What Would I Do with 3-Days in The Hague?
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 antique bookstore and shares his flat with more than 10,000 volumes of ancient lore.

MY SUGGESTIONS FOR 3 DAYS IN THE HAGUE
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 THREE DAYS 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.

DAY ONE – Introducing The Hague & the Beach

The night before my visit to the City of Peace, I would arrange the 10:30am Free Walking Tour – starting downtown at the Mauritshuis near the Binnenhof. This is basically to get familiar with the major sites and landmarks with the opportunity to ask questions if I want to revisit someplace. And since you’ll be at the beach later, don’t forget to bring a bathsuit and towels.
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.
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 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 nearby 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.

DAY TWO – Bikes, Trams & Automobiles

The night before, I would go online and reserve a time in the afternoon to see the Voorlinden Art Museum [Link] to avoid disappointment. Tickets are nearly 20 euro, but worth it to me.
The plan for this day depends upon the weather because there’s lots of nature today. As always, I would start at the Centraal Station and here I’d rent a city bike for the day. Just north of the station, there’s a confusing bit where traffic goes into a tunnel, but use the signs to walk your bicycle through this busy area, and after that, it’s easy. (See ‘bike path’ on map, right)
My plan involves a lovely bicycle ride in the Hague Forest (Het Haagse Bos). Begin by cycling north along the waterway inside the park past a lake on your left. Not far away is Huis Ten Bosch, a grand palace in the woods for a visit. Next, I’d continue west, cross Benoordenhoutsewe, and ride through the Clingendael (see map), another wonderful park featuring a Japanese Pagota Garden to walk through (no biking) and some lovely flower gardens in the spring.
Afterwards, I’d head back across Benoordenhoutseweg and visit the big Louwman Car Museum; I’m a big fan of classic cars. Buy a museumkaart* rather than a ticket, trust me. Plus, the fancy cafe inside is fantastic, so I’d take a lunch break and get back on the bike in the afternoon.
From the Louwman, I’d cycle yet again under the Benoordenhoutseweg and take a twenty-minute trip to the Voorlinden Art Museum, a bit north of the city. This is a unique museum with all sorts of modern art pieces, which I personally like. There are also terrific walking gardens there, so expect to be here for several hours.
As the day winds down, if I rented a city bike, I might just leave it at the venue and walk the 20 minutes down to the #43/#44 bus stop at Wittenburgerweg in Wassenaar. From there, it’s a 15-minute bus ride back to the main train station. Or you could just bike back; it’s about the same time when you include the walking.

DAY THREE – Museum Day

After breakfast, I’d take the #17 tram from Den Hague Centraal for the twenty-minute ride to the amazing Kunstmuseum Den Haag, a huge and fascinating modern art collection. When I entered, if I already didn’t have my MuseumKaart*, I would buy it here; you’ll need it and it’ll save you a bundle!
Plan on at least three hours there, especially if you visit the nearby photography museum. I might lunch in the museum restaurant, as it is bright, light and cozy.
To return to town, I would rent a bike near the city museum and take a route along the Zorgvliet Park with the Peace Palace as my destination. I’d probably just take outside photos unless I had the time to visit.
I would continue on to the Panorama Mesdag next. It’s ‘free’ with the Museumkaart* and totally worth 30 minutes. Next, it’s a visit to Noordeinde Palace – it’s up you whether to go inside, I just like the building. Personally, I’d continue on route to the Prison Gate, where I’d check out the William V Art Collection for half an hour before moving on. By now it will be late afternoon, a perfect time to see either the Escher Museum (no Museumkaart, darn!) or the picturesque Mauritshuis Royal Art Gallery on the pretty lake nearby (De Hofvijver). I’d end the day at a cafe in the Binnenhof and ‘people watch’ as the locals rush home after work.

*Buy a museumkaart instead of a ticket, it’ll save you money if you visit three museums, and it’s good for a year!

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