The Hague (Den Haag) is the third largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Officially known as Gravenhage the count's domain because of a 13th-century count's castle, it is the seat of government and home to the royal family, but not the Dutch capital. That honour goes to Amsterdam.
Queen Beatrix commutes every day from her residential palace to her city office in Noordeinde. If the flag is hoisted, Her Majesty is inside working!
The foundation of The Hague as an international city of peace and justice began in 1899 when the world's first Peace Conference took place there. It is now home to the UN International Court of Justice, the Academy of International Law and the War Crimes Tribunal.
The Hague has no university, but its many civil servants and diplomats, including large numbers of expatriates, make it culturally diverse. It has a refined air, with stately mansions and palatial embassies.
The layout of The Hague is more spacious than other Dutch cities and the older parts have wide green boulevards. This was to give easy access for horses and carriages. These days they are a popular tourist attraction taking visitors to the city's highlights. Gilded carriages are very much part of the elegant city.
The largest Dutch city on the North Sea, The Hague has two distinct beach towns. The main beach resort Scheveningen in the city's north-west is popular with tourists and young locals.
There are plenty of pavilions along the coastline. People drop in for a refreshing drink in summer and something warming in winter. Strandclub WIJ is a beach club which in recent years has been awarded many prizes for being top of its class.
The very impressive Kurhaus Hotel goes back to 1818 when Jacob Pronk opened a bathing establishment. The wooden pavilion was very popular and grew into a hotel while the bathhouse became a spa. Its stunning concert hall has been a popular venue for entertainers and the bar is lined with photographs of famous guests. The Kurhaus offers five-star luxury. There are 255 sea-view or town-view rooms and suites, all stylishly decorated.
Kurzaal restaurant and bar, where contemporary design meets classical architecture, serves drinks, meals, afternoon tea and supper every day.
Kandinsky has views of the sea and in summer guests dine on an enchanting terrace.
The Conservatory is perfect for enjoying a cappuccino, light lunch or cocktail. It also has views of the North Sea coast.
The Netherlands' third largest city.
Golden Carriage tours are around $15 for adults and $8 for children. They operate between June and September on Fridays and weekends.
DriveAway Holidays has car hire from $68 a day based on seven or more days. Valid between April 01, 2008 March 31, 2009.
Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel rooms start at around $250 a night.
Golden Carriage Tours
Tickets can be bought from:
VVV tourist information office
Den Haag, Nederland
Ph: 31 (0)900 340 35 05
Fax: 31 (0)900 352 04 26
Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel
Gevers Deynootplein 30,
2508 GR Den Haag, Nederland.
Ph: 31(0) 70 4162636
Fax: 31(0) 70 4162646
12586 JK Scheveningen, Nederland
Ph: 31 (0) 70 358 56 07
Level 2, 157 Walker Street,
North Sydney 2060
Ph: 1300 363 500
Fax: (02) 9929 4655
Website: Email: email@example.com