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The Hague is in the news often. It's the home of high-profile international bodies like the UN's International Court of Justice. As such, various bad characters from around the globe are brought here for trial on a regular basis. But beyond the headlines is a tidy city that exudes every bit of wealth of the modern Dutch state. Fittingly, it is the seat of government for the nation - literally the place where the royal family is based. (Amsterdam however, is the nation's capital.) Littered with embassies of almost every nation on the globe, this combination of well-heeled diplomats, high-end bureaucrats and business tycoons gives The Hague ...

The Hague is in the news often. It's the home of high-profile international bodies like the UN's International Court of Justice. As such, various bad characters from around the globe are brought here for trial on a regular basis. But beyond the headlines is a tidy city that exudes every bit of wealth of the modern Dutch state. Fittingly, it is the seat of government for the nation - literally the place where the royal family is based. (Amsterdam however, is the nation's capital.) Littered with embassies of almost every nation on the globe, this combination of well-heeled diplomats, high-end bureaucrats and business tycoons gives The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) an upscale gloss to its regal avenues and historic quarters. Excellent - and eclectic - shopping can be found in several beguiling pedestrian quarters, like Prinsestraat. Top notch bistros and cafes abound. Culture gets the royal treatment; the Mauritshuis is one of Europe's best small museums and shouldn't be missed. Just four kilometers west, Scheveningen is a typical schmaltzy beach town, with beautiful walks along the dunes to the north and south.

Ryan Ver Berkmoes
About the Expert

Ryan Ver Berkmoes has written many books for Lonely Planet, including Bali & Lombok and the Southeastern Alaska and Western Canada sections for LP's Canada guide.

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Ryan Ver Berkmoes for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
  • Language: Dutch, Frisian
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Like the rest of the Netherlands, summer brings out everyone to the scores of cafes, parks and beach. But the weather may not cooperate. Spring and fall can be cool and sunny or simply cool and damp. Winter is wet and cold.