The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and has acted as the country’s political capital for centuries. Over the past 100 years many international organisations have settled in the Hague and the city has developed deep ties with the United Nations. Although these political factors are certainly important, there’s significantly more to the Hague than governance and the city features many fascinating attractions that will appeal tourists, travellers and day trippers.
This sprawling miniature theme park features thousands of tiny replicas of famous Dutch landmarks such as the Binnenhof, Dam Square and the Dom Tower. The sheer number of miniatures at Madurodam is truly remarkable and everything inside the park has been painstakingly realised in order to capture the essence of Dutch architecture.
Many famous figures have lived inside Huis ten Bosch over the past 400 years and the palace is currently owned by the Dutch Royal Family. According to official sources, King Willem-Alexander and his family will relocate to the palace sometime in the near future and make it their formal residence.
The Hague’s Peace Palace has housed the International Court of Justice and several other important legal organisations since the early-20th century. Guided tours are available around the palace on certain days and there is a permanent visitor centre onsite.
This hair-raising attraction is located on top of the spiralling tower at the head of Scheveningen pleasure pier. At Bungy Scheveningen, adrenaline junkies are invited plunge from a 60m (197ft) platform and then bounce candidly over the Hague’s coastline.
Chilling out on Scheveningen Beach is a staple of Dutch summertime and legions of day trippers flock to this coastal resort during sunny spells. The beach is around five kilometres (3.1mi) aways from the Hague’s city centre and easily accessible via tram or bike.
Although Kijkduin is slightly overshadowed by Scheveningin, there are many reasons to visit this smaller seaside resort. Its natural dune landscapes, for example, are absolutely stunning and offer unrivalled views across the Netherland’s western coastline.
Haagse Bos is among the oldest surviving forests in the Netherlands covering a rectangular parcel of land that trails from the Hague’s centre to a small town called Wassenaar. The forest has always played an important role within the Hague’s history and provided timber for the Binnenhof’s walls during the palace’s early years.
The gardens around Clingendael manor are renowned for their stunning natural beauty and have been open to the public since the mid-20th century. This marvellous estate contains a painstakingly designed Japanese garden that features many authentic Japanese items and many rare and exotic plants.
The stone keep near the Binnenhof in the Hague incarcerated serious criminals for over four centuries and has held several famous figures from Dutch history. Today, this medieval building contains an educational, family-friendly museum that retraces the history of crime and punishment in the Netherlands.