On the western Netherlands’ North Sea coast, The Hague is perhaps the country’s most stately and intrinsically international feeling city.
The base for a number of global organizations, European Union institutions and multinational companies, the centre of the city is thoroughly cosmopolitan, prosperous and more sedate than Amsterdam. It is also the home of the Carnegie funded Peace Palace, The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting the United Nations.
Though not the Dutch capital, the Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, and the 13th century Binnenhof is the oldest House of Parliament still in use in the world. Two of the Dutch royal family’s three palaces – the Noordeinde Palace and Huis ten Bosch – are also located in here.
The core of the city is characterised by large areas of green space, some 11km (7 miles) of coastline, and stately baroque, neoclassical and 19th century nouveau architecture. Bars and cafes around the central town square, or Het Plein, are a buzzy place to be and wherever you are in the city incredible Indonesian and colonial Dutch-Indies cuisine is never far away.
The Hague is must for lovers of art as a number of the Netherlands’ best museums and galleries can be found here. The Mauritshuis holds a number of great pieces by the old Dutch Masters, including Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.