Day TripsNetherlands

A Guide to Den Haag, Netherlands

Den Haag (The Hague) is one of the principal cities of the Netherlands, located around 50km south-west of Amsterdam. It is the seat of government and offers contrasting museums, chic shopping, fine dining and a wide expanse of beaches. 

It makes for a great day out from Amsterdam or a longer visit in its own right.

The Hague Tourist Office

The Hague Info Store is located at Den Haag Centraal station and offers tourist information and various branded products. It is open 1000-1900 (Mon-Fri), 1000-1700 (Sat) and 1000-1500 (Sun).

the hague info store at den haag centraal
The Hague Info Store at Den Haag Centraal

The Hague Central Station, Koningin Julianaplein 10-50, 2595 AA Den Haag

Things To Do in The Hague

Mauritshuis Museum

The Mauritshuis is a renowned art museum located in a 17th century palace in the centre of The Hague next to the Binnenhof on the banks of the Hofvijver lake. The house was commissioned by Johan Maurits who was the former governor of the ‘Dutch Brazil’ colony.

mauritshuis den haag
Mauritshuis in Den Haag

The small museum has an excellent collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings dating from 1400 to 1800. The highlights are Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring (1665-1667) and Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632).

mauritshuis den haag - girl with a pearl earring
Girl With A Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer at Mauritshuis

The museum is open 1300-1800 (Mon), 1000-1800 (Tue-Sun).

Entry prices are €19.00 for adults. Free for children/youths 0-18 and Museumkaart holders. Book Mauritshuis tickets here

Mauritsuis, Plein 29, 2501 CM Den Haag

Panorama Mesdag

This is a large panoramic painting of Scheveningen beach from the late 19th century. The painting surrounds an artificial dune and is viewed from a circular platform. With natural light flooding in from skylights in the roof, this gives the illusion of being on the dune itself.

panorama mesdag den haag
Panorama Mesdag in Den Haag: viewing platform

The panorama was painted in 1881 by Hendrik Willem Mesdag with the assistance of other painters from The Hague School. It is an impressive 120m in circumference and 14m high. The view is that from the Seinpostduin which was the highest dune in Scheveningen at the time.

panorama mesdag den haag
Panorama Mesdag in Den Haag

On the ground floor the museum has gallery space for temporary exhibitions.

panorama mesdag building den haag
Panorama Mesdag Den Haag: building

The museum is open 1000-1700 (Tue-Sun), closed Mondays.

Entry prices are €15 for adults, €12 for youths 12-18, €7 for children 4-11. Free for children 0-3 and Museumkaart holders. Book Panorama Mesdag tickets here

Museum Panorama Mesdag, Zeestraat 65, 2518 AA Den Haag

Madurodam

Madurodam is a miniature park in The Hague which displays famous landmarks and buildings in the Netherlands. It is one of the premier attractions in the country with around 700,000 visitors per year.

For more detailed info see our post: Madurodam – Holland in Miniature

madurodam entrance
Madurodam in Den Haag entrance

Madurodam is located just outside of the centre of the Hague, about 2km from Scheveningen beach. Take HTM tram 9 (direction: Scheveningen Noord) to the ‘Madurodam’ stop.

The park includes model buildings, miniature transport and some indoor experiences.

madurodam dam square
Madurodam – Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square in Amsterdam

Madurodam is open daily 0900-1800 (Mon), 1000-1700 (Tue-Sun).

Entance costs €17-€22 for adults (depending on timeslot), FREE entry to children 0-2. Museumkaart is NOT valid. Book your Madurodam ticket and time-slot online here

Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1, 2584 RZ Den Haag

Louwman Museum

The Louwman Museum is an automotive-themed museum with a wonderful collection of 275 historic and classic motor cars owned by the Louwman family. It is housed in a specially designed building which opened in 2010, although the museum dates back originally to 1934.

louwman museum den haag
Louwman Museum Den Haag

Highlights of the collection include the Aston Martin DB5 from the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger and a customised Cadillac Fleetwood owned by Elvis Presley. You will discover how motor vehicles evolved from the late 19th century and onwards through the 20th century.

louwman museum collection
Louwman Museum collection

This really is one of the best car museums in the world and an absolute must for motor enthusiasts.

The museum is open 1000-1700 (Tue-Sun), closed on Mondays. (Open daily during July and August).

Entry prices are €19.00 for adults, €10.00 for children/youths 5-18. Free for children 0-4 and Museumkaart holders. Book Louwman Museum tickets here

louwman museum hall
Louwman Museum hall

It is located about 3km north-east from the centre of The Hague. It can be reached by Arriva bus 385 from Den Haag Centraal which takes 11 minutes and stops outside the museum.

Louwman Museum, Leidsestraatweg 57, 2594 BB Den Haag

Binnenhof

Take a walk around the Binnenhof (Inner Court) which is the seat of the Dutch government with its monumental buildings and neogothic gold fountain.

binnenhof den haag mauritspoort
Binnenhof Den Haag: Maurispoort gate

The court is freely accessible to the public – though note, some of the buildings are undergoing a renovation for a few years.

binnenhof den haag
Binnenhof Den Haag (pre-renovation)

The Binnenhof buildings are sited next to the Hofvijver lake (literally ‘Court pond’) which dates as far back as the 13th century.

hofvijver den haag
Hofvijver Den Haag

Scheveningen Beach

Just a 15 minute tram ride away from the city centre is the beach at Scheveningen. Take a stroll along the boulevard, have a drink at the historic Kurhaus hotel (dating back to 1818), walk along the sandy beach and get some sea air.

kurhaus scheveningen
Kurhaus at Scheveningen

There are several attractions at Scheveningen including:

Museum Beelden aan Zee at Harteveltstraat 1 has exhibitions of contemporary sculptures.

SEA LIFE Scheveningen at Strandweg 13 is an aquarium attraction offering a glimpse into underwater ocean life. Book SEA LIFE Scheveningen tickets here

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre at Strandweg 13K (next to SEA LIFE) is a LEGO-themed indoor attraction with 7 different zones. Book LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre tickets here

scheveningen beach den haag
Pier at Scheveningen beach

SkyView de Pier is a 40m high ferris wheel ride lasting 20 minutes and giving great views of the beach and surrounds. It is located on The Pier itself which is freely open to the public. Book Skyview de Pier tickets here

Vredepaleis (Peace Palace)

The Peace Palace is an iconic building in The Hague which was opened in 1913. It is run by the Carnegie Foundation and is the location of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the UN International Court of Justice, The Hague Academy of International Law and the Peace Palace library.

peace palace (vredepaleis) the hague
Peace Palace in The Hague

The visitors centre at the left side of the entrance at Carnegieplein is freely open to the public (1200-1600 Wed-Sun). There are also tours of the gardens and Palace rooms available, though these need to be booked in advance.

Shopping in Den Haag

Den Haag is renowned for its chic shopping which caters for its well-to-do international clientele. From well known brands and chain stores to independent boutiques.

passage den haag
Shop ’til you drop… Passage Den Haag

Shopping streets of note around the centre are the covered Passage, Hoogstraat/Noordeinde, Grote Marktstraat and Spuistraat.

Mall of the Netherlands

The Westfield Mall of The Netherlands is a large shopping mall located in the Leidschendam area of the city about 3km east from Den Haag Central. With 280 stores and eateries, it is the largest shopping centre in the country.

westfield mall of the netherlands den haag
Westfield Mall of the Netherlands

It also has a cinema complex and Youseum, a social media selfie themed museum with 18 rooms and 25 installations. Book Youseum tickets here

To reach the mall, take HTM tram 2 or 6 from Den Haag Central (upstairs) to ‘Mall of the Netherlands’ stop.

Kunstmuseum Den Haag

Kunstmuseum (formerly Gemeentemuseum) is one of Europe’s biggest art museums which has 160,000 works in its collection. It is housed in an art deco building (1931-35) designed by renowned Dutch architect HP Berlage.

kunstmuseum den haag
Kunstmuseum Den Haag

The museum includes modern art, prints and posters as well as ceramics and Dutch Delftware. It houses the world’s finest Piet Mondriaan collection with over 300 of his works. The glass roofing allows light to flood into the galleries.

kunstmuseum den haag gallery
Kunstmuseum Den Haag – gallery

The museum hosts special exhibitions regularly and is open 1000-1700 (Tue-Sun), closed Mondays.

HTM tram 17 from Den Haag Central goes to Kunstmuseum (last stop).

Entry prices are €16.00 for adults, €8.00 for ages 19-25. Free for children/youths 0-18 and Museumkaart holders. Book Kunstmuseum tickets here

Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag

Fotomuseum Den Haag / KM21

Fotomuseum Den Haag is a museum which holds photo exhibitions and is part of the Kunstmuseum. It is located in a modern building nextdoor to Kunstmuseum and opened in 2002.

fotomuseum den haag km21
Fotomuseum Den Haag and KM21

KM21 is located in the same building and is an institute for contemporary art which holds 3-4 exhibitions each year.

Fotomuseum and KM21 are open 1100-1700 (Tue-Sun).

Entry price is €10.00 for adults, €5.00 for ages 19-25. Free for children/youths 0-18 and Museumkaart holders.

Fotomuseum Den Haag/KM21, Stadhouderslaan 43, 2517 HV Den Haag

Escher in The Palace

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was a unique artist who specialised in drawing optical illusions. Museum Escher in The Palace is a comprehensive permanent exhibition of his works and is housed in the former royal winter palace on Lange Voorhout in the centre of The Hague.

It is open 1100-1700 (Tue-Sun), closed Mondays except during holidays.

Entry prices are €11.50 for adults, €8.50 for youths 13-17, €6.50 for children 7-12. Free for children 0-6; note, the Museumkaart is NOT accepted. Book Escher in the Palace tickets here

Escher in The Palace, Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH Den Haag

Getting To and Around Den Haag

Den Haag Centraal is the main transport hub of the city with trains, trams/metro and buses. Note that the city’s second station Den Haag HS has direct Intercity trains to Amsterdam.

den haag centraal station
Den Haag Centraal station

TRAIN: An Amsterdam Centraal-Den Haag Centraal day return costs €27.20 (2nd class) or €46.25 (1st class) – 2023 prices. There is a €1 surcharge for disposable tickets. You can buy e-tickets at the NS (Dutch Railways) site here

RET metro line E runs from Den Haag Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal – from the stop at Meijersplein it is a short bus ride to Rotterdam-The Hague airport.

Local transport company HTM runs 13 tram lines and 9 bus lines around the city. An HTM day ticket costs €7.10 and is valid on all HTM services. Tickets can be bought on-board trams or at the OV Service & Tickets store at Den Haag Centraal.

den haag tram
HTM tram in Den Haag

Den Haag is a sophisticated, cultured city and it is certainly worthy of a day trip from Amsterdam.

This article was originally published in 2022. Last updated 4 January 2023.

Related Articles

Back to top button