The Hague itinerary – 1 day in the royal city

Curious about The Hague as a day trip? This article contains a full 1 day The Hague itinerary, including restaurant options, tips on public transportation and maps to get you going. 

As a resident of the beautiful city of The Hague, I want to show you there’s more to The Netherlands than just Amsterdam. You can take several day trips to wonderful cities throughout the country. Whether you love the typical Dutch cities like Leiden, Haarlem and Delft or you’re more into tulips, cheese and windmills.



The Hague has almost been one of my favorite places in the world. Aside from the fact my entire family comes from The Hague, I love The Hague for its elegant ambiance, beautiful buildings and vibrant cafes and restaurants. More than a year ago I moved back to my roots and I haven’t regretted it since.

the hague itinerary
A preview of what you’re about to see.

The Hague is a royal city, the scenery of everything that has to do with the royal family of The Netherlands. The government is housed here as well.

It might be good to know that I think you should definitely spend more than one day in The Hague to explore it properly. This The Hague itinerary will get you started. I’m just hoping that you decide to stay longer at the end of this day!

 

Good to know before you follow this The Hague itinerary

Transportation

First of all, you will do a lot of walking as most of the locations are too close to catch public transportation.

You also need to take the tram for a part of this itinerary. To use public transport in The Netherlands, you need an OV Chipcard. You can get one at the yellow ticket machines on every train station. Check out this video below on how to use the OV Chipcard for public transport in The Netherlands.

Download the 9292 app on your phone for accurate timetables. You could also use their website. The 9292 app is used for all modes of transportation, while the railway app mentioned below is used for just the train service.


Note that this video is about traveling in Amsterdam. However, the OV chipcard system works the same throughout The Netherlands. This instruction is valid for every city or town you visit in the country, as well as any transport system you use.

Walking route & weather

To follow the walking route, I’ve placed maps all over this article. Follow the blue dots for the most scenic routes. Scroll all the way down for an interactive map containing all the locations.



Although these maps are convenient, an interactive map (like Google Maps) is probably much better when you’re following this itinerary. With each location, I’ve listed an address to help you find it.

You can also get a free map at VVV Den Haag, the tourist information center. They offer flyers for museums and other attractions as well. (Address: Spui 68)

All walks will be within 15 minutes. However, due to the fact you’ll be on your feet all day, I’ve tried to create a few stops on your way. You can – of course – skip these.

The itinerary will end with a visit to the beach. You’ll notice that it can become quite crowded in the summer and whenever the weather conditions allow a beach visit. The weather in The Netherlands can be quite unpredictable, make sure you check the weather forecast upfront.  I personally love to visit the beach in fall and winter. Be careful though, whenever there’s a storm coming, the beach is not the best place to be.

Visiting The Hague on a rainy day? The Dutch complain about the weather a lot but it doesn’t stop them from doing their daily activities. Make sure you bring an umbrella and you’ll be fine!

 

The Hague tourist trail

Secondly, this The Hague itinerary is a real tourist trail including some of the most popular attractions to visit in The Hague. If you’re looking for something slightly off the beaten path, this is not the itinerary for you. However, do let me know if you need anything more. As a resident of The Hague, I love to explore my own city! I would love to create more itineraries for you.

 

The Hague on Mondays

Visiting The Hague on a Monday can be slightly disappointing when it comes to opening hours. Some of the places listed in this itinerary will open later on the day, which will make it impossible to do everything in one day. Make sure you check the opening hours, which are also listed below.

 

Getting to The Hague

Traveling to The Hague can be done from almost every city in The Netherlands. Chances are you’ll travel from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to The Hague when following this The Hague itinerary. Both cities are a very short train trip away from The Hague.

Check your train schedule at the official Rail Company website or at the 9292 app.

 

What to bring for following this The Hague itinerary

Just a small checklist of all the things mentioned before:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • OV Chipcard
  • Umbrella
  • Passport
  • A city map of any kind (I prefer Google Maps)
  • 9292 App or website

 

THE HAGUE ITINERARY

What to do in The Hague in just one day

 

You will start your day at The Hague Central Station, from where you will take a tram or bus to your first location. You can also walk to the city center in about 10-12 minutes. There will be a lot of walking today, so no-one will judge you if you take public transportation.

Take tram 2 or 6 departing from Central Station (upstairs, next to the bus platform). Get out at the stop called ‘Spui’. You can also choose to take the bus. Buses 24 and 22 take you there as well. All buses depart from the bus platform at The Hague Central Station. Another option is to take the light rail (Randstadrail). Randstadrail 3 and 4 take you to the underground light rail stop called ‘Spui’, which is around the corner from the tram stop ‘Spui’.

The first part of this The Hague itinerary will take place in the same area. Around Spui and the shopping center, you’ll find many of The Hague’s most popular highlights.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: The Hague Central Station to Hop & Stork

 

The Hague itinerary location #1: Hop & Stork

Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Address: Passage 82

Opening hours:

Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10:00 – 18:00
Thu: 10:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:30
Monday: 12:00 – 18:00

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Start your day like a true Dutchman, with coffee! The Dutch love their coffee and together we consume 14 billion cups of coffee per year. Hop & Stork serves amazing coffee and chocolate, the perfect start of your day!

When you arrive earlier (or on Monday or Sunday) you could choose to have your coffee at Dudok (Hofweg 1A). Dudok is famous for their delicious apple pie. It’s also a great spot to have breakfast, if you haven’t done so before you left. Dudok opens at 9:30 every day.

 

The Hague itinerary location #2: Passage

Duration: 5 minutes

Address: Passage

Price: free

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Check out the passage shopping area. Many tourists stop here to shop (duh!) and take a photo of the gorgeous building the passage is situated in. Although this probably won’t take you more than a few minutes, I had to mention it to you. Your previous location is situated at the beginning of the Passage, walk further into the hall to see the rest.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Hop & Stork (or Passage) to Binnenhof.

 

The Hague itinerary location #3: Binnenhof & Hofvijver

Duration: 30 – 45 minutes

Price: free

the hague itinerary

Binnenhof is one of The Hague’s most popular places for tourists. The complex dates back from the 13th century and houses the meeting place of both houses of the States General of The Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of The Netherlands. At Binnenhof you could be meeting an important political figure without even knowing it!

One of the highlights of Binnenhof is the ‘Ridderzaal’. This gothic style building was built in the 13th century as a place to party for the royal family of The Netherlands. Right now it’s known for the king’s speech, which takes place annually on the 3rd Tuesday of September. The king’s speech let’s the Dutch know what parliament has planned for the upcoming year and is broadcasted live on television throughout the Netherlands.

The fountain, located in the middle of the square, was gifted to celebrate the successful renovation of Binnenhof in the 19th century. The sculpture on the fountain portrays King William II, who founded Binnenhof in the 13th century. The other two figures are counts Floris IV and Floris V.

the hague itinerary
the hague itinerary

Another highlight of Binnenhof is the tower. Visible from the Hofvijver (court’s lake), this is the office of the Dutch Prime Minister. The tower was probably built in the 14th century (it was mentioned first in 1354).

The Hofvijver itself can be seen when taking a stroll around the Binnenhof Complex. It is one of the most photographed places in The Hague.

Good to know: The Binnenhof Complex will be renovated starting from 2020. The expected duration of the renovation is 5 years.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Binnenhof to Mauritshuis. Note that this is the shortest route. I’d advise to walk around the complex for a view on the magnificent Hofvijver.

The Hague itinerary location #4: Mauritshuis

Duration: 1,5 – 3 hours

Address: Plein 29

Price: €15,50 (free for youth up to 18 years old and users of the Holland Pass or Museum Card)

Opening hours:

Sun, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10:00 – 18:00
Thu: 10:00 – 19:00
Mon: 13:00 – 18:00

the hague itinerary
Fans of the Dutch golden age paintings should check out Mauritshuis. Masterpieces such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt are part of the permanent display for visitors to enjoy.

There are also a few temporary exhibitions that could be worth visiting. I could spend hours at Mauritshuis as it is one of The Hague’s most interesting places!

 

The Hague itinerary location #5: Plein

Duration: 10 minutes

Price: free

the hague itinerary

Plein (translated: square) is surrounded by beautiful buildings, including Mauritshuis and the Inn of Amsterdam. The square is the place to go for a night out in The Hague. During the day many government officials have lunch here, as well as regular locals. You could spot a politician drinking with his or her buddies on a Friday afternoon as well.

The square was built in 1632 and had to look like Place des Vosges in Paris. In the middle of the square, you’ll find the statue of King William of Orange.

Plein is right next to Mauritshuis.

the hague itinerary

Walking route: Mauritshuis to Happy Tosti (Passing Plein).

 

The Hague itinerary location #6: Lunch at Happy Tosti

Duration: 30 minutes

Address: Korte Poten 5 (1 minute from Plein)

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Because you have enough to do today, you’ll grab a fast lunch at Happy Tosti. This café offers a great selection of delicious sandwiches, from traditional grilled cheese to banana and Nutella. The best part about Happy Tosti is their staff: people with mental disabilities get an honest chance to work,  build their work experience and engage in social interaction.



Tired? There are loads of cafes and restaurants around the square where you can sit down and people watch for a while. The majority offers lunch, in case you don’t feel like grilled cheese that day.

From Plein, you’ll take a short walk through the main shopping area, towards your next destination. On your way you can (window) shop all you want for souvenirs or other cool stuff.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Happy Tosti to Paleis Noordeinde.

The Hague itinerary location #7: Paleis Noordeinde and Paleistuin

Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Address: Noordeinde 68

Price: free

Paleis Noordeinde is quite the modest palace. Located in the city center, tourists often find themselves bumping into it after a day of shopping. With famous residents like the widow of William of Orange and King William I gracing the palace’s history, nowadays King Willem Alexander and his staff have their offices here.

Back in the day the palace was called ‘The Old Court’. It was built in 1533 by Willem Goudt. In 1591 Louise de Coligny, widow of William of Orange, and her children started living in the palace. It was also used by several other important governors, such as Frederik Hendrik.

The palace is not accessible for tourists, as it is still in use. However, the palace garden is free to enter for anyone interested. This garden isn’t well-known – even by locals – which makes it the one slightly off the beaten path destinations for today.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Paleis Noordeinde to Lola Bikes & Coffee.

 

The Hague itinerary location #8: Lola Bikes & Coffee

Address: Noordeinde 91

Technically you could skip this step, if you’re running out of time. Lola Bikes & Coffee is a lovely and well-decorated café, popular with locals in particular. Even if you don’t like coffee, chances are you will love this place anyway!

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Lola Bikes & Coffee to Panorama Mesdag

The Hague itinerary location #9: Panorama Mesdag

Duration: approx. 1 hour

Address: Zeestraat 65

Price: €10 (adults), €4 children from ages 4 – 11, free for children 0-4 or Museum Card holders.

Opening hours:

Mon – Sat: 10:00 – 17:00
Sun: 11:00 – 17:00

 

Panorama Mesdag is the perfect introduction for location 11. Here you can experience 360º of Scheveningen, once a cute little village on the Dutch coast. Panorama Mesdag gives you quite an insight in the fisherman’s village of Scheveningen back in 1881 (before it got eaten up by The Hague.). The artwork that feels like an optical illusion was painted by H.W. Mesdag and is the largest circular canvas in Europe.

the hague itinerary
Walking route: Panorama Mesdag to Plein 1813

 

The Hague itinerary location #10: Plein 1813

Duration: 10 minutes

Price: free

Plein 1813 is the liberty square of The Hague and was once the tallest monument in The Netherlands. Portrayed on the monument is the triarchy of Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp, Adam François Jules Armand van der Duyn van Maasdam and Leopold van Limburg Stirum. (Have fun pronouncing those names!) They are the ones who broke relations with the French in November 1813. They began a temporary general management, which allowed the Prince of Orange to regain power over the nation once again.

A few meters from the 1813 monument you can take tram 1 on (stop: Mauritskade) in the direction of Scheveningen Noorderstrand. Get out at Kurhaus.

 

The Hague itinerary location #11: Scheveningen Beach

Duration: as long as you want

Price: free, depending on whether you’ll get something to eat or not.

the hague itinerary

Scheveningen Beach is one of the highlights of a visit to The Hague. It’s a perfect day out on it’s own for many travelers and locals.

Aside from laying on the beach, you can visit Beelden aan Zee, a collections of funny-looking sculptures along the boulevard. From the pier you’ll have great view over the North Sea. Other activities include: bungee jumping from the Pier, a visit to Sea Life or hiking the gorgeous dune area of The Hague.

the hague itinerary
the hague itinerary

There are a lot of things to do on Scheveningen Beach, as well as the nearby old village of Scheveningen, which you saw in the Panorama Mesdag museum. I’ve dedicated an entire article about Scheveningen, the place where my family comes from.

One of my favorite things to do in Scheveningen is eating crispy fries from the typical pointy bag. My favorite place to do so is at Par Hasard, which is located on the large pier.

Read more: Where to find the best fries in The Hague

the hague itinerary
the hague itinerary
Watching the sunset is also a great thing to do!

 

This is the last stop on your The Hague itinerary! From here you can choose to grab a bite to eat (if you haven’t already done so by stuffing yourself with delicious fries) at Scheveningen or in the city center.

Take tram 9, departing from Kurhaus, which takes you back to The Hague Central Station in 15 minutes.

 

Want to grab a full dinner? Here are a few of my favorite restaurants:

  • KUA – Authentic Mexican food: Torenstraat 77
  • Little V – Vietnamese comfort food: Rabbijn Maarsenplein 21
  • Minglemush – A food court containing several small restaurants: Anna van Buerenplein 712

 

Can’t get enough of The Hague? Find out where to stay!

 

What did you think of this The Hague itinerary?

As mentioned earlier, I love to make these itineraries! Especially when they make me explore my own city better. This The Hague itinerary was made as an introduction to The Hague and will show you just few of the highlights of this amazing city. Curious for more? Make sure to let me know!

Just for your information, here’s a map of al the locations listed in the The Hague itinerary above:

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the hague itinerary

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Ana Rita
    April 19, 2018 at 10:39

    I know The Hague pretty well since I studied there for 4 years and I still go there often for the Portuguese ambassy, but I never heard of Happy Tosti before! It looks super cozy 🙂

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      April 19, 2018 at 10:46

      It’s a very welcoming place! What’s your favorite spot in The Hague?

  • Reply
    Ctheworld - Claudia
    April 20, 2018 at 15:50

    Indeed, every tourist should go to Den Haag. There is much more than only Amsterdam. I love the shopping. but one day is never enough. 😉

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      April 22, 2018 at 11:56

      I agree! I think you need at least 3 days. More if you also want to get the ‘vibe’ of this place.

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