City walking tour The Hague
You can also follow the route of this city walking tour with your mobile telephone
The tour starts at the Escher in het Paleis Museum, housed in the former palace of Queen Regent Emma. The route follows the Lange Voorhout and Tournooiveld, before returning to the Lange Houtstraat. You will pass the Plein square, with its large statue of Willem van Oranje. Cross the Kalvermarkt to the Turfmarkt. From here, enter the city hall of The Hague known as Het IJspaleis (The Ice Palace) with its impressive Atrium. The area surrounding the Spui is a district of shopping streets. Follow the route via the Rabbijn Maarsenplein[KB1] square and the Hofplaats as far as the Haagse Passage, a unique and historical monument. Here observe the two different architectural styles. At the end of the Vlamingstraat turn right onto the Jan Hendrikstraat which later becomes the Torenstraat. Here cross over to the Kerkplein square and continue on to the Dagelijkse Groenmarkt, the site of the Oude Stadhuis. This town hall consists of two different elements; the first was built in 1565 while the extension at the front was added in 1733. From here, the route takes you towards the Buitenhof (Outer Courtyard). From the Buitenhof pass through the gateway into the Binnenhof (Inner Courtyard). For centuries, the Binnenhof has been the very centre of Dutch politics. One of the buildings on the Binnenhof is the Ridderzaal (the Hall of Knights) that dates back to the 13th century. The Ridderzaal is a listed monument and at one point in its history was used as the meeting hall for the Upper House of the Dutch Parliament. Beneath the Ridderzaal is the Hague Historical Museum, featuring the Prinsjesdag Experience, an exhibition that celebrates the state opening of parliament each year. Next to the Binnenhof is the Hofvijver. From here you have an excellent view of the Torentje tower which since 1982 has housed the offices and workroom of the Dutch Prime Minister. After walking around the Hofvijver and through the shopping streets, you will pass along the Papestraat as far as the Oude Molstraat. This area, known as the Hofkwartier district, offers a range of small specialist stores and boutiques. If you look carefully you will see that this street wends its way through a series of uneven bends and corners, as a result of the fact that it was built on the sandy track that used to lead to Scheveningen. Continue towards the Paleistuin gardens; if you ring the bell at the last door on the left you may be granted access to the palace gardens. These are certainly worth a visit. The Paleistuin gardens are in fact a park that fills the space between the Noordeinde Palace and the Prinsessewal. The gardens date back to 1649 and continue as far as the Royal Stables. Upon reaching the Hogewal, the route will take you past the art and architecture centre Stroom Den Haag (14). Turn left onto the Zeestraat which houses the Panorama Mesdag (3). The slogan for this exhibition is ‘Step into the Netherlands’ largest painting’. From here walk back down the Zeestraat which becomes the Noordeinde. This street is home to a number of historically authentic courtyards. Take a peek into the Maziestraat: an oasis of peace in the bustling city centre! On the route you will pass O’Casey’s Irish Pub, the best Irish Community Pub in the world (9). Via the Hartogstraat and Lange Voorhout, turn onto the Kazernestraat where halfway down the street you will see the Dutch Supreme Court, with a series of statues erected in 1938. From here follow the Nieuwe Schoolstraat and turn right onto the Dr. Kuyperstraat. Via the Laan van Roos en Doorn and the Houtweg, you will end up on the Prinsessegracht, the site of the Meermanno museum (52), the world’s oldest book museum. From here follow the Lange Houtstraat as far as Holland Souvenirs (28), the ideal place to buy small souvenir gifts or more special items. Follow the route along the Fluwelen Burgwal, and you will soon find yourself back at the starting point of the tour.