Ronald’s Personal Tips For The Hague

These are my recommendations for The Hague, based on personal experience and research. Scroll down to see where to eat, shop and hang out, don’t forget to leave me a review.

See you at the next tour!


Likes: Painting, gardening, cooking

Favourite city (besides The Hague): Maastricht

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Getting Around In The Hague

Getting around in the city is easy with an extensive system of trams, buses and trains. Visit the English-language webpage of HTM to plan your route.

Eating In The Hague

Whether you like your fresh fish from a stall (picture above • herring being stolen by seagull), or lightly braised and served on a bed of luxury (picture below • dish from Umami by han), The Hague is your stop for the best seafood.

Fresh from the North Sea: 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!

Snack: 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.

Local 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.

Ice cream: One of the first groups of foreign people who came to the Netherlands were from Italy. They were famous for their building skills and the beautiful ‘Terazzo’ floor in the Passage is made by Italian masters. They also took their wonderful recipes for making ice cream with them. There are several Italian ice cream parlors in the Hague and their product is always superior. Try for instance Florencia near the Pallas Garden.

Indonesian/Javanese: The traditional Restaurant Keraton Damai serves very fine Indonesian/Javanese cuisine, with vegetarian options. A bit outside the city’s center, but really worth the effort. It’s one of the very best in town. You can eat perfectly for €25. You can choose to assemble different dishes, but a Nasi Rames or Bami Rames (Miniature Rice Table) is an advisable adventure.

Asian: Modern Asian food by Michelin-star chef Han Ting is served at Restaurant Umami by Han. Whether you come for lunch menu (around €20) or for a 3-course dinner (around €40), their menus are always a culinary surprise!

Food market: You have company and you can’t decide what to eat? At the Foodhallen Den Haag you have a wide selection of dishes from all over the world. Japanese, Malaysian, Italian and a falafel stand, to name a few.

Market: The Haagse Markt (The Hague Market) is open on 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.

Eating In The Hague’s Chinatown

In the 60ties of last century a large part of the Dutch Chinese community moved from Amsterdam to The Hague, for different reasons. Our city was then enriched with a lot of very good Chinese restaurants. Today I researched quite a few of them, and here I describe my favorites. By the way, in a Chinese restaurant you don’t go out to eat, you simply go to eat. You won’t get pampered the way you’ll be in other restaurants. This said, the food is of high quality for very reasonable prices.

The basic rule is to always go where you see many Chinese customers. In case you see non, my advice would be: run out of there as quickly as you can! And don’t look back. There is a Chinese restaurant in every city and village in the Netherlands. They started over 50 years ago, and serve dishes adapted to the somewhat conservative taste of the Dutch in those days. This is now actually celebrated as part of our Dutch/Chinese heritage. Do try this if you can, but that’s not what I’m talking about here now.

On the menus in our Chinatown you’ll also find pigs ears and chicken claws, as the Chinese eat animals from head to toe. A pot of Chinese tea to drink with your meal is a very good idea. In case you empty the pot, put it on the side of your table with the lid upside down. It will then be refilled.

Here are three of my favorites for lunch as well as for dinner:

Northeastern Chinese Fusion: At New Taste Da Dong Bei (website only available in Dutch, but names of dishes are in English), the origin of the food is Northeast China, so there is a connection to Korean and Japanese dishes. The Kim-chi is wonderful here. More than enough vegetarian possibilities, I recommend the eggplant dishes.

Chinese Shared Dining: Woeng Kee on the ‘Gedempte Gracht’ offers a rahter acceptable environment,but as in most Chinese restaurants, don’t expect too much politeness. There dim-sun is great, you order around three different dishes per person (or maybe two, you can always order extras, sharing is advised). Dim Sum could be considered a Chinese equivalent of Spanish Tapas. Vegetarian options available. In case you love oysters, order two or more of the ones with black beans..! When you enter you get a little notebook and a pen, so you can write down the desired dishes from the menu.

Dim Sum: The interior of the Kee Lun Palace appears a bit dusty, but the menu in Dim sum and other dishes is the largest of them all. Don’t be in a hurry here  though, each dish will be brought to you when it is finished cooking, in no particular order. So sometimes sweets can be first, and your soup the last. My advice: go with the flow!

Drinking In The Hague

Cafe/pub: 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.

Craft beer pub: 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. Every Sunday afternoon, free soup is served.

Bar: 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 visitors of any orientation. Informal and cozy atmosphere.

Live music/cafe: The smallest cafe called Gekke Geit (Crazy Goat) has live music and serves good and non-expensive beers. It has a very good atmosphere. Let the bartender help you in choosing your best beer.

Live music: 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 out their program for the next gig.

Pick your favorite from the wide selection of craft beers at De Paas (picture above) and end the night at Het Paard (picture below), where the famous Dutch band Golden Earring made their debut.


Get your custom-made scent at Dutch Perfumes (picture above) and gather haberdasheries from the age of yesteryear at The Hague’s Antiques & Book Market (picture below).

Shopping streets: Right behind the Hotel des Indes, you’ll find the Denneweg. A parallel street is found in front of the Paleis Noordeinde, called Noordeinde. A third parallel one is the Prinsestraat. On all those 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!

Shopping mall: 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.

Luxury warehouse: 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.

Antiques & book market: Situated on the Lange Voorhout, this Antiques & Book Market is 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.

Perfume: Dutch Perfumes is a place in the center of the Hague were every nice scent you can think of can be composed. This is done by a Syrian perfume master, out of the more than 1000 basic scents and essential oils he owns. You can name a brand you like and/or tell what scents are your favorites. A unique and balanced mixture is then made. Take your time for this rare ‘mindful experience’. (A ‘specially made for you’ bottle of 50 cc will cost around €50).

Coffeeshops (No Coffee, Marijuana!)

Coffeeshop: Cremers offers the largest selection in town in both weed and hashish. There comes a good informal cafe with it. Good advice on what to choose too.

Coffeeshop: Space Ball is open from 9am till 1am in the night, offers the best buy for your money and still a nice menu to choose from.

Coffeeshop: Near the center of the Hague Waterworld serves the best Hya hash from Morocco (don’t take the cheapest variety).

Make sure you are well-informed on the effects of the strong varieties of marijuana in the Netherlands.


Dive into the Museum Of Modern Art (picture above) or defy logic and gaze at the mathematically impossible pieces of M.C. Escher (picture below) in the old Winterpalace of the Duch royal family, called ‘Esher in the Palace’.

Top choice: The Museum Of Modern Art (formerly ‘Gemeentemuseum’) is a must go for all who appreciate modern art. The building itself is a fine example of great ‘brick architecture’ by Master Berlage from the Netherlands (what else do we have to build with besides brick?). It houses an extremely interesting collection of Dutch painters like Mondriaan and Toorop, to name a few, a ceramic collection, fashion and more specialised exhitibions. There’s enough there for several day of exploration!

Golden Age: At our meeting point for the tour you will find the Mauritshuis. Great art from the Dutch Golden Century. 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.

Geometric visuals: Escher in the Palace is dedicated to 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.

Sculptures: At our seaside resort Scheveningen, you will find the beautiful Museum Beelden Aan Zee (Statues By The Sea Museum), with expositions both inside and outside. Have a walk on the boulevard afterwards, visit the Kurhaus or enjoy the dunes and/or the beach.

Panorama: Panorama Mesdag comprises 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.

Miniature Holland: Want to see all the signature buildings of the Netherlands in one afternoon? Visit Madurodam! All kids love Madurodam, and so will quite a few grown-ups.


Forest: In front of Central Sation, walk up to the trees and take a right. A short walk will take you to the Haagse Bos (The Hague Forest). 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.

Park: Enjoyable in every season, Clingendael boasts all the ancient trees and different gardens. It has the oldest Japanese Garden in Europe and it’s really worth a visit. So are the blooming rhododendrons in spring. I suggest taking a picnic basket to enjoy to the fullest.

Beach: 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.

Take in some fresh forest air in the pristine Haagse Bos (picture above), or stroll along the boulevard of Scheveningen Beach (picture below)