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11 Fun Things to do in The Hague on a Workcation in the Netherlands

Explore fun things to do in The Hague on a Dutch workcation. Discover the best of Den Haag on a bleisure trip to the Netherlands.

I had the opportunity to visit the Netherlands recently for work and looked forward to exploring all the cool things to do in The Hague. Since my motto is work to live, live to travel, travel for work I had big plans to incorporate some fun into this business trip. It's hard to believe that it's May and that this is my first bleisure trip of the year.

The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands and is situated on the western coast of the country about an hour from Amsterdam and 30 minutes from Rotterdam. Den Haag (in Dutch) balances a rich history with a modern cosmopolitan vibe. 

The Hague is probably most well-known as the political capital of the Netherlands and is home to many international organizations, embassies, and government offices. 

Skyscrapers in The Hague viewed from a historic alley

Beyond the political aspects, we found the Hague to be full of charm with a great blend of cultural diversity, cool architecture, and even some seaside fun. 

We discovered that the The Hague is a great home base for a workcation. Let's explore all the fun things to do in Den Haag that we discovered over a 6 day stay (4 working days plus the weekend).

Getting to The Hague

We flew on TAP Portugal from Lisbon to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. I could tell immediately that I had most definitely arrived in the Netherlands in Spring. 

I love that there is a flower shop near the entrance to the train station at Schiphol Airport. Holland is popular this time of year for tulips and the airport was packed but running smoothly.

Flower shop and balloons in Schiphol airport in the Netherlands

You can get to The Hague easily by air from various destinations in Europe and around the world. Den Haag is best served by Amsterdam's Airport, which is one of the busiest and most well-connected international airports in Europe. 

Travelers can easily reach The Hague from large European cities like London, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid through direct flights or convenient connecting flights. Schiphol Airport is served by all major airlines around the world as well as some low cost carriers. 

There are direct flights from further afield in Asia or why not consider taking Emirates Business Class or Emirates Airlines First Class and transiting through Dubai.

If you are traveling to The Hague from within Europe, taking the train is also a convenient option. Den Haag Centraal is a major rail hub and offers seamless connections to domestic and international destinations. 

From the airport, I took the local train to Amsterdam South to spend a few hours in the office. I had to handle the business part of this bleisure trip after all.

Wooden flowers at the Google Office in Amsterdam

I was pleased to discover first-hand that Dutch trains run efficiently and frequently. It cost 13 EUR to go from Amsterdam South to Den Haag where I'd be spending the next few days. Buy your ticket in the station, or better yet, tap in and out with a credit card. The ride is about 40 minutes.

Train pulling into the station in Den Haag

Getting Around The Hague

We found that The Hague is more human-scale than Amsterdam. The city is largely pedestrian-friendly (just watch out for bicyclists whizzing by!) and there are efficient public transportation options. 

The Hague boasts a convenient tram network that covers the city and the surrounding area. With a day ticket costing just 8 EUR, we had unlimited access to the trams, which provided an easy means of getting around when we were tired of walking. 

2 day tickets for public transportation in The Hague

You can buy you day ticket from the machine on the tram itself. If you want to pay as you go, you can also tap and pay using a European credit card or Google Pay. 

We walked as much as possible and hit over 20,000 steps each day that we were in The Hague.

Where to Stay in The Hague

During my workcation trip to The Hague, I had the pleasure of staying at Residence Inn by Marriott, and the hotel exceeded my expectations. The hotel provided me with two delightful stays within a week of each other (with a weekend in Amsterdam in between). 

Pots of tulips in the foreground, Residence Inn by Marriott, The Hague in the background

The Residence Inn Den Haag has comfortable and tranquil rooms. The Residence Inn is above The Moxy Hotel, with rooms starting from the 9th floor. 

My room was on the 16th floor and I was treated to breathtaking views of the city. The Residence Inn's proximity to both the Den Haag city center and the central train station made it super convenient for exploring the city and accessing transportation links. 

View of skyscrapers and blue sky from the Residence Inn Marriott in Den Haag on a sunny day

However, I must admit that I did experience a moment of sadness during breakfast when I discovered that there was no hagelslag, my beloved Dutch chocolate sprinkles, on the buffet. Determined not to let this disappointment ruin my morning, I took matters into my own hands. 

Coffee with DeRuijter jam and hagelslag in The Hague

I made a quick trip to the nearby Albert Heijn supermarket, purchased a big box of hagelslag, and transformed a croissant into a delightful Black Forest themed treat using the cherry jam available on the buffet. Sometimes, it's the small adventures we create that make our travels even more memorable. 

What is the Weather Like in The Hague in the Spring?

I visited The Hague in mid-May and discovered that the weather can be unpredictable with surprise rain showers popping up. Temperatures ranged from a balmy 20 oC down to a very chilly 6 oC on different days of our trip. 

Pack layers to adapt to the ever-changing weather. Also make sure to bring sunglasses and a hat for when the weather is nice and an umbrella or raincoat for wetter weather. It pays to be ready for anything in Den Haag in the Spring!

The Binnenhof reflected in the Hofvijver in The Hague

Things to Do in The Hague on a Workcation

I found The Hague to be a vibrant city with a chill refined vibe with plenty to keep me busy on my workcation. Since I was primarily visiting for work, I took advantage of recommendations from my local colleagues to find some of The Hague's hidden gems. 

I made the most of my time by squeezing in various activities before work, after work, and on the weekends. Here are my picks for the best things to do in The Hague to make the most of a workcation.

1. Take an Architecture Photo Walk

One of the highlights of my workcation in The Hague was taking architecture photo walks through the city. Upon arrival in Den Haag, I was immediately struck by the array of patterns and textures that adorned the city's architecture. 

Textured and patterned architecture in The Hague

My regular readers know that I am obsessed with photographing doors. The quality of the doors in The Hague totally surpassed my expectations. I can't wait to share them on Instagram once I sort through my backlog! 

Collage of doors in Den Haag Netherlands

On my way to work, I decided to incorporate some exercise into my day while admiring the fabulous doors that lined the streets. Luckily, the weather cooperated, and I managed to stay dry. 

However, one morning, I woke up extra early to take a walk before work, only to be met with unexpected rain. But as the saying goes, "if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes" and the rain had passed by the time I left the hotel. 

One sunny morning, I embarked on a door hunting excursion, covering over 10k steps around Den Haag. The sunny weather was ideal for a walk, although it was not ideal for photographing doors. Gray overcast days are best for door photography to avoid shadows. 

Collage of Art Deco architecture on Grote Marktstraat in The Hague

One of my favorite spots for a morning walk was Grote Marktstraat, with its modern sculptures and stunning Art Deco architecture lining the street. It provided the perfect backdrop for my architectural exploration.

2. Check out the Evening Spectacle on Plein

I went for a walk one evening and heard a general buzz. I walked toward the sound and stumbled upon the vibrant spectacle on Plein. I quickly realized that Plein is the place where locals gather on Thursday evenings (and pretty much any evening, actually). 

The atmosphere was humming with energy as I walked around and stumbled upon a row of bustling bars, filled with people enjoying themselves. However, seeking a more relaxed setting for dinner, I opted for a quieter spot nearby. 

Falafel burger, frites, and Dutch craft beer at Burger Bar on Plein in The Hague

I couldn't resist the temptation of a delicious falafel burger and frites, complemented by a refreshing Den Haag craft beer from Eiber, which I found just steps away from lively Plein at Burger Bar.  

3. Try Various World Cuisines

Given it's political prominence due to the international courts located here, The Hague is infused with a wide variety of restaurants serving different world cuisines. One of my favorite things to do in The Hague on this workcation was to sample the international flavors of the city.

One of the things I love most about business travel is the opportunity to connect with local colleagues, and during my trip, one of them kindly offered to take our team out after our meetings. To my surprise and delight, when we arrived at his car, we were standing in front of a pristine white 1966 Volvo. 

White 1966 Volvo parked in The Hague

With this local expert by our side, we headed to Wox in Den Haag, a restaurant that my colleague has frequented for 15 years, and it instantly became clear why. The staff was incredibly attentive and friendly, and the Asian-inspired sharing plates were a delight to the palate. 

Collage of dishes and decor at Wox in The Hague

I have a sweet tooth and if you do too, I recommend saving room for dessert. The hot chocolate cake was a standout, decadent treat. 

Another memorable dining experience was at Shakshuka, where we savored fabulous dishes such as hummus with fresh pita, kibbeh, and juicy ground lamb and beef. Their spicy tequila cocktail, infused with cherry and lychee, was a delicious surprise. 

Collage of dishes and decor at Shakshuka in the Hague

For a taste of Argentina, we indulged in a mouthwatering steak platter at La Tabla. With friendly service and reasonable prices (75 EUR for a massive platter for 2), the platter for two, which included ribs, wings, and empanadas, was a true delight. To conclude our meal, we were treated to a shot of sweet orange Argentinian liquor called Legui. 

Collage of food and drink at La Tabla Argentinian Restaurant in The Hague

Adding a touch of Mexico to our culinary adventure in The Hague, we relished quesadillas with classic and Mezcal margaritas at Kua, providing the perfect finale to our trip in the Netherlands. We couldn't resist savoring dishes like enchiladas verde and spicy red enchiladas, in one final showcase of the city's culinary diversity.

Collage of Mexican dishes and margaritas at Kua in The Hague

4. Admire Binnenhof During Golden Hour

I was reminded on this Den Haag workcation that colleagues are also great for local trivia. I learned that the two story turreted tower at the corner of the Binnenhof is traditionally the Prime Minister's office. 

The Binnenhof, located in the heart of The Hague, holds a significant place in Dutch history. This iconic complex dates back to the 13th century and is one of the oldest parliament buildings in the world that is still in use today. 

Binnenhof in The Hague during Golden Hour

The Binnenhof simply lights up during Golden Hour in the Spring so make sure to time your visit for this time of day. The sunsets after 9 pm in May so a quick walk to Binnenhof is the perfect after dinner activity in the Hague.

5. Shop for Dutch Treats to Sustain You While You Work

I love browsing supermarket shelves when I visit new places, especially when I'm there for a workcation. We already talked about my foray into Albert Heijn to pick up hagelslag for breakfast. 

Albert Heijn is the place to go for hagelslag, stroopwafels, Dutch licorice and more. If the weather takes a turn for the worse during your visit to The Hague, spend an hour browsing the shelves for edible souvenirs.

6. Take an Art Walk

I found that The Hague is a city rich in culture. When we visited, there was an installation of inflatable art all around the city. We took a pre-dinner walk and discovered a giant inflatable lightbulb in de Passage, a historic shopping arcade. 

Inflatable Saturn on top of a building lit up after dark in The HagueCollage of pictures of de Passage in The Hague

We took a moment to read an ode to a joke shop that was once very popular here and sold things like "fart pillows". I think that's the literal translation of whoopie cushion. I suppose a "fart pillow" could be considered a form of inflatable art too if you're a practical joker!

7. Explore Den Haag's Craft Beer Scene

For craft beer enthusiasts, exploring The Hague's vibrant craft beer scene is a must-do. To cap off our evening after a filling dinner, we made our way to The Fiddler Irish Pub in Den Haag and indulged in Animal Army craft beer. 

Curiosity led me to try their Cream Bee stout cask ale, although it felt slightly wrong to order an English-style beer in an Irish pub. However, it was the Long Neck Bock that truly won me over with its rich flavors. 

Collage of craft beers and bar snacks in The Hague

On another occasion on this workcation, I stumbled upon Angie's Kitchen | Bar in Noordeinde and we decided to stop on a whim. The Dutch craft beer bottles perfectly complemented the delightful bites of bitterballen and flammkuchen we enjoyed in their charming outdoor garden. 

One evening before dinner, we couldn't resist the call of Tap Room in Den Haag, where I downed a sneaky pint (as they say in Ireland!) of Dutch craft beer. 

I quickly came to appreciate how The Hague's craft beer scene offers a wealth of options for beer lovers, providing the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in the local flavors and discover new favorites.

8. Drink Local Specialty Coffee

Exploring the Dutch specialty coffee scene quickly became one of my favorite things to do in The Hague.

On a holiday Thursday, when many places were still closed, Caffé Almondo in Den Haag came to the rescue. They served up delicious lattes to-go from their historic facade, providing the perfect fuel for a morning walk. Despite the chilly 6°C weather, we briskly walked along, taking in the sights.

For our Friday morning walk, we set our sights on Single Estate Coffee Roasters in Den Haag. As we strolled through the city under the sunny morning sky, we marveled at the intricate architectural details along the way. We love the thrill of setting a coffee destination and discovering unexpected gems along the way.

Collage of coffee and pastries at Single Origin Coffee Roasters in Den Haag

Our visit to Single Origin Coffee Roasters in Den Haag was an absolute delight. The aroma of freshly baked pastry greeted us. I tried a maple bacon bun and my husband tried an orange cardamom bun. 

Their warm and flaky goodness paired perfectly with a meticulously prepared coffee roast from Peru. The barista expertly used two different brewing methods, allowing us to compare and contrast the flavor profiles achieved via the different preparations.

While exploring the neighborhood surrounding Single Origin Coffee Roasters, we stumbled upon an awesome sculpture on the side of a building featuring a man atop a streetcar. I love the delightful and serendipitous things you find a workcation coffee walk!

Sculpture of a man riding a street car on the side of a building in The Hague

To bring a taste of Den Haag's coffee scene home, we made a stop at Perron, a local roaster. The friendly barista provided us with helpful recommendations, and we even had the opportunity to sample a few options before deciding. 

What impressed us the most was the reasonable prices, with 250g of coffee ranging from 10-12 EUR. This was a pleasant surprise compared to the higher prices we've encountered at home in Lisbon, where a similar sized package often exceeds 15 EUR. We happily picked up some coffee beans, excited to savor the flavors of Den Haag long after our visit. 

Coffee beans for sale at Perron in Den Haag in the Netherlands

9. Go to the Beach at Scheveningen

The Hague is probably not a destination that you immediately think of when considering a seaside holiday, but did you know that Den Haag boasts its very own beach? 

Scheveningen is just a short tram ride away from The Hague city centre and here you can immerse yourself in the Dutch seaside experience. Hop on Tram 1 from Den Haag Centraal, and within about 20 minutes, you'll find yourself at this coastal respite. 

Despite the bracing wind, the sun shone brightly, making it a perfect day for a stroll along the plentiful beach bars. While I'll admit that we were tempted to stake out a lounger and enjoy drinks all day, we resisted the urge and continued our explorations.

Lounger with view of the beach beyond at Scheveningen in The Hague

As we walked along the pier, we couldn't resist grabbing a stroopwafel to fuel our walk. De Pier offers two levels—an outdoor area on the top (which was incredibly windy!) and an indoor section on the lower level. The indoor space, with its expansive windows providing panoramic views, is filled with bars, cafes, and souvenir shops.

Collage of pictures of De Pier in Scheveningen in The Hague

Foodhall Scheveningen is a must-visit destination. Opening at noon, it exudes a vibrant atmosphere with a touch of whimsy. We decided to sample the offerings at the Saigon Street Food stall, where we indulged in a delicious Chicken Bao Wow Vietnamese sandwich along with a Texels beer from the bar. The variety of flavors and the lively ambiance made our visit truly enjoyable.

Collage of Vietnamese food and decor at Foodhall Scheveningen in The Hague

Pro-tip: we discovered that the toilet facilities along De Pier and the promenade in Scheveningen cost between 1-2 EUR to use. Foodhall Scheveningen let's you use the toilet for free with purchase, so save your receipt.

To enable our beachside adventure, we purchased a day ticket for Den Haag's public transit system for 8 EUR. Boarding Tram 1 towards Badhuisstraat, we sought out a coffee fix and found ourselves at Tigershark, a coffee shop that serves specialty coffee roasted in the Netherlands. 

The relaxed atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop for savoring a cup of coffee alongside a delicious pear cardamom cake.

coffee in yellow mugs and pear cardamom cake at Tigershark in The Hague

As we strolled up Keizerstraat and made our way back towards the beach, our attention was drawn to a group of sculptures along the promenade facing the sea. Inspired by fairy tales and works of literature, these artworks added a touch of enchantment to our beachside experience.

Keizerstraat and church spire in The Hague

The most eye-catching building along the beach promenade is the Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus. Stepping inside, we marveled at the spectacular ballroom, adorned with painted walls, sparkling chandeliers, and a stunning glass ceiling. Climbing the stairs, we grabbed a seat in plush armchairs to admire the opulent interior and slightly faded grandeur. 

Collage of the interior at Grand Hotel Amrâth Kurhaus in The Hague

10. Pop Into the Visitors Centre at the Peace Palace

We used our day pass to take the tram from Scheveningen to The Peace Palace in Den Haag. 

The Peace Palace in The Hague is synonymous with peace and international justice. Constructed between 1907 and 1913, it was intended to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts and serve as a hub for international law. 

The idea for the Peace Palace originated with philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who ultimately funded the project. 

The Peace Palace in The Hague

The Peace Palace became the permanent home of several important international institutions, including the International Court of Justice. Over the years, The Hague has born witness to numerous significant legal proceedings that have shaped the course of international law and diplomacy. 

The Peace Palace and gardens are not routinely open to visitors but there is a small visitors center adjacent to the grounds which explains the underlying history and some of the difficult moments tried at the International Court of Justice. 

A short visit to The Peace Palace was one of the more fascinating things to do that we squeezed into our Den Haag workcation.

11. Tour Panorama Mesdag

A visit to Panorama Mesdag is offers a glimpse into Den Haag's historic past. The museum showcases the oldest painted panorama still on display in its original location. Created in 1880 by the local artist Hendrik Willem Mesdag, with assistance from his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten and a small group of Dutch painters, this panoramic masterpiece is quite impressive. 

The panoramic view transported us to a different era, immersing us in a methodically painted contemporary representation of The Hague's 19th century coastal landscape. While the entry fee of 15 EUR per person seemed a bit steep, the experience was worth the splurge. 

A section of Panorama Mesdag in The Hague

In addition to the panorama, we also explored the Mesdag Collection, which showcased a remarkable selection of paintings by Hendrik Willem Mesdag and Sientje Mesdag-van Houten. There was also a temporary exhibit featuring folded paper panoramas by Ulrike Heydenreich, offering a unique and creative perspective. 

We even had the chance to try our hand at a paper folding exercise laid out by the artist, which proved to be a fun if not slightly challenging activity. 

Is the Hague Worth Visiting?

You may be wondering: based on our experience on this workcation, is The Hague worth visiting. I believe that every place is worth visiting at least once!

Walking back to our hotel via Binnenhof one evening when it was pretty as a picture with the light reflecting on the water I had time to think. Reflecting on this trip, I am once again grateful for the opportunities to travel for work that give me the chance to immerse myself in a new place for a short while. 

The Binnenhof lit up at night in The Hague

Den Haag very much exceeded our expectations. We found plenty to do but at a more human scale and in a less chaotic and crowded atmosphere than Amsterdam.

I definitely recommend spending a day or two in The Hague if you find yourself looking for places to visit in the Netherlands as an add-on to a business trip or even for a weekend city break in it's own right.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 11 Fun Things to do in The Hague on a Workcation in the Netherlands
11 Fun Things to do in The Hague on a Workcation in the Netherlands
Explore fun things to do in The Hague on a Dutch workcation. Discover the best of Den Haag on a bleisure trip to the Netherlands.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog