The Hague, known as Den Haag in Dutch, is best known as the political heart of the Netherlands, housing the Dutch government and several international organizations. However, beyond its bureaucratic reputation, this vibrant city has plenty of hidden gems and secret spots that are waiting to be explored. From tranquil parks to quirky cafes, here are 10 hidden gems of The Hague that will give you a glimpse into the city’s local hangouts and lesser-known attractions.

1. The Gemeentemuseum:

Address: Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV Den Haag
The Gemeentemuseum is a true gem for art enthusiasts. This breathtaking museum houses an extensive collection of art and design, ranging from the works of Dutch masters such as Mondrian and Vermeer to contemporary pieces. The modernist architecture of the building itself is also a sight to behold. With its serene atmosphere and diverse exhibitions, the Gemeentemuseum offers a unique artistic experience that shouldn’t be missed.

2. The Peace Palace:

Address: Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ Den Haag
Located in a picturesque setting, the Peace Palace is a symbol of The Hague’s international reputation as the City of Peace and Justice. This iconic building hosts the International Court of Justice and several other international organizations dedicated to resolving conflicts and promoting peace. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to learn about the rich history and significance of this historic landmark. Don’t forget to stroll through the beautiful gardens surrounding the palace!

3. The Binnenhof:

Address: Binnenhof 4, 2513 AA Den Haag
The Binnenhof is the political heart of the Netherlands and a must-visit for history buffs. This medieval complex consists of several buildings, including the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) and the Dutch Parliament. The architecture is stunning, and the historical significance of the Binnenhof makes it an intriguing spot to explore. Take a guided tour or simply wander around this unique place to discover the secrets of Dutch politics.

4. The Mesdag Collection:

Address: Laan van Meerdervoort 7F, 2517 AB Den Haag
Tucked away in a beautiful mansion, the Mesdag Collection holds an exquisite assortment of 19th-century art, with a primary focus on the works of renowned Dutch artist Hendrik Willem Mesdag. This hidden gem showcases Mesdag’s impressive collection, including his famous panoramic seascape “Panorama Mesdag.” The intimate ambiance and the rich history of this art collection make it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history lovers alike.

5. The Hidden Church (Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder):

Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 40, 1012 GE Amsterdam
While not technically in The Hague, the Hidden Church in neighboring Amsterdam is worth a short trip. Tucked away in the attic of a 17th-century canal house, this clandestine Catholic church offers a fascinating journey back in time. Explore the secret chambers, hidden altars, and religious artifacts as you learn about the history of underground worship during the Dutch Reformation. The Hidden Church is a unique gem that brings history and culture to life.

6. De Prael Brewery and Tasting Room:

Address: Esperantoplein 20, 2518 LE Den Haag
For beer enthusiasts, a visit to De Prael Brewery and Tasting Room is a must. Located in a former power station, this cozy brewery offers a wide range of delicious beers crafted on-site. Take a guided tour of the brewery to learn about the brewing process and then head to the tasting room to sample their unique creations. The friendly staff and inviting ambiance make De Prael the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a pint of quality beer.

7. The Hague Forest (Haagse Bos):

Address: Haagse Bos, 2594 AC Den Haag
When you need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle, head to the Hague Forest for a tranquil getaway. This expansive woodland area offers lush greenery, winding paths, and serene lakes where you can unwind and connect with nature. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll, going for a jog, or having a picnic, the Hague Forest is the perfect spot to recharge and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

8. Jazz Café & Restaurant September:

Address: Grote Markt 36, 2511 BG Den Haag
Located in the heart of The Hague, Jazz Café & Restaurant September is a hidden gem for music and food lovers alike. This cozy establishment offers a perfect blend of excellent cuisine and live jazz performances. Indulge in delectable dishes inspired by French and Mediterranean cuisine, accompanied by the enchanting sounds of jazz music. The intimate atmosphere and talented musicians create an unforgettable dining experience.

9. The Underground Brewery (Kompaan Bier Brouwerij):

Address: Saturnusstraat 55, 2516 AH Den Haag
Escape the mainstream beer scene and discover the underground world of Kompaan Bier Brouwerij. Located in a former industrial complex, this craft brewery captures the essence of The Hague’s rebellious spirit. Take a tour of the brewery to learn about the brewing process and sample their unique beers. With a laid-back atmosphere and a wide range of flavors to choose from, Kompaan offers a truly immersive beer experience.

10. Kicking Horse Café:

Address: Veenkade 19, 2513 EE Den Haag
Nestled in the picturesque neighborhood of Zeeheldenkwartier, Kicking Horse Café is a charming retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. This quirky café not only offers an inviting ambiance and friendly staff but also serves delicious coffee and homemade treats. With its eclectic decorations and cozy seating options, Kicking Horse Café is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a book or catch up with friends while savoring a cup of top-notch coffee.

The Hague is full of hidden gems and local hangouts that invite you to explore beyond its political facade. Soak in the artistic treasures of the Gemeentemuseum, discover the historic significance of the Binnenhof, and marvel at the beauty of the Peace Palace. Take a step back in time at the Mesdag Collection and the Hidden Church, and indulge in the flavors of locally brewed beers at De Prael and Kompaan Bier Brouwerij.

Escape the city’s energy by exploring the tranquility of the Hague Forest or immerse yourself in the jazzy atmosphere of Jazz Café & Restaurant September. Finally, unwind in the cozy nooks of Kicking Horse Café and recharge before continuing your exploration of this enchanting city.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, a nature seeker, or simply someone yearning for an authentic local experience, The Hague’s hidden gems have something to offer everyone. Step off the beaten path and discover the secrets of this captivating city.