During the 13th century, several Dutch counts built an elaborate Gothic palace on the banks of Hofvijver lake in the Hague. This medieval complex was eventually bequeathed to the Dutch parliament and was converted into the democratic centre of the Netherlands. Although both houses of parliament still meet inside the Binnenhof it is possible to visit the complex during special guided tours.
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.
📍Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1, the Hague +31 70 416 2400
Maurithuis has housed the Royal Cabinet of Paintings since the 19th century and contains many masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age including Johannes Vermeer’s magnum opus Girl with a Pearl Earring. This stately building was partially designed by the architect behind Amsterdam’s Royal Palace, Jacob van Campen.
📍Mauritshuis, Mauritshuisplein 29, the Hague, +31 70 302 3456
In 2002 Lange Voorhout Palace in the Hague was converted into a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to M.C. Escher. Its collection includes many famous prints, lithographs and woodcuts created by Escher and also features several interactive exhibitions that render the artist’s mathematically inspired creations into real-life.
📍Escher in Het Paleis, Lange Voorhout 74, The Hague, +31 70 427 7730
Louwman Musuem’s collection covers every major episode from the history of automotive technology and features over 200 historic automobiles, motorbikes and buses. Many of these vintage motor vehicles date back to the early 20th century and Louwman Museum displays several culturally important cars such as Elvis Presley’s Cadillac.
📍Louwman Museum, Leidsestraatweg 57, The Hague, +31 70 304 7373
This gigantic ferris wheel is perched on top of Schevingen pier’s most northernly walkway and spins above the Hague’s pristine coastline. As the ferris wheel towers 40 meters above sea level many nearby towns and cities are visible from its gondolas.
📍SkyView Pier, Strandweg 156, The Hague, +31 88 022 3333
In 1880 Dutch marine painter Henrik Willem Mesdag was commissioned to create an enormous, panoramic seascape of the Hague’s coastline. This insanely detailed painting was eventually mounted onto custom built 40 metre long cylindrical platform. The panorama has been on display in the Hague ever since and still attracts scores of visitors everyday.
📍Museum Mesdag, Laan van Meerdervoort 7F, The Hague, +31 70 362 1434
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.
📍Huis ten Bosch, ‘s-Gravenhaagse Bos 10, The Hague, +31 70 356 4142
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.
📍Peace Palace, Carnegieplein 2, The Hague, +31 70 302 4242
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 60 metre high platform and then bounce candidly over the Hague’s coastline.
📍 Bungy Scheveningen, Strandweg 150-154, the Hague, +31 70 221 1138
Gemeentemuseum has the largest Mondriaan collection in the world and keeps many of these groundbreaking paintings on permanent display alongside a significant number of other de Stijl artworks. The museum is an architectural masterpiece in itself and was designed by modernist trailblazer H.P. Berlage.
📍 Gemeentemusuem Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, The Hague, +31 70 338 1111
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 aways from the Hague’s city centre and easily accessible via tram or bike.
In the 19th century, Hendrik Willem Mesdag and his wife Sina van Houten enjoyed prominent artistic careers in the Netherlands and collected dozens of artworks during their lifetimes that now are on display inside their former residence. This collection includes many important artworks from the 19th century created by leading figures from the European art scene such as Gustave Courbet, Anton Mauve and Charles-François Daubigny.
📍Panorama Mesdag, Zeestraat 65, The Hague, +31 70 310 6665
Beelden aan Zee is only the museum in the Netherlands that is fully dedicated to sculpture. Its collection features many artworks from famous avant-garde figures such as Man Ray and Karel Appel. Besides its permanent display the museum also regularly organises temporary exhibitions that showcase Dutch and international sculptures.
📍 Beelden aan Zee, Harteveltstraat 1, The Hague, +31 70 358 5857
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 amoung the oldest surviving forests in the Netherlands cover 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 stone keep near the Binnenhof in the Hague incarcerate 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.
📍Museum de Gevangenpoort, Buitenhof 33, The Hague, +31 70 346 0861
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.
📍 Clingendael 6, The Hague, +31 70 353 3000
Sea Life Scheveningen cares for hundreds of aquatic critters including sharks, penguins and clown fish. This colourful menagerie live inside several specialised zones that are dedicated to specific species or habitats.
📍Sea Life Schevengen, Strandweg 13, The Hague, +31 70 354 2100
Kinderboekenmuseum is dedicated to the preservation and distribution of Dutch children’s books. Its kid-orientated interactive exihibitions feature many familiar faces from Dutch literature such as Kikker and Nijntje (Miffy).
📍 Kinderboekenmuseum, Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, the Hague, +31 70 333 9666