I'd been wanting to visit The Hague for quite a while so when my friend's birthday came up, I suggested we'd do it as a weekend trip. We ended up arriving in The Hague late afternoon on a Friday and left again to visit a nearby museum on Sunday, so we really only spend one full day in The Hague, plus a little bit.
I've gathered our things to do in The Hague in an itinerary for one day in The Hague, but you can easily stretch this over two or even three days if you spend some time shopping, relaxing at the beach and visiting some of the city's museums.
Prefer walking? Then this private walking tour is a good alternative.
Things to do in The Hague itinerary
Wander around The Hague city center
Start your first day in Den Haag wandering through little shopping streets such as the Papestraat, the Oude Molstraat, the Molenstraat, and the Prinsestraat. Make sure to also walk through shopping Arcade Passage. A part of it is modern and not so pretty, but the old part is. You'll have no difficulty recognizing it.
You can also start your walk east of the shopping area and check out the well-maintained historical buildings around the Binnenhof, such as the Mauritshuis museum and the different gates. Nearby lies the Plein (“square”) with its many cafes.
Stand on the corner of Plein and Binnenhof to overlook the historic square with the massive modern buildings of Den Haag's Central station area as the backdrop. The contrast is super cool. Unfortunately, I didn't capture it that well because when we were there, they were preparing the square for an event and had put blue portable toilets smack in the middle of it.
Next, you can then walk onto the Prinsessewal to enter the Palace Garden – a small park – from the back, or head north via Noordeinde to see the Noordeinde Palace from the front. The palace is only open to the public a few days a year.
Cross the Hogewal from Noordeinde onto the Zeestraat to find the Panorama Mesdag. It's an art museum mostly known for the massive panoramic painting of Scheveningen which the museum is named after.
A bit further down the street lies COMM, the Communication Museum. It has a fun museum store too.
At the end of the street, across the road, you'll spot the Vredespaleis or “Peace Palace”. The visitors center is open daily and entrance is free but the palace itself can only be visited on a pre-booked guided tour during the weekend.
What you'll also see in this are of Den Haag, are a lot of embassies.
We did the above in a morning and just focused on some The Hague sightseeing outdoors, but you can easily spend a whole day shopping in The Hague and if you then visit some of the museums, that's another half day to a day extra.
An afternoon at Scheveningen beach
While you can take public transportation from the Vredespaleis to The Hague beach, it's not much quicker and when we were there, it was sunny and so we decided to walk. Don't underestimate it, though. From the shopping area in the center to the beach, it's about an hour.
We walked all the way along the Scheveningseweg which was quite nice as at the time, it was closed to traffic due to roadworks. But even when it's not, I think it's probably a good route to take as there are walking and cycle lanes separate from the road.
Once you reach Oud Scheveningen, you can keep walking straight through the Keizerstraat to reach Scheveningen beach. The Keizerstraat is the main street but in terms of shops and cafes, it's not that impressive. Although I have to say we didn't see it properly as the Sinterklaas parade was passing through the exact same moment as us and the street was full of people watching it.
Scheveningen does have a beautiful wide and long beach with a promenade both at beach level and at street level. We walked it past the sculpture museum, Sea Life, and the impressive Grand Hotel Kurhaus to reach the Palace Promenade shopping mall.
As a shopping mall, it wasn't really our thing, but we went in because they have this arcade area and… a mirror maze. We were set on doing the maze and it was a good few minutes of fun, just don't expect too much of it. It's best to go in there with childlike excitement as we did.
What is really cool, is the pier. At the top deck, you can walk it all the way to the back to get a good view of the Ferris wheel and the bungee jumping station. There's a pancake restaurant there too, as well as a zip line, a floating center (the spa thing), a personal training center, and a restaurant/event space.
My favorite part of the pier, however, was the lower deck. You can actually walk into the pier and there you'll find a bunch of food stands, small shops and a playground for kids. They also host parties and other events here during the weekends.
If you go in summer, you might want to stick around Scheveningen longer and relax a bit on the beach, have a drink at one of the beach bars or go for a walk at the Oostduinpark. It was a bit too chilly for that when we were there in winter, so after a few hours, we headed back to the city center.
Where to eat in The Hague
There are so many cafes and restaurants in The Hague you'll surely find something to your like. There's a lot of international cuisines and especially in the center, you'll find a cute coffee place in just about every street.
While I'd asked my followers on Instagram for the best restaurants in The Hague before going, we decided to just find places whenever we got hungry, thirsty, or a sugar craving.
This is where we ended up going:
DUDOK is a Dutch bistro chain. I'd passed it several times already in Rotterdam but had never gone in. After having seen someone post a delicious apple pie from DUDOK on Instagram, I knew the moment had come.
My friend and I went there during the evening for a dessert and had no problem finding a table, though I must mention that many tables were reserved as well. We both ordered the warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream and it was delicious and big. Definitely not something to have right after a meal but more as a snack or a late night treat.
The staff here was very friendly and I loved the ambiance as well. The big room was divided into smaller compartments and there was a large table with magazines and newspapers you could make use of. Some people were there to chat, others to work and yet others for dinner. It all felt very relaxed.
- Jasmin tea: €2.5
- Fresh mint tea: €3.25
- Warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream: €6
2. Ohana Poke & More
We dropped by Ohana for a late lunch, both craving something healthy. Ohana does sushi but is mostly known for its poke bowl. You can opt for one of their creations or put your bowl together from scratch. Each bowl comes in regular or large size and we both agreed that a regular was perfect.
You can both eat in and take away here.
- Regular size poke bowl: €9.6
- Sparkling water: €2.5
3. Lunchroom Confetti
Lunchroom confetti is one of those cute places you can just see yourself spending an afternoon reading, working, or catching up with friends. They do both breakfast and lunch and have a good selection of cakes – also vegan ones.
For drinks, there's plenty of choice in coffee, tea, cold drinks, and even smoothies. The girl who served us did so with a smile on her face and we were both very happy about our cheesecakes.
Fun extra: if you get cold, just grab a jumper from the pile!
- Fresh mint tea: €2.75
- Loose Earl Grey: €2.8
- Brownie cheesecake: €4
- White chocolate raspberry cheesecake: €4.5
‘t Goude Hooft
For our second dinner, we went to ‘t Goude Hooft. This historical building is a bit of a sight on its own and with a menu that has a bit of everything, it seemed like a good choice for dinner.
Service was friendly albeit a bit slow. The food was good but could have been a bit more balance. I ordered chicken with homemade applesauce but it was more chicken with a spoonful of applesauce. The chicken was really tasty but the fries were overdone.
I don't know if this was something special, as there was a birthday celebrating going on at the restaurant, but there was this singer who performed live and walked around between the tables. That was a bit weird as the restaurant has this classy, loungy look and she was singing all of these hits. Somehow, it didn't fit.
Overall an okay dinner, but I wouldn't say this place is a must.
- Cola: €3
- Sparkling water: €3
- Chicken with fries, sauces, and a bit of green: €17
- Steak with fries and veggies: €17.25
- Steak sauce: €1.75
- Mayonnaise: €1
- Cheesecake with white chocolate ice cream: €6.5
- Green tea: €2.7
We actually had our first dinner of the trip at Burrata, a slow-food Italian place. When we arrived in The Hague, we were both pretty hungry and so we decided to go here as it was close to the hotel. It ended up being a very nice experience.
Personnel was friendly, the food was great and we had a table by the window a bit tucked away from the rest of the room so we could chat without noticing much of what was happening around us. I'd definitely go there again.
- Pizza vegetariana: €11.75
- Casarecce al Pesto: €12.5
- Sparkling water: €2.75
- Cola: €2.5
We didn't eat at MingleMush as we visited it after dinner just to have a look around. It's a food hall right by The Hague Central Station and I really liked how it was structured. I'd expected the typical large hall with rows of food stands but it felt much less put together, more natural.
Food stands seemed sprinkled across the hall with picnic and other tables in between them. There's a little arcade up the stairs as well and at some places, you go get your food, while others provide table service.
Most of the places here seemed to offer something fast-food-like so it's good if you're looking for something quick and casual.
Anna van Buerenplein 712
The Hague tours and special entry tickets
While there aren't as many deals on offer for The Hague as there are for, for example, Amsterdam, there are a few tours of The Hague you can take as well as special entrance tickets to attractions.
Private tour of The Hague with a local
If you want to get an introduction to The Hague according to your own interests, this private tour with a local guide is the way to go. The tour can take two to six hours and is entirely customizable. It focuses on where to eat and shop in The Hague as well as the city's highlights and how to get around.
Discounted entrance to Escher in The Palace
We didn't have time for this, but if you're interested in seeing the permanent M.C. Escher exhibition at Het Paleis in The Hague, you can get a discounted entrance ticket when booking it online via GetYourGuide.
How to get to The Hague
If you're coming in by plane, you'll most likely fly into Amsterdam Schiphol. You can get a direct train from Amsterdam to The Hague Central station – both from Amsterdam Schiphol and from Amsterdam Central. The journey takes about half an hour on the Intercity and 53 minutes on the Sprinter train.
If you're going by car, there are plenty of underground paid parking lots to leave your car at. We parked at Parking Turfmarkt where you pay €20 for 24 hours.
Where to stay in The Hague
I frequently work together with the Accor Hotels Group and this time they were so kind to host us at the 4-star Mercure Den Haag Central. This Mercure hotel is located right by The Hague Central Station as well as the shopping and historical area of The Hague, with plenty of private parking nearby should you come by car.
We enjoyed a twin room with flatscreen tv, desk, lots of closet space and a modern bathroom with dual rain and regular shower. Coffee and tea were provided, as were toiletries.
WiFi at the Mercure Den Haag Central is free and fast. Breakfast is extra and comes as an extensive buffet with lots of local, organic, and gluten-free products. There were pastries, different kinds of bread, eggs, all kinds of granola and oatmeal, seeds and nuts, fresh fruit, yogurt, sausages, cakes, and more.
The breakfast room has two coffee machines and you can also get fresh orange juice, water, tea, milk, prosecco, and a smoothie shot.
We didn't need any special assistance during our staff but the staff was very friendly during the check-in and check-out process and stored our luggage when we went for a last walk on Sunday morning after we'd already checked out.
We also didn't visit the bar, but there were always some people there when we passed and it seemed like a good place to hang for a bit.
Given its location, the good breakfast, the nice rooms and the friendliness of the staff, I'd definitely recommend this hotel.
That was it! I hope this post gave you an idea of what to do in The Hague.
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