The Hague In All Its Beauty
Home to the Royal Family and National Parliament, rich with culture and unique sights, the Hague does not get the full attention it deserves. With the brand new opening of the second Teleport hotel on the 1st of March this year it’s time for the city to step out of shadow of Amsterdam and show its full potential and beauty. The Hague Teleport Hotel will be located in a quiet area of the city, 20 minute away from The Hague Central Station by public transport and will have 55 modern studios plus 3 amazing marionette’s with a great view over the city. The blog will help you to start exploring some of the highlights of the city, its hidden gems and unforgettable experiences that only Den Haag can give you.
Politics & Architecture
Although not the capital of the Netherlands, Den Haag functions as a political heart not only of the country, but also often of the international community. Such institutions as the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, Eurojust, Europol and many more located there make the Hague the international city of peace and justice. Make sure to see the beauty of the Peace Palace and look at the old building of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.
The city center of Den Haag, full of history and royalty unfolds its monumental buildings of the Binnenhof and Noordeinde. The first palace houses all the Dutch government including the Prime Minister, while the latter palace is a working office of Queen Beatrix herself. In case these palaces do not satisfy your historical craving yet, then stop by the Old City Hall of a renaissance style and check out the churches of the Hague.
The View & The Tower
The massive and impressive architecture and large squares of this city mix well with some narrow streets full of cozy cafes and shops. Being the place of contrasts, the Hague has its skyline demonstrating an outstanding combination of historical buildings all the way from the 15th century (The Grote Kerk of St James) and modern fancifully shaped glass architecture. Luckily you can explore all of this from above by checking out The Hague Tower and the magnificent view from there. This highest Dutch building accessible to public offers outside viewing areas at the 41st and 42nd floors (at the height of 135 m!), from where you can clearly see the Royal Palace. On a good weather day your view can be expanded all the way to Rotterdam, Leiden and the Hook of Holland.
The Palace Garden & Antiques Market
Right behind Noordeinde Palace, there is a hidden gem of the Hague- The Palace Garden with its wonderful fountains, colorful flowers and small ponds. This city park is nice for taking a break from the city and having a small picnic the real Dutch way in the royal atmosphere. Those who feel for some special shopping can find an antiques and book market within a walking distance from the park. It is open every Thursday year-round and also on Sundays during the summer. It is hard to imagine what you will not be able to find there, as it has just about everything when it comes to old times and interesting objects.
The girl with a pearl earring
Apart from the beautiful architecture and historical city center The Hague is also home of the finest golden age painting collections in the world. Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and The Bull by Potter are just a few of the world famous paintings that are permanently on display in the Mauritshuis. Another painting that is totally worth visiting is Panorama Mesdag. This unique cylindrical painting, the world’s oldest in its kind, has a circumference of 120 meters and is 14 meters high. The painting gives a detailed of overview of life in 1881 in Scheveningen, a vishing village next to the sea.
The Kids Paradise
In case you are tired of all the politics, grand architecture and palaces, let’s move to another famous attraction of the Hague. Ideal for kids and quite interesting for adults, Madurodam is a must visit with its remarkable miniature version of the Netherlands. This park is famous for impressively detailed replicas of Dutch historical towns, landmarks and sights. The models are created at a scale of 1:25 and precisely resemble colors, shapes and features of the actual buildings and objects. Tiny canal houses, windmills and tulip fields of Madurodam make you feel like Gulliver in the lilliputs’ country-so realistic and vivid are all the replicas.
Let’s Go to the Seaside
Being the largest city on the sea in the Netherlands and originally built on the dunes, the Hague offers picturesque stretches of dunes, wide beaches and nice recreational area next to the seaside. There are different hiking routes and observation points where you can spot lots of birds species and small animals. Scheveningen beach is the most loved one around Den Haag with a famous pier and promenade that is great for a short stroll and taking pictures of the Northern Sea and gorgeous sunsets. Surfing, kiting and kitesurfing are quite popular around Scheveningen.
The Celestial Vault
If you find yourself heading to the beach in the Hague, make sure not to miss a unique experience of the Celestial Vault in Kijkduin dunes. This astronomical optical illusion was created by James Turrell, who set up a marble art installation in the middle of an artificial crater. Lay down on this structure and look at the sky, and you will be stunned by a perception of a vault of heaven! This celestial dome is an illusion achieved by the magical combination of light and space that allows seeing the sky like you’ve never seen it before. Walk up the higher dune next to this crater and enjoy a terrific panoramic view of the Northern sea, nice beach and flat Dutch countryside.
Special Events of the Hague
With so many things to see and do in the Hague, you might not even have time for all the special events that happen there, but it is worth giving it a try. Join locals for the North Sea Regatta (3rd-16th of May) to get even better view of the sea full of fancy yachts and stunning vessels. If you are more into the pop culture, then Parkpop might be just about right for you with its biggest free popfestival in Europe (26th of June). Actually June is marked with lots of other festivals, when jazz is flowing from the streets of the Hague and the classical music is waiting for its judges. Something that will be enjoyed by everybody who attends is the International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen (12th, 13th, 19th and 20thof August), when the sky is full of show and colors.
This post is also available in: Dutch