20 Must-Visit Attractions in the Hague, the Netherlands

The Hague is far more than a political hub, and ideal for a weekend break
The Hague is far more than a political hub, and ideal for a weekend break | © NAPA / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Tom Coggins
11 September 2020

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.

Mauritshuis

Museum
Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, Holland
© Picture Partners / Alamy Stock Photo
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.

Binnenhof

Historical Landmark
Map View
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.

Madurodam

Amusement Park

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.

Louwman

Museum
Map View
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 one of Elvis Presley’s Cadillacs.

Escher in the Palace

Art Gallery, Museum
Map View
The M. C. Escher Museum in The Hague, Netherlands
© Ventura Carmona / Getty Images
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.

Huis ten Bosch

Historical Landmark
Map View

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.

Panorama Mesdag

Museum
Map View
Panorama Mesdag, The Hague.
© frederic REGLAIN / Alamy Stock Photo
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 40m (131ft) cylindrical platform. The panorama has been on display in the Hague ever since and still attracts scores of visitors everyday.

Gemeentemuseum

Museum
Map View
Gemeentemuseum has the largest Mondrian 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.

Mesdag Collection

Museum
Map View
Daubigny hall inside the museum
© De Mesdag Collectie
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.

Haagse Bos

Natural Feature
Map View

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.

Museum Beelden aan Zee

Museum
Map View
Bronze sculpture by Tom Otterness. Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague.
© Rasvan ILIESCU / Alamy Stock Photo
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.

Museum de Gevangepoort

Museum
Map View
Entrance to the Museum de Gevangenpoort in The Hague, Netherlands.
© Maurice Savage / Alamy Stock Photo

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.

These recommendations were updated on September 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.