On paper, The Hague is the seat of the government of the Netherlands, home to the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, Europol and Eurojust. However, it’s not the capital of the country, that would be Amsterdam. Admit it, you hesitated for a split second
In the real life, if I had to describe The Hague in a few words, I’d say: beautiful facades, beautiful facades everywhere. The city basically is the definition of cuteness. Everything falls into place, it’s all clean streets, fancy diners and beautiful people. As always when exploring a city, I like to write down two or three must-sees then just walk around and get lost in the city streets. Until now, this technique has proven to be quite successful.
If there was just one thing to see in The Hague, the Binnenhof would be it! This majestic building from the 13th century is the oldest House of Parliament in the world still in use. It’s a huge set of what appears to be complex gothic houses imbricated in each other to form a huge and beautiful building, looking over the Hofvijver’s waters.
Just next to the Binnenhof, the Unesco World Heritage-listed covered arcade De Passage will welcome you for a nice shopping spree. The gallery was built in the 19th century, making it the oldest in the Netherlands. Even if you’re not quite the shopping addict, the architecture of the building makes it worth exploring.
“het appeltaart gevoel” literally means “apple pie feeling”. Smell it yet? This concept store wants to make you feel at home. The furniture and home decor are displayed as if you were in someone’s living room. Every object is carefully displayed exactly where it should be. Looking for a non-kitsch souvenir? You’ll find it here.
Spavarin is located in the Savarin Hotel, just outside the city center. When spending a long weekend in The Hague, indulge your craving for a relaxing afternoon in the amazing spa center. As mentioned in my article about Hotel Savarin, it’s a little bubble of cocooning and zen. Sometimes after 2 days walking and exploring, a little relaxing really is the cherry on the cake.
Now this was possibly the best surprise of our weekend (or at least right after Hotel Savarin’s amazing spa). We were looking for a place to eat in the city center and realized that pretty much half of the best rated places were on the same street: Denneweg. So we just walked down the street, analyzed the menus and Oker’s got our attention. It was absolutely full so we sat at the bar and sipped on our drinks while waiting. Important note here: we also ordered bitterballen, Holland’s finest croquettes, and they were amazing.
Once seated, we understood what this place was all about: small portions. And this is heaven for people like me who love to taste all the dishes on the menu but have a fairly limited appetite. We were two and ordered 4 dishes, so I got to eat truffle risotto, tuna tartare and pulled pork baos (those were amazing) on the same evening. We finished with the “café gourmand”: a cup of coffee with their best desserts in baby size. Hello paradise!
Thank you for reading!