Art Culture Food

24 hours in The Hague

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands | Your Dutch Guide

The Hague is not only the seat of the Dutch government, the city also holds an important position internationally, as it’s the base for embassies, the UN’s International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. But The Hague is also the place to meet The Girl with the Pearl Earring and MC Escher’s intriguing fascinating drawings. On a visit to The Netherlands, please do spend 24 hours in The Hague.

You will arrive in The Hague, with public transport, on either The Hague Central Station or The Hague Holland Spoor. Jump on a tram and head into the city centre.

First stop: coffee at Lola bikes & coffee

You can choose from so many great coffee places in The Hague, but Lola bikes & coffee is a lovely first stop. At first glance, the vintage bikes mounted on the wall and the bearded clientele may mislead you into thinking this is some kind of hipster hotspot. And maybe, it is. A little. But in all honesty, the coffee is absolutely excellent, the staff is friendly and the bike-themed book shop in the back has a great selection.

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: Coffee at Lola Bikes & Coffee | Your Dutch Guide

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: guided tour at The Peace Palace | Your Dutch Guide

A tour through the Peace Palace or meet MC Escher

One of the most special tours you can take is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s a visit to The Hague’s Peace Palace (take tram 1 to get there). The palace was never actually used by royalty but was specially built for the purposes of keeping international peace by maintaining the law. Throughout the centuries many countries have visited the court to try and amicably work out their differences, without going to war.

The Peace Palace can only be visited on a guided tour, but it’s worth buying tickets. The interior design of the palace is simply amazing with beautiful marble floors, stain glass windows and sculptures. You can get an impression by reading the article about my visit to the Peace Palace. Now, you better check the website if guided tours are available. Because if the court is in session, guided tours are suspended.

If you’re out of luck don’t worry. Because it’s just the perfect excuse to visit MC Escher in the palace. Another palace? Yes, The Hague has many. And a lot of palaces nowadays hold museums, so by visiting a museum you automatically get to see a century old palace as well. And this is also the case for the MC Escher Museum at Lange Voorhout, which was once the working palace of Queen Emma, the great-grandmother of the current Dutch King Willem-Alexander. While you stroll through the old palace you’ll see MC Escher’s complete works.

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: Mauritshuis, Girl with the Pearl Earring (photo by Mauritshuis) | Your Dutch Guide

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: Mauritshuis (photo by Mauritshuis) | Your Dutch Guide

The best Dutch masters at Mauritshuis

Mauritshuis is not only on the top of my must-visit list for The Hague, but I think this museum is an absolute must-see when you’re in The Netherlands. The best Dutch and Flemish masters in history can be found in this uncluttered museum. Of course, you can’t miss Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, but the works of Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Frans Hals are also more than impressive.

The seat of the Duch government: Binnenhof

Right next to Mauritshuis are the Dutch houses of Parliament: Binnenhof. It’s a nice stroll through the courtyard, surrounded by the parliamentary buildings that were constructed in the 17th century. If you’d like to visit inside Binnenhoft, join a Prodemos guided tour.

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: Houses of Parliament, Binnenhof | Your Dutch Guide

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: where to have lunch in The Hague | Your Dutch Guide

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: afternoon boat tour in The Hague | Your Dutch Guide

Lunch in The Hague

I am having a hard time telling you where to go and have lunch in The Hague, as there are so many cool places. Near the Markt there’s is the brand new, rejuvenated project Bleyenburg which used to be s store, but now houses a really nice restaurant and über cool roof terrace.

During my last visit to The Hague, I was very impressed by all the eateries around the cosy Anna Palownaplein. I had lunch on the square, at Room which was excellent. But if you’re going on a boat trip in the afternoon, I highly recommend having lunch at De Overkant, near the canal boat pier, which is both a café as well as a shop for cool graphic design.

An afternoon boat tour

Are you visiting The Hague between April and October? Then I can highly recommend going on a boat tour exploring the The Hague canals. I once went one of these, when I was still working in The Hague, and I simply never expected the city to have so many small and secluded canals. The tour also brings you to neighbourhoods and nooks of the city centre that you wouldn’t be able to find on foot that easily.

Street art spotting in The Hague

Just like Rotterdam, The Hague has an upcoming street art scene and in the neighbourhoods between the city centre and the seafront many murals have popped up over the last couple of years. You can find most murals on this website or you can go on a little stroll discovering Dutch art movement De Stijl on the streets of The Hague.

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: street art in The Hague | your Dutch Guide

24 hours in The Hague, The Netherlands: drinks at the beach in The Hague | Your Dutch Guide

Afternoon drinks at the beach

One of the best features of The Hague is that the city is right at the beach. The easiest way to reach the sea is to catch the tram to Scheveningen and you can walk right to the boulevard and Holland’s most famous pier. If you’d like to go for drinks the beach clubs at Zwarte Pad are good or go for a bit to eat and cocktails at Hart Beach, the club of The Hague’s surf school.

Dinner time in The Hague

For dinner in The Hague, I really like to go to Ciao Ciao across Binnenhof: a cosy Italian restaurant with a fabulous wine list. If you’re into Korean food, Seoul Garden (just off Plein) does an excellent Korean BBQ, which Korean expats also really enjoy (good sign!). Boterwaag is a bit more of a Dutch experience, serving nice food in a beautiful 17th-century building on the market square.

Where to stay in The Hague? Dibbus B&B

Where to stay in The Hague, The Netherlands? B&B Dibbus | Your Dutch Guide

Why stay in a hotel if you can stay in a cosy B&B Dibbus (check the latest rates and deals), on the edge of The Hague city centre? I stayed in B&B Dibbus and thought it was actually quite a bit more than just a B&B. The owner Wendy has converted the first floor of her house into a small self-service apartment. There is a cosy, light living room, a kitchenette, quiet bedroom, brand new bathroom and even a little garden.

Plan 24 hours in The Hague

These articles will help you plan your trip to The Hague:

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    September 24, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    We visited the city once, 2 years ago in winter time. It’s lovely, not too big. Really enjoyed reading this post!

  • Reply
    Tania @ Larger Family Life
    September 26, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    I love the idea of the boat tours through the Hague canals. Lots of lovely tips there, thank you.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2017 at 12:19 am

    I didn’t know there was so much to The Hague. Exploring the canals by boat sounds like fun.

  • Reply
    Kathy Marris
    September 30, 2017 at 3:30 am

    The Hague has a beach? This is news to me. I have travelled to Amsterdam many years ago but never got to The Hague. It looks as if it would certainly be worthwhile a look see.

    • Reply
      September 30, 2017 at 10:03 am

      LOL! Just look at the map and you know it’s true. I guess my reasons for founding this website (having people explore The Netherlands beyond Amsterdam) was worth it 😉 Come on over, there is simply SO much more to see than Amsterdam!!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    There seems to be so much to do in The Hague. It looks so beautiful. I’ve heard of it of course, but I’ve never been there and I don’t know very much about it.

  • Reply
    Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld
    October 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for teaching me so much about Hague, I knew very little about it! If there is anywhere with great street art, then I am sold! And that AirBnB looks so cute, I can see why you are recommending it!

  • Reply
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    October 11, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    We’ve got friends who live in the Hague and we had such an amazing time when we visited them! The food is amazing and we love how the city is right on the beach. I would love to go back!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    We lived in Wassenaar, near the Hague for several years so an interesting read. We loved the beach at Scheveningen.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I’ve been interested in visiting The Hague for a while now, but wasn’t all sure what was there! Excited to see that there is also a beach! Pinned!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Yes, the beach is great…. but there’s also Dutch weather 😉 Luckily, The Hague also has loads to offer in case of Dutch weather!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Love this post! We have traveled a lot in the Netherlands but have yet to make it to The Hague…now I know that we need to get back ASAP so we can visit!!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Yes you do! C’mon and hop on over!

  • Reply
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    October 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, Esther, you’ve completely convinced me to go to the Hague! Great cafés, museums, boat trips AND the beach! Definitely putting it on my list.

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Yes, the city is very complete in terms of all-round entertainment 😉

  • Reply
    October 14, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    I love your pictures, Thanks for sharing #TheWeeklyPostcard

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I love the Netherlands. You had me at the coffee shop and enticed me with each activity from there. I’d love to visit the Hague one day.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 12:33 am

    It’s been so many years since I’ve been to the Hague. I was in Amsterdam for work and we spent a day in the Hague and I must say – I never knew it had a beach! Looks like a lot of fun!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2017 at 3:06 am

    This city gets a 100 on my rating book! I love all those cafes and outdoor activities. It would be cool to visit the Escher museum. He is one of my favourite artists.

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      The Escher Museum is a true gem! I think it’s brilliant you get to see all the art ánd a royal palace, all in one.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Brune
    October 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    So many awesome things to do!! I’d totally be up for a street art and boat tour and can only imagine how awesome sipping cocktails at that beach must be on a summer night 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Looks like a real happening city. I love that beach vibe. #citytripping

  • Reply
    October 17, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I particularly love the activity “Afternoon at the beach”! Having lived in the Caribbean for many years, God knows I don’t take the sun for granted. I also have some great friends from the Netherlands and I would love to go there someday!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Oooh, I hope you don’t expect too much of a Caribbean atmosphere in The Hague. As, you know, Dutch weather. But yeah, as soon as the sun peeps out, the beach clubs are really cool.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    The Hague looks beautiful. Hope to visit it someday.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 2:44 am

    I loved our visit to Holland and reading your posts makes me want to book a flight so I can come back and explore more! Great photos!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Another reason to visit the Netherlands again! When my family visited last year we made it to Amsterdam and Rotterdam, but we didn’t have time to squeeze in the Hague or anywhere else. I’d love to go back and I love your guide!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      There are soooo many places to explore in The Netherlands, so please do come back!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    It always amazes me how much art and culture there is here – and perhaps because of that, I always forget it’s so close to the beach. Love this guide, everything you need for a very tempting city break.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    It’s a good thing that I came across your post because I have always assumed that The Hague was a boring city to visit. I never knew that the city has interesting eateries and activities to do and see – thanks for your recommendation! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I didn’t even realise that The Girl with the Pearl Earring was at home in the Hague! I always thought of the Hague as a really serious place because of all of the government and bureaucracy stationed there, as well as the war crimes tribunal (or am I mixing that up?). Anyway, it looks like such an interesting and colourful place!

    • Reply
      October 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Nope, you’re absolutely right (as you can read in my lead), but the fact that the UN has its peace court here, of course, doesn’t matter that there’s nothing else to see and do, on the contrary, I would say. The fact that so many international people live in The Hague makes it such an attractive and eclectic place!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I remember the Peace Palace from your post about it, and of course I knew about the ICJ and the ICC, but I had no idea there was so much more to do in the Hague! I especially like that it’s right by the beach! I have plans to visit a friend in Amsterdam, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to visit the Hague. It would be awesome though.

  • Reply
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)
    October 20, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Definitely moving up our Must See list! Thanks for pointing out some of the highlights – as fans of Mondrian and Escher, you can bet we’ll be keeping our eyes open for the artwork, but now know to look for so much more! Thanks for filling us in on the Hague – can’t wait to go!

Leave a Reply