Where to live in The Hague? DutchReview does all the boring work for anyone who’s about to move to The Hague but has no clue what the bad/cheap/posh/trendy or best neighborhoods of The Hague are…
About to move to The Hague? Let’s start by saying; good for you! The international city of peace and justice is one of those rare Dutch cities in Randstad that remains away from countless crowds of noisy and disturbing tourists but still has plenty of the good life (and looks!) to offer.
The Hague is laid back, but never boring, full of international people but not invaded by them. It’s a city made for everyone with a taste for arts and music, willing to explore the typical Dutch features – astonishing canal views, endless bike line stretches, beautiful flower gardens, jolly bars and cuisine from all over the world. It has traditional Dutch housing, gently mixed with business style skyscrapers.
As with all house hunting, your reasons for moving to The Hague – studying, working, or just pleasure – are extremely important in making the choice where to live! In order to cover all neighbourhoods of The Hague properly, we will be marking the pluses and minuses for all three options, helping you answer the question; where should I live in The Hague?
Neighborhoods of The Hague: City center – Prinsegracht, Grote Markt, Mauritskade, Malieveld
Good for: young professionals (couples or solo), young families, business travelers
Not good for: students, people looking for a quiet time
Of course, the city centre is the ultimate spot in any city and The Hague is no different. Almost all the popular galleries, museums, and government buildings are here. Every day, and especially on Thursday evenings (the koopavond of the city) the streets are full of people walking up and down, refreshing their wardrobes, enjoying the millions of small charming cafes and restaurants down the covered Passage, Denneweg, close to Plein or the Haagse Bluf.
There’s always something to see or do there – on weekends the streets are often filled with cultural or art festivals. Plein square hosts plenty of events, for instance, the traditional antique market just in front of the main Parliament building. It is never boring but also never quiet. If you are a young professional or young couple, you will value the proximity to the busy centre as well as the vicinity of the main train station and many bus and trams stop, along with plenty of small green areas and the Malieveld park.
The properties are both newly built and older, traditional Dutch houses and apartments. But the city centre is the city centre, so prices of property are often quite high, not to mention how quickly they get occupied. You may end up paying an unrealistically high price for a much smaller place although The Hague still has pretty decent housing prices: both rental and buying. The city centre may not be the best place to raise small children due to the lack of wider playgrounds and it is surely not the place to live in if you enjoy quiet secluded areas, although you may find hidden treasures in the small back streets.
With it’s proximity to public transport and located near many key businesses, the centre is also excellently suited for business expats looking for a place to stay during their stint in the Netherlands!
Neighborhoods of The Hague: Chinatown
Chinatown can hardly be labelled as a town really – it stretches for just a few streets southeast of the main shopping street, the Grote Markstraat, clearly marked by a large gate with East Asian elements and red lighthouses hanging around. Located in the city centre, Chinatown is a cultural stew, mixing influences from all parts of the world. It’s a small gulp of air in the otherwise more classy surrounding – tons of world food restaurants and take-away places, small shops with international artefacts, cosmetics, clothes, and meals. It is a good place to find affordable accommodation in the centre.
Neighborhoods of The Hague: Bezuidenhout
Good for: young professionals (solo and couples), families, people looking for some quietness, corporate expats
Not good for: students, people looking for the real Dutch life experience
This part of The Hague is located roughly southeast of the renowned city forest, Haagse Bos, just behind the main train station. The focal point here is the Theresiastraat, where you can find anything you need in terms of shops, restaurants or entertainment. Life revolves around this street and the whole neighbourhood is full of families with children, lovely playgrounds, quiet, charming side streets, pretty houses of all kinds and many schools and kindergartens. The Bezuidenhout neighbourhood is just around the corner from the lively centre, yet quiet and secluded.
If you’re not just looking for any old accommodation but for a place to really call home – so, most likely to buy rather than to rent – this neighbourhood should be on the top of your list. But prepare for a battle, whether you are up for te huur or te koop. Prices for both run pretty high as the Bezuidenhout is extremely popular with internationals and expats, which naturally pushes the renting or buying prices to rather unrealistic heights. For as much as the neighborhood is a natural fit for families – safe, clean and pleasant, it does require above average income. Another downside is that the many internationals living there will deprive you of the true Dutch experience in terms of language and culture.
Regentesekwartier (Rond de energiecentrale)
Good for: families, young professionals, people looking for quiet time and business expats
As an alternative to the pricey, popular Bezuidenhout stands the area of The Hague developed around a former power plant. It offers all features of the “internationals neighborhood” – lively main streets, wide green areas and playgrounds, proximity to the city center and quietness. Recently a few brand new apartment buildings, called the Energiekwartier, have been built on the Loosduinseweg, making this neighbourhood even more attractive for young professionals/families, who will enjoy the comfortable public transport and the accessibility of all sorts of shops. However living here has a downside, as the area is still lacking when it comes to bars and cafes as well as art culture. These are a stone throw away, in the city centre, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind when choosing a place to live.
Het Regentesekwartier offers the charm of small side streets and classical Dutch houses, and price-wise is perfect for everyone. A key feature of the neighbourhood is the large sports centre, De Verademing, which offers open areas for many types of activities. Another definite plus is the mix of people hailing from many different cultures and walks of life, which have made the area their home.
Where to live in The Hague? Rustenburg, Eykenduinen, Bomenbuurt, Leyenburg, Valkenboskwartier
Good for: families, people looking for quiet time, young professionals
Not good for: people looking for lively experience
If you are the type of person that likes city centre but also likes to have a home away from the fuzz, then any of these five neighbourhoods of the Hague may be just the place for you. All of them are in the city’s south and southwest, within 5 to 15 minutes away from the center by convenient public transport and are organized to meet your every need. All main grocery shops and convenience stores are located on a nice little main square. The nearby main streets offer a plethora of eating places – casual restaurants, take-aways, exotic cuisine, communal services, often charming boutiques and neighborhood cafes or farmer shops. Smaller side streets accommodate larger family houses or the typical three-storey buildings with well maintained front gardens and quiet inside yards.
These are the places to get to know the real Dutch life experience in its Hagenaar version – neighbours know each other well, and cooperate on different activities or enjoy each other’s company in the many small local bars. Each of these places has primary schools and well-organized neighbourhood watches, children can enjoy many parks and secured playgrounds. Particularly lively and worth recommending are the areas around Weimarstraat and Farenheitstraat, forming their own neighbourhoods within the neighbourhood – both contain all a person could need, so much so that people won’t have to leave the quarter for days. Quiet, clean and organized, these neighbourhoods are made for family life and not for a wild and full-of-party student life.
Where to live in The Hague? Laakhaven-Oost – next to Holland Spoor
Good for: students, young professionals
Not good for: families, people, looking for quiet time
Essentially, this is the neighbourhood closest to the Haagse Hogeschool and the second largest train station, Hollands Spoor. Being so close to the main academic center of the city, the area is organized around this feature. A prime example stands just next to Hollands Spoor – the newly built high apartment building for students and starters, with basic but comfortable apartments.
The area is full of takeaways, communal service places and convenience shops, both trams and buses stop just outside of the train station and across is the impressively large MegaStores mall with furniture and grocery stores. The inner court of the university’s building – a lovely modern construction with a small pond in the middle – offers a combination of training centres, shops, and charming cafes. Because of its inhabitants, the area is very lively and young, but mostly around the student buildings. The larger part of the neighbourhood is in industrial style and has some catching up to do in terms of cleanness and security, but price-wise it is very accessible and interesting as a cultural experience.
Not actually neighbourhoods of The Hague: Scheveningen and Duindorp
Good for: young families, people, looking for a quiet time
Not good for: young professionals, students
Where to live in the Hague if you’re a beach lover? The neighbouring town of Scheveningen, which includes Duindorp, is something to look into with its generous green areas and the magic of the sea coast.
Bear in mind that most of the entertainment and larger grocery stores are situated close to the beach or around the promenade where it is usually full of tourists. What makes this area unique is that despite the international interest, it is in fact pretty calm and quiet on the inner neighbourhood’s streets and nature is excellently preserved.
Typical beach apartments are mostly at and around the main promenade in high buildings, whereas family houses are mostly to be found inside Duindorp itself. Living at or close to the beach is a 5-star experience and comes at a price. Numbers for buying or renting run high here too and the relative remoteness of the area may not be to the liking of young professionals working in another city or in the centre. Scheveningen and Duindorp are a great choice for quiet, family lived closer to nature.
Neighbourhoods of The Hague: Statenkwartier
Good for: young professionals, families, people, looking for quiet life, corporate expats
Not good for: people looking for the real Dutch life experience
Where to live in The Hague if you’re a diplomat? The Statenkwartier is another part of The Hague which is ultra-popular with internationals. Statenkwartier is often called the smartest district of the city as it is home to many embassies, the ICTY, Europol, OPCW and others. It also offers a good amount of art galleries, museums (Museon, Gemeentemuseum), boutiques and restaurants, especially around its “heart”, the shopping street Frederik Hendriklaan, known simply as “the Fred”. Without a doubt, this is a clean and organized area, a just fit for families, especially bigger ones, and home to all those expats working for the many international organizations.
It borders the Scheveningse bosjes, a beautiful forest area. It is also close to the beach and well away from the city centre’s noise. Statenkwartier is a welcoming and secured area but due to its popularity and types of inhabitants, it is not a cheap choice for living in contrast to the affordability of many other neighbourhoods of The Hague. Much like Bezuidenhout entertainment and convenience in terms of shops are adamant here, but prices may well be too high for students, starters, and even some professionals. However, due to its proximity to the rest of the Hague and its natural beauty, it may well be the perfect place for any expat to rest their hat after a long day of working in the Netherlands.
Finding a house in The Hague
So you might know now where to live in The Hague, but what if you’re a diplomat or a lawyer travelling to The Hague for international justice business soon and need a nice place in the best neighbourhoods in The Hague right away?
Getting a place in the Netherlands can be a somewhat difficult process. You should check out our articles on 7 things you should know when using a Dutch rental agency, as you’ll probably have to deal with such an agency your first time here. Should you rent or buy a house instead? There are important questions to consider, and we got all the info you need to back you up with making a good choice!
Did we miss any part of where to live in The Hague?
So hopefully we helped you a bit with where to live in The Hague! All in all, all these neighbourhoods of The Hague have something to offer for everyone’s needs and expectations, and that’s what makes this city so great – you will never feel like you are making a compromise with the place you choose as home because each of the good areas of The Hague has its own, unparalleled charm and distinctiveness. And with all these good aspects of the city, you really can’t do much wrong when it comes to where to live in the Hague!
Life runs slower to give you time to admire the flowers or the waves, so let’s say this one again – good for you that you decided to live in The Hague! Any thoughts of where to live in The Hague? Share them with us!
Feature Image: Kevin Coellner