What to do in The Hague Peace Palace
Europe,  Netherlands

What to Do in the Hague

What to Do in The Hague: Discover this amazing city of peace and international harmony

The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, next to Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

In case you didn’t know, The Hague is the Netherlands’ seat of government, not Amsterdam. While the latter is the capital and perhaps the most popular Dutch city, The Hague is the center of power and a very important city in promoting world peace.

“The Hague” is a strange name for a city. It doesn’t even sound like a name at all. It actually came from a woodland area called “Haghe” or hedge, which used to be a royal hunting lodge in Holland.

In 1248, Count William II built a castle here. Soon, other buildings emerged until a cluster of beautiful structures was formed. They still exist today and are now called the Binnenhof or “Inner Courtyard” of The Hague.

There is so much history and things to discover in this amazing city. In case you’re wondering what to do in The Hague, don’t you worry; there is an abundance of attractions and cool places to check out and enjoy.

What to do in The Hague

1. Imagine living amongst kings and queens in the Binnenhof

What to do in The Hague Binnenhof

The heart of The Hague, historically and geographically, is the Binnenhof. This is such a stately location, where the States-General of the Netherlands, the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands come to meet and conduct their business.

The Binnenhof stands as one of the oldest functioning parliament buildings in the world. With its stunning Gothic-style architecture, it’s been named one of the Top 100 Dutch heritage sites.

You will see many and castle-like structures in the Inner Court, so prepare to take as many pictures and selfies as you can. It’s not every day that you get to step inside a real-life medieval court and be transported to how royalty lives.

Be amazed at the exquisite Ridderzaal or Knights’ Hall for its magnificent architecture – this is currently the official residence of the Prime Minister. Take a look around some more and see the First Chamber, the Second Chamber, the Rolzaal Court House constructed in 1511 and the Lairessezaal, which is home to 17th-century paintings by Gerard de Lairesse.

2. Climb The Hague Tower for a stunning view of the city

What to do in The Hague The Hague Tower

Standing at 132 metres with 42 floors, The Hague Tower is the tallest structure herein the city and one of the tallest in the entire country. Nicknamed The Flatiron as it resembles New York’s Flatiron Building, The Hague Tower was awarded The Hague New City Prize and the international Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2007.

This is both a residential and office building, with a sky bar that you can visit and enjoy a meal while taking in a stunning view of the entire city. From the terrace on the 42nd floor, you can see the ships on the North Sea on a good day.

3. Get lost in Haagse Bos and see Huis Ten Bosch

What to do in The Hague Haagse Bos

Haagse Bos is a vast natural park, with wide-open spaces and beautiful winding avenues from the old city centre all the way to Wassenaar. Here, you can find one of the oldest forests in the Netherlands that has been well preserved since the Middle Ages.

The park is home to two amazing castles – Noordeinde Palace and Huis ten Bosch. Sadly, neither are open to the public, sadly. Looking at Noordeinde Palace from a distance is quite an experience in itself and you can enter its gardens for free to get a satisfying glimpse of the palace and the Royal Stables.

The most notable attraction inside the park is Huis ten Bosch, a quaint palace surrounded by a moat. The world’s first international peace conference was held here in 1899. Huis ten Bosch was constructed in 1646 as a royal country dwelling, and is the official residence of King Willem-Alexander.

4. Experience the Peace Palace

What to do in The Hague Peace Palace

The Peace Palace is the Netherlands’ centre for international law and justice. It houses the International Court of Justice, Academy of International Law, Permanent Court of Arbitration and an international law library.

The palace is unique not only for what it stands for, but also for its Gothic and Neoclassical style of architecture. Built between 1907 and 1913, the Peace Palace is quite distinct for its steeply pitched roof, high tower and long arcade facade. The palace is mostly made of bricks, and inside are fixtures from different countries, including wood paneling from Brazil and the United States, marble items from Italy, and ornate iron railings from Germany.

What else can you do in The Hague?

There’s many other things you can get up to during your trip to The Hague. Travel back in time and get immersed in Dutch beauty and history and discover many more attractions such as Mauritshuis Museum, one of the most important museums in the Netherlands, the Japanese Garden at Clingendael, the intriguing Madurodam miniature park, and Het Noordeinde, which is a mecca for shoppers, amongst other exciting destinations.

When to visit The Hague

Come to The Hague in September to avoid large crowds of tourists and when accommodations are least expensive. The busiest months for tourism here are August, February and December. In general, the weather in the Netherlands is the loveliest in summer and spring.

This guest post comes from Ask The Dutch Guy, your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands. The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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