You might have heard of the Hague. The Hague is the former capital of the Netherlands as well as my home. Quite a few friends have asked about taking a day trip from Amsterdam to the Hague and what to do in one day in the Hague. Here’s my resident’s guide to one day in the hague with the perfect itinerary for exploring the Hague on foot. I include a self-guided walking tour with a map to help you see the best of the Hague.
The Hague is often overlooked by visitors to the Netherlands as well as local visitors as there’s a perception that it’s boring and there’s not much to do in the Hague. Since moving here, I have to disagree and I must say the Hague is a beautiful culture rich city with a lot to do/see. I’ve tried to highlight my favorites in this one day itinerary to the Hague, but you can read more tips for visiting the Hague here. If you’re looking for a good base for your trip to the Netherlands, the Hague is only forty minutes from Amsterdam, fifteen minutes from Delft, and thirty minutes from Rotterdam. You can read about more day trips from Amsterdam here.
What to do in the Hague in one day: Your itinerary for one day in the Hague
- Breakfast in the Hague
- Bubble Tea in Chinatown
- Taste jenever at Van Kleef Distillery, the oldest distillery in the Hague
- Explore the UNESCO-recognized Passage
- View the Binnenhof
- Walk along Noordeinde
- Optional: Buy abbey produced beer
- View Noordeinde Palace
- Walk down Lange Voorhout
- View the Peace Palace
- Have lunch at FOAM
- Option 1: Go to the Mauritshuis
- Option 2: Scheveningen
- Option 3: City Exploring on foot
- Explore the Zeeheldenkwartier
- Peek in the Hofjes of the Hague
- Explore the stalls Haagse Markt
- International food for dinner (Indonesian/Surinamese/Dutch)
- Enjoy cocktails or beer (or non-alcoholic beverages) at a local bar
Map of my self-guided walking tour of the Hague at the bottom!
Take the train to Den Haag HS or Den Haag Centraal
People are often confused by the train stations in the Hague. There’s two main stations as well as a handful of stations around the Hague. Depending on where you’re coming from, you’ll stop off at Den Haag HS (Hollands Spoor) or Den Haag Centraal. Den Haag HS is the oldest railroad station in the Netherlands dating back to the 1800s and there’s a secret waiting room where the King of the Netherlands can only access. I find the station particularly beautiful, so be sure to admire it for a moment.
Both stations are fine to get off at and both are about the same (ish) distance from the historic center of the Hague. If you’re not as keen on walking, I think that Den Haag Centraal makes it easier to find the trams that go directly into center. That said, I think that you’ll find better breakfast options near Den Haag HS. I start this self-guided walking tour of the Hague close to Den Haag HS, but you can easily start it wherever you want.
Breakfast in the Hague
- Clubs Vers
- Pim Coffee & Vintage
- Bagels & Beans
If you’re looking for some of the best breakfast options in the Hague, you really need to look close to Den Haag HS as my favorite breakfast places in the Hague are here. Club Vers is perfect for those who love to eat healthy and/or have dietary restrictions. I absolutely love their creative healthy waffles. For coffee and a little treat in the morning, I recommend the pastries at Pim Coffee & Vintage, an adorable cafe with fantastic coffee (veggie friendly) and amazing cakes.
For the full English breakfast, check out Scally’s for a ridiculously reasonable full English breakfast (they call it the Scallywich) and/or authentic British scones with a lot of character (think giant portraits of William & Kate). Otherwise, Bagels & Beans (by Spui) is an easy option. For just coffee, read my post of the best cafes in the Hague.
Bubble Tea in Chinatown
The Hague has the largest Chinatown in the Netherlands partially due to immigration after World War II and although this whole neighborhoods surprises a lot of people who visit, you can find some great Chinese food here. As you might have already had breakfast, I recommend stopping off for Bubble Tea at Sissi’s Tea Lounge. My favorite flavor is with mango or apple and I love the bubbles that pop in your mouth. Bring cash as they don’t accept credit cards, only Maestro.
Taste jenever at Van Kleef Distillery, the oldest distillery in the Hague
Van Kleef Distillery is the oldest and only remaining distillery located in the Hague. This historic distillery dating back to the 1800s is not producing liquors at the location itself any more due to the risk of fire, however it’s worth stepping into this stunning historic shop for a tasting. For fifty cents, you can try a number of different types of traditional Dutch alcohols. I know that it’s early, but I especially love the Voorburg spirit as well as the Kruide Baggah. They accept credit cards.
Explore the UNESCO-recognized Passage
The Passage is a UNESCO recognized building in the Hague. This shopping arcade predates the covered passages in Paris and it has some architecturally distinct qualities. I just enjoy walking through this stunning passage and stopping for a coffee at a cozy cafe.
View the Binnenhof
The Binnenhof is where Dutch parliament is located. Although the capital of the Netherlands is now in Amsterdam, many of the government buildings remain in the Hague. The Binnenhof was originally a mansion owned by Count Floris IV in the 1229, which stands next to the lake that you still see today. Starting in 1446, this building as used for Dutch Parliament and under the occupations of the Netherlands by other countries, the Binnenhof grew into the beautiful castle that it is today.
If you’re on bike or on foot, you can actually walk through the Binnenhof 24/7, which is so cool. It’s a stunning building and it’s free to admire, so be sure to explore it. Even on a rainy day, you’ll find some shade underneath the corridors.
Walk along Noordeinde
Noordeinde is the heart of the historic part of the Hague. This road leads to the King’s Palace and I love veering off this road for all the adorable shops in the Hague. (I especially love stopping into the de filosoof to browse for wine and pet their cat.) It’s just a beautiful street and you’ll understand almost immediately once you’re here. I also love the archway by Korte Molenstraat.
Optional: Buy abbey produced beer
If you’re visiting the Hague on a Friday or Saturday afternoon (between 1 and 4pm), you can stop into Kloosterbrouwerij Haagsche Broeder, a Catholic order who makes their own beer and sells it out of their cloister. The beer is first-rate and the monks are actually delightful to talk too. (They speak English as well and one of them is American.) I realize that you have to get kind of lucky to have your one day in the Hague overlap with their hours, but you can go to any of the bars down the street to buy a bottle to enjoy at the bar (including De Oude Mol) if you miss their hours.
View Noordeinde Palace
Noordeinde Palace is where the Dutch King’s office is located. Yes, you read that right. In the Netherlands, the Dutch King works on behalf of the government and he commutes to work. You can tell if the King is in the palace if the flag is up.
Walk down Lange Voorhout & Hooikade
Before you leave this area, be sure to enjoy the stunning views of the Binnenhof close to the Hofvijver, the lake next to the Binnenhof. In spring, you’ll find lots of flowers here, making the view of the Binnenhof only more beautiful. Then, make a left to turn onto Lange Voorhout. This spacious avenue used to be where to be seen if you were nobility. Be sure to walk down Hooikade to view the prettiest canal in the Hague. Then, admire the antique shops along Denneweg.
Lunch at FOAM or Pizzeria II Vesuvio
Stop for lunch at FOAM for a fresh, organic, and meat-free meal. FOAM is a healthy lunch place, perfect for getting a fresh salad or a healthy sandwich. It’s super vegan-friendly and pretty affordable considering the high quality of the ingredients. The atmosphere is quite nice, so make a reservation if you want to come here on a Saturday as it can be busy. For something a bit less healthy, stop at Pizzeria II Vesuvio for some fresh pizza at one of the best pizza places in the Hague. (They have vegan cheese! Sorry for the healthy obsession, but I’m lactose-intolerant and I try to eat healthy.)
View the Peace Palace
Afterwards, stop off at the Peace Palace. Getting a tour of the Peace Palace is fairly difficult and I detail how to get a tour of the Peace Palace here, but you can definitely admire one of the most beautiful buildings in the Hague. Built in the 1920s by all different countries, the Peace Palace is a stunning building, even from a distance. Even if you can’t get a tour, you can admire it by the gates.
Option 1: Go to the Mauritshuis
If you’re interested in art, consider taking the tram back or walking back to the Mauritshuis to enjoy the rest of the afternoon enjoying one of the best art museums in the Netherlands. You can see the Girl with the Pearl Earring as well as the Goldfinch here, so be sure to enjoy these Dutch masterpieces. If you’re a fan of Vermeer, it’s also possible to visit Delft on a day trip as Delft is only fifteen minutes by train.
Option 2: Scheveningen
If it’s a beautiful summer day, consider taking the tram out to Scheveningen, the most popular beach resort in the Netherlands. it’s a bit too far to walk, however you can hop onto a bus/tram towards Scheveningen. I’ll have a guide soon to Scheveningen, but I recommend seeing the stunning Kurhaus as well as the Scheveningen Pier. It’s just lovely to sit out along the beach with a cold drink while enjoying the views on a nice day. I’m not even a beach person, but a recent trip with some friends to the beach have convinced me.
Option 3: City Exploring on foot
If you’re interested in staying in the Hague, I have a longer walking route through the Hague that will show off the most interesting neighborhoods in the Hague. If you’re into city exploring, this itinerary for the Hague is for you.
Explore the Zeeheldenkwartier
The Zeeheldenkwartier is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the Hague. Complete with lots of antique shops, cozy cafes, and picturesque houses, the neighborhood is just fun to walk through. I recommend walking along Prins Hendrikstraat or Piet Heinstraat. Both have lots of unique cafes, including the Hague’s only cat cafe.
Peek in the Hofjes of the Hague
The Hague has many hofjes, which are historic almshouses where those in need would be houses. Originally these were funded by private donors, however the hofjes in the Hague that exist today were created by the city government. My favorite hofje in the Hague is a bit tricky to access, so I encourage you to step into the historic courtyard of Het Hooftshofje. The door is typically open during the day, so please be considerate/quiet as this is private property.
Explore the stalls Haagse Markt
The Haagse Markt started in the 1920s. This historic market is one of my favorite markets in the Netherlands. It’s quite different than many others that you’ll encounter as it’s mostly locals grocery shopping and buying household goods. (Bring cash if you want to shop here.) I love all the shouting and yelling of the vendors–and the whole experience of doing my weekly grocery shopping here. Be sure to stop off for fresh stroopwafel and frites.
Note: You’ll probably want to bike or take a bus/tram back towards center after visiting the Haagse Markt as it’s a bit out of the way. The Haagse Markt is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
You have so many great dinner options in the Hague. Moving here, I thought that the Hague would be boring and typically Dutch, however it is one of the most diverse cities in the Netherlands partially due to the fact that most of the embassies in the Netherlands are here in the Hague. As a result, you can try food from all over the world in the Hague. I have a couple favorites that are close to center as well as one that is worth the trip.
Bleyenberg is a modern Dutch restaurant right along Grote Markt, the main going out square in the Hague. The interior is absolutely stunning and I was really impressed with the quality of the food. Although I generally find Dutch food uninspiring, I was inspired by the flavors in the dish that I didn’t expect. They have an English menu and it’s best to make a reservation if you want to come here for dinner. Price: $$
Warung Bude Kati is my favorite Indonesian restaurant in the Hague. This cozy family-run restaurant has some seating although it fills up quickly on the weekends. The portions are huge and the prices are extremely reasonable. I try a different dish almost every time that I come here and a friend who grew up in Indonesia was really impressed with how authentic the food is. The owners are super friendly although be warned that it’s Maestro or cash only. Price: $
Warung Mini is a Javanese-Surinamese restaurant on your way back to Den Haag Centraal or HS. This cozy and popular restaurant is definitely more casual, but it has the most famous Surinamese food in the Hague. I recommend getting the Nasi with chicken and pom (a surinamese vegetable). My husband loved the roti. Be warned that if you ask for spicy, it will be very spicy. The prices are really affordable here, so expect to pay less than ten euros for a massive meal. Note: They’re halal, so no beer. Price: $
Enjoy cocktails or beer (or non-alcoholic beverages) at a local bar
I have a few favorite places to get drinks in the Hague. All are close to the city center, but closer to the train station, perfect for a nightcap before you head out of the Hague.
Syndicaat is a vintage-inspired cocktail speakeasy in the heart of Chinatown. Hidden behind a secret door, you’ll find the entrance to this lovely little bar, which has jazz music on weekends. The cocktails are made with Van Kleef gin, so you can’t go wrong with a bespoke cocktail here! (Closed for the summer.)
De Paas is my favorite beer bar in the Hague. This cozy brown bar along Bierkade has a great selection of local beer, knowledgeable bartenders, and a cozy atmosphere. It’s quiet here with minimal music. In summer, you can sit out on the boat in the canal to enjoy your beer. What else could you want?
MingleMush is a modern food hall in the Hague, right behind Den Haag Centraal. I really enjoy Anna’s bar although the in-house bartender makes fantastic cocktails. It’s just a great place to relax if you’re looking for a modern setting or you’re with a group as everyone can order what they want in addition to some snacks.
Where to stay in the Hague
If you choose to stay overnight in the Hague, you’ll find lots of affordable options, especially compared to Amsterdam. For the fanciest hotel in the Hague, stay at the historic Hotel des Indes to rub shoulders with visiting royalty. For a modern boutique hotel, consider staying at Hotel Indigo in the heart of Noordeinde. For something budget yet clean hotel, stay at the Student Hotel, which isn’t only for students. There’s also a few hostels in the Hague.
Have you been to the Hague? Let me know what you thought of my one day itinerary to the Hague
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