The Best Things to Do in Scheveningen
Scheveningen Pier's zip line | © ilovethisgame / Pixabay
Famed for its golden sands, coastal vistas and many seaside attractions, Scheveningen encompasses around half of The Hague’s shoreline and stands on the western side of the city.
Even though it is officially administered by The Hague, the seaside district of Scheveningen feels like a town in its own right. An erstwhile fishing village, in the mid-19th century, Scheveningen grew into a beach resort and has remained a popular destination for tourists and day-trippers ever since. Nowadays, it boasts many popular landmarks, museums and historical sites – not to mention one of the most pristine beaches in the entire country.
You’re unlikely to miss this iconic landmark when visiting Scheveningen, considering that it stands several metres above the sea. Built with entertainment in mind, the pier contains several attractions aside from its panoramic boardwalk, ranging from bars and restaurants to the Netherlands’ only bungee jump platform and a zip-line ride
that hurtles towards Scheveningen Beach at hair-raising speeds. The pier hosts special events from time to time, too, which often coincide with larger celebrations or festivals on the mainland.
Housing well over 150,000 artworks, mainly from the modern era, Gemeentemuseum ranks among the most respected museums in the Netherlands
. The museum owns the largest collection of Mondrian paintings in the world
and keeps many of the artist’s most iconic pieces on permanent display, alongside artwork created by his contemporaries. Due to its stunning Art Deco design, the museum is a masterpiece in its own right and resembles a series of sand-coloured blocks, stacked on top of one another.
Easily the district’s main attraction, Scheveningen Beach has everything you’d expect from a seaside resort. The beach covers roughly four kilometres of coastline and is draped in golden sand. There are many bars, restaurants and cafés scattered along its main esplanade, a number of which have beach-side terraces that look onto the sea. Thousands of day-trippers flock to the beach during the warmer months of the year and it is recognised as the most popular seaside destination in the Netherlands
. It is also possible to surf, kiteboard and windsurf
at Scheveningen Beach, thanks to the area’s coastal winds and choppy waters.
The Peace Palace
An international symbol for law and justice
, the Peace Palace has stood in Scheveningen since 1913. Originally created to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration, nowadays, the palace accommodates several other important organisations associated with global legal affairs. Known for its eye-catching Neo-Renaissance design, the Peace Palace looks stunning, to say the least, and houses many priceless artworks that were gifted to the Netherlands by other nation states over the past century. There’s a visitor centre on site and the Peace Palace organises guided tours through its halls several times per week.
This ever-popular theme park features dozens of tiny replicas of the Netherlands’ most iconic landmarks
, which are arranged side-by-side to form a charming model city. The miniature buildings and locales have been recreated with an astonishing level of detail and look almost identical to their real-life counterparts. An ideal spot for families (or anyone who wants to feel like a giant) Madurodam boasts several other kid-friendly attractions, too, including play areas and interactive exhibitions.
Museum Beeld aan Zee
A monument to contemporary three-dimensional artwork, Museum Beeld aan Zee houses approximately 2,000 sculptures, reliefs and models that were created over the past century. The human image plays an important role within its collection and the museum displays many artworks that deal with this theme in one way or another. The museum presents a sizeable part of its collection outdoors in an open-air gallery space that rises above Scheveningen Beach.
Sea Life Scheveningen
Marvel at the ocean’s most colourful, weird and fearsome critters inside this awesome aquarium in Scheveningen. Divided into several zones dedicated to specific habitats, the aquarium cares for a whole host of sea life from around the world. There are many interactive exhibitions inside the aquarium that allow visitors to experience the underwater world first hand, including a see-through ‘ocean tunnel’ that trails through a large tank populated by jellyfish, turtles and sharks.