THE RECOMMENDATIONS BIBLE OF RONALD
These are my personal tips -based on experience and research- for a great experience in The Hague! This resulted in a good list of tips! You can click on the bold text to get to the Google Maps location of the establishment.
All of you good luck in The Hague!
And don’t forget to write me a review here of course 😉
FOOD / RESTAURANTS
Around €10,- for a dish
Traditional very fine Indonesian/Javanese cuisine with vegetarian options. You can choose to assemble different dishes, but a Rijsttafel (Rice Table) with various specialties is an advisable adventure.
Restaurant Woeng Kee
Around €10,- for a dish
One of the good Chinese restaurants in the Hague’s Chinatown. Many Chinese customers! Expect amazing food for low prices; try the different Dim Sum for instance. Vegetarian options available. The staff’s manners do need some improvement.
Modern Asian food by Michelin-star chef Han Ting. Their menus are always a culinary surprise!
DUTCH SNACKS & SWEETS
Try Haagsche Hopjes, the signature sweets of the Hague. They are indeed a dried portion of well-creamed and sugared coffee. Buy them at any supermarket.
Try a herring at the Hofkar, just outside of the Binnenhof. If you like Japanese sushi or sashimi, this will be a pleasant surprise. Be aware of the hungry seagulls!
Try kibbeling (battered cod pieces) at the same place. In some fish stalls the baked kibbeling is waiting for you and gets soggy over time. Here, every portion will be fried fresh on the spot for you.
Foodhallen Den Haag
You have company and you can’t decide what to eat? Here you have a wide selection of dishes from all over the world. Japanese, Malaysian, Italian and falafel stand, to name a few. My personal favorite is the oyster bar.
Haagse Markt (The Hague Market)
The Hague market opens Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm. It will give you a good impression of the many cultures living together in this city. You can get spices and veggies from all over the world, as well as fish and clothing. Also some other exotic wares are to be found. There is a good selection of street foods from the Netherlands. Low prices and worth the (free) adventure.
Antique & Book Market
Situated on the Lange Voorhout, it’s a great place to dive into the old days of the Hague. With 70 stands, there must be something for you there. From May till September, Thursdays and Sundays from 10am to 6pm.
De Zwarte Ruiter
De Zwarte Ruiter (The Black Horseman) is a big cafe at the Grote Marktstraat of the Hague. It has a very nice terrace out front, where you can enjoy a good drink and look at all the people passing by. You can eat there late at night and their cocktails are noteworthy.
Next to one of the canals in the Hague, you’ll find De Paas. If the weather permits it, you can be seated on the boat in front of the cafe. They specialize in beers and have a list of 188 different beers (I counted personally) and more drafts and specialties. Sunday afternoon free soup is served.
Cafe De Landman
Behind Hotel des Indes is a great shopping area and you can find De Landman here. It’s basically a gay bar, but very friendly towards straight visitors. Informal and cozy atmosphere.
The pop temple of the Hague is ‘Het Paard’ (The Horse, formerly known as the Trojan Horse). The old rock band The Golden Earring is from the Hague, so I can assure you we have good taste! Check their program!
The smallest cafe called ‘Crazy Goat’, with live music and serving good (and non-expensive) beers. It has a very good atmosphere. Let the bartender help you in choosing your best beer.
De Paap is a great music cafe in the center of the Hague. Open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and there is always live music. There are many nice bars in this area.
Right behind the Hotel des Indes, you’ll find the Denneweg. A parallel street is found in front of the Paleis Noordeinde, the Prinsestraat. On both streets, many small shops sell the good things of life. From art and elegant clothing to top quality coffee, do some (window) shopping here. Don’t forget to look up to see all the beautiful house fronts!
The Passage is the oldest still existing shopping mall in the Netherlands, dating back to 1885. You would think you’re in Italy here. To this day you’ll find high quality shops here with prices matching. Buy a few specials bonbons, a bit of quality chocolate or a shower gel with an exotic scent to remember the Hague.
Get into the Bijenkorf, the high quality warehouse at the Grote Markstraat. Nothing tacky to be found here, only good clothing, trendy bags, fashion shoes, great food and sweets to name some highlights. I personally only go there during sale season though, for financial reasons.
Brody’s (formerly known as Cremers)
The biggest selection in town in both weed and hashish. There comes a good informal cafe with it. Good advice on what to choose too.
Open 9am till 1pm
The best buy for your money and still a nice menu to choose from. I’m not too wild about their lounging space.
Near the center of the Hague and serving the best Hya hash from Morocco (don’t take the cheapest variety). Not a very cozy place to have your smoke though.
Great art from the Dutch Golden Age. Do take your time to gaze at all the pieces; it takes you half a day to get a real good impression. If you have less time (or money), try the Willem the 5th gallery, next to the Prisoner’s Museum for a real good impression of Golden Age art.
Escher in the Palace
An interesting modern artist from last century, who made mathematics into fine art. It’s situated in the old Winter Palace of the Dutch of the Royal Family. Save a maximum of two hours for a visit.
Museum Beelden aan Zee
Opens at 10am.
In our seaside resort Scheveningen, there is a beautiful museum of sculptures, with expositions both inside and outside. Have a walk on the boulevard afterwards, visit the Kurhaus or enjoy the dunes and/or the beach.
A painting, 14 meter high and 120 meters circumference depicting our seaside resort Scheveningen in the early days. It’s the earliest form of VR I ever encountered. A visit of an hour and a half will do.
PARKS / BEACHES
Het Haagse Bos
In front of Central Sation, walk up to the trees and take a right. A short walk will take you to the ‘Haagse Bos’. There are some small patches of pristine forest, untouched by humans to be found here. You can’t get lost, as the forest is bordered by roads, but do try to do so. It’s one of these rare places on earth that are much bigger from the inside than from the outside.
Enjoyable in every season, with all the ancient trees and different gardens. In spring and fall, the oldest Japanese Garden in Europe is open and really worth a visit. So are the blooming rhododendrons in spring. I suggest taking a picnic basket to enjoy there.
As the Hague is situated along the North Sea, the dunes and beaches are worth visiting all year round. Go to Scheveningen (take tram no 1 to Scheveningen) for its boulevard and the healing house ‘Kurhaus’. Do take a look at the classic inside and maybe have a drink there, with a view on the North Sea. Go to Kijkduin, as the locals do, to have a walk in the dunes and some refreshments at one of the cozy beach shacks.