How To Spend 24 Hours in The Hague

September 4, 2017

Fountain of Travel How To Spend 24 Hours in The Hague Canal View

Have you ever heard of The Hague? No? Neither had I until I was planning a trip between Amsterdam and Brussels and needed a place to stay between the two cities. I love when one discovers new and unexpected travel gems (hey Riga) and The Hague was a great surprise. The Hague is the administrative capital of The Netherlands, meaning it is home to the Dutch government. It is the third largest city in the Netherlands and perfect as a weekend destination for busy full-time workers. I also found it a great solo travel destination. Let’s get on to the good stuff though, you’re here because you want to know what to do for 24 hours in The Hague!

Fountain of Travel The Hague Street View

Travel to and from The Hague

The Hague is well-serviced by trains and you can easily travel from Amsterdam and onwards to Belgium from the city. Trains from Amsterdam to Den Haag Centraal take roughly 50 minutes, so if you’re stretched for time you could make this a day trip. You can see online timetables on NS’ website but you can only book tickets online with a Dutch bank account. Don’t fret though, tickets are really easy to buy from the machines at Amsterdam station.

After your amazing 24 hours, you might consider tagging on a Belgian adventure (perhaps you negotiated a whopping 5 days off work!). Travel from Den Haag HS (different train station to the one you arrived to from Amsterdam) to Brussels. The journey to Brussels Centraal takes 2,5 hours and unlike domestic travel, you can book your tickets online from the NS website. Tickets are about 36 euro, which I think is really good value.

Fountain of Travel The Hague Train

My favourite part about the train stations in The Hague though is the lockers where you can store your bag. These electronic lockers are sooooo convenient, especially if you arrive early with your train or just want to dump your bag whilst you explore. Put your bag in the locker, close the door and pay the fee by card at the card machine. That generates a ticket which you then scan to open the locker door when you collect your bag.

If you are not interested in Amsterdam, it is possible to fly into Rotterdam The Hague airport. The airport can be reached from major European cities such as London, Berlin and Barcelona.

Where to Stay

During my stay I was definitely on the hunt for budget accommodation. The cheapest option I could find was Hotel Room11 which was very no-frills. However, I managed to get a private room with shared bathroom for 35 euro a night. Note that reception is inside the cafe next door.  I enjoyed the location of this small hotel, located next to a canal and within 15 minutes walking distance from the likes of Mauritshuis. It’s clean, has a comfy bed, a sink in the room and wasn’t noisy so fulfilled everything a solo traveller might need for one night.

24 Hours in The Hague

Morning

Fountain of Travel The Hague Binnenhof Area

For a budget start to your The Hague itinerary, get your breakfast from St. Anny Tea House in Chinatown. This cafe has a great selection of morning pastries and for 1 euro I bought a pineapple bread with custard filling. Very tasty. Make your next stop the Binnenhof area. I came very unprepared to the city and stumbled upon this sightseeing gem. The Binnenhof is a cluster of buildings which include the Prime Minister’s office. I must admit I’m a bit jealous of the Prime Minister’s swanky office environment, just look at the picture! Spend some time walking by the nearby lake, Hofvijver, and also explore the inner courtyard of the building cluster. In the middle you have The Ridderzaal, a gothic hall where the Dutch monarch delivers the Parliament opening speech on Prinsjesdag.

Lunch

In hindsight I had a quite Asian food-themed 24 hours in The Hague. No surprises there. I found a great lunch deal at the chain Sumo on Herengracht, where you can eat all the sushi you want handmade to order for 19.50 euro. Yes, ALL you want. A very exciting proposition to say the least. I spent 1,5 hour in this restaurant, no judgement allowed. The service is a bit slow but the sushi is decent quality, especially for the price. For a tasty lunch with good value for money, I’d definitely recommend it.

Afternoon

Fountain of Travel The Hague Mauritshuis Museum

After your very filling lunch, head over to Mauritshuis. This former private residence is a beautiful, albeit quite small, building that houses a really impressive art collection. The most famous is probably Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer but the museum houses the works of several classic painters. Famous names include Brueghel, Rubens and Rembrandt. You could easily spend a couple of hours admiring the art as well as the extravagant building. Beware of the museum’s unusual opening hours on Mondays, where they are open 1pm – 6pm. All other days are 10am – 6pm. Entrance is 14 euros, which admittedly is pricey. However, this is a must visit destination if you are interested in classic art.

Fountain of Travel How To Spend 24 Hours in The Hague Escher in het Paleis Museum

For a more unusual museum experience, head over to the Escher in het Paleis museum. If you haven’t heard of Escher (I hadn’t!) you have most likely seen his work circulate the internet (I had!). His signature style evolved into optical illusions of various descriptions and he produced some really interesting pieces. This is a really enjoyable museum, especially if you like graphic art. Opening hours are 11am – 5pm Tuesday to Sunday (Monday is basically a bad day for museums). Entrance is 9.50 euro.

Evening

Fountain of Travel The Hague Febo Food

If you’ve spent all your money on museums, head to Febo for a budget alternative to dinner. This is a fast food takeaway with a rather novel concept. Whilst you can order some items at the counter, the most interesting part is the automatic compartments with ready made snacks. Insert coins next to the snack you want and then open the tiny door and grab your chosen item. I really loved the kaassuffle, which is a deep fried snack with melted cheese in the middle.

Stroll around the city in the evening to admire the mix of small town cosiness with a more metropolitan vibe. If you’re visiting on a Thursday, you can also do a spot of evening shopping as the central stores are open until 9pm. The city offers several household names, such as Primark, Zara and COS. For branded shopping, head to The Sting which is located in a really cool building on Dagelijkse Groenmarkt.

Fountain of Travel The Hague The Sting Store

I hope you enjoyed this city guide and feel inspired to visit this great city! It’s perfect for culture buffs with its really high class museums and if you have an extra day, you could also head out to the famous Scheveningen beach.

For more city guides, check out my posts on Manchester and Southport.

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Fountain of Travel How To Spend 24 Hours in The Hague

More about Fountain of Travel

Fountain of Travel is where I share city guides and travel inspiration with other 9-5:ers. Expect plenty of city breaks focusing on food and culture. We might be part-time travellers by profession but that doesn't stop us from dreaming and travelling.

26 Comments
    1. I have heard of The Hague but never been there! I have heard it is pretty cool and your tips and guide make me want to make sure it is added to my list next time I am in the Netherlands 🙂

      1. Glad you feel inspired Megan! Definitely add to your list, it’s such an easy trip from Amsterdam but a lot less tourists. 🙂

      1. Art collection was great! I love going to art areas whenever I travel. And that deep fried cheese. Yummy.

    1. It looks nice! I went there once for a very short time, around NY and clearly, it didn’t look as good. I should probably give it another try!
      Thanks for sharing.

      1. It was so pretty! I went in September and the weather was still nice and sunny 🙂

      1. Yay, the perks of living in Europe! That sounds like such a good location to be 🙂

    1. The Hague sounds like a perfectly serene experience! The buildings look beautiful and I love the canals just like in Amsterdam! I’ll have to visit next time I go to the Netherlands 🙂

      1. Definitely pay it a visit, it’s so easy to get to from Amsterdam and you won’t get the hordes of tourists 🙂

    1. love this! I used to live in the Hague for 3 years and more people should visit. Escher in het Paleis is one of my favorite museums 🙂

      1. I’m really surprised by the amount of people that have lived or live close to The Hague! I think the Escher museum was my favourite too 🙂

    1. Interesting to learn about a town I had never heard of before! Sounds like a very interesting place. The all you can eat sushi sounds right up my street, I would be all over that! Great read.

      1. Glad you liked it! I was really pleasantly surprised when I arrived. Lol, I know right? It wasn’t the best sushi I’ve ever eaten but you can’t argue with the value for money, nom.

    1. I’ve never heard of The Hague before, so it was great to read about a new place, and your photos of it are amazing! I love the lockers and the sushi! 🙂 I’ll have to make sure I see this place one day!

      1. Thank you! Glad you felt inspired 🙂 The lockers were literally my favourite thing in the Netherlands (ok, maybe not but definitely top 10). They have them in Amsterdam too!

    1. I have heard of it (big political junkie here) but didn’t realize it was so beautiful! Gotta add this to my list now:)

      1. That’s fair enough, think I missed it cause not very interested in politics. You’ll have even more reasons to visit then, go and hang with diplomats in the evenings! 😉

    1. Definitely adding The Hague to my list of places to visit in the Netherlands! I have tons of Dutch friends and had never even heard of it. Love the vending machine snack idea too. Great post!

      1. Yay, I’m glad you liked it and feel inspired! I hadn’t really heard of it before either and same here, lived with loads of Dutch people. Guess it’s a town people don’t generally talk about for some reason??

    1. Never been but now I see I’m missing on a lot of culture. I am the sort of person that would want two things from this place: food and culture so I would probably spend all my money on museums for sure 🙂

      1. Haha, that is literally what I spend all my money on abroad (and at home to be fair); culture and food. 🙂

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