As a resident of the Hague, there’s one museum that I keep returning
What to expect from your visit
There’s something about walking up to Escher in Het Paleis from Lange Voorhout. If you’ve never been in the Hague, you won’t know the associations with Lange Voorhout, but it’s one of the most exclusive streets in the Hague. In summer, it’s lush with trees and numerous pedestrians stroll down this long boulevard… There’s not a better setting to enjoy art.
The Escher Museum in the Hague is housed within the former winter palace of Queen Emma. The museum is a mix of royal history as well as personal history related to Escher, making it a great educational experience for those visiting the Netherlands for the first time. (An interesting note is that there are far fewer elaborate details along the banisters and ceilings on the top floors due to the fact that this is a common way that costs were reduced in building the palace.)
As soon as you enter the museum, you need to look up! The chandeliers spread throughout the museum are made by Dutch artist Hans van Bentem. They’re show stoppers and despite being so modern, they perfectly add to the playful vibes within the museum. (My husband is a mathematician and he is obsessed with this museum.)
The first floor showcases Escher’s early work. I actually loved his early work as it’s so different than his later work and you can really understand his progression as an artist. Similarly, you can also see how he created his work in a display on the first floor. I loved his Italian series, so don’t rush past if you’re a lover of travel-related art!
The second floor holds more of Escher’s classic works. If you’re coming here for the crazy optical illusions, you’re in the right place. This is the floor where you’re likely to spend the most time. (You can take photos, but you cannot use flash.)
Lastly, you’ll head to the top floor. This floor is the fun interactive floor. You can take a fun photo that you can bring home (for a fee) within an inverted room. Similarly, you can see cool optical illusions that you can take part-in as well as modern works focused on optical illusions.
What to bring with you
You are not allowed to bring large bags into the museum. I recommend bringing a few euros to utilize the lockers in the basement of the museum, especially if you don’t want to carry around your jacket. As soon as you enter, a member of the staff will point you towards the basement.
The lockers are next to the cafe and the toilets. (You can use your debit/credit card to pay for everything [including admission, souvenirs, and food at the cafe], but not the lockers at the time of writing.) There’s a change machine for bills as well as a coat rack.
How to avoid the crowds at Escher in Het Paleis
Weekends are always packed, especially in the afternoons. Although the weekdays are less crowded, Wednesdays are a popular day for people to take off the in the Netherlands, so museums will be more crowded. The museum is closed on Monday.
Escher in Het Palais is open on most public holidays, so the line to enter the museum can be bad on public holidays and holiday weekends. You can skip the line if you buy your tickets online!
The museum is open
Is it worth visiting the Escher Museum?
Definitely. I’ve brought a large assortment of friends and family here with varying degrees of interest in art as well as math. (Math lovers will especially love it!) Almost universally, everyone loves the museum. It usually takes 1-3 hours to get through the collection, depending on how long you like to linger in art museums.
A friend of mine who generally doesn’t enjoy art museums was really surprised how much he enjoyed trying to spy the optical illusions in Escher’s work and understanding how he actually made the art.
If you’re considering visiting the museum with children, I’d say that it’s a great museum for older children due to the top floor and how accessible Escher’s work with. (Younger kids might get bored.)
Entry fees for the Escher Museum
The Museumkaart is not accepted at Escher in Het Paleis (ditto with the
Tickets for adults cost ten euros per adults. Teens, as well as university students, get reduced entry costs to the Escher Museum. Children under six are free. Click to buy your tickets now.
Getting to the Escher Museum in the Hague
The Escher Museum is a beautiful walk from Den Hague Central train station. Be sure to take a long way, so you can pass by the Binnenhof and enjoy Lange Voorhout, which is the prettiest street in the Hague without question. If you’re coming from Amsterdam, you can click here for my guide to navigating from Amsterdam to the Hague by train without a tour.
It’s a very short drive from Den Hague Centraal to the Escher Museum, so you can always take a taxi for about 10 euros if the weather isn’t cooperating.