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The Hague Hostels, Eurail Passes, and Backpacking Tips


Officially known as 's-Gravenhage ('the Count's Domain') because a count built a castle here in the 13th century, The Hague -Den Haag in Dutch - is the country's seat of government and residence of the royal family, though the capital city is Amsterdam. It has a refined air, created by the many stately mansions and palatial embassies that line its green boulevards. The city is known for its prestigious art galleries, a huge jazz festival held annually near the seaside suburb of Scheveningen, and the miniature town of Madurodam.

Orientation

Trains stop at Station Hollands Spoor (HS), a 20-minute walk south of the city, or Centraal Station, five minutes from the centre. The area between Spui and Centraal Station has recently experienced a massive facelift in order to create The Hague's New Centre - a prestigious commercial and residential area.

Things to See and DO

Those interested in the city's eclectic architecture can take a two-hour guided tour (Saturday only from May to August) organised by the VVV. The cost is 15 € for an adult plus child.

Museums

The showpiece is the Mauritshuis, Korte Vijverberg 8, an exquisite 17th-century mansion housing a superb collection of Dutch and Flemish masterpieces and a touch of the contemporary. It's open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday from 11 am (6 €).

Admirers of De Stijl, and in particular of Piet Mondriaan, won't want to miss out on the Gemeentemuseum (Municipal Museum), Stadhouderslaan 41. It's open 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday (5 €).

Binnenhof

The parliamentary buildings, or Binnenhof (Inner Court), have long been the heart of Dutch politics although nowadays the parliament meets in a building outside the Binnenhof. Tours take in the 13th-century Ridderzaal (Knight's Hall) and must be booked in advance at the VVV. They are run daily (except Sunday) from 10 am to 4 pm; 4 € (concession 2 €).

Koninklijk Paleis

There are three royal palaces but the only one accessible to the public is the Lange Voorhout Paleis Museum which stages temporary art exhibitions. You can pass the palaces on a two-hour 'Royal Tour' (15 €) which leaves from the VVV at 1 pm (Tuesday to Saturday May through August).

Peace Palace

Home of the International Court of Justice, the Peace Palace (Vrede-paleis) on Carnegieplein can be visited by guided tours (3 €) - inquire at the VVV. To get there, take tram No 7 or bus No 4 from Centraal Station.

Madurodam

Everything that's quintessential Netherlands is in this tiny 'town' that's big with tourists. It's at George Maduroplein 1 and is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily (until 8 pm from March to June, and until 11 pm July to August). Admission is 10 €. Take tram Nos 1 and 9 or bus No 22 from the Eifi Centraal Station.

 

 

 

The Hague


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