The Hague: Wikis


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The Hague
's-Gravenhage (Den Haag)
—  Municipality  —
The Hague skyline


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Residentiestad (Residential City), Hofstad (Court city)
Coordinates: 52°5′N 4°19′E / 52.083°N 4.317°E / 52.083; 4.317
Country Netherlands
Province South Holland
Area (2006)
 - Municipality 98.20 km2 (37.9 sq mi)
 - Land 82.66 km2 (31.9 sq mi)
 - Water 15.54 km2 (6 sq mi)
Population (30 November 2009)
 - Municipality 488,370
 Density 5,894/km2 (15,265.4/sq mi)
 Urban 1,016,940
 Metro 1,406,000
 - Randstad 6,659,300
 - Demonym Hagenaar or Hagenees
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

The Hague (with capital T; Dutch: Ltspkr.png Den Haag, officially also Ltspkr.png 's-Gravenhage) is the third largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a population of 485,818 (as of May 31, 2009) (population of agglomeration: 1,011,459)[1] and an area of approximately 100 km². It is located in the west of the country, in the province of South Holland, of which it is also the provincial capital. The Hague is, like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Almere, part of the Randstad metropolitan area, with 6,659,300 inhabitants.

The Hague is the seat of government, but not the capital of the Netherlands, a role set aside by the Dutch constitution for Amsterdam.

The Hague is the home of the States-General of the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands lives and works in The Hague. All foreign embassies and government ministries are located in the city, as well as the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court), the Raad van State (Council of State) and many lobbying organisations.

The Hague is also the de facto judicial capital of the United Nations, being the location of its primary judicial institutions.



The Hague in 1868

The Hague originated around 1230, when Floris IV, Count of Holland purchased land alongside a pond (now the Hofvijver) in order to build a hunting residence. In 1248 William II, Count of Holland and Rex Romanorum, decided to extend the residence to a palace. He died in 1256 before this palace was completed, but parts of it were finished by his son Floris V, of which the Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall), still extant, is the most prominent. It is still used for political events, such as the annual speech from the throne by the monarch.


Name and status

Later, the counts of Holland used The Hague as their administrative centre and residence when in Holland. 'Des Graven Hage' literally means "the count's wood", with connotations like "the count's hedge or private enclosure".

When the Dukes of Burgundy gained control over the counties of Holland and Zeeland at the beginning of the 15th century, they appointed a stadtholder to rule in their stead with the States of Holland as an advisory council. Their seat was located in The Hague. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, the absence of city walls proved disastrous, as it allowed Spanish troops easily to occupy the town. In 1575 the States of Holland even considered demolishing the city, but this proposal was abandoned, after mediation by William of Orange. From 1588 The Hague also became the location of the government of the Dutch Republic. In order for the administration to maintain control over city matters, The Hague never received official city status (although it did have many privileges, normally only attributed to cities). However, since the days of King Louis Napoleon (1806) The Hague has been allowed to call itself a city.

After the Napoleonic Wars, modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands were combined in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to form a buffer against France. As a compromise, Brussels and The Hague alternated as capital every two years, with the government remaining in The Hague. After the separation of Belgium in 1830, Amsterdam remained the capital of the Netherlands, while the government was situated in The Hague.

Since early times, probably dating as far back as the 15th century, the stork has been the symbol of The Hague.

Modern city

Because of its history, the historical inner city of The Hague differs in various respects from the nearby smaller cities of Leiden and Delft. It doesn't have a cramped inner city, bordered by canals and walls. Instead it has some small streets in the town centre that may be dated from the late Middle Ages, and several spacious streets boasting rich 18th century houses built for diplomats and affluent Dutch families. It has a large church dating from the 15th century, an impressive City Hall (built as such) from the 16th century, several large 17th-century palaces, a 17th-century Protestant church built in what was then a modern style, and many important 18th-century buildings. When the government started to play a more prominent role in Dutch society after 1850, The Hague quickly expanded. Many streets were specifically built for the large number of civil servants employed in the country's government and for the Dutchmen who were retiring from the administration and exploitation of the Netherlands East Indies. The growing city annexed the rural municipality of Loosduinen partly in 1903 and completely in 1923.

Parts of the city sustained heavy damage during World War II. The Atlantic Wall was built through part of the city, causing a large quarter to be torn down by the Nazi occupants. On March 3, 1945, the Royal Air Force mistakenly bombed the Bezuidenhout quarter. The target was an installation of V-2 rockets in a nearby park. Due to navigational errors, the bombs fell on a heavily populated and historic part of the city. Over 500 people died and the scars in the city may still be seen today.

After the war The Hague was at one point the largest building site in Europe. The city expanded massively to the southwest. The destroyed areas were also quickly rebuilt. The population peaked at 600,000 inhabitants around 1965.

In the 1970s and 1980s many, mostly white, middle class families moved to neighbouring towns like Voorburg, Leidschendam, Rijswijk and most of all Zoetermeer. This led to the traditional pattern of an impoverished inner city and more prosperous suburbs. Attempts to include parts of these municipalities in the city of The Hague were highly controversial. In the 1990s, with the consent of the Dutch Parliament, The Hague did succeed in annexing fairly large areas from its neighbouring towns, sometimes not even bordering The Hague, on which complete new residential areas were built and are still being built.


Hofvijver and the buildings of the Dutch parliament
View of the 'Hoftoren' (left) and the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports (right)

City life concentrates around the Hofvijver and the Binnenhof, where the parliament is located. The city has a limited student culture due to its lack of an actual university, although the Royal Conservatory of The Hague is located there, as well as The Hague University, a vocational university and a branch of The Open University of the Netherlands. The city has many civil servants and diplomats (see below). In fact, the number and variety of foreign residents (especially the expatriates) makes the city quite culturally diverse, with many foreign pubs, shops and cultural events.

The Hague is the largest Dutch city on the North Sea and includes two distinct beach resorts. The main beach resort Scheveningen, in the northwestern part of the city, is a popular destination for tourists and young people. With 10 million visitors a year it is the most popular beach town in the Benelux. It is perhaps for this reason that many, even some Dutch people, mistakenly believe Scheveningen is a city in its own right. However, Scheveningen is merely one of The Hague's eight districts ("stadsdelen"). Kijkduin, in the southwest, is The Hague's other beach resort. It is significantly smaller and attracts mainly local residents.

The former Dutch colony of Netherlands East Indies ("Nederlands-Indië", now Indonesia) has left its mark on The Hague. Many streets are named after places in the Netherlands East Indies (as well as other former Dutch colonies such as Suriname) and there is a sizable "Indisch(e)" or "Indo" (i.e. mixed Dutch-Indonesian) community. Since the loss of these Dutch possessions in December 1949, "Indisch(e)" or "Indo" people often refer to The Hague as "the Widow of the Indies".[citation needed]

The older parts of the town have many characteristically wide and long streets. Houses are generally low-rise (often not more than three floors). A large part of the southwestern city was planned by the progressive Dutch architect H.P. Berlage about 1910. This 'Plan Berlage' decided the spacious and homely streets for several decades. In World War II a large part of western The Hague was destroyed by the Germans. Afterwards, modernist architect W.M. Dudok planned its renewal, putting apartment blocks for the middle class in open, park-like settings.

The layout of the city is more spacious than other Dutch cities, and because of the incorporation of large and old nobility estates, the creation of various parks and the use of green zones around natural streams, it is a much more green city than any other in the Netherlands. That is, excepting some mediaeval close-knitted streets in the centre. There are only a few canals in The Hague, as most of these were drained in the late 1800s.

Some of the most prosperous and some of the poorest neighbourhoods of the Netherlands can be found in The Hague. The wealthier areas (Statenkwartier, Belgisch Park, Marlot, Benoordenhout and Archipelbuurt) are generally located in the northwest part of the city; however, the Vogelwijk and several very recently built quarters like Vroondaal are in the southwest, not far from the sea. Poorer areas like Transvaal, Moerwijk, and the Schilderswijk can be found in the southeastern areas, or near the coast in Scheveningen (Duindorp). This division is reflected in the local accent: The more affluent citizens are usually called "Hagenaars" and speak so-called "bekakt Haags" ("Bekakt" is Dutch for "stuck-up"). This contrasts with the "Hagenezen", who speak "plat Haags" ("plat" meaning "flat" or "common").

The tallest building is the 142-metre-tall Hoftoren (see image).


Haagse wijken.PNG

The Hague has eight official districts (stadsdelen). They are divided into smaller parts (wijken) [2]. In contrast to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the "stadsdelen" have no political function and there are no elections for them.

See Districts of The Hague for a detailed breakdown.

International organizations

The city contributes substantially to international politics: The Hague is home to over 150 international organizations. These include the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the Appeals Chamber of the ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

The foundation of The Hague as an "international city of peace and justice" was laid in 1899, when the world's first Peace Conference took place in The Hague on Tobias Asser's initiative, followed by a second in 1907. A direct result of these meetings was the establishment of the world's first organisation for the settlement of international disputes: the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Shortly thereafter the Scottish-American millionaire Andrew Carnegie made the necessary funds available to build the Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis") to house the PCA.

After the establishment of the League of Nations, The Hague became the seat of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was replaced by the UN's International Court of Justice after the Second World War. The establishment of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal (1981), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and the International Criminal Court (2002) in the city further consolidated the role of The Hague as a center for international legal arbitration. Most recently, on 1 March 2009, a U.N. tribunal to investigate and prosecute suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri opened in the former headquarters of the Netherlands General Intelligence Agency in Leidschendam, a town within the greater The Hague area.

Currently, The Hague is the world's second UN city, after New York.[3] In line with the city's history as an important convention center and the current presence of institutions such as the ICJ, The Hague's city council employs a city branding strategy that aims to establish The Hague as the Legal Capital of the World and the International City of Peace and Justice

Major international organisations based in The Hague include:

Many academic institutions in the fields of international relations, international law and international development are based in The Hague. The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC) is a consortium of those institutions.

Its member institutions are:

In 1948 The Hague Congress was held with 750 delegates from 26 European countries, providing them with the opportunity to discuss ideas about the development of the European Union.


Professional life in The Hague is dominated by the large number of civil servants and diplomats who work in the city. Government ministries and public institutions are almost all located in The Hague. It is also home to several large international business, including:

  • AEGON, one of the world’s leading insurance companies
  • APM Terminals, the world's second largest container terminal operator
  • KPN (Koninklijke PTT Nederland), the Dutch national telephone company (fixed and mobile divisions)
  • ING Investment Management, an asset management company that is part of the ING Group
  • Nationale Nederlanden, an insurance company that is part of the ING Group (shared HQ with Rotterdam)
  • Royal Dutch-Shell, the second largest international oil company in the world
  • Schlumberger, the world's largest oilservice company maintains a principal office there (along with Houston and Paris)
  • Siemens A.G., Europe's largest engineering company has its Dutch headquarters there
  • T-Mobile, a mobile network operator, part of Deutsche Telekom.
  • TNT Post, the national provider of postal and logistical services. Part of TNT N.V.

There has never been any large-scale industrial activity in The Hague, with the possible exception of the fishing harbour in Scheveningen. Many of the city’s logistical and minor-industrial services are located in the Binckhorst district, which contains many large warehouses.


Binnenhof and the Knight's Hall, the political centre of the Netherlands
Binnenhof buildings at night
Monument at the 1813 Square (Plein 1813)

The Hague has its share of museums and cultural institutions:

  • Madurodam is a miniature city, containing hundreds of scale-models of Dutch landmarks in a typically Dutch miniature landscape.
  • The Mauritshuis exhibits many paintings by Dutch masters, such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Paulus Potter.
  • The Escher Museum is located in the former Royal Palace on the Lange Voorhout.
  • The Haags Historisch museum showcases the history of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day.
  • The Museum Bredius houses part of the collection of 19th century art historian Abraham Bredius, containing antique furniture, silverware and porcelain.
  • Museum de Gevangenpoort (lit. the "Prison Gate") is a former prison housed in a 15th century gatehouse, with genuine mediaeval dungeons and torture chambers.
  • The Gemeentemuseum (Municipal museum) is home to the world’s largest collection of works by the Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan as well as other modern art.
  • The Museon is an interactive and historical science museum.
  • The Omniversum is Europe’s first 360° IMAX-cinema.
  • Panorama Mesdag houses a cylindrical 360° "panoramic" painting, 14 meters high by 120 meters long, depicting the sea-front at Scheveningen in the late 19th century, made by Hendrik Willem Mesdag. It is presented in such a way that it is almost as if one is looking at a real scene rather than a painting.
  • The Museum voor Communicatie (formerly the "PTT Museum") is the national postal museum and houses interactive exhibits as well as one of the country’s best collections of stamps.
  • The Louis Couperus Museum is devoted to the life and works of Louis Couperus (1863–1923).
  • The museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen has a large collection of sculptures, mainly from 20th century artists.
  • The Koninklijke Schouwburg ("Royal Theatre"), located on the Korte Voorhout, is the home of the "Nationaal Toneel" ("National theatre-group").
  • The Lucent Danstheater is home to the internationally celebrated Nederlands Dans Theatre, a modern dance company. The building was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas in 1988. It shares a lobby with the Anton Philipszaal, home of the Residentie Orkest, the city's most important symphony orchestra.

Other tourist attractions and landmarks in The Hague include:

  • The historic Binnenhof ("Inner Court") and Medieval Ridderzaal ("Knights' Hall"), which now contains the Houses of Parliament and government offices. A good view can be obtained from the leafy Lange Vijverberg on the other side of the adjacent lake called the "Hofvijver" (lit. "Court Pond").
  • The Lange Voorhout is a wide avenue containing many splendid houses (now home to several embassies) as well as The Hague's oldest and narrowest house and the famous "Hotel des Indes", the city’s most luxurious hotel.
  • The "Passage" (pronounced as in French) was the Netherlands' first covered shopping mall. Dating from the late 19th century, it contains many expensive and speciality shops.
  • The "Paleis Noordeinde" has been Queen Beatrix' official work-palace since 1984. It is closed to the public, but the Palace Gardens ("Paleistuin") are accessible to the public.
  • The Clingendael Park is an old landed estate with a Japanese Garden. Nearby one can also find the home of the Clingendael Institute of International Relations.
  • Queen Beatrix' residential Palace, "Paleis Huis ten Bosch", can be found a little outside the city in the "Haagse Bosch" forest.

The Hague does not have the customary metropolitan reputation for a bustling night life, with some festivity exceptions in the course of the year. This is partly explained by the city's lack of a university and hence student life. Night life centers around the three main squares in the city center: the Plein (literally "Square"), the Grote Markt (literally "Great Market") and the Buitenhof (literally the "Outer Court", which lies just outside the Binnenhof). The Plein is taken by several large sidewalk cafés where often politicians may be spotted. The Grote Markt is completely strewn with chairs and tables, summer or winter. The Buitenhof contains the popular Pathé Buitenhof cinema and a handful of bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. A similar pattern of night life centers on the cinema in Scheveningen, although, especially in summer, night life concentrates around the sea-front boulevard with its bars, restaurants and gambling halls.


  • The city's major football club is ADO Den Haag. They have played in the Eredivisie (the top division in the Netherlands) where they are two time winners of the Eredivisie and two time winners of the KNVB Cup. They play their matches at the 15,000 seat Den Haag Stadion.
  • Cricket is traditionally one of the most popular sports in The Hague, with a number of strong teams from the Dutch league located there.
  • The local rugby union team is Haagsche Rugby Club (a.k.a. HRC) and has been in the Guinness Book of Records for becoming Dutch (in adult and youth) champions so often.
  • The ice hockey team is HYS The Hague.
  • The handball team is HV Hellas Den Haag, active in the top division.
  • The local American Football team is Den Haag Raiders'99.
  • Darts is also another sport played in The Hague; its popularity was increased by Raymond Van Barneveld winning several World Championships.
  • The City-Pier-City Loop half marathon is held annually in the Hague
  • In 1994, The Hague held the FEI World Equestrian Games.

Films shot in The Hague

Annual events

  • January: The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) is the oldest and largest high school United Nations simulation in the world, gathering 4000 students from over 200 secondary schools across the globe.
  • April 29: "KoninginneNach" ("Queen's Night", pronounced with a "plat Haags" accent) is held the night before "Koninginnedag"; there are several open air concerts in the city and young people flock from all over the country to drink and party. It is the largest open air festival in Europe.
  • April 30: "Koninginnedag" ("Queen's Day") is a Dutch national holiday held on the birthday of former Queen Juliana. On this day the colour orange predominates at a funfair (which sells orange cotton candy) and scores of informal street markets. The day is a "vrijmarkt" (literally "free market"), which means no licence is needed for street vending; children traditionally use this day to sell old unwanted toys.
  • Mid-May: The Hague Jazz festival.
  • May & June: The Tong Tong Fair is one of the largest Eurasian cultural festivals in Europe. It focuses on Indonesian culture.
  • June-September: Den Haag Sculptuur is an open air exhibition of sculptures. The 10th edition, in 2007, celebrated the 400 years of the relationship between the Netherlands and Australia.
  • June: Vlaggetjesdag in Scheveningen is a festival celebrating the arrival of the first new herring of the year.
  • The last Sunday in June: Parkpop is the largest free open air pop concert in Europe.
  • July: Jazz in de Gracht is an intercultural two-day event hosting Jazz groups which perform their music on flat-bottom boats and in bars in various places between Passantenhaven and Zuidwal.
  • July & August: The city hosts a series of weekly firework displays by the sea front in Scheveningen, as part of an international fireworks festival and competition.
  • July & August is the annual Summer School of The Hague, an international summer course for young dancers, initiated by Mirella Simoncini (Green Report)
  • July: "Milan", Europe’s biggest Hindustani open air event held in Zuiderpark.
  • The third Tuesday in September: "Prinsjesdag" (literally "Prince's Day") is the Dutch State Opening of Parliament when the Queen reads the "speech from the throne" ("Troonrede"). The day is popular among monarchists and tourists who are out to see Queen Beatrix and the royal family in the Golden State Coach ("de Gouden Koets").


The 'Netkous' or Fishnet Stocking, a modern tram viaduct, with neighbouring skyscrapers

Public transport in The Hague consists of a sizeable number of tram and bus routes, operated by HTM Personenvervoer. Plans for a subway were shelved in the early 1970s. However, in 2004 a tunnel was built under the city centre with two underground tram stations ("Spui" and "Grote Markt"); it is shared by tram routes 2, 3, 4 and 6.

A regional light rail system called RandstadRail connects The Hague to nearby cities, Zoetermeer and Rotterdam. The system suffered from startup problems and derailings in 2006, but is fully operational now.

There are two main train stations in The Hague: Den Haag Hollands Spoor (HS) and Den Haag Centraal Station (CS), only 1.5 km distant from each other. Because these two stations were built and exploited by two different railway companies in the 19th century, east-west lines terminate at Centraal Station, whereas north-south lines run through Hollands Spoor. The international Thalys and Benelux trains to Paris and Brussels call only at Hollands Spoor. Centraal Station does, however, now offer good connections with the rest of the country, with direct services to most major cities, for instance Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

The nearest airport to The Hague is Rotterdam The Hague Airport. It is, however, not easily reachable by public transport. With several direct trains per hour from the railway stations Hollands Spoor and Centraal, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is more frequently used by people travelling to and from The Hague by air.

Major motorways connecting to The Hague include the A12, running to Utrecht and the German border. The A12 runs directly into the heart of the city in a cutting. Built in the 1970s, this section of motorway (the "Utrechtsebaan") is now heavily overburdened. Plans were made in the late 1990s for a second artery road into the city (the "Trekvliettracé" or previously called "Rotterdamsebaan") but have continually been put on hold. Other connecting motorways are the A4, which connects the city with Amsterdam, and the A13, which runs to Rotterdam and connects to motorways towards the Belgian border. There is also the A44 that connects the city to Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam.

Nearby towns

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

The Hague is twinned with:

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ (Dutch)Mayor Jozias van Aartsen, Trouw, 24 March 2009,
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Bethlehem Municipality". Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

View of the Binnenhof, the center of government in The Hague
View of the Binnenhof, the center of government in The Hague

The Hague [1] (Dutch: Den Haag or 's-Gravenhage) is in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. It is the seat of the Dutch government, and the residence of the Queen, although Amsterdam is officially the capital city. The municipality has about 470,000 inhabitants, with the greater urban area numbering about 1,000,000. The Hague lies on the North Sea and is home to Scheveningen beach, the most popular beach of the Netherlands, as well as the seaside resort of Kijkduin.

A view of the new high-rise buildings near the city center
A view of the new high-rise buildings near the city center

Internationally, The Hague is probably best known as a place where many international courts are located. Among these are the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and, since 2004, the controversial International Criminal Court. Because of these UN institutions along with other EU institutions, multinational companies such as Shell Oil, and embassies, The Hague has a distinct international character - one that is noticeably different from Amsterdam. Rather than having the many foreign tourists and fortune-seekers attracted by Amsterdam's reputation for excitement and liberalism, The Hague generally has more expatriates working and living in the city because of the number of international institutions and companies. Because of this, The Hague has a reputation as a wealthy, conservative and somewhat sedate city.

The Hague has very little of the edginess and excitement of Amsterdam; however, it provides well for its inhabitants in different ways, such as large areas of green space, 11 km of coastline, attractive shopping streets and an extensive multicultural scene. Rather than having canals like other Dutch cities, The Hague has streets and avenues which are just a little bit wider than those in the rest of the country, giving the city a more continental feel. Instead of the typical Dutch renaissance 17th-century step-gabled houses, it has 18th-century mansions in baroque and classicist styles. The city is considered by many as the most stately of the country. Just outside the city center, posh neighborhoods effuse a more 19th century look with eclectic and art nouveau architecture.

The further you get from the sea front and the city center, however, the more neighborhoods tend to become less well-off. One dividing line between affluent and sketchier areas is drawn by some at Laan van Meerdervoort, which runs parallel to the seaside. Areas away from the sea tend to have much less in the way of green space. An exception to this is one centrally located park, Zuiderpark, which also used to contain the stadium of the local football team ADO Den Haag. Some of its supporters were known as the most notorious hooligans of the country, perpetuating a stereotype of "lower-class" for the inhabitants of that area.

The Hague offers great architecture, from the picturesque government complex of the Binnenhof, to the grand and stately mansions on Lange Voorhout. Museums like the Mauritshuis rank among the best in the country. For food aficionados, The Hague offers some of the country's best Indonesian cuisine, due to large-scale immigration from this former Dutch colony. The city also offers good opportunities for outings, such as extensive green spaces for walking and bicycling as well as dunes and seaside recreation areas just a few tram stops away from the city center. Quaint cities like Delft, known for its famous blue pottery, and the university town of Leiden are just 15 minutes by train. The Hague also offers a few attractions especially appealing to children, such as the miniature city of Madurodam and the 360 degree Omniversum cinema.

Over the past 10 years, the city has undergone an extensive amount of development in the form of modern architecture projects. Recent constructions include the City Hall and Central Library by American architect Richard Meier, De "Snoeptrommel" (known by the locals as Candy-Box) - a round shopping center next to the old town hall, and a collection of post-modern, brick-clad office towers in between the city hall and the Centraal railway station, which provide new housing for a number of ministries. A major infrastructural development has been the construction of an underground tram tunnel underneath Grote Marktstraat, which is used by regular trams, and a new light-rail system linking The Hague with the neighboring cities of Zoetermeer and Rotterdam.

A major redevelopment project is currently underway in the area around the Centraal railway station. Here, skyscrapers like the 142 meter Hoftoren rise up over the city and several other high-rise towers are currently under construction. Among them will be a giant building in the shape of a gate between the station and the city by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. There are also plans to build a museum of national history.

Get in

By plane

The Hague does not have its own airport. The closest major international hub is Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, which is between 30 and 40 minutes away by train. Another option is Rotterdam Airport, which serves a few European cities, and is about 25 minutes away from the city center by car, but can be difficult to get to via public transportation.

By train

The Hague has two main train stations, serving domestic and international routes.

Den Haag Centraal is in the process of being renovated, and is the biggest train station in The Hague. It is within walking distance of the city center and from Malieveld park. It has connections to Amsterdam (45 minutes), Schiphol Airport (30 minutes), Utrecht (35 minutes), Groningen (2 and 1/2 hours) and many other cities throughout the Randstad and the Netherlands. You can get to Centraal Station from a variety of international destinations such as Cologne, Berlin, Frankfurt, Prague, Moscow, Basel and Copenhagen via the city of Utrecht. Upon arrival, the city center of The Hague is about a 5 minute walk from the Centraal Station. Leave through the left side entrance (look for the tram station stops) and walk through the glass passageway and straight ahead. You should reach the center of town in less than 5 minutes.

Den Haag HS (Hollands Spoor) is only a 15 minute walk from Central Station. It has connections by Thalys high-speed train to Antwerp, Brussels and Paris, as well as domestic connections to Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Leiden and Delft. Southbound trains from Den Haag CS always pass through Hollands Spoor. To get to the city center, walk straight ahead from the main entrance and follow the Stationsweg road through Chinatown, and you'll end up right in the middle of town.

Visitors are most likely to use Centraal Station, as it is closer to the center of town, tourist attractions and shopping. It also has the best local public transport links via tram and bus, and is also safer at night than Hollands Spoor, which is in a somewhat sketchy area of town. The only reason for using Hollands Spoor is to catch the international trains to Antwerp, Brussels and Paris. In addition to southbound trains from Centraal, tram lines 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 also cover the short distance from Centraal Station to Hollands Spoor. Both stations have trains that go to and from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

By car

The Hague is connected by toll-free motorways to Amsterdam (A4 and A44), Rotterdam (A13) and Utrecht (A12). Access to the center of town is through the A12 motorway which penetrates the city center like a needle and ends on a large traffic junction just north of the historic center. Approaching and leaving the city from any of these motorways can take a long time during the morning and evening rush hours. On hot summer days, hundreds of thousands of people try to reach Scheveningen beach by car, and huge traffic jams of up to 50 km long may occur, causing traffic delays of up to several hours. On such days, consider taking public transportation. A park and ride facility, P+R Hoornwijck, opened in 2008 on the Laan van Hoornwijck by the Ypenburg interchange. Motorists can easily reach it from the A4 (Exit 9) and A13 (Exit 7).

Get around

By tram or bus

The Hague has an efficient city wide system of lightrail (called Randstadrail), trams and buses, running mostly on free tracks allowing for a fairly speedy ride. HTM [2] runs the public transport system in The Hague and some of the surrounding area. Rotterdam-based RET [3] runs a Randstadrail line between The Hague and Rotterdam, through various suburbs. Connexxion [4] runs regional bus services to the areas surrounding The Hague.

Fares are paid using the "strippenkaart" system as everywhere else in the country. Strippenkaarten containing between 2 and 45 strips are bought in advance; travellers are expected to validate one strip plus one extra for every "zone" they travel through on their trip. You can find out where zones begin and end on any route map. For example, trips within the city center require two strips, while trips to the Statenkwartier area or to Scheveningen require three. When travelling on trams, validate your ticket at the on-board machines. On buses, just tell the driver where you need to go and he will validate the appropriate number of strips. It is possible to use one strippenkaart for two people; just validate the same amount of strips twice. Night buses run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only and use special tickets which can be purchased from the driver.

If this all sounds too complicated to you, day tickets are available as well at €6, and bus and tram drivers sell single tickets, day returns and day tickets as well. As opposed to the nationwide strippenkaart, these are only valid in The Hague, and they are all more expensive than the strippenkaart, which should cost you the equivalent of €0.90 per town center trip. Tickets can be bought from the HTM offices at Centraal Station and Hollands Spoor as well as from the 'Kiosk' stands at those stations. In town, tobacconists, book shops, supermarkets and tourist office usually sell strippenkaarts and tickets, as does the HTM shop at Wagenstraat 35.

Centraal Station has easy access to trams on the south side (Rijnstraat), but the main lines (Randstadrail 3 and 4, tram 2 and 6) stop on platforms crossing the main station hall at level 1. You can find buses on the bus platform above the railway tracks. Central Station is currently finishing up a major reconstruction work which may make some connections hard to find. Just ask at the information kiosk at the center of the station if you can't find your tram or bus. Hollands Spoor has trams and buses stopping in the front of its main entrance.

While you can enter trams without having a valid ticket, there is a €35 fine in addition to paying the price of your ticket if you end up getting caught by the conductor. If you do decide to sneak on and get caught, the conductor will sometimes let you just buy your ticket from the driver. Many local kids just sneak off the tram at the first stop when conductors enter the tram, as stops are usually fairly close to each other. More recently, security and HTM personnel have orders of checking tickets more thoroughly, especially in the City Center. This policy covers almost all tramlines. (i.e., on all tramways between the major train stations). When caught, there is the possibility of arrest (on top of a fine); therefore, it's advised to not try and cheat the system.

By foot

The Hague's city center is fairly compact and you can easily navigate the area on foot. From Centraal Station, it's about a 10 minute walk to the Binnenhof and the Hofvijver pond.


Center of town

The heart of the city contains most of the historic architecture from the medieval, renaissance, and Baroque periods and is easily accessible on foot. You'll also find lots of outdoor cafes and shopping near the Plein on the Lange Poten or just east of there on the Hofweg.

William of Orange overlooks the Plein
William of Orange overlooks the Plein
  • Plein, (southwest from Centraal Station along Herengracht and Korte Poten). This square — Plein simply translates as 'square' in English — is one of the most elegant in the center of town. Located right next to the Binnenhof, it is lined with historic government buildings on three of its four sides. The north side is lined with bars and cafés, which spill out onto the square in summer. These sidewalk cafés are quite popular with politicians from the neighboring Binnenhof, and even Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (easily recognisable by his resemblance to Harry Potter) can be spotted here with a pint regularly. The square is also the scene for demonstrations against government policies. The statue in the middle is that of William of Orange, heralded as the founding father of the Dutch nation.  edit
new church at Binnenhof
new church at Binnenhof
  • Binnenhof, (northwest of the Plein, trams 1 and 9 (Spui stadhuis stop), trams 2, 3, 6, & 10 (Spui stop)), +31 70 3646144 (), [5]. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Since the 13th century the Binnenhof ('Inner Court') has subsequently been the seat of the government of the county of Holland, the Dutch Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It used to be a castle, surrounded by moats on all sides. Since then it has been modified countless times to accommodate the expanding Dutch government. The moats have been filled, but the castle still borders on the Court Pond (named Hofvijver). In its waters the old buildings continue to mirror themselves. Today, the Binnenhof houses the two chambers of the Dutch parliament and the Prime Minister's office in a small round tower opposite the Mauritshuis. Enter through one of the gates on Plein or Buitenhof and you will find yourself in a medieval enclosed courtyard, surrounded by architecture from the 13th up to the 19th century. There may be crowds gathered here on occasion because of public demonstrations, TV airings or receptions for foreign officials. In the middle stands the Knight's Hall, the original centerpiece of the castle, used for ceremonial purposes. The Knight's Hall is accessible in guided tours. Unfortunately, the other splendid rooms of the complex are closed to the general public. It is possible, however, to attend the meetings of the parliament. The Tweede Kamer (second chamber) of parliament meets daily and has a new gathering room since 1992. The Eerste Kamer (first chamber) meets monthly, and does so in a splendid 17th century Dutch-styled interior with a lavishly painted ceiling.  edit
  • Mauritshuis, Korte Vijverberg 8 (next to the Binnenhof), +31 70 3023456 (), [6]. T-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-5PM, and also M 10AM-5PM from Apr-Aug.. Housed in a 17th-century palace overlooking the water of the Hofvijver pond, the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis contains the former collection of last Dutch stadtholder, William the V. While the museum is quite small (a complete tour takes a little over an hour) it contains some of the most famous work from the old Dutch Masters, including Johannes Vermeer (Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft), Rembrandt van Rijn (The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp), Andy Warhol ("Queen Beatrix"), Rembrandt self-portraits at ages 20 and 63, and others Adult incl. audio tour €11.50, under 18 get in free.  edit
  • Bredius Museum, Lange Vijverberg 14, +31 70 3620729 (), [7]. T-Su 11AM-5PM. The private collection of Abraham Bredius, a 19th-century art historian contains Dutch Baroque art, as well as drawings, porcelain and crafted silver. €4.50.  edit
  • Museum de Gevangenpoort, Buitenhof 33, +31 70 3460861. T-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 12PM-5PM. Built in 1370 as an entrance gate to the Binnenhof complex, the Gevangenpoort (Prison Gate) was converted into a prison in 1420. In 1853 the prison shutdown and it was turned into a museum. For a taste of medieval justice, have a look at their collection of torture instruments and get locked inside an original medieval cell block. €4.  edit
  • Lange Voorhout, (northwest along either side of the entrances to the Binnenhof). This former extension of The Hague Forest is now a large tree-lined square, bordered on all sides by grand 18th century townhouses. The large Baroque building on the west side is the 'Huis Huguetan', home to the Dutch supreme court. The square is especially pretty in spring, when its crocuses are in bloom. On Thursdays and Sundays there is a very good antique and book market. Every summer, the square hosts The Hague Sculpture (Den Haag Sculptuur) [8], a free outdoor sculpture exhibition. The fortified building on the corner is the US Embassy and has been a point of contention among locals and embassy officials because of the heightened security.  edit
Escher museum
Escher museum
  • Escher in Het Paleis, Lange Voorhout 74 (trams 16, 17 (Korte Voorhout stop)), +31 70 4277730, [9]. T-Su 11AM-5PM. This former royal townhouse was recently converted into a museum dedicated to the famous Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. The first three floors display prints, sketches and archive material showing how Escher progressed from realistic pictures to his later works of optical illusion and geometrical pattern. The top floor offers a trip through Escher's worlds through 3D graphic headsets. €7.50.  edit
  • Denneweg. This street is a prime area for finding antique and specialty shops. It also has some good pubs and upscale restaurants to recharge in after shopping. Parallel to the Denneweg run the Hooigracht and Smidswater canals, which are two of the very few canals in The Hague compared to other major Dutch cities and towns.  edit
  • Paleis Noordeinde, (near Prinsessewal), [10]. This is the royal palace that Queen Beatrix uses as her office. While the inside is not open to the public, the 17th-century façade can be seen from Noordeinde street, which also has a large number of art galleries. The gardens on the opposite side of the palace are accessible to the public for walking.  edit
  • Panorama Mesdag, Zeestraat 65, +31 70 3644544 (). M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su 12PM-5PM. The Panorama Mesdag is a cylindrical painting from 1881, more than 14 meters high and 120 meters in circumference. One of the most famous painters of The Hague School, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, created a vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village. It is the oldest 19th-century panorama in the world that's still in its original site. €6.  edit
  • De Verdieping van Nederland, (north side of Centraal Station next to platform 12, inside the Royal Library). W-Sa 9AM-5PM, T 9AM-8PM, Su-M 12PM-5PM. A free exhibition showcasing the history of the Netherlands through original copies of historically significant documents. It has the original copy of peace treaty of Münster with Spain, marking the end of the 80-year Dutch independence war in 1648, and the original sales act of the Dutch purchase of Manhattan from the Indians.  edit
  • Oude Stadhuis. The original town hall is a small building from the 15th century when The Hague itself was a small settlement around the Royal Court. In the 18th century it was expanded upon and now has a grand facade facing the 15th-century Grote Kerk (Big Church), originally used as city's main place of worship, but now primarily functions as an exhibition space.  edit
  • Stadhuis. In the early 1990s, the municipality moved to this enormous white building by American architect Richard Meier, nicknamed by locals as the Ice Palace. Walk in to have a look at the lofty main hall, which has exhibits on various topics related to the city. The two air bridges through the hall connecting the various offices had to be fenced off to prevent suicides, but still make for a nice view of the atrium below. The city hall borders a large, somewhat barren modern square with a fountain. It contrasts sharply with the Baroque Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), located in a small park in the other side of the road.  edit

Statenkwartier Area

The Statenkwartier area, located between the dunes and the city center, has leafy avenues and 19th century housing and is very popular with The Hague's large expatriate community. The area is nice for walking tours of the 19th-century mansions which showcase architectural diversity in The Hague. All kinds of neo- and modern-styles are represented here, especially Art Nouveau architecture. Good shops, delicatessens and restaurants are to be found on Statenkwartier's main street, Frederik Hendriklaan, or 'Fred'. The area also has a number of tourist attractions which make it worth a visit, most of them being clustered around the Gemeentemuseum on Stadhouderslaan.

  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41 (tram 17 (Statenkwartier stop) or bus 24 (Kijkduin stop)), +31 70 3381111 (), [11]. T-Su 11AM-5PM. The Gemeentemuseum (Municipal Museum) has a small collection of classical modern art (Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Monet, Sisley, Degas, Bacon). It boasts an especially large collection of Mondrians, showcasing the entire career of this painter known for his works with red, blue and yellow shapes. The Gemeentemuseum also has a large selection of paintings of the Hague School, a 19th century movement of landscape artists, in addition to period rooms and collections of fashion, musical instruments and decorative arts. Rotating exhibitions on 19th and early 20th century art held here are also quite popular. The museum is housed in a yellow brick building built in 1938 by Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage, a pioneer in modern architecture and best-known for his Beurs van Berlage - the exchange building on the Damrak in Amsterdam. Next to the Gemeentemuseum are the GEM, a museum with rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, and the Fotomuseum Den Haag, which has rotating photography exhibitions. €8.  edit
  • Museon, Stadhouderslaan 37 (next to the Gemeentemuseum), +31 70 3381338 (), [12]. T-Su 11AM-5PM. An interactive science museum, very popular with school groups and younger crowds. €7.50.  edit
  • Omniversum, President Kennedylaan 5 (behind the Museon), +0900-6664837 (), [13]. Cinema with a round screen, offering a 360 degree viewing experience. Runs IMAX/Discovery-style documentaries; some are aimed at children. €9.  edit
  • Vredespaleis, Carnegieplein 2 (bus 24 (Kijkduin stop), tram 1 (to Scheveningen Noorderstand)), +31 70 3024137 (), [14]. The Peace Palace was built in 1913, to house the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which was hoped to provide a means to legally settle international disputes. Ironically, World War I broke out just a year later. Today the Peace Palace also houses the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial body of the UN, which settles disputes between countries only. 5€.  edit
  • Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1 (tram 9 or 22 (toward Scheveningen Noorderstrand), +31 (0)70 416 2400, [15]. Daily from 9AM-6PM. This miniature city contains a selection of Dutch architecture, ranging from Amsterdam's canals and church spires from Utrecht and Den Bosch, to modern architecture from Rotterdam and the enormous Delta works that protect the country from the sea. Madurodam also has an airport, a seaport, beaches, and little cars and trains running through the entire town. A great attraction for kids (and those young at heart). €14.50 for adults, €10.50= for children.  edit
  • Paleis Huis ten Bosch, [16] The home palace of Queen Beatrix, Huis ten Bosch, is in the middle of the vast Haagse Bos park. (The Hague Forest). While the surrounding park is open, the palace itself is not open to visitors.


Since The Hague was founded on a former hunting manor, there are a variety of parks and green spaces that are ideal for exploration. Like the majority of cities in the Netherlands, The Hague is extremely bike friendly and it's easy to get from one place to another on a bicycle if you feel like stepping outside the city center. Scheveningen (and to a lesser extent Kijkduin) is a busy seaside resort filled with boardwalk cafes and close to the dunes. The prime months to get out and see The Hague on foot or by pedal are in the late spring, summer, and early fall months; just note that the beachfront area can get extremely crowded as vacationers from all over Europe come to visit and bask along the North Sea coastline.

Japanese Garden, Park Clingendael
Japanese Garden, Park Clingendael
  • Park Clingendael - Once a former estate, the park is best known for its Japanese garden which is one of the oldest (1910) in Europe. While the garden is only open from late April till mid June, the surrounding area is open all year long and is free for visitors.
  • Westbroekpark - An English-style park from the 1920s. Renowned for its Rosarium or rose garden, with 20,000 different varieties of roses blooming from June until November. The park includes a restaurant with lovely views.
  • Haagse Bos - This park is the oldest forested area in the country. It stretches from the suburb of Wassenaar to the northeast and goes right to the doorstep of Centraal Station, where there is a small fenced off area with deer. Haagse Bos also has a large birds-nest built on top of a pole, with which the local municipality has succeeded in attracting a pair of storks, since the stork is in the city's emblem. The Haagse Bos also contains the Queen's palace of Huis ten Bosch.
  • Scheveningse Bosjes - A park near Scheveningen centered around a small lake, the Waterpartij. Home to the Indiëmonument which commemorates Dutch victims of the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies.
  • Wassenaar - This suburb of The Hague is the wealthiest municipality in the country. Large wooded areas contain cycling and walking paths and are interspersed with huge estates. The village center has a few restaurants and shops and is fairly close to the beach.
Scheveningen Pier in the late summer
Scheveningen Pier in the late summer
  • Duinrell, (near Wassenaar village), [17]. This amusement park is mainly aimed at children, but also has accommodation for longer stays since it's right near the beach. The surrounding dunes and forested areas are great for walking, cycling and mountain biking.  edit
  • The North Sea coast resorts, [18]. Resort facilities at Scheveningen and at Kijkduin have access to the beach, the dunes, as well as seaside restaurants and cafes. Be sure to check out the Scheveningen Pier, the largest pier in the Netherlands, which has a 60 meter (200 ft) lookout tower, bungee jumping, and a casino and restaurant. Scheveningen gets crowded in the summer, so try Kijkduin if you're looking for something a little more peaceful.  edit


Most of the main department stores are located near the city center.

  • Maison de Bonneterie, Gravenstraat 2. An opulent fashion store inside a glass-domed building built in 1913. Stores such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, and others cater to an upscale crowd. They also have purveyors to Queen Beatrix herself!  edit
  • De Bijenkorf, Wagenstraat 32 (corner Grote Marktstraat). This middle-priced to expensive department store is housed in a large building from 1924, built in a unique expressionist style with brick and copper. Have a look at the glass-stained windows in the staircase. The restaurant 'La Ruche' in the third floor has a good view of the surrounding area.  edit
  • V&D, Grote Marktstraat 50. A similar department store to Marks & Spencer in England  edit

You can find the best shopping in The Hague on the side streets that circle out from the city center. While lots of them are upscale, you can find a few bargain stores dotted here and there.

  • De Passage - A unique covered shopping gallery built in 1882, with a sister-building in Brussels. De Passage is currently undergoing restoration, but you can still find specialty and upmarket fashion shopping. Check out the outdoor cafes just outside on Buitenhof
  • The Candy Box, (next to the Oude Stadhuis). This building is near the up-market Hoogstraat shopping area. Locals call it "The Candy Box" because of it's unique exterior. Completed in 2000, it's one of the newer building in the city
  • Prinsestraat - Specialty shops, delicatessens and restaurants in the area around this street, located between Grote Kerk and Noordeinde palace.
  • Spuistraat. Pedestrianized, shopping streets with mainly smalll chain stores. Other streets bordering the area with similar shops are Vlamingstraat, Venestraat and Wagenstraat.
  • The American Book Center, Lange Poten 23, +31 70 3642742, [19]. This unique store sells new and used English titles and caters to both expats and locals. If you're dragging extra copies of books across Europe, but don't want to throw them away, try trading them in here.  edit
  • Denneweg and Noordeinde. These shopping streets lie parallel to one another from either side of the Binnenhof. The former has antiques, bric-a-brac, and several interesting restaurants and specialty food shops, while the latter is known for its boutiques and haute couture.


Just as Indian restaurants abound in the UK, the Netherlands has an excellent tradition in Indonesian and colonial Dutch-Indies cuisine. After Indonesia became independent from the Netherlands in 1945, the country received a large number of former colonials from Dutch and mixed descent who had been forced to leave the newly independent colony. The Hague received a relatively large number of these people and is still a center of the Dutch-Indonesian community.

  • Garuda, Kneuterdijk 18a. Historic place with waiters in traditional costumes, spread out over two floors
  • Surakarta, Prinsestraat 13.
  • Istana, Wagenstraat 71. Small restaurant with somewhat minimalist decor. Excellent sateh
  • Bogor, Van Swietenstraat 2 (070) 346 1628. Know by the in-crowd as traditionally the best place in town. Simple but excellent food, has been around for over 40 years and has not changed since.
  • Tampat Senang, Laan van Meerdervoort 6. Very colonial-style restaurant with waiters in traditional costumes. Beautifully decorated with indigenous art. Excellent garden for outside dining in summer.
  • Palembang, Thomsonlaan 17. Cosy place with excellent food. Lots of pictures on the wall with local celebrities who visited here.
  • Sarinah, Goudenregenplein 4, 070-360 1585. A local institution, this place gets especially busy in the weekends when service can be a bit slow. Has both a restaurant area and a take-away service.
  • Keraton Damai, Groot Hertoginnelaan 57, 070-363 9371. Small 'living-room style restaurant' with very personal and attentive service. Small but excellent choice of dishes.
  • Chinatown. Recently the town has officially hailed the area around Gedempte Gracht and Wagenstraat as its local Chinatown, and added street signs in Chinese and all that. The area is not particularly spectacular, but good Chinese food is to be found around here. Fat Kee has a superb chicken and broccoli dish. Another excellent place is the Harvest, which is in the heart of Chinatown; try the various dim sum dishes there.
  • Dudok. Hofweg 1a. Dudok lies right opposite the Binnenhof and is quite popular with both politicians and the "ordinary" public out shopping.
  • Sakura. In Scheveningen. A friendly sushi bar that can accommodate a big crowd.
  • Irodion (Greek) In the city center, next to the Media Market. Actually this is made up of two restaurants; the first one is fast food take out, where you can get the ubiquitous giros and tzatziki, with a generous portion of french fries. The second part is actually more fancier eat-in restaurant. Highly recommended.
  • There are also other small mom and pop restaurants around The Hague, such as take out Suriname, Chinese, or Thai. They are small and normally a tourist wouldn't know much about them. But if you wander around the city and the more residential areas, such as the Zeeheldenkwartier, you'll find them easily. On the main street in the Zeeheldenkwartier (Elandstraat 52), past the McDonald's and the Albert Heijn, you'll find a small Suriname restaurant called Warung Kromo there. It is mostly for take-away dishes, but there are a few tables and chairs inside if you want to eat there. The people are friendly and the food is good and cheap. Try the roti and curry dishes, as well as the simple Suriname "broodjes".
  • Asta, [20]. Club located in a former theatre and cinema building. The atmosphere of the old cinema is retained in the interior, including one room which still has the original cinema seat available for lounging. Student's nights is Tursday, club nights on Friday and Saturday. Queues can get massive on Thursday's and on other days when well-known acts are contracted. Spui 27. Open Th,F 11PM-4AM, Sat 11PM-5:30AM.
  • Paard van Troje and Paard Café, also a venue for concerts and such [21]. Prinsegracht 12.
  • De Zwarte Ruiter [22]. A busy bar at the "Grote Markt" square near Paard van Troje.
  • September, next to De Zwarte Ruiter.
  • Supermarkt (formerly known as Club Sillies), a bar cum live rock venue, next to September and De Zwarte Ruiter.
  • De Boterwaag opposite September, housed in a former weighing building it's a spacious and atmospheric venue.

During summer, the "Grote markt" becomes a big open air terrace, great for people watching and music festivals!

  • Florencia [23] near the Grote Kerk the best ice cream parlor in town.


Check the "Haagenda" for current events link->[24]

  • KoninginneNach, [25]. Evening of the 29th of April. While Amsterdam is generally known for having country's largest celebration of Dutch Queen's Day on the 30th of April, in recent years The Hague has held the largest anticipatory party the night before. KoninginneNach (Queens' Night in The Hague dialect) has bands and DJ's giving shows in 5 different locations in the city center.
  • Scheveningen International Sand Sculpture Festival, [26]. May.
  • Scheveningen International Fireworks Festival, [27] August.
  • Parkpop, [28]. Last Sunday of June. Huge, free, one-day pop music festival held in Zuiderpark. Attracts nearly 400.000 visitors each year, nearly as many people as actually live in the city, making the festival the largest of its kind in the world.
  • North Sea Regatta, [29]. End of May / Beginning of June. International sailing contest, held off the coast of Scheveningen.
  • Pasar Malam Besar, [30]. End of May/beginning of June. This 'big evening market', as its Indonesian name literally translates, claims to be the largest Eurasian festival in the world. Since its first edition in 1958 it has been the quintessential event and meeting place for the country's sizable Dutch-East-Indian community. The festival also attracts lots of outsiders though, who come to sample Indonesian cuisine in the huge food halls, listen to music, buy foodstuffs, Indonesian clothes and parafernalia and inform themselves about Indonesian culture. The festival is held in large tents on the Malieveld, opposite Centraal. It is not to be confused with lots of other Pasar Malam events, held all over the country throughout the year, which are similar, but much, much smaller.
  • Den Haag Sculptuur, [31]. June, July and August. Free sculpture exposition on Lange Voorhout with different themes each year.
  • North Sea Jazz Festival, [32]. Second weekend of July. After having been held in The Hague for 30 years, this world famous jazz festival has now (2006) moved to Rotterdam because of accommodation problems in The Hague.
  • Prinsjesdag. Third Tuesday in September. Prinsjesdag or 'Princes Day' marks the beginning of the new parliamentary year. On this day, large crowds are drawn by the traditional journey which Queen Beatrix makes from her palace at Noordeinde to the Knight's Hall at the Binnenhof. She makes her trip in the Gouden Koets (Golden Carriage), a gift from the people of Amsterdam to her grandmother Wilhelmina from 1903. The carriage is only used for this special occasion. In the Knight's Hall, the Queen then performs her duty as the formal head of state by reading out the Troonrede (Throne Speech) to the gathered chambers of the parliament. The throne speech contains a summary of the policies the cabinet is planning to implement over the next year.
  • Crossing Border Festival, [33]. November.
  • Stayokay Den Haag, Scheepmakersstraat 27 (tram 17 (Rijswijkseplein stop)), +31 70 3157888 (). This standard backpacking hostel has double rooms with individual toilet and shower facilities as well as 8 bed dorms. The hostel has a good location, being close to the Hollands Spoor train station (a 5 minute walk). Hosteling International members get discounts at Stayokay, and you can get a one-year membership card which is useful if you're staying at other HI Hostels. There are internet facilities available to lodgers at a reasonable fee.  edit
  • Ambassade Arena Aparthotel Scheveningen (Berkenbosch Blokstraat 9), +31 (0)70 306 0123, [34]. checkin: 2pm. A1 location on tram lines 1 & 9. Located just 15 minutes from Central Station and less than 5 minutes walking distance from the beach.  edit
  • Ibis Den Haag Centre (Jan Hendrikstraat 10), [35]. Great location close to the Grote Kerk.  edit
  • Novotel Den Haag Centrum, Hofweg 5-7, [36]. Located in the Passage shopping center, and literally right across the street from the Binnenhof.  edit
  • Hotel des Indes, Lange Voorhout 54-56, [37]. A former residence of a seventeenth century aristocrat, this über-luxury hotel opened its doors in 1881 and has been serving artists, musicians, and other celebrities ever since. It is located down the street from some of the major diplomatic missions such as the American and French embassies, and has also hosted heads of state such as Dwight Eisenhower and Jacques Chirac. Be sure to check out the ultra-luxurious bar and lounge.  edit

Stay safe

You should take normal precautions against pickpockets and baggage theft, especially in the main shopping streets, in trams and trains, at stations, and anywhere where tourists congregate. Street begging is common around the Hollands Spoor train station and at the Grote Markt. Most of them are homeless and non-aggressive and a simple 'no' will be enough. At night, the city center is pretty safe, because of the large number of police cameras monitoring this area. Neighborhoods south-west of the center are less affluent and may not be as safe. The area between Zuiderpark and Hollands Spoor has a bad reputation due to the increasing number of street gangs. Schilderswijk and Transvaal areas are blocks that should be avoided after dark. If you are unsure, take a taxi to your destination. Taking a tram is also considered safe, as the so-called 'risky lines' in this area now have a security team on board from 8PM till 1AM.

  • Delft - Arguably the country's most picturesque canal-lined town. Home of the famous Delft Blue pottery (or Delftware), and the home of Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. Trains leave from Centraal Station or Hollands Spoor every 15 mins, trip takes 12 or 8 minutes respectively. Tram 1 also reaches the Delft city center.
  • Leiden - This town lays claim to the oldest university in the Netherlands, Leiden University, which was founded in 1575. It is the second largest 17th-century town center after Amsterdam. Home to many interesting museums. Trains from Centraal Station or Hollands Spoor every 15 minutes, with each trip taking 13 or 10 minutes respectively.


Many people move to the Randstad area (including The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam) either for a year out, work (as an Expatriate) or to join partners (who are mostly either Expatriates or Dutch). There are specialist websites for English and non-Dutch speakers looking to work in The Hague (and Randstad area) and a good place to start; Blue Lynx - Employment by Language [38].

Immigration matters are dealt with by the Immigration Service IND [39]. Registration is done by both police and municipalities. Immigration policy is restrictive and deliberately bureaucratic. That is especially true for non-EU citizens.

European Union citizens do not require a work permit. Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians are afforded a one year working-holiday visa. In general the employer must apply for work permits. Immigration is easier for "knowledge migrants" earning a gross annual salary of over € 45 000 (over € 33 000 for those under 30).

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

'THE HAGUE (in Dutch, s Gravenhage, or, abbreviated, den Haag; in Fr. La Haye; and in Late Lat. Haga Comitis), the chief town of the province of South Holland, about 22 m. from the sea, with a junction station 92 m. by rail S.W. by S. of Leiden. Steam tramways connect it with the seaside villages of Scheveningen, Kykduin and 's Gravenzande, as well as with Delft, Wassenaar and Leiden, and it is situated on a branch of the main canal from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. Pop. (1900), 212,211. The Hague is the chief town of the province, the usual residence of the court and diplomatic bodies, and the seat of the government, the states-general, the high council of the Netherlands, the council of state, the chamber of accounts and various other administrative bodies. The characteristics of the town are quite in keeping with its political position; it is as handsome as it is fashionable, and was rightly described by de Amicis in his Olanda as half Dutch, half French. The Hague has grown very largely in modern times, especially on its western side, which is situated on the higher and more sandy soil, the south-eastern half of the town comprising the poorer and the business quarters. The main features in a plan of the town are its fine streets and houses and extensive avenues and wellplanted squares; while, as a city, the neighbourhood of an attractive seaside resort, combined with the advantages and importance of a large town, and the possession of beautiful and wooded surroundings, give it a distinction all its own.

The medieval-looking group of government buildings situated in the Binnenhof (or "inner court"), their backs reflected in the pretty sheet of water called the Vyver, represent both historically and topographically the centre of the Hague. On the opposite side of the Vyver lies the parallelogram formed by the fine houses and magnificent avenue of trees of the Lange Voorhout, the Kneuterdyk and the Vyverburg, representing the fashionable kernel of the city. Close by lies the entrance to the Haagsche Bosch, or the wood, on one side of which is situated the deerpark, and a little beyond on the other the zoological gardens (1862). Away from the Lange Voorhout the fine Park Straat stretches to the "1813 Plein" or square, in the centre of which rises the large monument (1869) by Jaquet commemorating the jubilee of the restoration of Dutch independence in 1813. Beyond this is the Alexander Veld, used as a military drill ground, and close by is the entrance to the beautiful road called the Scheveningensche Weg, which leads through the "little woods" to Scheveningen. Parallel to the Park Straat is the busy Noordeinde, in which is situated the royal palace. The palace was purchased by the States in 1595, rebuilt by the stadtholder William III., and extended by King William I. in the beginning of the 19th century. In front of the building is an equestrian statue of William I. of Orange by Count Nieuerkerke (1845), and behind are the gardens and extensive stables. The Binnenhof, which has been already mentioned, was once surrounded by a moat, and is still entered through ancient gateways. The oldest portion was founded in 1249 by William II., count of Holland, whose son, Florens V., enlarged it and made it his residence. Several centuries later the stadtholders also lived here. The fine old hall of the knights, built by Florens, and now containing the archives of the home office, is the historic chamber in which the states of the Netherlands abjured their allegiance to Philip II. of Spain, and in front of which the grey-headed statesman Johan van Oldenbarneveldt was executed in 1619. Close by on the one side are the courts of justice, and on the other the first and second chambers of the states-general, containing some richly painted ceilings and the portraits of various stadtholders. Government offices occupy the remainder of the buildings, and in the middle of the court is a fountain surmounted by a statuette of William II., count of Holland (1227-1256). In the adjoining Buitenhof, or "outer court," is a statue of King William II. (d. 1849), and the old Gevangen Poort, or prison gate (restored 1875), consisting of a tower and gateway. It was here that the brothers Cornelis and Jan de Witt were killed by the mob in 1672. On the opposite side of the Binnenhof is the busy square called the Plein, where all the tram-lines meet. Round about it are the buildings of the ministry of justice and other government buildings, including one to contain the state archives, the large club-house of the Witte Societeit, and the Mauritshuis. The Mauritshuis was built in1633-1644by Count John Maurice of Nassau, governor of Brazil, and contains the famous picture gallery of the Hague. The nucleus of this collection was formed by the princes of Orange, notably by the stadtholder William V. (1748-1806). King William I. did much to restore the losses caused by the removal of many of the pictures during the French occupation. Other artistic collections in the Hague are the municipal museum (Gernsente Museum), containing paintings by both ancient and modern Dutch artists, and some antiquities; the fine collection of pictures in the Steengracht gallery, belonging to Jonkheer Steengracht; the museum Meermanno-Westreenianum, named after Count Meermann and Baron Westreenen (d. 1850), containing some interesting MSS. and specimens of early typography and other curiosities; and the Mesdag Museum, containing the collection of the painter H. W. Mesdag (b. 1831) presented by him to the state. The royal library (1798) contains upwards of 500,000 volumes, including some early illuminated MSS., a valuable collection of coins and medals and some fine antique gems. In addition to the royal palace already mentioned, there are the palaces of the queen-dowager, of the prince of Orange (founded about 1720 by Count Unico of Wassenaar Twiekels) and of the prince von Wied, dating from 1825, and containing some good early Dutch and Flemish masters. There are numerous churches of various denominations in the Hague as well as an English church, a Russian chapel and two synagogues, one of which is Portuguese. The Groote Kerk of St James (15th and 16th centuries) hasafine vaulted interior, and contains some old stained glass, a carved wooden pulpit (1550), a large organ and interesting sepulchral monuments, and some escutcheons of the knights of the Golden Fleece, placed here after the chapter of 1456. The Nieuwe Kerk, or new church (first half 17th century), contains the tombs of the brothers De Witt and of the philosopher Spinoza. Spinoza is further commemorated by a monument in front of the house in which he died in 1677. The picturesque town hall (built in 1565 and restored and enlarged in 1882) contains a historical picture gallery. The principal other buildings are the provincial government offices, the royal school of music, the college of art, the large building (1874) of the society for arts and sciences, the ethnographical institute of the Netherlands Indies with fine library, the theatres, civil and military hospitals, orphanage, lunatic asylum and other charitable institutions; the fine modern railway station (1892), the cavalry and artillery and the infantry barracks, and the cannon foundry. The chief industries of the town are iron casting, copper and lead smelting, cannon founding, the manufacture of furniture and carriages, liqueur distilling, lithographing and printing.

The Hague wood has been described as the city's finest ornament. It is composed chiefly of oaks and alders and magnificent avenues of gigantic beech-trees. Together with the Haarlem wood it is thought to be a remnant of the immense forest which once extended along the coast. At the end of one of the avenues which penetrates into it from the town is the large summer clubhouse of the Witte Societeit, under whose auspices concerts are given here in summer. Farther into the wood are some pretty little lakes, and the famous royal villa called the Huis ten Bosch, or "house in the wood." This villa was built by Pieter Post for the Princess Amelia of Solms, in memory of her husband the stadtholder, Frederick Henry of Orange (d. 1647), and wings were added to it by Prince William IV. in 1748. The chief room is the Orange Saloon, an octagonal hall 50 ft. high, covered with paintings by Dutch and Flemish artists, chiefly of incidents in the life of Prince Frederick. In this room the International Peace Conference had its sittings in the summer of 1899. The collections in the Chinese and Japanese rooms, and the grisailles in the dining-room painted by Jacobus de Wit (1695-1754), are also noteworthy.

The history of the Hague is in some respects singular. In the 13th century it was no more than a hunting-lodge of the counts of Holland, and though Count Floris V. (b. 1254-1296) made it his residence and it thus became the seat of the supreme court of justice of Holland and the centre of the administration, and from the time of William of Orange onward the meeting-place of the states-general, it only received the status of a town, from King Louis Bonaparte, early in the 19th century.

In the latter part of the 17th and the first half of the 18th century the Hague was the centre of European diplomacy. Among the many treaties and conventions signed here may be mentioned the treaty of the Triple Alliance (January 23, 1688)1688) between England, Sweden and the Netherlands; the concert of the Hague (March 31, 1710) between the Emperor, England and Holland, for the maintenance of the neutrality of the Swedish provinces in Germany during the war of the northern powers against Sweden; the Triple Alliance (January 4, 1717) between France, England and Holland for the guarantee of the treaty of Utrecht; the treaty of peace (Feb. 17, 1717) between Spain, Savoy and Austria, by which the first-named acceded to the principles of the Triple Alliance; the treaty of peace between Holland and France (May 16, 1 795); the first "Hague Convention," the outcome of the "peace conference" assembled on the initiative of the emperor Nicholas II. of Russia (July 27, 1899), and the series of conventions, the results of the second peace conference (June 15 - October 18, 1907). The international court of arbitration or Hague Tribunal was established in 1899 (see Europe: History; [[International arbitration). The Palace of Peace designed to be completed in 1913 as the seat of the tribunal, on the Scheveningen avenue, is by a French architect, L. M. Cordonnier, and A. Carnegie contributed 30o,000 towards its cost.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun

The Hague


The Hague

  1. A city, the administrative capital of the Netherlands.



Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

The Hague
City, Town, or Village

52°4′48″N, 4°17′60″E
Located in Nation: Netherlands
Located in State/Province/
Constituent country
South Holland
Located in County/District/
Parish/secondary level subdivision:
The Hague
Vernacular names
English The Hague
Español La Haya
Nederlands Den Haag

The Hague (with capital T; Dutch: Image:Ltspkr.pngDen Haag, officially also Image:Ltspkr.png's-Gravenhage) is the third largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, with a population of 482,742 (as of December 31, 2008) (population of agglomeration: 1,000,000) and an area of approximately 100 km². It is located in the west of the country, in the province of South Holland, of which it is also the provincial capital. The Hague is, like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht, part of the Randstad metropolitan area, with 6,659,300 inhabitants.

The Hague is the de facto seat of government, but not the capital of the Netherlands, a role set aside by the Dutch constitution for Amsterdam.

The Hague is the home of the States-General of the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands lives and works in The Hague. All foreign embassies and government ministries are located in the city, as well as the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court), the Raad van State (Council of State) and many lobbying organisations.


The Hague in 1868
The Hague originated around 1230, when Floris IV, Count of Holland purchased land alongside a pond (now the Hofvijver) in order to build a hunting residence. In 1248 William II, Count of Holland and Rex Romanorum, decided to extend the residence to a palace. He died in 1256 before this palace was completed, but parts of it were finished by his son Floris V, of which the Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall), still extant, is the most prominent. It is still in use for political events, such as the annual speech from the throne by the monarch.

Name and status

Later, the counts of Holland used The Hague as their administrative centre and residence when in Holland. 'Des Graven Hage' literally means "the count's wood", with connotations like "the count's hedge or private enclosure".

When the Dukes of Burgundy gained control over the counties of Holland and Zeeland at the beginning of the 15th century, they appointed a stadtholder to rule in their stead with the States of Holland as an advisory council. Their seat was located in The Hague. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, the absence of city walls proved disastrous, as it allowed Spanish troops easily to occupy the town. In 1575 the States of Holland even considered demolishing the city, but this proposal was abandoned, after mediation by William of Orange. From 1588 The Hague also became the location of the government of the Dutch Republic. In order for the administration to maintain control over city matters, The Hague never received official city status (although it did have many privileges, normally only attributed to cities). However, since the days of King Louis Napoleon (1806) The Hague has been allowed to call itself a city.

After the Napoleonic Wars, modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands were combined in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to form a buffer against France. As a compromise, Brussels and The Hague alternated as capital every two years, with the government remaining in The Hague. After the separation of Belgium in 1830, Amsterdam remained the capital of the Netherlands, while the government was situated in The Hague.

Since early times, probably dating as far back as the 15th century, the stork has been the symbol of The Hague.

Facts about The HagueRDF feed
Articles en - English→The Hague~es - Español→La Haya (.es)~nl - Nederlands→Den Haag (.nl)~  +
Coord 52°4′48″N, 4°17′60″E  +info.pngGoogle Earth
County The Hague  +
Lang1 en - English  +
Lang2 es - Español  +
Lang3 nl - Nederlands  +
Locality in county The Hague  +
Locality in nation Netherlands  +
Locality in nation-subdiv1 South Holland  +
Location type locality  +
Nation Netherlands  +
Nation-subdiv1 South Holland  +
Short name The Hague  +
Uses smwbasepage- name1 The Hague  +
Uses smwbasepage- name2 La Haya (.es)  +
Uses smwbasepage- name3 Den Haag (.nl)  +

This article uses material from the "The Hague" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

[[File:|right|thumb|Flag of The city of The Hague.]] The Hague (with capital T; Dutch: also called [[File:]]'s-Gravenhage, commonly [[File:]]Den Haag) is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It has a population of 490,000 (January 1 2011) [1] and an area of around 100 km². It is in the west of the country, in the province South Holland. It is the capital of the province. About 1 million people live in the urban area of The Hague, on about 405 square kilometers.

Den Haag is where the government meets, even though it is not the capital of the Netherlands. The Dutch constitution makes Amsterdam the capital. The Hague is the home of the "Eerste Kamer" (literally "First Chamber") or "Senaat", and the "Tweede Kamer" (literally "Second Chamber"). These are the same as the upper and lower houses in some other countries. They form the "Staten Generaal" (literally the "Estates-General"). The Dutch Queen Beatrix lives and works in The Hague. All foreign embassies and government ministries are in the city, as well as the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden (The Supreme Court) and many lobbying organisations.

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