The Hague Central Station area
The Hague Central Station is right in the middle of the city centre of The Hague. So why not take a day trip from Amsterdam by train?
The Hague is a small city on the west coast of the Netherlands. This coastal town is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. But even if you just have a day or even an afternoon, you can still see a lot of the Hague!
Just a kilometer from Central Station, a short walk of about 10 minutes, you’ll find the museum Mauritshuis. It’s next to the parliament buildings at the Binnenhof, so you’ll catch two birds with one stone.
This small museum houses works of some of the biggest Dutch and Flemish masters. Among its collection of 800 paintings, of which 200 masterpieces are part of the permanent collection, you can admire Vermeers ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’, ‘The Anatomical Lesson’ by dr. Nicolaes and Rembrandts ‘Tulip’.
The museum itself is located in a beautiful seventeenth century monument. Originaly build as a house for count Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, the building had several different purposes, until it became a museum in 1822.
It was Prince William V who, in the 18th century, lay the foundation for the collection as it is known today.
According to the museum website, the best times to visit the museum to avoid the crowds are after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, on Monday afternoon or Thursday evening. You can pre order your tickets online.
Binnenhof (Government Buildings)
Thanks to Wikipedia I can give you a little history and some background information about these Gothic buildings.
They were primarily built in the 13th century and served as the houses of the counts of Holland. In 1854 they became the political centre of the Dutch Republic and they hold that function to this day.
The Binnenhof, (translation the inner court), houses the parliament of the Netherlands which consists of the First and Second Chambers of the States General. The buildings also house the Ministry of General affairs and the office of the prime minister.
His office is in a small tower, called het Torentje, or Little Tower. If you look at the parliament buildings and the Mauritshuis from the Hofvijver lake, you will see the tower next to the Mauritshuis on the right. This has been the office of the prime minister since 1982.
The most prominent building of the Binnenhof is the Ridderzaal, translation: the Hall of Knights. Built as a ballroom, it now serves as a ceremonial room used for royal receptions and interparliamentary conferences. But the most important function is given to the hall every third Tuesday in September, when the Dutch Monarch delivers their annual speech in honor of the state opening of Parliament.
This day is called Prinsjesdag (Princeday). The King and Queen make a ceremonial tour in a ‘golden’ horsedrawn carriage from the Kings workpalace at Noordeinde to the Ridderzaal. This always attracts a big crowd of fans of the Royal Family. Worth a look if you happen to be in The Hague on this day!
Visit The Hague Forest (het Haagse Bos). It’s actually more of a park than a forest, but it’s a beautiful stretch of nature within walking distance of the train station. Relax, and maybe even take a picnic.
Getting dinner or a snack
If you have time for a proper meal at a restaurant, try one of my favorite restaurants, which I have listed right here in this article.
If you’re in a hurry, but still want a bite to eat, try Mingle Mush, right next to the train station. This foodhall houses different food stalls which sell all kinds of amazing dishes: pierogi, tacos, pizza, sushi, pad thai, chicken tajine, burgers, you name it!
They also have a bar with a wide selection of beers., cocktails, wines and cider. On the upper level you can play arcade videogames and there’s also an airhockey table. I promise you, this will take you right back to your childhood!
I hope you have fun in this beautiful city!
Have you been to the Hague or planning to come here? Let me know what you think about the city and sights! Can’t wait to hear your stories!