7 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 multiple 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.

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

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.

Free in the Hague: check out Binnenhof

Look at this gorgeous Den Haag skyline! Worth the visit alone. Image: Depositphotos

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!

Visit the Peace Palace

This is where world peace is made! Or, it should be, ideally. At least the building is nice. Image: Depositphotos

When exploring The Hague, the Peace Palace 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.

Free summer vibes: the beach

Is it Los Angeles?? Or is it The Hague? Who can tell. Image: Depositphotos

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.

READ MORE | A local’s guide to Scheveningen: 7 unmissable things to do

Especially 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. And 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.

A free way to enjoy nature in The Hague: Clingendael

Doesn’t this just radiate peace and serenity? Image: Depositphotos

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.

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.

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

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.

Free stress therapy: Malieveld park

Okay, it’s not free but the annual fair at Malieveld is definitely worth a visit! Image: Depositphotos

Want to feel like you’re at 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!).

Beer costs money but the experience is free: Grote Marktstraat

Fancy a biertje? Image: Depositphotos

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.

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!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2018, but was fully updated in June 2022 for your viewing pleasure. 

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.

Liked it? Try these on for size:

What do you think?



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Latest posts

Why are there no public bathrooms in the Netherlands?

It's the moment we all dread: needing to use the loo when you're out and about. Why are there no public toilets in the Netherlands?

Burglar tries to steal from Dutch-Chinese restaurant; gets stuck in elevator overnight

A Dutch village called Velp experienced one of the most bizarre crime stories on Saturday. And, yes, we're including that one time a man...

This Dutch supermarket wants to be the most sustainable: here’s how

Dutch supermarket giant, Albert Heijn, say it's going hard on sustainability in an attempt to encourage shoppers to make more environmentally-friendly shopping choices.  From meat...

It's happening

The latest Dutch news.
In your inbox.