Royal walk in the Hague

Things to do in The Hague

Discover Royals & 17th-century selfies in The Hague

The Hague, political capital of the Netherlands, is a remarkable blend of historical palaces, global centres of law, manicured parks, and diverse museums and shops. Founded in 1586 by the leaders of the seven provinces who came together to form the Netherlands, the city then was no more than a hunting lodge surrounded by forest. However, it blossomed over the centuries to become the 'Royal City by the Sea' - a reflection of the countless members of the Dutch Royal Family who have lived here over the centuries and still reside in its chic neighbourhoods.

escher museum
A royal stroll in The Hague

Take a walking tour of The Hague's royal hangouts, starting from the Lange Voorhout in front of the Lange Voorhout Palace, which houses the M.C. Escher museum, Escher in Het Paleis. Dating to 1760, the palace boasts a trompe l'oeil staircase and invisible servants' staircases that run behind the walls, making it the perfect backdrop for Escher's mindboggling art.

The Hague
More royal highlights

From here, stroll past the grand Hotel des Indes to the Kloosterkerk church, where Princess Ariane was baptised. Continue a little way and turn into Heulstraat, popping into the cigar specialty shop Gerard de Graaff, which has counted numerous members of the Royal family (and Sir Winston Churchill) among its customers. Admire Noordeinde Palace before taking Prinsestraat (Prince Street) to glimpse the Palace Gardens on your right - look closely for the Royal Stables, which house the Royal Family's famous Golden Coach.

Pressing on, you'll reach Grote Kerk where several Dutch Royals have been married. Finally, walk to the Hof Vijver, the small lake that marks the historic centre of the city and is flanked by the historic parliament buildings of the Buitenhof, Gevangenpoort (Prison Gate Museum) and Binnenhof.

17th-century selfies

Also reflected in the Vijver's surface is the elegant Mauritshuis, built in 1644 as a private mansion for Count Johan Maurits. The renovated museum houses a stunning collection of paintings, the most famous of which is Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring".

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