Fun things to do in The Hague

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Most Viewed Things to Do in The Hague

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    Features of the Binnenhof

    by nicolaitan Written Oct 20, 2013

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    The Knight's Hall (Riddenzaal) is the centerpiece of the courtyard, dating to the 1250's in the Gothic style. It has been renovated and restored many times over the centuries but always remaining true to the original style. Measuring 40x20 yards it was one of the largest buildings of its time with a stained rose window featuring the coat of arms of noble Dutch families. The original use was as a dining hall, used at times by the Order of the Golden Fleece. At various times it has served as a hospital, court, prison prior to executions, and even the offices of the state lottery. The annual speech by the reigning monarch is September is given from a throne within the main room.

    At the entrance to the Binnenhof is one of the very few equestrian statues in the Netherlands, William II. And fronting the Ridderzaal is a beautiful gilt Gothic fountain about which little information is available

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    Binnenhof

    by nicolaitan Written Oct 20, 2013

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    The Inner Court is a complex of buildings at the city center comprised of the Knight's Hall and surrounded by classic buildings housing the two houses of the Dutch Parliament, the offices of the Prime Minister, and the Dutch Cabinet. In 1229, Count Floris IV purchased land next to a small pond for a hunting lodge, later expended to a classic castle by his son and grandson William II and Floris V. It fell into disrepair during the French occupation, but was restored after the end of Napoleonic rule and again became the seat of government. In the past the most exciting events here were executions but today the most important function occurs on the third Thursday of September when the Dutch head of state presents the (Speech from the Throne) outlining government planning for the coming year.

    Entrance is free, but tours of the buiildings are best by reservation in advance and at often inconvenient hours. No access to the buildings is permitted when the government is in session.

    Entrance to the Binnenhof The Offices of the Binnenhof

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Look up and enjoy the architecture! 2

    by leics Written Apr 13, 2013

    It is very unusual for me to be impressed by, or even notice, modern architecture. But Den Haag really did have some impressive structures.

    I liked the way the tower blocks in the main photo (on the way to Den Haag Centraal station) echo the stepped gables of traditional Dutch buildings.

    I was very impressed by the 'birdcage' on top of an apartment building near the Stadhuis.

    I wondered how it felt to be in (I think) an office building on Turfmarkt which is built on top of two tram tunnels. Does the building vibrate as the (fairly frequent) trams pass underneath?

    But, interesting though these structure are, .it is the older buildings which I find much more appealing.

    'Stepped' tower blocks. Over the tram tunnels. 'Birdcage'..with metal 'birds'. Yellow and red brick gable Beautiful 'wooden' windows and mosaics.
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    Look up and enjoy the architecture! 1

    by leics Written Apr 13, 2013

    Although central Den Haag does not have as many truly old buildings as e.g. Delft or Amsterdam, it still has plenty which have interesting architectural twiddles and fiddles.

    I looked up a lot as I walked Hoogstraat, for example..and not just because the upmarket shops on that street are *way* outside my budget!

    You'll find crabs and chubby cherubs, Art Deco tiling and 'striped' brickwork..lots to see and enjoy.

    Stripey brickwork. Here are the cherubs! The crab. Why?
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    The Oude Stadhuis

    by leics Written Apr 13, 2013

    This is most beautiful building, and one which is a 'must' as you wander Den Haag.

    The Oude Stadhuis (old town hall) dates from 1565, built on the site of the much earlier 'castle' of the lords of Brederode. It was enlarged in 1733 and has layers of rose-coloured stone ('bacon layers'), mullioned windows, stepped gables and shutters a-plenty making it a most eye-catching and beautiful structure.

    It is the only building in Den Haag in Flemish-Dutch Renaissance style and there's an octagonal bell tower with openwork spire (dating from the mid-1600s).

    Unlike many town halls, it does not stand on a square of its own. Its site was in the middle of an already-existing and long-established settlement, so the 'Grote Kerk' and other buildings have always surrounded it.

    The building now provides a wedding venue as well as exhibition space.

    Oude Stadhuis
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    The Hofvijver and 'Jantje'

    by leics Updated Apr 12, 2013

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    The Hofvijeyer is, apparently, the 'court pond'. It's certainly not what I'd call a pond...more like a small lake, complete with hundreds of seagulls (different types) and lots of ducks.

    It''s certainly be the oldest thing I saw in Den Haag. The 'pond' started off as a lake in the dunes, fed by two small 'creeks'. There was an island on the original lake (not the island you can see today, which is only about 300 years old) and William ll built a palace on it in 1248 (no visible remains, of course).

    The 'pond' was re-shaped to its existing rectangle in the 1300s, which is what makes me think it's the oldest bit of Den Haag which is still visible.

    The Hofvijver has the Binnenhof buildings and the Mauritshuis museum on one side and a small but pleasant park area on the other. I'm sure it's a lovely place to sit and enjoy the view when the weather is pleasant. When I visited the sun was bright but the wind bitterly cold: not a day for sitting outside anywhere!

    The statue in the photo is 'Jantje' (Little John) who points to the Binnenhof. He may be the John who features in a children's song about Den Haag or..maybe..he is the John who was a past Count of Holland from the 1200s who died at the age of 15. Whatever his origins, you'll find the statue in the strip of parkland on the side of the Hofjiver.

    Binnenhof and Hofvijver (and seagulls!) Flags blow by the Hofvijver Jantje 2 Jantje 1
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    Escher Museum

    by sinjabc Written Sep 22, 2012

    The Escher Museum features a great collection of mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints works by the famous Dutch artist. The museum is located in the former Winter Palace of Queen Emma of the Netherlands.

    The palace has beautiful, coloured themed rooms that are stunning. which houses a fantastic collection of his works, is located in the former Winter Palace and is beautiful. The stunning chandeliers are designed by Rotterdam-based artist Hans van Bentem. Admission is €8,50.

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    'De Ooievaart' boat tour -video

    by StuartDutchman Written Jun 29, 2011

    Few people know that The Hague also has lovely canals and that a boat tour of these canals, De Ooievaart, is available (since 2003).

    The canals of The Hague are almost 400 years old. They were created for the city’s defence around 1612.

    The regular tour takes you through old and new parts of The Hague, including under bridges and through tunnels. You will see a variety of beautiful buildings and special places, among them the Royal Stables and the Royal Gardens.

    The Ooievaart canal tour takes about 1 1/2 hours.

    VIDEO of my tour:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVdCVMbqqNE

    'De Ooievaart' boat tour (video) 'De Ooievaart' boat tour 'De Ooievaart' boat tour 'De Ooievaart' boat tour

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    Louwman Automobile Museum -video tour

    by StuartDutchman Written Jun 29, 2011

    The Louwman Museum is a museum for historic cars, located on the outskirts of The Hague towards Wassenaar (Netherlands). From the period up to 1910 the museum has the largest collection of cars in the world.

    The museum was opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands on July 3, 2010.

    The collection of over 230 cars has been assembled since 1934 by two generations of the Louwman family. The current owner of the collection is Evert Louwman, the Dutch importer of Lexus, Toyota and Suzuki. It is the oldest private collection of automobiles in the world open to the public.

    From post-World War II the museum features a car of Winston Churchill, the Aston Martin DB5 used in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, and a Cadillac of Elvis Presley.

    The Louwman Museum is housed in a building with three floors and over 10,000 m2 of exhibition space. It was specifically designed as a museum by Michael Graves, an American architect. Landscape architect Louis Baljon designed the layout of the park surrounding the building.

    Pictures of most of the cars can be seen on the website:
    http://www.louwmanmuseum.nl

    VIDEO of my visit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG5OnuNczHw

    Louwman Automobile Museum (video) Louwman Automobile Museum Louwman Automobile Museum Louwman Automobile Museum Louwman Automobile Museum
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  • bonio's Profile Photo

    City centre

    by bonio Written Aug 11, 2010

    Spent an afternoon just exploring the city, spent time at the Maritshuis and enjoyed the fountains, paid a visit to Palaistuin, lunch in Grote Markt, sheltered from the rain under trees on Plein 1813 and then a walk through Chinatown.

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  • Ianchen's Profile Photo

    Escher Museum

    by Ianchen Updated Sep 14, 2009

    One thing you should do in Den Haag is visit the Escher museum. His drawings and graphic prints are quite amazing; the museum also was once ownded by the royal family. The artworks as well as the rooms are well described; in the upper floor there is some explanation about the techniques and ideas, and some do-it-yourself-stuff to experiment.
    Admission is 7,50€, but if you grab one of those discount cards they have in a lot of places, you can get 1€ off.
    The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Downtown

    by ealgisi Written Apr 9, 2008

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    The downtown shopping area was much less crowded and lively than Amsterdam (I seriously doubt I'll find any city that could compete), but it was nice enough. The Hague also has what was once the country's first covered shopping mall.

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  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    Binnenhof

    by ealgisi Written Apr 9, 2008

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    The Binnenhof is a collection of buildings.
    It has been the location of meetings of the Staten-Generaal (the Dutch parliament).

    The grounds on which the Binnenhof now stands was purchased by Count Floris IV of Holland in 1229, where he built his mansion. More buildings were constructed around the court, several of which are well known in their own right, such as the Ridderzaal (great hall; literally Knight's Hall) (pictured), where the queen holds her annual speech at Prinsjesdag.

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  • MATIM's Profile Photo

    Escher museum

    by MATIM Written Feb 7, 2008

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    Where can you see water flowing uphill? Where do birds transmogrify into fish and drawings of reptiles crawl right off the page, over the objects on the artist's desk and back onto the paper again? Where does the shadow of a dog turn into a dog in its own right? And where can a mother make herself smaller than her own seven-year-old child? All these wonders can be witnessed at Escher in Het Paleis on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague. This new centre houses a huge collection of prints and drawings by the world-famous Dutch artist M. C. Escher, plus fascinating explanatory programmes and a host of old family photos, drawings and design sketches that help to bring Escher's work even more vividly to life.

    The Artist
    Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was born in Leeuwarden. In 1919, he enrolled at the then renowned Haarlem School of Architecture and Ornamental Design. Influenced by his tutor Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, himself a great graphic artist, Escher soon started to make lino prints and woodcuts. After his training, he embarked on the traditional artistic grand tour of Italy and Spain. There, he made landscape and architectural drawings from which he would continue to draw inspiration all his life. During trips to Spain, he visited Granada and Córdoba, where he was fascinated by the Moorish buildings and mosaics.



    Famous works
    Escher in Het Paleis is certainly the place to see the originals of famous works like Belvédère, Ascending and Descending, Day and Night and parts of the Metamorphosis series. But don't miss the other interesting exhibits, like the less well-known bookplates, wrapping paper designs for major stores, a New Years greeting from friends and early self-portraits.

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  • MATIM's Profile Photo

    Ridderzaal Knights hall

    by MATIM Written Feb 7, 2008

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    Without doubt, the most striking building on Binnenhof is the Knights' Hall, built in the 13th and 14th centuries as the castle for the Earls of Holland. The Main Hall, which has been called the Knights' Hall since the 19th century, dates from the second half of the 13th century. The famous wooden covering was demolished in 1861, however, less than forty years later it was replaced by an exact copy. Since 1904 the Knights' Hall has been the setting for the reading of the Queen's speech at the annual opening of Parliament. In her speech, the Queen announces the government's plans for the coming year to the parliament and to the Dutch people.

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