City Center Tour (Self Guided), Hague

The Hague is an exciting city to visit, as it feels at once like a vibrant metropolis and a small town. It has tall houses, charming mansions and stylish, hectic streets, as well as serene canals, open plazas, and a more peaceful atmosphere than the typical city. Some of the most unique attractions of the city include the Pagehuis, the Pulchri Studio and the Passage. Don't miss the chance to visit some of The Hague's most popular tourist attractions found on this tour.
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City Center Tour Map

Guide Name: City Center Tour
Guide Location: Netherlands » Hague (See other walking tours in Hague)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: valery
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Binnenhof (Inner Court)
  • Ridderzaal (Knight's Hall)
  • Het Plein (Plain Square)
  • Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery
  • Escher in Het Paleis (Escher in The Palace)
  • Denneweg (Fir Tree Road)
  • Panorama Mesdag
  • Paleis Noordeinde (Noordeinde Palace)
  • De Passage Shopping Arcade
  • Oude Stadhuis (Old City Hall)
  • Grote Kerk (Great Church)
  • Grote Markt (Main Market Square)
  • Grote Marktstraat (Main Market Street)
Binnenhof (Inner Court)

1) Binnenhof (Inner Court) (must see)

The Binnenhof (Dutch, literally "inner court"), is a complex of buildings in the Hague. It has been the location of meetings of the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament, since 1446, and has been the center of Dutch politics for many centuries. This “Inner Court” is studded with monumental old buildings testifying of eight centuries of governing in the Low Countries, but it also has several ample open spaces, all freely open to the public.

A gilt neogothic fountain adorns the main square and one of the few Dutch equestrian statues (of King William II) guards the main Stadtholder's Gate, that dates from around 1600. A large modern building at the south side of the Binnenhof since 1992 houses the House of Representatives, the lower but more important of the Dutch democratically elected Houses of parliament.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ridderzaal (Knight's Hall)

2) Ridderzaal (Knight's Hall) (must see)

The Ridderzaal (Knight's Hall) is the main building at the Binnenhof in the Hague, which is used for official royal receptions, and inter-parliamentary conferences. In the 13th century Floris IV, Count of Holland bought a piece of land next to a small lake to build a house on. The Knight's Hall was built on this estate in the 13th century.

Over the centuries, the government buildings developed around this lake. From the early 17th century, the Knight's Hall became an important trading place for booksellers. In later centuries it served a variety of purposes - as a market hall, a promenade, a drill hall, a public record office, a hospital ward, even the offices of the state lottery. It was restored between 1898 and 1904 to serve its present purposes.

The Knight's Hall is a 40 by 20 meters large Gothic hall has magnificent stained glass windows depicting the coats of arms of Dutch towns; particularly fine is the rose window with the arms of the principal noble families of the Netherlands. The heavy timber roof structure with its 18-metre-long beams (59 ft) has the appearance of an upturned ship. Wooden heads symbolizing eavesdroppers from the higher powers are supposed to deter members of the assembly from lying.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Het Plein (Plain Square)

3) Het Plein (Plain Square)

The Plein is a square in the center of Den Haag. The square is not far from the houses of Parliament and other historic buildings. It is one of the most stylish squares in the center of the city. The north side of The Plein is lined with eateries and pubs, a number of which are frequented by politicians from the neighboring houses of Parliament and government buildings.

The Plein was originally a royal garden, forming a part of the Binnenhof castle, residence of the Counts of Holland. It was used to grow vegetables and flowers for the court. The garden was surrounded by a ring of canals and intersected by ditches. The Plein was constructed in 1632 as a town square and was inspired by the Place des Vosges in Paris.
Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery

4) Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery (must see)

The Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis is an art museum. Previously the residence of count John Maurice of Nassau, it now has a large art collection, including works by Dutch and German painters. In 1822, the Mauritshuis was opened for the public and housed the Royal Cabinet of Paintings and the Royal Cabinet of Rarities. In 1875, the entire museum was available for paintings. The Mauritshuis was a state museum until it was privatised in 1995. The foundation set up at that time took charge of both the building and the collection, which it was given on long-term loan. This building, which is the property of the state, is rented by the museum.

The museum collaborates regularly with museums in other countries. The collection of paintings of stadtholder William V, Prince of Orange was handed over to the Dutch state by his son king William I. This collection formed the basis of the Royal Cabinet of Paintings of around 200 paintings. The collection is currently called the Royal Picture Gallery. The current collection consists of almost 800 paintings and focusses on Dutch and Flemish.

Operation hours: Monday: 1 pm- 4 pm; Tuesday-Sunday: 10 am- 6 pm; Thursday until 8 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Escher in Het Paleis (Escher in The Palace)

5) Escher in Het Paleis (Escher in The Palace) (must see)

Escher in Het Paleis (Escher in The Palace) is a museum in The Hague, featuring the works of the Dutch graphical artist M. C. Escher. It is housed in the Lange Voorhout Palace since November 2002.

The Lange Voorhout Palace, a former royal residence dating back to the eighteenth century. Queen Emma bought the stately house in 1896. She used it as a winter palace from March 1901 till her death in March 1934. It was used by four subsequent Dutch queens for their business offices, until Queen Beatrix moved the office to Noordeinde Palace. The first and second floors have exhibitions showing the royal period of the palace, highlighting Queen Emma's residence.

In the rooms of the museum are fifteen chandeliers made by the Rotterdam artist, Hans van Bentem. The artist designed these especially for the museum, with some references to the work of Escher and the Palace. In the ballroom, a star chandelier is endlessly reflected in the two mirrors. In other rooms there are chandeliers such as a shark, a skull, spiders, and a sea horse.

The parquet floor in the Palace was designed in 1991/92 by the American minimal artist Donald Judd on the occasion of the opening of the former Royal palace as an exhibition palace. Judd applied the principle of different colors and geometric patterns to the parquet floor in the Palace.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Denneweg (Fir Tree Road)

6) Denneweg (Fir Tree Road)

A quick stroll along Lange Voorhout, past some of the Hague's historic architecture will take you to Denneweg. This street is very famous with weekend customers and is a must-visit, especially if you love antiquities and high-quality furniture. Denneweg stores sell a broad range of art, in addition to ancient and antiquarian books. However, no visit to Denneweg is complete without a stop at Paul Warmer, where you will find a wide selection of high-quality leather goods.
Panorama Mesdag

7) Panorama Mesdag (must see)

Panorama Mesdag is one of the world's most excellent and largest panoramas. It is an impressive work of art and is housed in a building purpose-built for its display. Besides displaying an imposing collection of pictures and watercolors by Mesdag and his wife, the museum hosts short-term exhibits in its spectacular entry rooms.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday 11 – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Paleis Noordeinde (Noordeinde Palace)

8) Paleis Noordeinde (Noordeinde Palace)

Noordeinde Palace is one of the three official palaces of the Dutch royal family. Located in the Hague in the province of South Holland, it has been used as the "working palace" for Queen Beatrix since 1984. The palace originally started as a medieval farmhouse, which was converted into a spacious residence by the steward of the States of Holland, Willem van de Goudt in 1533. The original farmhouse's cellars can still be seen in the palace basement. Between 1952 and 1976 the Institute of Social Studies was based in the north wing of the palace. The gardens of the palace are open to the public.
Sight description based on wikipedia
De Passage Shopping Arcade

9) De Passage Shopping Arcade

De Passage, another famous shopping area stocked with local brands, is a gorgeous 115-year-old, glass-covered passage full of shops specializing in ornamental arts and crafts, homemade domestic folk arts, and needlework patterns made by trained artists. The craft shops located on De Passage offer a wide assortment of arts and crafts, tools and materials. The prices are quite reasonable here and the retailers are very friendly.
Oude Stadhuis (Old City Hall)

10) Oude Stadhuis (Old City Hall)

The Oude Stadhuis of The Hague was built in 1564. It consists of two buildings and a tower built between the 16th and 18th centuries. The Oude Stadhuis was built in the Renaissance style, and expanded in 1733 by the architect Daniel Marot, who added a large wing and revamped the building in the Louis XIV style. Today the Town Hall is used for municipal events. There is now a restaurant and The Catacombs in the dungeons below the Oude Stadhuis, which are even older than the building itself.
Grote Kerk (Great Church)

11) Grote Kerk (Great Church)

Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk is a landmark Protestant church. The building is located on the Torenstraat, named for its high tower. Together with the Binnenhof, it is one of the oldest buildings in the Hague. Members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been baptized there. The Grote Kerk (15th and 16th centuries) has a fine vaulted interior, and contains some old stained glass, a carved wooden pulpit, a large organ and interesting sepulchral monuments, and some escutcheons of the knights of the Golden Fleece, placed here after the chapter of 1456. It is remarkable for its fine tower and chime of bells, and contains the cenotaph monument of Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam, designed by Cornelis Moninckx and sculpted by Bartholomeus Eggers in 1667, and the renaissance tomb of Gerrit van Assendelft (1487 – 1558).

The church's six-sided tower is one of the tallest in the Netherlands. There are 34 panels with shields and names of knights of the golden fleece. The richly carved wooden pulpit was made in 1550. The church endured a fire in 1539, and the stained glass windows were repaired by leading glass artists. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who visited the church after the fire, sponsored two windows by the Crabeth's that due to their royal origin are the only two windows that have survived up to the present day.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Grote Markt (Main Market Square)

12) Grote Markt (Main Market Square)

The Grote Markt (Main Market) is a square in the center of The Hague. The site of the square today had been home to the St. Elizabeth Convent since 1452, which was burned down in 1584. This was one of four nuns' monasteries built in The Hague at the end of the Middle Ages. During the Reformation, the remains of the monastery were demolished, and the land was sold off.

In 1614 the market square was built on this site where a fruit and vegetable market was held. The farmers from the Westland could easily transport their goods to The Hague and the Main Market grew into the most important market in the city. Large trading houses were built for this purpose, such as the Koorenhuis and the Boterhuis.

From the 1970s, the square turned into an important entertainment area. The market is now gone. Some old buildings underwent a restoration and the square was redesigned, whereby motorized traffic was no longer allowed. Nowadays the square features many dining options and it comes alive in the evening when the nearby bars and restaurants fill the place with tables and chairs. There are also many events taking place in the middle of the square throughout the year.
Grote Marktstraat (Main Market Street)

13) Grote Marktstraat (Main Market Street)

The Grote Marktstraat is one of the most important shopping streets in The Hague and has relatively few offices, homes and catering establishments . The street was built in the late 1920s to create a traffic connection between the Prinsegracht and the southeastern part of the city ( Station Staatsspoor and Bezuidenhout ). Today it is a street where motorized traffic has no access.

This road connection was created by the demolition of many streets, buildings and slums between the Grote Markt and the Spui . The only buildings that still recall the period before the construction of the Grote Marktstraat is situated between the Grote Markt and the Raamstraat; this row of facades was then part of the former Gerbrandstraatje. Its name is taken from the Grote Markt, which was then the end of the Prinsegracht and the beginning of the city center of The Hague.

To improve the competitive position of The Hague, the municipality has the ambition to turn Grote Marktstraat into a shopping boulevard with international allure. In 2014 , the definitive redesign of the Grote Marktstraat as a shopping promenade started. The opening of a branch of Hudson's Bay in September 2017 symbolized the conclusion of the renovation of the former V&D building in the Grote Marktstraat, after earlier parts had already been taken into use by other chains.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Hague, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Hague

Create Your Own Walk in Hague

Creating your own self-guided walk in Hague is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Hague's Monuments Tour

Hague's Monuments Tour

The Hague is a historic city and one of the most important cities in the Netherlands. It has a rich collection of impressive monuments and memorials that date back 19th century, but are still in an extraordinary condition. Take this tour to visit some of the most notable monuments in The Hague.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Scheveningen Walking Tour

Scheveningen Walking Tour

This sea-side resort was originally an independent fishing village, but soon came to be part of greater city of The Hague. Its inhabitants still maintain a sense of local identity, however. The resort has a history of long royal and well-to-do visitors with the Kurhaus as its main attraction. The area gets very crowded in summer. For large-scale nightlife, most city dwellers prefer Scheveningen to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Hague Shopping Tour

Hague Shopping Tour

The best way to shop around The Hague is on foot, as most of the shopping streets are pedestrian areas. This tour will include a walk from Hofweg Street along the De Passage to Denneweg. Many shops are situated in historic buildings and are a place for shoppers and history enthusiasts alike. Whether you are looking for ornamental arts and crafts, garments, pottery or jewelry, The Hague has it all....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Hague's Classic Architectural Jewels

Hague's Classic Architectural Jewels

A number of buildings in the center of The Hague were built in medieval times under the feudal system. In the Netherlands these historic buildings are often located on the river, which adds to their beauty. Explore The Hague's fascinating past with this tour of the city's medieval architecture.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles