On our way to Den Haag we stop by the beach of Scheveningen which, with its pier, stalls and restaurants, is the perfect destination for the Dutch who want a seaside break. To tell the truth, it seems a bit ugly to us and for this reason, we set off again after a short tour of reconnaissance.
About 24 km from Rotterdam is located The Hague, the small Dutch town which has been the seat of Parliament and Government since 1831. Aboard our rental car, we arrive in the city just before lunchtime. Walking on foot, on the road towards the centre, we find the De Kade restaurant so we sit at a table set along the canal for a relaxing lunch.
The Hague is a small town with Dutch charm and a great cultural melting pot. The streets with red brick houses and coloured doors crowd together in front of the canals that cross the city. Den Haag, is gathered in a delightful interweaving of narrow streets and is quick and easy to visit in a few hours, for this reason, we will only spend one night here.
The centre is filled with contemporary architecture housing fast fashion chains and restaurants. The tramway snakes from the old to the new area crossing the city, the bikes ride by the sidewalks without paying too much attention, while the hot summer sun illuminates the buildings. Everything is so close that all you need are comfortable (but trendy) shoes to stroll around to discover delightful places.
Walking around we find ourselves in the luxury shopping streets of Hofkwartier and Hoogstraat both located in the old city where the Noordeinde Palace of the Dutch royal family also stands, but it is the elegant palaces and crowded bistros that attract our attention.
Time is running out and, with regret, we fail to visit Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, but we circumnavigate Bennenhof Castle. First, we visit the internal courtyard characterized by red bricks and elegant yellow and white striped awnings – a historic and modern mix that we like – then we take a photo of the beautiful fairy-tale building that overlooks the lake illuminated by the sunset.
When the temperature starts to drop and it gets dark, we find the perfect place in Het Plein square where we sit at Barlow‘s table to eat a refreshing salad and enjoy the music and the festive buzz of a lively summer evening in The Hague.
The sky becomes darker and darker, the street lamps turn on along with the lights of the shops and windows. In the evening we retrace the entire day’s journey to return to the hotel and get some sleep.
The following morning the ancient city of Haarlem awaits us.
SLEEP: The cost of good quality hotels is around €85 per night and does not include breakfast. We slept at The Social Hub.
MOVING AROUND: We travelled from Rotterdam to The Hague in our rental car and covered a journey of about 30 minutes. Apart from the cost of oil, there are no additional costs for travelling on Dutch motorways because they are free.
EAT: Also here in The Hague the cost of lunch/dinner is around €30/40 for two people.
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