The best places to live in The Hague
The Hague is the capital of the province of South Holland, which includes cities such as Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam. All of these are located close to The Hague and, given the efficient public transport systems available, many people commute into the city from the surrounding areas daily.
Residents of The Hague itself will live in one of the eight principal districts, including the popular central areas and beachfront districts of Centrum, Scheveningen, Loosduinen, Segbroek and Haagse Hout, as well as Escamp, Laak and Leidschenveen-Ypenburg.
Factors that must be considered when choosing an area to live in are, among others, proximity to good schools, access to transport links and the amenities available.
Below are of some of the most popular areas and suburbs in The Hague.
City-centre living in The Hague
Centrum (meaning 'centre') is the heart of the city. It houses everything from shops, embassies, restaurants and cafes to major attractions and green spaces. Accommodation options include luxury villas, historical buildings and modern apartments. Rental prices are high and reflect the area’s desirability, and space is limited, which makes parking a challenge.
This central district encompasses multiple neighbourhoods, including Chinatown, Schilderswijk, Hofkwartier and Noordeinde, Zeeheldenkwartier and Archipelbuurt.
Walk through one of the ornate Chinese-style gates and enter Chinatown. Though compact, this neighbourhood integrates a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian influences, from acupuncture clinics and grocery stores to restaurants with authentic Asian cuisine.
Expats with a passion for art history will love Schilderswijk, where the streets are named after renowned painters and artists. Schilderswijk suits expats looking for a central location where they can enjoy the buzzing cosmopolitan lifestyle and conveniently access the popular outdoor De Haagse Markt to buy fresh local produce.
Hofkwartier and Noordeinde
For a charming mix of old and new, the Hofkwartier and Noordeinde areas offer both modern shopping experiences and historical treasures – Noordeinde Palace, for example, is one of the Dutch royal family's three official palaces and is a must-see tourist attraction. Expats can also enjoy window-shopping and browsing the exclusive shops and chic boutiques lining Hoogstreet.
Zeeheldenkwartier – said to be reminiscent of Venice with its charming canals – rewards residents and visitors with an abundance of green spaces and Art Nouveau architecture. Well-off residents, as well as young entrepreneurs, call Zeeheldenkwartier their home, finding accommodation in grand mansions as well as simpler yet luxurious dwellings.
Expats living in Archipelbuurt appreciate the Neo-Renaissance architecture and wide avenues and streets. This area boasts a central location in the heart of the city yet remains connected to nature through its green spaces and access to the nearby forested park, Scheveningen Woods. It is also close to major landmarks and sightseeing opportunities, including the Peace Palace, the renowned judicial court and library.
Beachfront living in The Hague
While The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and a key political and judicial centre, its natural environment also plays a key role. The Hague lies on the west coast of the country along the North Sea, and modern beach resorts have developed here. A number of forested areas are dotted around major districts and outlying towns and municipalities. Below are some examples of residential areas boasting breathtaking natural habitats.
Scheveningen, one of The Hague’s eight main districts, lies on the coast, offering a wide stretch of sandy beach popular for unwinding or for residents or visitors to get their adrenaline going by windsurfing and kiteboarding. Expats staying in this area can also enjoy pleasant strolls along the pier and take in the spectacular sea and lighthouse views.
Scheveningen encompasses a selection of neighbourhoods, including Statenkwartier and Belgisch Park. Expats residing in Statenkwartier could find themselves in a residential building inspired by Art Nouveau architecture, and will have easy access to diverse amenities and shops along Frederik Hendriklaan.
Perhaps a quieter area on the outskirts of Scheveningen district is Belgisch Park. Belgisch Park is nestled between the forest areas and parks of Nieuwe Scheveningse Bosjes and Oostduinpark – a huge drawcard for nature lovers. Families with children are also drawn to this neighbourhood, given the host of top schools in the area.
From expansive parks and the Westduinpark nature reserve to charming waterways, long stretches of dunes and a beach looking out to the North Sea, Loosduinen is certainly picturesque. Expats who live here can take in the sights of the Kijkduin beach resort or try their hand at kitesurfing.
Another principal district, Haagse Hout boasts large homes and plenty of open space, and it’s particularly popular among expat families. Bezuidenhout and other neighbourhoods within Haagse Hout may be quiet but have much to offer and are just as popular among young professionals as with expat families. In addition to its access to green spaces, residents of this district will also find that they’re within easy reach of the beach resort of Scheveningen.
Segbroek is a peaceful suburb located near a quiet section of the beach. Houses are modest, rent is reasonable and there are lots of little shops, coffee houses and other amenities in the area. Active expats will enjoy taking hikes through the nearby forest.
Wassenaar lies on the outskirts of The Hague and is considered a separate municipality. The area is surrounded by nature, with the coastal dunes and birdwatching opportunities in Meijendel and walking trails and canals in the tree-filled park of De Horsten, which is home to ducks and swans. Known by some as the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, Wassenaar’s gated villas typically house diplomats and wealthy expats. It’s also highly desirable thanks to its proximity to some of the best international schools.
►For more information about finding a home in the city, see Accommodation in The Hague
Photo credits: Cityscape of The Hague by Vyacheslav Koval; The Hague by Nicole Baster. All sourced from Unsplash.
"In terms of rent we would not be able to afford in London, the size of property we are in here. So its cheaper in that respect. however, there is a constant issue I've picked up from being here six years about the fact that expat rent is more than it would be for a local and it appears for little extra service. I feel that it depends on your landlord but still there is a lack of responsiveness and responsibility."
Learn more about expat life in the Netherlands in our interview with British expat Nicola.
Are you an expat living in The Hague?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The Hague. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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