The 9 Best Things to Do in The Hague

When deciding to go to the Netherlands, travellers often opt for the cosmopolitan centres of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. While these cities are incredible in their own right, they often overshadow a fantastic travel destination, The Hague

Nestled along the picturesque North Sea coast, The Hague, or Den Haag in Dutch, is a historically significant city dripping in regal charm and cultural highlights. It offers a slower-paced experience of the Netherlands and will delight travellers with its fabulous selection of activities and experiences.

In this article, we showcase the best things to do in The Hague that will suit a variety of different travellers. Whether you want to mosy through museums, explore grand architecture or delve into the diverse food scene, The Hague has so much to offer. We also include some options for day trips to ensure you have the best possible experience of this magnificent city.

Things to Do in The Hague: Explore the Museums

The Hague is known for its mesmerising museums that showcase the best of Dutch art and history. Wandering the varied exhibits is one of the best things to do in The Hague if you want to immerse yourself in its rich culture. 

While The Hague Historical Museum is a popular choice, we wanted to highlight some others that will be perfect additions to your trip itinerary.

Escher in Het Paleis 

One of the more unusual things to do in The Hague is to visit Escher in Het Paleis, a museum dedicated to the work of M.C. Escher. Famous for his intricate and mind-bending prints and drawings, Escher’s art often explores mathematical and optical illusions. Some of his most fascinating works, such as ‘Relativity’ and ‘Waterfall’, can be found here.

In addition to displaying Escher’s artwork, the museum features interactive exhibits that help visitors understand the mathematical and geometric principles behind his art. These hands-on displays are both educational and entertaining, providing a unique perspective on his artistry.

You can get your tickets at the box office upon your arrival, but if you’ve got a packed itinerary you’re better off booking your visit in advance

The Mauritshuis Museum

If you’re eager to see incredible art on your trip to The Hague, the Mauritshuis is a must-see museum. This world-renowned institution houses a remarkable array of Dutch Golden Age paintings, including Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and works by Rembrandt, Rubens, and many others. 

Mauritshuis is housed in a historic 17th-century mansion known as the Mauritshuis Palace. While the collection is relatively small in size, it is considered one of the finest collections of Dutch Golden Age art in the world.

You can take guided tours of the museum that will give you a much better understanding of the cultural and historical context of the different exhibits. It is recommended that you get your tickets for Mauritshuis in advance so that you can make the most of your time and avoid waiting in lines. 

The Mauritshuis Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and richness of Dutch Golden Age painting in an elegant and historic setting.

Things to do in The Hague: Discover the Historic Buildings

The city is brimming with old buildings that paint will amaze you with their incredible architecture. You can take a guided tour of the Hague which will immerse you in the top sights of the city. However, if you’re interested in discovering the many historic buildings in the city, the following sites are absolute musts.

The Grote Kerk

The Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk, often referred to simply as the Grote Kerk, is a historic and prominent church in The Hague. The Grote Kerk’s history dates back to the 14th century and was originally built in the Gothic architectural style, which was characteristic of many European churches during that period.

The church boasts soaring pointed arches, intricate stone carvings and beautiful stained glass windows. Its design is truly inspiring and speaks to the reverence that was held for the church in the past. The church also houses several historic organs, including the renowned Bätz-Witte organ, which dates back to the 19th century and is still in use.

The Grote Kerk features a tall tower that rises above the city skyline. The tower is accessible to visitors and offers panoramic views of The Hague and its surroundings. Climbing the tower is a popular activity for tourists and a great place to get some incredible pictures of your trip.

The Binnenhof

The Binnenhof is a historic and iconic complex of buildings located in the heart of The Hague. It is one of the most significant political and administrative centres in the country and holds a special place in Dutch history, making it a real highlight for those eager to learn more about the city.

The Binnenhof complex is a mix of historical architectural styles, including Gothic and Renaissance elements. The Ridderzaal, or Knight’s Hall, is one of the most striking buildings within the complex, known for its stunning Gothic design. It is used for ceremonial events, including the annual State Opening of Parliament.

The Binnenhof features a picturesque inner courtyard with a large pond and well-manicured gardens. It’s the perfect spot for a midday stroll and provides a tranquil setting where you can take in the historic atmosphere.

The Peace Palace (Vredespaleis)

One of the best things to do in The Hague is to explore the Peace Palace. This hallowed institution serves as a symbol of international peace and justice and is also the most photographed building in The Hague.

The Peace Palace is renowned for its impressive Neo-Renaissance architectural style, featuring ornate detailing, grand facades and an imposing central dome. It embodies the idea that conflicts between nations can be resolved through dialogue, arbitration, and legal processes rather than through armed conflict.

The primary purpose of the Peace Palace is to house various international judicial institutions and organisations dedicated to the peaceful resolution of disputes. The most prominent of these institutions is the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

Guided tours of the Peace Palace are available to the public, allowing visitors to explore the interior of the building, including the Great Hall of Justice, where the ICJ holds its sessions.

Things to Do in The Hague: Try Dutch Food

The Hague is a great place for foodies who want to indulge in Dutch delicacies, with ample choices for food tours that will show you the best of the city’s gastronomic offerings. But if you’re happier exploring on your own, we’ve picked out some of the best places in the Hague where you can sample some amazing dishes.

Grote Markt

The Grote Markt is a lively and historic square located in the heart of The Hague and is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, cafes and eateries that cater to different tastes. As you step into the square, you will be tantalised by the scent of freshly made dishes that beg to be consumed. 

You can find a wide range of kitchens at Grote Markt cooking up an international offering of cuisines. For those interested in trying traditional Dutch cuisine, you’ll find restaurants serving local favourites such as bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), poffertjes (mini pancakes), and raw herring which is traditionally swallowed whole. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a Dutch beer or jenever (Dutch gin) for an optimal dining experience.

Many of the restaurants on the Grote Markt offer outdoor seating, especially during the warmer months. This allows diners to enjoy their meals while soaking up the bustling atmosphere and quaint setting of the square.


Another great spot for trying Dutch food is Plein, a historic square just next to the Binnenhof. There is a vast array of dining options here that are perfect for midday meals or late-night bites. Many cafes offer a selection of speciality coffees, teas, and delicious pastries, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely breakfast or afternoon treat. 

Plein is a popular dining destination in the Hague as it offers ample outdoor seating in a beautiful setting. It is also the site for many cultural events throughout the year. These events often feature food stalls offering a variety of international and Dutch dishes that will delight travellers eager to try something new. 

As the day transitions into evening, Plein comes alive with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy dinner and drinks while taking in the surrounding historic ambience. It’s one of the main hubs for nightlife in the city, making it a versatile location that’s suitable for all types of travellers. 

Things to Do in The Hague: Explore Outside The Hague

The Hague is filled with opportunities to dive into Dutch culture, but there are also some superb places outside the city that are worth exploring. Taking day trips out of the city is a great way to break up your trip and explore the surrounding area. 

To give you some ideas, we’ve picked out 2 of our favourite places that are easily visited from the Hague.  


Delft is a small city near the Hague that is famous for producing Delftware, white and blue painted ceramics. A day trip to this charming city is a great way to add value to your trip and experience more of the Netherlands. 

You can take a short 20-minute train ride to Delft or take a leisurely river cruise from the Hague. Upon arrival, you can stroll through the historic centre and take in the immaculate architecture. We’d recommend a visit to the Royal Delft Factory where you can learn more about the iconic hand-painted ceramics. 

Delft is a great place for shopping as well. Within the city, you will find many quaint shops and boutiques selling Delftware pieces, artisanal items and unique souvenirs. It’s a great place to pick up a memento or a gift for someone back home. 

Scheveningen Beach 

You might not have considered the Hague as a beach destination, but a 30-minute bus ride will take you to one of the most idyllic beach fronts in the Netherlands. Scheveningen Beach offers a diverse range of attractions, activities, and scenic beauty, making it a must-visit destination for tourists.

This wide, sandy stretch of the North Sea coast features a long promenade that runs parallel to the beach, offering stunning views of the sea. The beach is known for its cleanliness as well as its diverse watersports offering.

The beach is a hotspot for surfing and visitors can take lessons with experienced instructors to get in on the action. Once you’ve built up your confidence, you can hit the waves and enjoy the refreshing seawater with other eager surfers. 

For a more relaxed activity, consider a visit to Sea Life Scheveningen. This aquarium is a fun, family-friendly experience that will show you the wonders of the world’s oceans. Get your tickets in advance so you can jump straight into your visit and enjoy the interactive touch pools and ocean tunnel with 360° views of miraculous marine life. 


There are so many things to do in The Hague that will suit a variety of interests. From its rich art exhibits to significant institutions like the Peace Palace, it’s a real haven for travellers who want a well-rounded trip.

If you’ve found this blog useful, be sure to check out our other posts about top European destinations,  like Paris and Vienna.


How far is The Hague from Amsterdam?

The cities are just 65 km apart and are very well connected. A train can get you from The Hague to Amsterdam in just under an hour. You can also get a bus which will be much cheaper and takes just 45 minutes. 

How many days do you need for a trip to The Hague?

We recommend reserving 3 days for a trip to The Hague, as that will leave you with plenty of time to explore the sites. The Hague is perfect for a short city break but can also be combined with another Dutch city, like Rotterdam, for a longer trip.

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About the Author

Tom Adams

Copywriter at SEO Travel. Contributor to Backpacker Boy, Travel Aisle with a background in Archaeology and Sports Writing.