If you’re sick and tired of spending your money on Amsterdam, there are multiple things you can do in The Hague for free! Because let’s be honest, Amsterdam is way too full of tourists and the prices are through the roof.
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 always booming with people, but there are many locations where you can enjoy some peace and quiet. Let’s not forget the added bonus of a limited amount of tourists who have no idea where they are going. Experiencing road rage when walking in Amsterdam is a real thing.
So here are 7 things you can do in The Hague completely free (if you’ve already spent all of your life savings in Amsterdam.)
7Free things to do in The Hague: Check out Binnenhof
It’s hard to miss and it’s totally for free – Binnenhof! Located in the heart of The Hague is a fascinating complex of buildings constructed primarily in the 13th century. From the front, the Binnenhof is a picturesque building with the enchanting Hofvijver pond in the forefront.
The 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! On the other hand, the inside of the Binnenhof is simply striking. Standing in the courtyard makes you feel like you have been transported back in time. And the best part is that you get to experience all of this for free!
6Visit the Peace Palace
When exploring The Hague it’s an absolute must to visit the Peace Palace. Aside from housing the International Court of Justice, it is also a very impressive and (yet again) enchanting 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 for free!
Plus, you can always take photos from the front gate that will be perfect Instagram material. It also sounds really cool when you tell your foreign friends you went to the International Court of Justice.
5Giving you the summer illusion for free: the beach
One thing that’s always made The Hague so unique is the beach area. While you might not be able to go for a swim eleven out of twelve months, it is still very relaxing to be there. The beach in The Hague is the perfect place to go when you want to feel like you’re on vacation but can’t afford it (as sad as it may sound).
Especially in summer, the place becomes so lively and dynamic, that it’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. For a few extra euros, you can enjoy some drinks and food at the numerous beach bars and restaurants. Furthermore, if you’re feeling extra adventurous you can also do bungee jumping, ride the zip line, or take a ride on the Ferris wheel.
4A free way to enjoy nature in The Hague: 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 have on one of the many picnic tables.
If you’re lucky, you can also visit the Japanese garden (also for free!) which is open for a limited period during the fall and spring. All in all, Clingendael and it’s nature is one the best free things to do in The Hague.
3It’s for 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 is still a Red Light District if you really want to have the, um, …full experience.
Although actually ‘experiencing’ its full potential might be quite costly, looking is still one of the free things to do in The Hague. Whatever you do though, do not take any photos! Unfortunately, this hotspot is probably the only place where you won’t be able to go back home with photos of your adventure. Unless you’re brave (or crazy) enough to do so.
2A free therapy from stress: Malieveld park
Want to feel like you’re at Central Park in New York? Well too bad, because you can’t! But Malieveld park is as close as you’ll get to this 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 for free!).
Such a refreshing sight in city. Koekamp deer park the Malieveld. Den Haag in Netherlands. pic.twitter.com/vmSKjOnzS6
— Krisztina Nánási (@nanasikrisz) 1 augustus 2014
1Dutch beer costs money but the experience is for free: Grote Marktstraat
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice glass of beer after a long day of exploring the beauty of The Hague? If you’re desperately seeking for a nice place to chill while still receiving an authentic Dutch experience, then Grote Markstraat is just 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 cafes. It is the perfect place to visit in the evenings when everyone is out of work and just enjoying their free time with friends and good old Dutch beer. Grote Marktstraat is most definitely the perfect way to end your long day in The Hague.
Do you have any free stuff worth doing in The Hague that needs to be in this article? Feel free to mention it in the comments!
Feature Image: Kevin Coellner/Supplied
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2018, but was fully updated in March 2020 for your convenience.