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I’m not even a beach person, but the Scheveningen beach has found a way into my heart. Now that it’s actually beach weather, it’s the perfect time to visit Scheveningen. When I first moved to the Hague, I actually lived in Scheveningen as it was cheap in the dead of winter. Anyways, keep reading for a complete guide to Scheveningen, which I’ll be updating as I discover even more cool beach bars in Scheveningen!
Included in this guide to Scheveningen beach and beyond…
- Why visit Scheveningen
- How to pronounce Scheveningen
- Guide to Scheveningen
- Things to do in Scheveningen
- Restaurants in Scheveningen
- Beach bars and cafes in Scheveningen
- Scheveningen beach parking
- How to get to Scheveningen
- Best hotels in Scheveningen
- New Year’s Eve in Scheveningen
Note: I received complimentary one night at the Haagse Straandhuisjes thanks to This is the Hague (the Hague tourism board), however my opinion is my own. This guide is otherwise independently written.
Why visit Scheveningen
Scheveningen is one of the prettiest beach resorts in the Netherlands. The history behind it as well as the assortment of options for food/drinks makes it a great choice for a fun day out. One of my favorite things to do in good weather is to sit out with some beers on Scheveningen beach with friends for the sunset. If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll also find fun activities, such as surfing and bungy jumping off the pier.
How to pronounce Scheveningen
Scheveningen is widely considered one of the hardest words in Dutch. During World War II when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, it was considered a shibboleth for the Dutch Resistance as it was so difficult for foreigners to say the correct pronunciation. I’ve included a random clip from the Dutch news where a local resident says it with subtitles underneath.
Your guide to Scheveningen
Although most people come to Scheveningen to go to the beach, there’s much more to Scheveningen, a historic fishing village that has been separate from the Hague historically. Technically, now it’s part of the Hague, however people from Scheveningen do not always like having it called “the Hague beach.” They have a separate cultural identity with their own dialect. (There is still quite a bit of active fishing in the area, so be sure to try some fish while you’re visiting!)
In 1818, the first seaside resort at Scheveningen was built, which attracted health-conscious visitors interested in bathing in salt water. In 1884, the Kurhaus was built and it really cemented Scheveningen’s place as the beach resort of the Netherlands. Today, Scheveningen is the most famous beach resort in the Netherlands.
Things to do in Scheveningen
As Scheveningen is one of the most visited places in the Netherlands, there’s a lot to do in Scheveningen. I’ve included the obvious as well as the less obvious things to do in Scheveningen.
Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus
As soon as you arrive in Scheveningen near the pier, you will already see the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus in front of you. This stunning 5* hotel/spa has a stunning ballroom that can be visited for free if you walk through the building during the day.
This art deco masterpiece built in the late 1800s was originally a concert hall in addition to a hotel and it was famously used for many conferences. (The Rolling Stones even played here in the 1960s!) The building was not kept in good condition, but luckily it was renovated and it’s back to its original splendor.
Walk along the Scheveningen boardwalk or sit out on Scheveningen beach
These two are the most obvious things to do in Scheveningen, but I really need to say that sitting out on the beach here, especially watching the sunset, is so lovely. I’m not the biggest fan of the boardwalk, but it’s full of great bars/cafes if you’re looking for a romantic night out with a significant other or a fun day out with family/friends. The cafes are generally seasonal, so if you go in the off-season, some of them may be closed.
Explore the Scheveningen Forest
Most visitors never visit the Scheveningen Forest, however as a resident, I really find the Scheveningen Forest so lovely to visit. It’s just a lovely place for a run or a bike ride. My husband considers it one of his favorite parks in the area.
Explore Frederik Hendriklaan
Frederik Hendriklaan is one of the most charming streets in Scheveningen, full of cute independent shops and great places to eat. I’ll be mentioning more of these below in where to eat in Scheveningen, but it’s been named the cutest shopping streets in the area. Come see why!
I prefer the section between Aert van der Goesstraat and Prins Mauritsplein the most. It should take about 30 minutes to walk up the block. I really love the pet store René van der Westen Dierenwinkel, which has the most beautiful cat. There’s a lot of cozy coffee places as well.
Bike along the dunes
For anyone living in the Netherlands, anything hilly is a big deal. The dunes around Scheveningen are lovely to bike along, especially the Oostduinen (the east dunes).
How can we skip the Scheveningen pier? Although touristy, it actually has two levels, including a covered area (for a rainy day). From here, you can get on the ferris wheel (with views of the beach), you can actually do a bungy jump off the pier! Within the pier, you’ll find a number of bars and cafes, including Pickles Burgers (I’m a fan).
The old village of Scheveningen
To truly get a feeling of the history of Scheveningen, head to Keizerstraat to see the old village of Scheveningen. At minimum, be sure to see the old church, but definitely be on the look out for some of the women who dress up in traditional clothing for women from Scheveningen who apparently like to walk around Keizerstraat on a nice day. Consider peeking into the hofje at Badhuisstraat 190.
The Scheveningen museum (Muzee Scheveningen)
For those of you who know Dutch, the Muzee Scheveningen might be worth a visit if you enjoy history. This small museum tells the history of Scheveningen with antiques and photos. The part that I loved is that you can meet former fishermen who will tell you about life on the sea and haring. (I’d say it’s not worth it if you don’t know Dutch.)
Restaurants in Scheveningen
There are a lot of great restaurants in the larger Scheveningen area although not all of them are along the beach. My favorite area for food in Scheveningen is along Frederik Hendriklaan. For a lower price point, I’d recommend Meza (Lebanese) for lunch or dinner on the go, Bagels and Beans for affordable coffee and breakfast/lunch, and Bonbon-Atelier Westerbeek Sinds 1910 for the best chocolate bonbons in the area.
For something nicer, I’d recommend Pastanini for Italian, De Dis for French cuisine, Indian Bay Dreams for Indian food, Catch by Simonis for seafood or Eetcafé De Maatschappij for burgers.
One of the best restaurants in Scheveningen for Indonesian is easily Toko Dian. As someone who loves Indonesian food and who has tried quite a few in the area, I was really impressed with how authentic their food is, which was recommended by an Indonesian-Dutch woman that I met. (Things are actually spicy here and prices are reasonable.) You can do take-out if you prefer to eat dinner on the beach!
For something super Dutch, head to Simonis for herring, which is often brought in near Scheveningen by fishermen. (Can it get much fresher?)
The best beach bars in Scheveningen
Crazy Pianos is one of the fun beach bars in Scheveningen to go as you can sing along with popular songs that are played on pianos (surprise!). For a Hawaiian themed beach bar (and BBQ), head to Aloha. My friends prefer Cocomo beach bar the most.
You can drink beers and wine on the sand (not the boardwalk), so if you’d want to save money, consider making your own boozy picnic on the beach. There’s an Albert Heijn and a few stores that have beer/wine near the beach.
I realize that this isn’t a beach bar, however The Old Jazz is a Scheveningen institution. This cozy Dutch brown bar along Frederik Hendriklaan is just a nice place to sit out at if you’re looking to get away from the crowds.
Scheveningen beach parking
The most popular parking in Scheveningen is close to the pier at BKS Parking – Kurhaus, however if you want to save money (and not circle endlessly). I recommend going elsewhere as this area can be a mess on a nice sunny day. Most people don’t realize there’s usually parking at BKS Parking – Zwarte Pad as they’re too busy stuck in traffic near the Circle Theatre. I realize that it’s more convenient to park closer, but it’s not worth the hassle of sitting in traffic if you just want to get to the beach!
There’s some free parking the Scheveningse Bosjes and the Nieuwe Scheveningse Bosjes if you’re willing to walk a bit of a distance. However, others might have the same idea…
How to get to Scheveningen
It’s only fifteen minutes from the Hague to the Scheveningen by car although it will take longer on a sunny weekend as everyone else will have the same idea. If you’re keen on biking, I’d recommend leaving your car at home and renting a bike near Den Haag Centraal as it only takes thirty minutes (and it’s mostly flat).
The best way in my opinion is via the 9 tram from Den Haag Centraal. To purchase your tram ticket before you go, download the HTM Ticket app to buy your ticket on your phone! (Click to download the app via iphone / android)
The best hotels in Scheveningen
Hotels in Scheveningen aren’t cheap during peak season (summer) as so many foreigners come from abroad, so book ASAP if you’re considering staying overnight. (Rates in the Hague might be slightly lower than next to the beach.)
You can actually stay at the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus, a 5* hotel for anyone seeking luxury and to wake up to the beach each morning. Another luxurious option nearby, but not in Scheveningen, is the Haagse Straandhuisjes where you can wake up to the sound of the beach. (For those on a budget, they recently started offering camp sites on the beach for a fee.)
For those seeking a more basic hotel on a budget, consider staying at the easyHotel along Scheveningen Beach. You’ll also find some full apartments close to the beach if you’re coming with a bigger group and need more space.
Special event: New Years Eve in Scheveningen
A lot of people don’t realize that New Year’s Eve in Scheveningen is actually pretty epic, so if you’ll be visiting the Hague, be sure to check the agenda. Each New Year’s Eve, there’s a massive bonfire in Duindorp along the beach where thousands of wooden pallets are stacked and burned. For anyone who’s a