11 of the best free things to do in The Hague in 2024

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

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 11 things you can do in The Hague — without spending a single dime.

1. Check out the historical Binnenhof and Ridderzaal

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.

Binnenhof-Palace-building-of-the-Dutch-Parliament-against-the-backdrop-of-modern-buildings-in-Den-Haag-Netherlands
Look at this gorgeous Den Haag skyline! It’s worth the visit alone. Image: Depositphotos

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!

2. Visit the historical 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.

photo-of-peace-palace-in-the-hague-against-backdrop-of-bright-blue-sky
This is where world peace is made! Or, it should be, ideally. At least the building is nice. Image: Depositphotos

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.

READ MORE | 29 awesome things to do in The Hague in 2022

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.

3. Enjoy the view from De Pier in Scheveningen

One thing that’s always made The Hague so unique is its beach. While you might not enjoy going for a swim 11 out of 12 months, it’s still very relaxing to stroll up and down the coast any time of the year.

aerial-view-of-scheveningen-pier-in-the-hague-on-a-sunny-day
Is it Los Angeles?? Or is it The Hague? Who can tell? Image: Depositphotos

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

READ MORE | 16 unmissable things to do in Scheveningen: A local’s guide

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 go bungee jumping, fly down the zip line, or ride on the famous ferris wheel.

4. Enjoy the peace and quiet of 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!

photo-of-red-bridge-in-japanese-garden-in-clingendael-park-the-hague
Doesn’t this just radiate peace and serenity? Image: Depositphotos

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.

READ MORE | Hiking in The Hague: 11 nature spots for the outdoor adventurer

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.

5. Take a peak at 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: 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, walking through the area to have a peak is still one of the free things to do in The Hague.

6. Take a stroll through Malieveld

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.

Fair-at-Malieveld-by-night-in-the-hague
Okay, it’s not free, but the annual fair at Malieveld is definitely worth a visit! Image: Depositphotos

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 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!).

7. Go people-watching at Grote Markt

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!

wide-angle-shot-of-people-sitting-at-grote-markt-in-den-haag
Fancy a biertje? Image: Depositphotos

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.

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.

flea-market-IJ-Hallen-Amsterdam
Forage through the immense collections of old things at the antiques and books market. Image: Depositphotos

If you’re willing to search through tables full of old books, prints, paintings, and plenty of knickknacks, 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. Browse the shops in Passage

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

People-walking-through-shopping-arcade-de-Passage-in-The-Hague
Explore the shops in The Hague while under the beautiful glass ceiling. Image: Fred Romero/Wikimedia Commons/CC2.0

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. Visit the Paleis Noordeinde

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.

Noordeinde-Palace-in-The-Hague-with-statue
Admire the gold and red intricacies of the King’s office. Image: Depositphotos

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!

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.

bread-for-sale-at-Vredenburg-market-things-to-do-in-utrecht
The smell of baked goods will tempt you while at the Haagse Markt (but don’t worry, it’s cheaper than in the picture). Image: Depositphotos

As you wander the aisles of the market (happily knowing you aren’t spending any money), we do have to warn you that you will be tempted by the smell of baked treats like baklava, Turkish pizza, and cookies.

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

⏰ Opening hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM

📍 Location: Herman Costerstraat, 2571 PJ The Hague


What’s your favourite free thing to do in the Hague? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Veronika Licheva
Veronika Licheva
Living the short girl life in the land of giants. Veronika is a content creator who takes great interest in video, photography, and journalism. Her mission in The Netherlands is to build a vibrant and exciting career, while simultaneously petting as many dogs as possible.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and helpful post about free activities in The Hague! I’ve always wanted to travel to this lovely city, and your post has given me so many suggestions and possibilities on how to do so affordably. I appreciate how you included a range of activities for various interests and times of year. I can feel the charm and culture of The Hague through your beautiful images. Your recommendations for the Binnenhof, the Japanese Garden, the Pier, and the Wonder Rooms particularly caught my attention. They all appear to be fantastic locations to explore and have fun. We appreciate you sharing your advice and suggestions with us.

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