While The Hague might not have as much to offer in terms of lifestyle activities as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, expats relocating to the city will still find all sorts of pursuits to suit people with varied interests.
Shopping in The Hague
Shoppers will find chic fashion boutiques in and around Hofkwartier and Denneweg, but for alternative and edgy styles, they should head to the Prinsestraat and the Oude Molstraat. For a unique shopping experience, there’s De Passage, which dates back to the 19th century and is the oldest mall in the Netherlands.
When it comes to grocery shopping, all the big names in the Netherlands can be found in The Hague. For seasonal and local produce, it’s best to visit the local markets.
Eating out in The Hague
Dutch food is fairly simple and consists of traditional roasted meat dishes, potatoes and boiled vegetables. While it’s always worth sampling local delicacies, expats will also find a range of international cuisines, including African, French, Italian, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Chinese.
Some of the best areas for eating out are in Willemspark or Chinatown, while the beachfront restaurants in Scheveningen make for a classy and picturesque dining experience.
Nightlife in The Hague
The daytime hustle and bustle of the city centre transforms into a vibrant nightlife when the sun sets – most pubs, cocktail bars and clubs are found in and around Centrum (The Hague city centre). Craft beer lovers can also visit the multiple breweries here to indulge in the best of what The Hague has to offer.
The prevalence of popular bars and clubs makes this area perfect for any pub crawl, while further-out Scheveningen also offers some beachfront clubbing opportunities.
Sports and outdoor activities in The Hague
Fitness enthusiasts living in The Hague can take part in a wide variety of sports, from swimming and water sports to hiking, fishing and cycling. Its location on the North Sea coast affords The Hague residents opportunities for kitesurfing and windsurfing, while those looking for something calmer can enjoy pleasant beach walks.
There are also some wonderful parks that are well worth a visit. The Scheveningen Woods, just a short drive from The Hague’s city centre, offers several scenic walking and hiking trails and cycle paths as well as a children’s playground.
Those who prefer to exercise indoors will find plenty of gyms and fitness centres throughout the city, many of which offer personal training services at an additional cost.
Kid-friendly activities in The Hague
Besides the area's great selection of schools, expats moving to The Hague with children will find that the city has plenty to keep the little ones entertained.
Below are a few fun ideas for both rain and shine.
Outdoor kid-friendly activities
The seaside suburb of Scheveningen is popular with families during the summer, and The Hague’s many parks make great picnic spots too.
Westduinpark boasts some easy walking trails along the dunes that provide great views of the city.
There’s also the tranquil and historic Clingendael estate, and animal lovers can enjoy a day out at one of the city farms or petting zoos.
The incredibly realistic miniature cityscapes at Madurodam are a popular attraction for children and adults alike.
Indoor kid-friendly activities
When the weather is inclement in The Hague, parents will find that there are a number of excellent indoor activities for children as well.
Planet Jump’s indoor trampoline centre is a brilliant venue for children’s parties and a good way to burn up excess energy.
Glow Golf Scheveningen provides a unique indoor glow-in-the-dark miniature golf experience for kids, while the fascinating underwater scenes of the Sea Life Scheveningen aquarium are also among the most popular outings for children.
►Education and Schools in The Hague is essential reading for parents planning a move
"Dutch social life differs from the easy going style of the US, Ireland and UK. Appointments for socialising are made and work/ home tends not to mix, whereas in UK one tends to be sociable after work with colleagues regularly and without formal appointments!"
Find out more about the expat experience 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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