“What Would I Do in The Hague for a Day?”
By Jeffrey “Scott” Pearson
Tourguide / Blogger

After visiting more than 50 countries around the world, UK/US expat Scott Pearson settled in The Netherlands to teach English and earn his master’s at the Utrecht University School of the Arts in 2019. Currently, he lives above a 300-year-old building antique bookstore and shares his flat with more than 10,000 volumes of ancient lore.

MY SUGGESTIONS FOR A DAY IN THE HAGUE

My recommendations will differ on whether you are vacationing or traveling. When vacationing, you want to relax and have a loose schedule with time built in for spontaneous adventures. Gourmet meals and easy walks highlight stress-free days to exploring at my leisure. When travelling, you schedule your time well and overprepare – checking tickets, times and making reservations for a full itinerary to do as much as possible. There’s less focus on dining, strolling and sightseeing with more focus on museums, unique experiences and specific landmarks. For me, I’m a traveler more than a vacation kind of guy, so keep that in mind.

By Jeffrey “Scott” Pearson Tourguide / Blogger.

After visiting more than 50 countries around the world, UK/US expat Scott Pearson settled in The Netherlands to teach English and earn his master’s at the Utrecht University School of the Arts in 2019. Currently, he lives above a 300-year-old building antique bookstore and shares his flat with more than 10,000 volumes of ancient lore.

My Recommendations for a Day in The Hague

My suggestions will differ depending on whether you are vacationing or traveling. When vacationing, you want to relax and have a loose schedule with time built in for spontaneous adventures. Gourmet meals and easy walks highlight stress-free days for exploring at my leisure. When traveling, you schedule your time well and overprepare – checking tickets and times and making reservations for a full itinerary to do as much as possible. There’s less focus on dining, strolling, and sightseeing, with more focus on museums, unique experiences, and specific landmarks. For me, I’m more of a traveler than a vacation kind of guy, so keep that in mind.

MORNING

Unfortunately, one day is really not enough time to check out any museums unless you pick one of special interest and go for that. But once you factor in travel and visiting time, any collection worth seeing will take up at least a third of your day because they ALL close at 5pm sharp. So my one-day agenda doesn’t have us visiting inside many large museums, as much as I’d like too. I also don’t have the time to stray far from the town center, so that’s a factor as well.
After booking a tour the night before, in the morning after breakfast I would take the 10:30 Free Walking Tour starting downtown at the Mauritshuis near the Binnenhof. This is basically to get familiar with the major sites, landmarks and government buildings downtown – and it also helps me decide what to revisit later.
When the tour ends at 12:30 (if it’s a nice day) I would take the number 9, 11 or 17 tram from central station to the Scheveningen Beach area. There’s so much to do there I won’t pick a favorite, but you can check out your choices here where more than a dozen are listed.

AFTERNOON

After a nice lunch at a beachside bistro, I’d rent a bike and pedal south to the Beelden aan Zee (Statues by the Sea) and spend some quality time among the sculptures. On the way back I’d probably visit the Palace Promenade to get out of the sun or stroll down the huge Scheveningen Pier to get a whole different perspective on the beach. Again, tons to do at both locations!
By this time it would be late afternoon but I might try to see the Madurodam on the way back from the beach (tram #9) if its before 4pm, and then continue with #9 back at the station. But more likely I’d walk from the pier through the beautiful Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus lobby and find the transit stop for the #1 tram to take me back into town that way.
If it’s nice, I might get off the #1 tram early, at “Vredespaleis” run across the street and grab a picture of the beautiful ‘Peace Palace’ there. I’d then get back on #1 for another few stops and get off at “Kneuterdijk” transit stop and walk south past the Johan de Witt statue to find the Prison Gate (Gevangenpoort) which you can still walk under. Great place for a selfie. From here I would take the four-minute walk to The Passage, a 150-year-old enclosed shopping mall made with Italian marble and glass. It closes at 6pm normally, but on Thursdays it’s open until 8pm.

EVENING

Nearby is the Pathé Buitenhof, a nice size movie complex with plenty of English Hollywood blockbusters in the air conditioning after a day in the sun. But if I want a nice dinner, I would go back to “Kneuterdijk” and tram #1 to continue toward the “Den Haag, Bierkade” transit stop, about 4 minutes away. Leave the tram and walk 5 minutes to The Hague’s ‘Chinatown’ on Wagenstraat. Use Google Maps for the details, but I found a great website about it. Here you will have dozens of decent food choices and it’s a great way to wind up the evening.