What to do in The Hague: top 10 insider’s list!
When you visit the Netherlands, it makes sense to immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s hustle and bustle. However: there are so many more great places to visit! The Hague is an absolute must-see city. It isn’t just known for being the political heart of our country and housing the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (even though that’s pretty impressive already). Being located right next to the beach, it’s also a perfect place to relax. Moreover, the city is filled with booming restaurants, picturesque little streets, Dutch history and Golden Age art – hello Girl with a Pearl Earring!
#1 Cultural: Museums > Hofvijver passe-partout
There’s no better place than The Hague to be your best cultural self, which makes the Hofvijver passe-partout a great purchase! The Hofvijver is the fancy lake in the center of the city, and it is surrounded by all the great museums of The Hague. Our favorites? The Historical Museum of The Hague and the Gevangenpoort (Prisoner’s Gate): a former gate and medieval prison. The passe-partout costs 16 euros and is available at all participating museums, ProDemos and the Tourist Information Office.
#2 Green: Urban farmers
Have you crossed all the obvious sights off your list and are you ready to get to know a really unique place? Visiting Urban Farmers will be your cuppa tea! This city farm is the biggest of Europe, and it’s located in the former office building ‘De Schilde’. If you head up the stairs to the sixth floor, you’ll run into their fish farm. One floor up, the Urban Farmers even have a rooftop greenhouse for the cultivation of crunchy lettuce and juicy tomatoes! While being impressed by this metropolitan farm, you can also enjoy a panorama view on the city. Pretty much a perfect win-win situation, right?
#3 Cultural: Nutshuis
The Nutshuis is an independent platform for art, culture and society. Their goal is to hand people tools and knowledge in order to ease up life a little. What to expect? Think of garden concerts, exhibitions and an open air cinema… Need we say more? The Nutshuis is definitely worth a visit!
#4 Active: Beach
As soon as the first ray of sunshine appears, everyone in The Hague will do a Speedy Gonzales towards the beach. No wonder: the coastline stretches out pretty far & fabulously! You can find it only 2 kilometres north of The Hague, in the district of Scheveningen (pronounced ss-CHAY-ven-in-hen, with a throat-clearing gargle on the second syllable). The sports enthusiasts amongst us will be drawn towards activities like surfing, kitesurfing and supping. Perfect for those rare tropical days in the Netherlands! When the clouds take over the sky, Scheveningen is still the place to relax your mind. How? By cycling along the coast or by practicing your kite skills. Beach bums, all unite!
#5 Green: Westduinpark
The Westduinpark is a green oasis located in between the harbor of Scheveningen and Kijkduin. This natural monument is of importance to The Hague, because it offers beautiful nature, recreation, and – not the least important – it acts as a sea wall. It’s a diverse nature reserve with protected habitats for flora and fauna. Perfect for a scenic Sunday afternoon stroll or an adventurous horse ride. If you need an escape from the busy urban life, this is the way to go. The Netherlands as flat as a pancake? Wait ‘til you see those dunes!
#6 Shopping: Collectiv / LISTed
Did you think the only Dutch shopping walhalla was in Amsterdam? Think again! We were surprised by the combination of quirky little boutiques, high-street fashion chains, cosy squares and impressive historical buildings in The Hague’s city center. Instock’s recommendations? Hop by Collectiv: a concept store which is run by twenty different entrepreneurs and designers. Literally everything that you see, is for sale. This Pinterest-proof store harbors treasures such as paintings, cacti, jewelry, hats and clothing. Plus: they also sell those household products in the category ‘I never knew I wanted it until I saw it’! Another concept store gem is LISTed. Here you can find a carefully chosen mix of fashion brands from both Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Think of Samsøe Samsøe, Anecdote, Amatør, Love Stories, and Nudie Jeans. Simply look around and be inspired – it can’t be that hard in The Hague!
#7 Food: Instock coffee
How about taking a little breather at Instock? Located at the heart of the city center, the restaurant is hard to miss. Every day we prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner from food which would be discarded otherwise. It’s all food surplus, which makes our dishes sustainable, special and very yummy – to say the least! We serve Moyee coffee: the first FairChain coffee around the globe. Our insider’s tip is to ask for our Sweet Something. It’s a treat (such as a raspberry muffin) that will match your little cuppa caffeine perfectly. Of course, the delicacy depends on the ingredients that we have in stock! Have you bought the Hofvijver passe-partout by any chance? Lucky you, you will get 10 % of your bill!
#8 Cultural: Binnenhof & de Hofvijver
The political core of the Netherlands is located in The Hague. Get ready to enter Dutch history right through the (in)famous gateway of the Binnenhof! It’s not hard to get carried away by all of our past’s most important events. Moreover, the Dutch Parliament is located here: THE place where our future is decided. Get a taste of how our King Willem-Alexander must feel while reading out his yearly speech during the opening day of the Dutch parliament. With a fancy view on the Hofvijver, you’ll feel like the true King or Queen of the World! Quite the feeling, we must say.
#9 Cultural: Netherlands Dance Theater
Whether you feel utterly at ease in the world of dancing or you’re just searching for something new; the Netherlands Dance Theater is one heck of a way to spend the night! The dancers of this top-notch ensemble show during several shows why they belong to the absolute dancing elite of the world. One hint: it includes physical movements that are impossible for about 99,9% of the world (yep… us too). Their new show season is on sale as we speak. Needless to say: it’s filled to the brim with surprising dance and theater acts.
#10 Food: Instock dinner
Be the best food rescuer you can be by having a unique dinner experience at Instock! The creative chefs of Instock come up with a surprising four-course dinner every day. They know how to turn that battered carrot into a delicious cake and how to transform quirky Brussels sprouts into bangin’ kimchi.
Sounds like your kinda comfort food? Reserve a table here (suited for big groups as well):