The Best Independent Bookstores in The Hague

© pixabay
© pixabay
Photo of Tom Coggins
30 July 2017

There are many excellent independent bookstores in The Hague which cater to a wide range of tastes, preferences and academic demands. All of these stores are local institutions and are run by dedicated teams of book enthusiasts.

The American Book Centre

Since launching in 1972 The American Book Centre has amassed a large following of devoted book lovers and is among the best places in the Netherlands to scour for English language literature. Many modern and historical classics such as Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank or Art Spiegelman’s Maus are available at lower prices in the American Book Centre under their Evergreen reduction scheme.

the American Book Center | © the American Book Center

De Haagse Kinderboekwinkel ‘Alice in Wonderland’

This charming children’s bookstore is covered in colourful illustrations associated with Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice in Wonderland which were created by one of the store’s owners. The store also organises puppet shows for children in Dutch and other kid-orientated theatrical performances.

Stripwinkel Barelli

Looking for comic books or graphic novels whilst in The Hague? Make sure to check out this specialist store on Zoutmanstraat which features thousands of Dutch and international illustrated editions. Apart from books and comic strips, Stripwinkel Barelli also stocks collectibles associated with famous characters and authors.

Stanley & Livingstone Reisboekenwinkel

There are countless travel guides, maps and other literature associated with world-wide adventures available inside Stanley & Livingstone and the store constantly updates its stock with new, old or rare literature. The store also sells an enormous range of historic, antique and decorative globes.


Besides containing scores of well-stocked bookshelves Paagman also features popular lunch room called the Kicking Horse Café that serves excellent coffee, pie and eggs. Paagman’s entire premise is divided into several specialised sections that have their own distinctive design including a colourful quarter for kid’s books.

© Jitze Couperus / Flickr

Boekhandel Couvée-Benoordenhaeghe

Boekhandel Couvée-Benoordenhaeghe mainly sells Dutch or English literature and always stocks an impressive array of genres that range from contemporary crime thrillers to academic titles. Their team will gladly order in books that aren’t currently available in store.

Boekhandel Douwes

Boekhandel Douwes collection centers around legal and scientific books, but also features many titles from literatures, philosophy, politics and history. Although Boekhandel Douwes only opened last year, it is built inside a former legal bookstore that was established in 1897 and is currently the only jurisprudence specialist in the Hague.

Van Stockum

This cosy bookstore on Spui stocks an impressive amount of literature from the Netherlands, Germany and Anglophone countries as well as many other titles from around the world. There’s also a coffee shop on site which serves fresh java and bagels.

📍 Van Stockum, Spui 40, The Hague +31 70 302 8110

Van Hoogstraten

This famed bookseller has been in business for over 100 years and is located a stone’s throw away from The Hague’s Noordeinde Palace where King Willem-Alexander currently keeps his offices. The store has a wide range of literature and an entire sections dedicated to Dutch royal history.

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