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Before I visited the Hague in the Netherlands I didn’t know a lot about it. I wondered to myself what to see in the Hague, but came up blank. I couldn’t think of a single tourist attraction in the Hague that I had ever heard about. When I thought of the Hague I thought of justice and courts. Not exactly my idea of fun, though no doubt they are fascinating. However, after my visit I realised that there are so many fun things to do in the Hague that I’d never heard of before. So, in answer to my own question, “what to do in the Hague in 48 hours?”, here’s what I discovered. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Fun Things to do in the Hague
1) The Peace Palace
The Peace Palace is home to the international court of justice . You need your passport or official ID card (EU citizens) to enter. Once inside you are officially on UN soil. We had a guided tour and it was incredibly interesting. There are restrictions on where/when you can take photos, so make sure to check with your guide first. The decor inside the Peace Palace is absolutely stunning. There’s giant stained glass windows, beautiful sculptures like the hallways and the ornately decorated ceilings soar above you. Also, on a less official note, there are tonnes of adorable rabbits running around the grounds of the Peace Palace too. A guided tour costs €9.50 per person.
Who doesn’t love a miniature village? We often feel tiny in a giant world, so it’s nice to go somewhere where you feel like a giant and the world seems small and simple. Madurodam, named after the war hero George Maduro, is where you can walk through Holland in less than an hour. There’s a tiny Peace Palace, tiny Amsterdam, tiny Rotterdam and even a mini Armen Van Buren concert! There’s plenty to do in Madurodam. You can have a 3D photo taken of yourself which can be made into a tiny figurine via 3D printing. There’s also a lovely little gift shop and coffee shop, oh and bucket loads of kids activities! Tickets cost around €14.50 per adult.
3) Go to the Beach
Have a little beach break in the Hague at “Haagse Strandhuisjes”, the stunning beach houses I stayed in during my trip. They’re located right on the beach in Kijkduin. Every year they’re taken down and rebuilt. They feel, smell and look brand new. Each beach house has a TV, Wi-Fi, a little kitchenette, functioning bathroom/shower, plenty of powers outlets and basically everything you need. The decor is white, bright, nautical and airy, everything you would expect from a beach house. If you have ever dreamed of a beach house, this is everything you’ve ever dreamed of. To the back of the beach houses are rolling sand dunes and to the front is the sea. So grab a bucket and spade and head to the beach in the Hague. Prices start from €290 for a 4 night mid week stay (Mon – Fri), so it won’t break the bank as you can fit at least 4 people into a beach house.
4) Escher Museum
The Escher museum is dedicated to M.C.Escher, a Dutch artist known for playing with perspective and reality. His works are incredibly mathematical and can be down right mind-boggling. You think you’re looking at one thing and then suddenly it transforms into something else. The museum is set in a palace originally built in 1760 and bought by Queen Emma in 1896. The palace is adorned with ostentatious chandeliers by Hans Van Bentem. There’s a shark, a seahorse, a globe, a skull and crossbones and more. The Escher museum itself is full of interactive exhibits, mainly on the top floor. You can play with perspective, take quirky photos and even watch the floor disappear beneath your feet. I really liked this museum and would happily recommend it to people of all ages. An adult ticket costs €9.50.
5) Dinner in a Bank Vault
Hotel Indigo is a hotel set in the building of an old bank and located on a corner just across from the royal palace, the Palace Noordeinde. Next time someone asks you what to do in the Hague, make sure and tell them to have dinner in the vault at Hotel Indigo. It’s a bizarre feeling stepping through those giant, heavy, round doors and into a stunning dining room instead of a room full of gold bars. The food was delicious, I promise you won’t regret it. It’s also the perfect place to stay in the Hague if you’re looking for a central, luxury hotel. There’s old fashioned safes in each room and every room is individually decorated with different colour schemes/ design features.
6) Breakfast at Habana Beach
Habana Beach is a beach-side bar/restaurant in Kijkduin, looking right out onto the ocean. I had breakfast and lunch (on separate occasions, I didn’t just stay there for hours) here and it was delicious. The place has a great laid back style. It’s wonderful for veggie food and the hot chocolate is magnificent. There’s lots of outdoor seating with giant Buddha heads and outdoor heaters, perfect for a chilled out drink by the beach, looking out to sea. I recommend the breakfast platter if you do head there.
7) Urban Farm
This incredible urban rooftop farm, based in an old Philips TV building, is a shining beacon of ethical and green farming. They produce 45 tonnes of vegetables and 19 tonnes of fish per year. The fish are kept on the 6th floor and the vegetables are grown on the rooftop in a giant greenhouse-type situation. They use aquaponics, meaning the wastewater from the fish is used as natural fertiliser for the vegetables which makes it a zero (or at least minimal) waste system. The vegetables are nothing like what you get in the supermarket. They are absolutely huge and they taste FRESH and alive. There’s a small shop/show room area on the 6th floor and a kitschy little bar area on the rooftop. They often hold events there promoting health, fitness and well-being. Definitely worth a visit!
8) Beach Rings
Scheveningen is the main beach area of the Hague. And, of course, the beach is a huge part of what to see and do in the Hague. The beach rings are twenty rings of sand that symbolise two hundred years of beach and bathing culture. It is a project by Bruno Doedens / SLeM. The artwork changes every day, but you better get there fast because it finishes on the 12th of April.
9) Ferris Wheel
The ferris wheel on the Skyview Pier is over 50 metres high and has 36 cars. A ride on the ferris wheel takes around 20 minutes. The views from the top are stunning. You can have lunch, dinner or even high tea on the ferris wheel. I had lunch which consisted of sandwiches, stroopwaffle, scones and tea/coffee. You can fit a maximum of 6 people in a car. Prices start from €9.00 per adults for a trip around the ferris wheel.
10) Zip Line
If you prefer a little more adventure and excitement then make sure to try the zip line from the bungy tower at the end of Scheveningen pier. The zip line is 350 metres long, making it the longest zip line in the Netherlands, and speeds can reach up to 70km/hr. You zip over the sea and beach and take in spectacular views along the way. There are two lines so you can even take a first date there to test their commitment 😉 Prices start from €30 per adult.
11) Bungy by the Beach
The bungy tower at the end of the pier in Scheveningen offers a 60 metre drop over the sea. You can even request to touch the sea, depending on conditions and the approval of your jumpmaster. You get a great view of the Hague and Scheveningen before you plummet through the air for all of 3 seconds. Prices start from €60 per jump (winter price). Definitely one of the more adrenaline-fuelled things to do in the Hague.
12) Voorlinden Museum
In the beginning I thought I wouldn’t like this place, purely because the staff looked so “arty” that my eyes could barely take it. It was a bit like staring directly at the sun. But the collection at the museum is so well curated and the pieces are so fun and interactive that I ended up loving the place. And the staff were actually really friendly. From an incredibly life-like giant elderly couple under a parasol to an Alice in Wonderland-esque giant box made up of photo frames, mirrors and lights, the Voorlinden will leave you in awe of human creativity. Admission is €15.00 per adult.
Want to See the Hague Through my Eyes?
Here’s a little video I made about some of the things I got up to in the Hague, including giant seagulls attacking tiny villages and myself and the lovely Twins That Travel looking sexy in out hair nets and lab coats.
So there you have it, I hope I’ve answered your question of what to see in the Hague. There is something for everyone from adrenaline to culture and beyond. You will never be sort of exciting, informative and fun things to do in the Hague. It is a place full of personality, poise and quirky attractions. You will not be bored, you will, in fact, be left wondering why you had never heard much about the Hague before.
So next time someone isn’t sure what to do in the Hague, simply share this list with them and they’ll have quite a few options to choose from!
* I was hosted by the Hague tourism board during my trip to the Hague. However, all opinions are, as always, my own.*