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Amsterdam may be the official capital of the Netherlands, but Den Haag (The Hague) is the royal and eternal capital. An elegant city lined with palaces, government buildings and mansions, Den Haag manages to escape the strict character buildings like embassies and the International Court of Justice might reflect. Though not as popular as a Dutch travel destination, Den Haag has a solid audience that keeps growing steadily, with more and more people now searching for cheap air tickets to Den Haag. Away from the palaces and official buildings, a different, more cosmopolitan face of the city awaits you – and it will blow your mind! Visitors in Den Haag make their pick from a wide selection of museums, enjoy their coffee in stylish cafes, take walks at lush green parks and enjoy the fabulous Dutch coastline. Book your flights and accommodation in Den Haag and be prepared to have a fantastic travel experience.
Den Haag is the seat of the Dutch parliament and the Dutch royal family. It all started when Count Floris IV, looking for a place to rest during his hunts, came across a small village and named it “Haag” (Fence). Since then, Den Haag, “’s-Gravenhage” (The Count’s Fence) in full, hasn’t changed names.
However, nothing but the name reminds us today of the quaint village it once was. Growth and development soon followed, until the royal family of the Netherlands chose to set their base there.
Den Haag was the official capital of the Netherlands until 1806, when Napoléon Bonaparte moved the capital to Amsterdam. The French left, the seat of the parliament returned to Den Haag, but Amsterdam remained the official capital.
Modern Den Haag is the seat of the International Court of Justice, as well as numerous international legal and diplomatic institutions, strongly linked to law and order; but that’s not all.
Den Haag is the proud birthplace of some of the world’s most notable artists and painters, ever honouring its artistic tradition and cultural heritage. A vast range of museums and galleries will keep you busy, a beautiful skyline will make your photos look like paintings and a vibrant night scene will keep you entertained.
Don’t miss it for the world!
The airport of Den Haag (Rotterdam The Hague Airport) is located 20 kilometres southeast of the city centre and is served by the underground airport line RandsadRail.
Getting around Den Haag
Den Haag’s public transportation network consists of over 30 bus and tram lines. Fares start from 3.00€ and minimum taxi fare costs 5.00€.
Den Haag Airport
The best way to get acquainted with Den Haag is by paying a visit to Binnenhof, the famous seat of the Dutch parliament. This is where Count Floris IV chose to establish his hunting lodge and, later on, the centre of the country’s political life.
Once you’re inside the building, you can join a guided tour around the halls. The ultimate highlight there is Ridderzaal, the Hall of the Knights, adjacent to the main hall of the Binnenhof. Flags of the Dutch provinces, city emblems and other precious memorabilia and artefacts of the Netherlands are kept there, while the twin towers of the Ridderzaal are the traditional location of the Queen’s speech to the parliament.
Both of the buildings stretch around the idyllic Lake Hofvijver, a picturesque lake with fountains and plants centred on a small islet.
Continue to the nearby Mauritshaus, an elegant neoclassical mansion built in 1637, now housing the Royal Gallery (Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen). The gallery boasts exquisite art collections of the Low Countries, spanning a period of time from the 15th to the 18th century.
Supreme highlights of the Mauritshaus collections include “The Anatomy Lesson” painting by Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and “The Girl with the Pearl Earring”, by Peter Paul Rubens.
Head to the Vredespaleis, to see the premises of the International Court of Justice and the Hague Academy of International Law. If you wish to see the interior, be sure to pre-arrange a guided tour.
North of the city centre, at the Scheveningen district, where once a quaint fishing village used to stand, now stretches an ulta-modern summer resort, full with sandy beaches, sea sports facilities and piers.
A visit to Den Haag is never complete without a visit to Madurodam. A fine collection of the Netherlands’ most notable buildings and sights is gathered for you to explore within a few minutes! At a scale of 1:25, the miniatures of Madurodam are interesting and fun, for children and grown-ups alike!
The official language of Den Haag is Dutch, but English, French and German are also widely spoken.