The city of Den Haag may not be as big of a tourist attraction as Amsterdam, but it is SO worth the visit. It is less than an hour’s train ride away and it actually used to be the capital of the Netherlands (now Amsterdam); however, the government is still situated here.
The area where Dutch Parliament is located is actually breathtaking.
I only had a few hours to explore this beautiful city and it was unfortunately too late to visit any of the local museums.
Luckily, the city itself feels like one, giant museum! It is gorgeous and there is so much history here, I’m definitely going back to learn all about it. One of my favorite things about exploring Europe is seeing the unique architecture in old buildings.
During my visit, I was fortunate enough to stay with the relative of a friend of mine. She was generous enough to take us on a quick tour around the area and explained the lifestyle of the locals and what the purpose of some of the buildings were.
The locals here always seem to look their best. Everyone I encountered was wearing a suit or other sort of business appropriate attire. After a day of work, locals gather in areas that are rich with restaurants and bars for a few drinks. It seems they tend not to mingle and generally stay amongst the group of people they go out with.
There is a wonderful community atmosphere here. Although I was unable to take pictures at the end of the day because my phone died, the neighborhoods have herb gardens that are available for anyone and everyone to use. For example, let’s say you’re cooking dinner and need some basil, but you don’t have any fresh herbs. Pop outside for a quick stroll and grab a couple leaves of basil from the community garden! The people are respectful and do not take anything more than what they need so everyone can enjoy the benefits. It truly is a beautiful thing. Why doesn’t this sort of thing exist everywhere?
I also noticed that people never seem to be around. The city is open, there are courtyards everywhere, and the streets are massive, but I most of this place was empty everywhere I went which makes it very quiet. Maybe this city isn’t much of a tourist attraction, but it totally should be. The only areas that were crowded with people were the areas surrounding the public transportation system and shopping areas. (Btw, the Starbucks here are way better than those in America– just try something out of their pastry case… I mean, they had a chocolate hazelnut doughnut which had a Nutella-like filling!)
These are just a handful of the beautiful things you can experience here. I think this is a wonderful contrast in atmosphere to the more commonly traveled and hectic city of Amsterdam. The Hague is a fantastic place to find a nice bench by the water, crack open a great book, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
And, to top it off, The Hague even has the same laws on weed as Amsterdam, so you can enjoy the same benefits in a much less hectic environment.
Don’t forget to order some fries and shop for a lot of chocolate here. Because YUM!
For those of you who have visited, what is something you highly recommend checking out in Den Haag?