Central Den Haag is very walkable with most of its streets pedestrianised. Although I tend to do my exploring in a very random manner, usually staggering from bar to bar, I did notice that everything of interest is well-signposted and there are easy-to-read street maps liberally-distributed at strategic locations.
For those with specific interests the local tourist office stocks a range of self-guided walking guides which can also be downloaded from their website - http://www.denhaag.nl/en/residents/international-The-Hague/the-hague-bridge/to/Walking-tours-of-The-Hague.htm
One thing that really impressed me about Den Haag is how pedestrian-friendly the centre is. In fact flicking through my pics I can only find one which actually has a car in it, the official-looking one in the photo from the Binnenhof (#2 below).
There are, of course, plenty of bicycles and the odd scooter but even these seemed far less intrusive than other Dutch cities - especially Amsterdam!
Most motor traffic is routed around the central ring road, from which access to the central underground car parks is through tunnels, as is through traffic. On street parking is very limited, and expensive, and any overstays, or non-payments, are punishable by on-the-spot fines. There used to be a clamping system in place but this has been discontinued and replaced by tow-aways which is even more expensive for those abusing the system.
If, like myself, you're just popping into Den Haag for the day and you need somewhere to leave your luggage then the lockers at Centraal Station are ideal. These are located on platform 1 and are very easy to use. They come in two sizes, small and large, and the small ones are more than adequate for pretty much anything you can carry.
To use them simply find an empty locker, put your bag(s) in and close the door. Then insert a credit or debit card (Visa, Maestro or Mastercard) into the slot and enter your pin: the locker locks and the machine gives you a ticket. The ones here aren't particularly cheap, I think it was 4.50 euros for 24 hours, but they are convenient especially if arriving and departing by train.
The maximum storage period is 72 hours, a surcharge applies after 24, and to collect your luggage insert the ticket in the scanning slot and your locker will open. Note that these are single-use lockers and so once opened if you need to re-use them you have to pay again.
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For me the travel tips I have written down in this section made the most of mine travel experience and I came home in the same happy, healthy state that I left.
For the The Hagues (Hagenezen) this is well-known.
Getting a "garnalen-kroket", a kind of snack; ie. a croquet which is filled with shrimps.
Like herring and Haagsche Hopjes candies just try this grandeur.
You won't disappointed ...
The best "shrimps-croquet" shop is >>>
Groot Hertoginneln 147
2517 ER The Hague
(see link for more fish shops)
You can get fresh shrimps-croquet fried in oil for about 75 Euro-cents a piece (yep, quite cheap!).
Or take some home, and fry these when you're are in the mood tasting a wonderful The Hague shrimps-croquet ...
have a great snack appetite ...
A sporting one: New Year's Dive
This painting of me looks like "DON'T DO IT!!!" though it is a must for thousands of people at 12 noon on New Years' Day. Like polar bears people they dive into the freezing waters of the North Sea. In spite of Mother Earth is warming up her temperatures and the North Sea isn't a frozen solid North Pole-sea, it is very, very cold!
Imagine; 2 degrees Celsius, could be snowing like crazy, and when Dutch notorious cold wind is blowing. Then just get your boxers or a swimsuit with a read-white-blue knitten bonnet on your head to specify you among thousands of people on New Year's Dive, Scheveningen. Fun for sure, also in 2005, 2006, and the Newyears' Dive 2007!
Happy New Year
And The Best !!!
The Dutch celebrate the Monarchy every year on the 30th of April, named Queens Day. Every year on April 30 the Dutch celebrate this day with the biggest party in the world. Hollands most musically rocking pop-town is The Hague, and our loyal and royal home is the-best-of-the-best festival of The Queens-Night, the "Koninginnenach".. On this day, ... no, evening-night (!) you may go totally loose!
Because the celebrations start in The Hague on the evening of the 29th of April. Many many people, young, old, males, females, all races celebrate in the streets, on the (ancient) squares of the Hague, just before going to major parties of 30th of April in the clubs, disco's, dancings.
The Hague boasts the most famous night in the whole of Holland: the eve of Queen Beatrix' birthday, Koninginnenach (to be pronounced with a really broad Hague accent!). Last year 2007 we jumped into this Queens-night, and had a lot of fun... and drinks too ;o)))
Don't miss anything of this event and best local Hague's custom !!!
Also in 2010 we jumped into the Koninginnenach, even this year it was a bit rainy !!!
A sunny one: Scheveningen Beach Resort
Scheveningen, with its pleasant boulevard and the well-known myriad of attractions from sorting to trendy, from beach freaks to nature lovers. Including the dune area, the renovated Pier, the Casino, the Circus Theater, a mega cinema, a shopping mall and, see at bottom of pic the famous Old Church. Scheveningen has it all!
Also the 2004 September year’s Kite Festival was a sunny happening. Scheveningen has organized the Kite Festival for the past 26 years. You will have magnificent views of the kites from the boulevard and the beach. Watch the "grabs", "kiteloops", "handlepasses" and more ... pay respect to the elder locals who come to join, too!
A loving one: Bird feeding
People love birds-feeding. London, Amsterdam, Madrid got well-known for it. Especially in winter feeding birds has become an enjoyable pastime, also for Hague's year-round residents. In the Hague's harbour a lot of birds alight on the quay because of the visitors, and locals, throwing away their snacks, and bread ...
Researches have determined that it is not absolutely necessary that one guarantee a continuous supply of food during the winter months because no bird relies entirely on one source. However, it is known birds do come back for food-supply, when on hand. See some birds of the Westland, surroundings of The Hague.
A rare one: day trippers
Holland still has its "dagjesmensen, or "day-trippers", an old-fashioned kind of citizens who come out and enjoy their day by an one-day trip. Doing theirselves well the "dagjesmensen" you see with events as well as with spring when drawing out of the days. The Dutch "dagjesmensen" aren't cheap-trippers, so it's considered typical Dutch. The Hague has its "own" day-trippers who are being merged into crowd ... like on Queensday when there is teh "free market" in the streets.
A funny one: Flag Day - Vlaggetjesdag
It started somewhere in the 16th century. On the Saturday before Pentecost the Scheveningen locals decorated their ships with flags. Sunday, the first day of Pentecost was a church day; at the second day of Pentecost (a Dutch tradition) all Scheveningen people came together on the quays to watch the decorated ships that would sail out for the next morning. The one who would bring the first herring after a few weeks (direction Scotland), was the proud winner of this herring race.
In spite of this, Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) did lose its original signification, and every year the organisation succeeds to bring the Scheveningen traditions very alive again. Since 2003 the tradition of the herring race has been reinstalled in full of splendour with many many tourists. After all the harbour of The Hague, Scheveningen, is a very photogenic area and, you can have some delicious sea-food snacks around ... like we had at Juin 20th 2009 again !
Info : Folklore-vereniging
v. Beverningkstraat 156
Public transport : -> tramline 8 from The Hague HS -> tramline 1 - 9 from The Hague CS. From The Hague south & Congresgebouw : -> busline 14.
There is guarded bicycle store.
Flag Day - Scheveningen
A happy one : Queen's Birthday
Although H.M. Queen Beatrix officially celebrates her birthday on 31 January, the nation celebrates the Queen's birthday on 30 April. Like most towns in the Netherlands, The Hague will host numerous festivities throughout the city. However the Queen will visit another city in Holland, according the tradition. So the festivities at The Hague just honours Her always laughing Majesty ... at the Palace Noordeinde.
In the street of The Hague's center you'll find numerous free-market-stalls in the street, with bottom prices. All day long you can hike, having fun, drink something, have a snack ... Do feel welcome on this April 30 Queens Day! Until now anyone may enjoy it every year, also at Thursday April 30st 2009 !
Unfortunately this last Queens-day ended up in a horror drama, because a crazy man tried to attack the bus of the royal family at Apeldoorn. He killed 7 people, included himself ...
painting is with permission
by Frans Erkelens
my master painting-teacher
The Hague people has always been progressive, accompanied by Amsterdam, concerning politics and modern ideas. Also artists loved to make their Graffiti, not that appreciated at first, though getting more popular today.
So you can see some great graffiti in centre of The Hague that shows some really arty stuff. Want to make some photographs, you can find this particular street, named 1e Haagpoort, opposite to Beehive/Bijenkorf, better be in a hurry because The Hague downtown is changing her looks!
If you want to run away from The Hague's hustle and bustle of city-life, find some peace at Clingendael's manor. This is one of the most beautiful pieces of land in The Hague where you can have a quiet and peaceful walk. The Hague people love to come here, even it is a bit of distinguished ...
It is founded by big landowner Philip Doublet who bought the land estate in 1591. It was Baroness Marguérite van Brienen (1871-1939), who designed the amazing Japanese Garden and made this property till the famous and beloved land estate of Clingendael.
There is an old and grave villa like a castle, some farms around the park, beautiful gardens with special flowers, some old dunes, lakes, characteristic bridges, have some tea at the special tearoom of Clingendael ...
During end of spring and in the beginning of Juin the flowers are blooming so wonderful, a must to explore ...
You can reach the place by bus line 18 en 23 (ask for the Clingendael, Wassenaarseweg).
Along the Lange Vijverberg in the center of The Hague, close to the Old City Hofvijver there is a bronze, little-boy statue, named The Hague Jantje (little John of The Hague). It is created by sculptor Ivo Coljé in 1976 and granted by Mab Holding on September 28 - 1978.
Some legends have been created about this statue. One tells about the son of Count Floris V who succeeded his father for just 2 years, when he was only 13 years old (in 1296). He died very young and used to be the only Dutch count named John ...
Another telling is about the little John out of the famous child song, who points with his hand. It is also told that the unknown songwriter accidentally may have used the typical Dutch name of Jan/John.
So when going for a walk along the Vijverberg you may find the first lyrics of the famous song, too, on the statue >>>
In Den Haag daar woont een Graaf en zijn zoon heet Jantje