The Hague is home to more than half a million people and is the third largest city in the Netherlands, right after Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Less than 50% of the very multicultural population inhabiting this municipality of low houses and long wide streets are "hagenees" (people born in The Hague); and, although it is densely populated, it is greener and more tranquil than either of the bigger cities. Being the only metropolitan area on the sea shore in the Netherlands, The Hague has 11 kilometres of coastline. The city is home to many festivals, among which probably the best known is the King’s day, which draws up to a million people, both Dutch and tourists, to celebrate wildly while clad in orange. Truly, there is no better way to see the story people of The Hague build, than to witness it yourself and become part of it.
Living in The Hague
You’ll be hard pushed to spend a day at home due to not having anything to do - The Hague is thriving with culture, events and activities. A great starting point of any plan is to check with The Hague’s official tourism page and scan through the events - something there may immediately capture your attention. Being inhabited by many different cultures, The Hague's event agenda is equally rich and varied. Ironically, the weather in the Netherlands will not always permit having a comfortable time outdoors, although, really, there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. In such case you should take up some one of the indoor activities and discover the many museums, galleries, theatres, or something more thrilling. If you're keen to have a cheeky little shopping spree, pass through the luxurious Passage, fashionable Denneweg and the net of authentic little shops in the old town. Wish be, you can eat out in a different restaurant every day, or cook something at home with the fresh produce you've picked up at The Hague Market.
Some days you'd just rather escape the city with and all its people? Surround yourself with grass, trees, sand and water at one of the local parks or beaches. After all, some of the most beautiful gardens in the Netherlands can be found by just walking around The Hague, while public transport or bicycle will take you to one of our beaches. For more devoted hikers, there are a few lovely (or challenging) routes along the coast. If you have time, grab a small lunch at the Paleistuin (Palace Garden), or, if you're lucky to be around during the few weeks the Japanese Garden is open, definitelly visit it within the Clingendael estate.
Working and education in The Hague
It is likely, that coming to The Hague, you are employed by some of the international organizations residing here. These include big names like Europol, NATO Communications and Information Agency, International Criminal Court, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Kosovo Tribunal, International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration (Peace Palace). The corporations found around include giants like Shell, Aramco, Worley, Total, Siemens, APM Terminals, Damco, Aegon - Nationale Nederlanden (NN), KPN, and HCL. Meanwhile, if you're coming here with your own, or joining a startup, there are several hubs accommodating young businesses: The Hague Tech and Apollo 14 for technology innovators; The Hague Humanity Hub for the social entrepreneurs and community innovators; and The Hague Security Delta for those immersing in the field of national, urban and cyber security.
Your children will also be presented with ample opportunity for quality education. You may choose between public schools and private or semi-private international schools (here's the list of primary and secondary international schools). Higher education accomodates future movers and shakers in arts, music, science, technology and business, with places like Leiden University The Hague Campus, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Social Studies ISS - Inholland, Royal Academy of Arts, Royal Conservatoire, or Hogere Hotelschool to choose from, not to mention the easily reachable universities around The Hague.
Staying in The Hague you can rest assured that your physical and mental health are in hands of excellent and reputable institutions, some of which specialize in serving international, multi-cultural patients, although if you speak English, it won't be a problem to receive adequate help in any of them. Of course, the best medicine is not getting sick at all, so keep fit and active with one of the many gyms and sports clubs available around the city.
Six train stations are serving The Hague (CS, HS, Laan van NOI, Mariahoeve, Moerwijk and Ypenburg), which connect to most of the local and international routes, while trams and buses will take you to any part of the city and surrounding municipalities. Nonetheless, if you can ride it, a bicycle will be your best friend.