From the Eastern, rural part of the Netherlands I arrived in The Hague at the age of 19. Straight from the countryside to the big city. A culture shock of enormous magnitude. 38 years later I can honestly say that there is a 'My The Hague'. A The Hague that I have embraced and closed my heart. I'm proud of that.
As the culture marketer of denhaag.com I was asked to give 5 tips about the city. I had to think about this for a moment. Of course the King lives here and The Hague is 'the' dance city of the Netherlands. The largest Mondrian collection in the world is in the Kunstmuseum, and 'Radar Love' is really a song from The Hague. Need I say more !? Yessss.
I think the most beautiful building is the Esso building near Malieveld. Better known as The Red Elephant. The former headquarters of oil company Esso owes its nickname to a sculpture of an elephant's head in the tower. And the warm red-brown color of the more than 3 million used bricks! Walk inside and take a look around you. It is impressive. Admire yourself at this gem of the Amsterdam school.
What you definitely have to do, and you really shouldn't hang it on the big clock, is to hang on the surf on a warm summer night. Somewhere on the Zuiderstrand. Take a bottle of wine with you and enjoy the silence, the light and the roar of the sea. Don't do this alone, but go with someone you love. And get away in the dawn, don't forget to take your mess with you. Oh, and don't tell anyone.
What you should not miss is the Binnenhof. Walk over it, preferably, in the evening and enjoy the peace and the special atmosphere of the buildings and the heart of Dutch democracy. No more fancy in politics, the Grote Markt is a stone's throw away and plunges into the nightlife of The Hague. And then the Zwarte Ruiter is the place to go. Tasty beers and lots of live music in the weekends.
You can eat anywhere in The Hague. Expensive, cheap everything is possible. I like cheap and tasty and often go to Min Kee at the Gedempte Gracht. Check the Sichuan cuisine here. And no sense in Chinese than an excellent roti at New Meyva in the Boekhorstraat.
My secret tip is a street, the Oude Molstraat. Nice and easy to find on Google Maps. If I meet you there a beer is always welcome. This street is the best cafe in the Netherlands, this is not an invention but official. Which is that? You can also do something yourself. Have fun in that beautiful city behind the dunes.