Your guide to The Hague’s most remarkable parks and beaches

parks
04/07/2019

Your guide to The Hague’s most remarkable parks and beaches

The Hague is defined by its multinational community of more than half a million people - it is one of the most densely habited cities in the Netherlands, more so than Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Nonetheless, both locals and new residents tend to affectionately call it a “big village” due to the homely feeling it radiates; rarely crowded, time and again offering another new quaint place to visit. Not only it is the only major Dutch city on the sea shore, but it is surrounded by parks and interwoven with canals. The following are several places definitely worth a visit, whether to grab a quick bite in a park during your lunch break, or spend half a day taking in the environment and actively engaging in activities.

Parks

Clingendael Estate

clingendael

 

Contributions from various landscape architects over the last five hundred years characterized Clingendael’s (meaning “valley in the dunes”) surroundings, which are now enjoyed during all seasons by people visiting the meadow behind the residence, walking around a beautiful forest of old trees, or lounging by the water. Located a little bit north of the city centre, Clingendael hides one of The Hague’s, and  the Netherlands, most beautiful botanical treasures -  the Japanese Garden, initiated and created by the Lady Daisy - Baroness Marguérite van Brienen, in the beginning of the 20th century. However, due to the fragile nature of imported plants, the part of the park housing the Japanese Garden is only accessible for a few weeks a year.

Paleistuin

paleistuin

 

Located just behind the Noordeinde Palace, The Palace Garden, although a little bit concealed, is a lovely and really central park open from sunrise to sunset. The wall of rising greenery offers respite from the street noises, and hides behind it a neat grassy area with a pond, trees, sculptures, a playground and benches, creating a cosy setting to leave the hectic pace of the city and have a little outdoor meal for your lunchbreak, or idle around reading a book.

Zuiderpark

FaceMePLS 'Vrouw' (1941) 'Woman' by Gra Rueb (Breda 1885 - Den Haag 1972).

 

One of the largest parks in The Hague, it is easily reachable by public transport and hosts several play fields, a playground, a skate park, BBQ spots and many other great facilities – a perfect place for a day out. Its convenient location and planning also made it the home of several festivals, one of them being the largest free festival in the Netherlands: Parkpop. Fans of botanical gardens will find the parks’ “Country area” to their liking – in the early 20th century Dutch horticulturist Simon Doorenbos has composed an arboretum arranged by the countries of origin, consisting of almost 700 trees, of which 41 are considered very rare.

Dunes and beaches

Scheveningen

scheveningen

 

Probably requiring the least ado, The Hague’s most popular beach Scheveningen has a lovely pier with a Ferris wheel; a shore side sprinkled with beach cafes, lounges and clubs; beach sports stadium; a harbour and many other activities. Once there, take time to walk along the coastline, pass by the iconic Kurhous hotel, grab a bite at one of the food kiosks serving fresh sea foods, and most importantly, if weather permits, go for a swim! There are many activities to be taken up, from visiting museums, dining, shopping, seeing a documentary on a massive dome screen, enjoying  concerts and theatre to, of course, just relaxing and sunbathing.

Kijkduin

kijkduin

 

While Scheveningen may be the most popular beach destination in The Hague, locals love nothing more than a peaceful walk away from all the bustle, just to the south by the shore. Kijkduin offers serene dunes and calm beach, routes for hiking and cycling, and several restaurants and cafes to take a well-deserved rest. Probably the most unusual attraction here is the Celestial Vault – an artificial crater created by the famous light and space artist James Turrell. The depth of this ellipse shaped structure is approximately 5 meters, allowing to stargaze in a unique ambience, viewing the night sky as a dome. 

Meijendel

meijendel

 

This alluring reserve spans from Scheveningen to Wasenaar and is the largest interconnected dune area in South Holland. The valley is netted with various hiking routes, and has a cycling path. If you wish to get information about this unique location, start your journey at the visitor centre De Tapuit, where you'll also find excursions. Nearby is the Monkeybos Playground, a fun and interactive place for children to spend some of the overflowing energy. Not far away you'll find one of the most important Dutch memorials of the war - Waalsdorpervlakte. Finally, there are several eateries around, including a pancake restaurant.

 

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