
In 1991 the building underwent a global reconstruction. Changes affected not only the facade but also the halls. The Circus gained vast windows and neon lighting, the interior was significantly expanded, and new equipment and acoustics were installed.
The sights of The Hague in a day: our itinerary
Filed: Holland 1 925 0
A few years ago, our Dutch friend Richard worked in The Hague as a police officer. So we came to The Hague together and walked around all the most interesting things in a few hours. You too can see the main sights of The Hague in one day, and Richard will help you with our article today. In it you will find a map of the sights of The Hague, their photos and a brief description.
The top 7 sights in The Hague.
To begin with, I can’t help but share an interesting observation. The main attractions of almost all cities in the world are temples (churches, mosques, pagodas). And somehow it turned out that The Hague has no churches of special tourist value – in contrast, for example, to Amsterdam or Delft.
Of course, as in all self-respecting cities in the Netherlands, there is the Old and New Church, but it is difficult to classify them as the main attractions of The Hague. Such an unusual city, such unusual sights.
A resident of The Hague kindly agreed to pose with us in front of the Binnenhof Palace.
1. The quarter de Resident
This neighborhood used to be considered the disgrace of The Hague, was the object of biting jokes and ridicule and consisted entirely of ugly typical houses. When the City Hall decided to build a new block in their place, there was no limit to the happiness of the inhabitants.
Today de Resident is considered the most beautiful district of The Hague, it is built up with elite houses and ultramodern office centers. In the middle of the block rises a building with two pointed roofs, called “The Breast of The Hague”. You can see it in the picture of Place Plain below.
De Resident grew up in the place of a dismal prototypical building block, which the citizens loathed.
2. Place Plain
A cozy square next to the Binnenhof overlooking the two sights of The Hague at once: the Binnenhof proper and the skyscrapers of the de Resident neighborhood we told you about above. It is surrounded by exceptionally beautiful government buildings.
In the center of the square is a monument to Prince William I of Orange, leader of the Dutch independence movement in the 16th century.
In the photo: Place Plain with a view of the skyscrapers of the de Resident district and its (her?) symbol – the “Chest of The Hague”.
3. Gallery Mauritshuis
Mauritshuis is the famous Royal Art Gallery of The Hague. Here you can find the masterpieces of Dutch artists of the Golden Age – Rembrandt, Frans Hals and others. Here you can see the very same “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Jan Vermeer.
The price of a ticket to the Mauritshuis Gallery is 15.5 euros.
The Mauritshuis Gallery houses Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.
The Binnenhof is a whole complex of beautiful buildings in the center of The Hague. It used to be a hunting castle, which in the 13th century began the construction of the city, and now is the seat of government and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.
By the way, look closely at the two-story tower on the left in the Binnenhof photo. The prime minister of the Netherlands sits in it.
The main attractions of The Hague are located in or near the Binnenhof complex.
5. Ridderzaal (Knight’s Hall).
This beautiful Gothic building was built in the middle of the Binnenhof in the 13th century. At various times it was a hospital, a bookshop and a place for royal receptions. Now it serves mainly for various conferences and speeches of monarchs.
Of the knights in Ridderzaal only the name and stern appearance remains.
6. Lange Voorhout
If de Resident is considered the most beautiful district of The Hague, then the most beautiful street is Lange Voorhout. Among the buildings on this street are the embassies of foreign countries, art galleries and Escher Museum, located in the former palace of Queen Emma of the Netherlands. The museum has a unique collection of works of the famous graphic artist.
Escher Museum on Voorhout Street is a place of pilgrimage for admirers of the talent of the distinctive artist.
7. The Beaches of Scheveningen
The resort of Scheveningen is located on the outskirts of the city center, yet it is officially one of the districts of The Hague. The main thing about Scheveningen is its beaches: long, wide, and covered in crumbly golden sand.
The resort of Scheveningen is mainly a mecca for windsurfers, kite surfers and nightlife enthusiasts, but from late June to early September the beaches here are even suitable for swimming. Didn’t you know Holland is a beach country too?
It takes 20 minutes to get to Scheveningen beach from the center of The Hague (right from the Binnenhof) by streetcar 1.
Who would have thought that the attractions of The Hague – not the southernmost city not the southernmost country – are the beaches! And they are cool, after all.
What else can you see in The Hague
The seven sights of The Hague that are described above in our article, you can leisurely see in one day. But there are other interesting places in The Hague, although they are away from the city center. If you have time left or are going to The Hague for two or three days, they are also worth a visit.
As for us, we managed to get around all the sights of The Hague in one day, including those described below. The secret is simple: we were by car with our Dutch friends .
Our favorite museum in The Hague. It was built for a single painting by the artist Hendrik Mesdah, but what a painting! It is 40 meters high and 120 meters long when unfolded.
The painting shows what looked like the fishing village of Scheveningen (now the district of The Hague and the main seaside resort of Holland) in the 19th century. The sound of waves, cries of seagulls, scattered nets, baskets, and other fishing trash create an effect of absolute reality. See our article for details:
Sightseeing in The Hague, photos and description. Panorama Mesdah is our favorite museum in The Hague.
It is in The Hague – or rather, in the beautiful Peace Palace – that the international court of the United Nations sits. The palace was built in the Romanesque style with Gothic elements, the height of the main tower – 80 meters. For example, the cases of NATO countries bombing Yugoslavia and the legality of the recognition of Kosovo’s independence were examined exactly here.
The palace is open to visitors, but in my opinion there is not much to see there for an average tourist.
As the name implies, the Peace Palace is mostly used for war-related cases.
Madurodam (or Madurodam) is a very interesting park of miniatures where the copies of the most famous Dutch sights are recreated at a scale of 1:25. Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum, Groningen Railway Station and Utrecht Cathedral: where else can you see all this in an hour? The ticket price is 19.5 euros, with an online purchase on the Getyourguide website at 17.5 euros. See lots of pictures in our article:
At Madurodam Park, miniature sights await you in The Hague and all of Holland. In the photo: Amsterdam Dam Square (scale 1:25) and me (scale 1:1).
The sights of The Hague on a city map
In front of you is a map of the sights of The Hague in Russian. You can walk around all of these places, except perhaps sights number 9 and 10 – Madurodam Park of Miniatures and Scheveningen Beach. From the city center, as well as from the Mesdah Panorama and the Peace Palace, they can be reached by cab or public transport. There is bus number 22 to Madurodam and streetcar number 1 to Scheveningen beach.
The main sights to see in one day in The Hague on the map are marked in blue and numbers in the order in which it will be most convenient to go around them. In green on the map are marked three places that you are unlikely to visit in 1 day without a car – the Mesdah Panorama, the Peace Palace and the Madurodam Park of Miniatures.
Excursions in The Hague in Russian
If you do not have much time and want to see the most important sights in one day, it makes sense to book a tour of The Hague. By the way, tours of The Hague in Russian appeared quite recently, but are already popular. You can book a tour of the Hague with a Russian-speaking guide on the website Tripster.ru .
Local guides also understand that most tourists are coming here for no more than one day, so the program is usually designed for 3-4 hours and covers the main attractions of The Hague, located in the city center or its suburbs. The content of my favorite sightseeing tour The Hague: From the old days to the present – the attractions are chosen competently and the reviews of the guide are good.