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11 of the best free things to do in The Hague

If you’re sick and tired of spending your money in expensive and touristy Amsterdam, there are several wonderful things you can do in The Hague for free!

When asked why I enjoy The Hague so much, I always tell people that it’s the perfect balance between busy and calm. The city centre is lively, but there are many locations where you can enjoy some peace.

So before you spend all of your life savings in Amsterdam, here are seven things you can do in The Hague — without spending a single dime.

1. Check out the historical Binnenhof and Ridderzaal

Het-Binnenhof-den-haag
Het-Binnenhof-den-haag

It’s hard to miss, and it’s totally free — Binnenhof! Located in the heart of The Hague, this Dutch governmental building is a fascinating complex dating back to the 13th century.

The enchanting Hofvijver pond is home to multiple ducks and swans (just like the whole of the Netherlands) and a very bizarre water fountain. During sunset, it looks like something straight out of a Disney movie!

The inside of the Binnenhof is striking as well. Standing in the courtyard makes you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. And the best part is that you get to experience all of this for free!

📍 Location: Binnenhof 1, 2513 AA The Hague

2. Visit the Peace Palace

Peace-Palace
Peace-Palace

When exploring The Hague, the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis) is an absolute must-visit. Aside from housing the International Court of Justice, it’s also a very impressive building.

And while going into the grounds of the Peace Palace will cost you a few euros, exploring the small museum in the front is free.

Plus, for some truly Instagram-worthy material, you can always take photos in front of the gate. It also sounds really cool when you tell your foreign friends you went to the International Court of Justice.

📍 Location: Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague

3. Free summer vibes: Scheveningen beach

Scheveningen
Scheveningen

One thing that’s always made The Hague so unique is its beach. While you might not enjoy going for a swim eleven out of twelve months, it’s still very relaxing to stroll up and down the coast any time of the year.

Then in summer, when temperatures creep up above the 20-degree mark (it happens!), you wouldn’t know the difference between a French or Dutch beach.

For a few extra euros, you can enjoy some drinks and food at the numerous beach bars and restaurants.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also do bungee jumping, fly down the zip line, or take a ride on the famous Ferris wheel.

📍 Location: Strandweg, 2586 JK The Hague

4. A free way to enjoy nature in The Hague: Clingendael

Clingendael
Clingendael

Clingendael is one of the most beautiful country estates in the Netherlands. If you’re looking for a way to get out of the city and connect with nature, the park is the perfect place to escape!

The vast grounds, canals, and secret pathways make the park a fun and peaceful place to explore. In fact, Clingendael is so diverse that you could spend the whole day there — just bring a lunch to enjoy on one of the many picnic tables.

If you’re lucky, you can also visit the Japanese garden (also free!), which is open for a limited period during the fall and springtime.

📍 Location: Clingendael 12a, 2597 VH The Hague

5. It’s free if you only look: the Red Light District

If Amsterdam seems too far away, you can also visit the Red Light District in The Hague (ooh!). Even though it is quite small, and also quite dodgy, it’s still a Dutch Red Light District if you really want to have the, um, full experience.

Let op: Whatever you do, don’t take any pictures when in the Red Light District. It’s not appreciated by sex workers or their clients.

Although actually ‘experiencing’ its full potential might be quite costly, looking is still one of the free things to do in The Hague.

📍 Location: Geleenstraat 23, 2515 ST The Hague

6. Free stress therapy: Malieveld park

Malieveld-Park
Malieveld-Park

Want to feel like you’re in Central Park in New York? Well…we can’t help much there. But Malieveld park is as close as you’ll get to it in The Hague.

Located right across from Central Station, this park is like an oasis in the heart of the city.

You can enjoy a pleasant walk, try your skills at the skater park, and observe the deer that reside there. Malieveld park is like a bubble you can enter to save yourself from the stressful city life. And it’s definitely cheaper than any psychiatrist (because it’s free!).

📍 Location: Koekamplaan, 2594 AA The Hague

7. Beer costs money, but the experience is free: Grote Marktstraat

Who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing glass of beer after a long day of exploring the beauty of The Hague? If you’re seeking a nice place to chill while also receiving an authentic Dutch experience, then Grote Markstraat is for you!

Yes, beer costs money (sadly), but just relaxing as you watch the people go by is priceless! Aside from being The Hague’s biggest shopping street, Grote Marktstraat also offers some very unique bars and cafés.

📍 Location: Grote Markt 1, 2511 BG The Hague

8. Scour the antique and book market of The Hague

Love finding vintage gems or have a bookshelf to fill? Right splat in the city centre, there is an antique and book market in The Hague full of curious wonders.

From old books, prints, paintings, and plenty of knick-knacks, if you’re willing to search through tables full of stuff — you will find hidden treasures.

Located on Lange Voorhout, the market is open on Thursdays and Sundays between the months of May to September. Directly opposite the beautiful Binnenhof and under the old Linden trees, the market is peaceful, even just for a walk-through.

⏰ Opening hours: Thursday and Sunday (from May to September) 10 AM to 6 PM

📍 Location: Lange Voorhout, 2514 AB The Hague

9. The dazzling Passage in the city centre

While you’re in the city, you cannot miss walking through the gorgeous, historical, Parisian-style shopping arcades De Passage.

From the white and blue tiles on the side to the high glass ceiling, The Passage has impressively beautiful architecture. Not to mention, the luxury shopping stores and the delicious and tempting foodie spots on the ground floor.

The glass-covered shopping street was originally built in 1882 and now has become a common path for the residents of The Hague while exploring the many shops of the city.

📍 Location: The Passage, 2511 The Hague

10. The royal Noordeinde Palace

Another must-see, if you’re visiting the Dutch royal family’s city, is their palace, named Paleis Noordeinde.

You can admire the King’s office from two sides, the front on the street Noordeinde, or from the back, where there is a luscious green park as well as the royal stables.

This palace has been the centre of attention for the Netherlands’ royal family, acting as the place for Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard’s weddings.

Both King Willem III, Queen Mother Emma, and Queen Wilhelmina have made this place their home.

Today, Noordeinde Palace has become King Willem-Alexander’s office. So, when you’re walking past, make sure to look for whether the flag is up — which means that he’s clocked in!

📍 Location: Noordeinde 68, 2514 GL The Hague

11. Explore the colourful alleys of the Haagse Markt

Walk through one of the largest food markets in Europe, with fruits and veggies of all colours left and right. It’s open four days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

As you get lost in the aisles of the market (happily knowing you aren’t spending any money), we do have to warn you the smell of baked treats like baklava, Turkish pizza, and cookies will tempt you.

Besides endless amounts of food, the market also sells flowers, clothing, shoes, and much more.

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////my-lifestyle.co
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!
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