The Hague is situated approximately 50 kilometers from Amsterdam and is probably best known as the city of international courts. It is however also a fantastic cosmopolitan city with many historical buildings, monuments, museums and green space.
It has an efficient, wide spread public transport system enabling you to move around the city with ease, however many of the city's attractions are centrally located and within easy walking distance of each other.
Getting to The Hague from Amsterdam is relatively easy. If you are travelling by car, the most direct route is via the A4 and follow the signs after Prins Clausplein.
Trains are fast, clean and efficient and leave regularly from Amsterdam's Central Station. Either way, you will be in The Hague in less than an hour.
Once you have arrived in The Hague, you will have several choices as to how to transverse the city. Buses and trams run frequently during the day, crisscrossing most parts of the city. At night, the buses and trams run less frequently.
Tickets need to be purchased prior to getting on, using the strippenkart system which is based on zones travelled. It is probably more convenient to get a day ticket, which can be purchased from a variety of places such as supermarkets, tourist offices and stations.
There is also a City Card available, which includes discounts into some of the most popular tourist attractions and allows you to use the hop on, hop-off tram and bus services. These can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office, shops, stations and even online.
Another method of getting about is to hail a Velotaxi. Compared to other taxi services, this one is relatively cheap and convenient. See www.velotaxi.nl. The taxis are very distinctive and you just need to hail one on the street. You are also able to book one by telephone.
The Hague is an historical city with many fine examples of medieval, baroque and renaissance architecture. Most of these beautiful buildings are near the center of town and within easy walking distance of each other. The main city attractions include the Plein or Square, Het Binnenhof, Mauritshuis, Bredius Museum, Lange Voorhout and Escher in Het Paleis. These are just a few of the historical buildings you will find in The Hague.
The city is also rich in culture and has over 30 museums, many of a high international standard. Some of these include the Gemeentemuseum, Historical Museum, Museum Het Paleis and the Museum for Communication. Another interesting place to visit is the Madurodam which is a miniature city showing all of Holland in one city.
If you plan ahead, you may be able to use the services of a Hague Greeter. These are volunteers who will welcome you to their city and take you on a free guided tour of the city for a few hours. You will need to book online at least two weeks in advance. (www.denhaaggreeters.nl)
The Hague is a very green city with lots of parks. Park Clingendael is well worth a visit as is Westbroekpark and Haagse Bos.
Like all major cities, The Hague offers the tourists a wide selection of goods presented in well designed shopping centers, arcades and shopping precincts. The main shopping areas are centrally located and include Maison de Bonneterie, V & D, De Bijenkorf and the shopping streets of Denneweg and Noordeinde.
The Hague has two main tourist information centers, The Hague Tourist Information Office (suitated across from the Parliament Buildings in the center of the city) and the Scheveningen Office (near teh Palace Promenade Shopping center) which can be a good place to start your journey in the city.
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