A day in… The Hague

The city of The Hague is located in the Randstad, a metropolitan region at the western part of Holland. It is the third biggest region of the country, capital of the South-Holland province and host of the government, parliament and residence of the royal family. Whether you are planning your meeting here or just want to explore the city, spending the day in The Hague gives you a lot of business and leisure options.

The Hague

Facts
The Hague is the third largest region of Holland
The Hague is the international city of peace and justice
The Hague hosts most of the foreign embassies and ministries
Population: 510,909

Getting there
The Hague is easy to reach by car, plane or public transportation. The Hague has an airport (Rotterdam The Hague Aiport) just a few tube stops away from the city centre. From Amsterdam Airport Schiphol you can take the train (60 minutes) or go by car (45 minutes).

Meeting and business venues 
The city offers a wide variety of meeting venues, hotels and inspirational conference rooms. With its characteristic architecture and picturesque harbour it will be easy to find a venue with inspiring views within the lively city centre.

Case study
In 2014, 58 world leaders were in The Hague to attend the nuclear security summit (NSS) that took place in the World Forum convention centre. The Hague is a well-organised, hospitable and safe convention destination, and showed that it was well able to host 58 world leaders, 3,000 journalists, and 5,000 delegation members.

Classics
Staying in The Hague? You might want to consider the recently opened Marriott Hotel The Hague. But there are many, many, many more options. How about NH Hotel The Hague or Novotel The Hague City Centre?

Hidden secrets
How would you like a meeting in a glue and gelatine factory or a former girl orphanage? There are many more inspirational and special venues in The Hague. On our hidden secret page we collect all of them for you.

After your meeting
The Hague is a great place to spend a day or two. They have a broad range of museums, shopping areas, restaurants and sights.

Museums
Mauritshuis – Home of the ‘girl with a pearl earring’ painting by master Johannes Vermeer.
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag – A stunning collection of modern art in a beautiful art deco building. Be inspired!
Panorama Mesdag – Watch the sea, beach, dunes and fishing village Scheveningen. The largest circular canvas in Europe, Panorama Mesdag, makes it possible.
Escher in het Paleis – Escher in Het Paleis is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the world-famous artist M.C. Escher, whose art startled millions of people all over the world.

Shopping areas
City centre – The inner city of The Hague is a wonderful place for a shopping spree. You will find many fashion and shoe shops with something to offer for every budget, from exclusive ‘haute couture’ to popular big brands and trendy design shops.
Haagsche Passage – This is the oldest shopping centre in Holland, with beautiful architecture and some really nice shops. There are fashion and jewellery and book shops, as well as a great shop for kitchenware, in the Passage between the Spuistraat, Hofweg and Buitenhof.
Noordeinde: Unique district embracing the Royal Palace. Here you will find renowned art galleries, exclusive antiques shops, and jewellery shops. Go here for contemporary design as well as classical masters.
The Hague Market – It’s the biggest outdoor market in Europe. The Hague Market is locally pronounced as the ‘Haagse Mart’ and is located on Herman Coster street. You can buy just about everything here on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Approximately 25,000 people visit the Hague Market each market day.

Restaurants
Casual or Michelin star restaurant? City vibe or intimate setting? A view at the lively, characteristic streets or from a panoramic high building? The Hague has it all. Throughout The Hague you can find many restaurants. But these restaurants are very popular:

HanTing – Michelin star / Fusion / Asian
Mazie – Biological / Classic
De Dagvisser – Fish / Harbour
Private dining Frederik  – Burgundian / private / business

The Passage The Hague

Sights
When you are in The Hague it is almost impossible not to notice that the sea and beach is close. Visit the fishing harbours or spend the day at the beach in Scheveningen. Also fun to do: exploring miniature park Madurodam and visit all the different palaces in The Hague; such as Noordeinde palace and Huis ten Bosch.

A day in The Hague.. 
With all these tips I am almost sure you need a few extra days of stay in The Hague. Have fun and let me know your favourite part of the city!

Would you like to find out more about The Hague? Then head on over to our The Hague pages on the official Holland Meetings website. There you will also find information about the The Hague Convention Bureau.

An interview with.. Stephan Stokkermans – Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin

Last March, during the Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama chose to stay at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin in Noordwijk. How exciting for a hotel manager. I talked to commercial director Stephan Stokkermans about this very special guest. 

Stephan Stokkermans and  United States Secretary of State John Kerry

Stephan Stokkermans (left) and United States Secretary of State John Kerry (right)

The Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin was chosen to be the residence of the U.S. President during the NSS. How did this decision come about?
The organisation of the NSS was in the hands of the Dutch government in general and the ministry of foreign affairs in particular. They booked approximately 8,000 rooms for all delegations. The embassy of America explicitly picked the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin based on location, capacity and quality of the rooms and halls.

How much preparation time did it cost from the beginning to the actual visit?
During the first quarter of 2013 the ​​selection of hotels was made. From September on we drafted plans along with the embassy and the White House.

Did President Obama comment on his stay at Huis ter Duin?
Both President Obama and state secretary Kerry were very enthusiastic about the hotel. In particular, they found the facilities and location to be very impressive. In fact, the seaside setting reminded them of Cape Cod.

What are the differences between hosting a delegation and “any other group”?
The Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin has a rich history hosting international meetings of multinationals, the European Union and NATO. Those meetings are attended by several delegations and they come with an extensive conference program. In this situation, the focus is on the temporary residence of a head of state and his support services. Which was reassuring, but given the importance of the delegation we did feel a serious amount of pressure.

Beast at Grand hotel Huis ter Duin

What were the biggest changes you had to make for safety or comfort?
The greatest challenge was to create additional offices for support services for the White House. Next to that there were, of course, additional security measures taken by the Dutch government to ensure the safety of the American delegation.

What kind of food did you serve President Obama?
One of the fun parts was the initiative of our chef Marcel van Lier, awarded with a Michelin star, to serve some exciting amuses with a typically Dutch touch.

What have you learned from this experience?
Each and every event inspires us to continue to improve our services and facilities. One of the enduring improvements we have made was definitely the ICT structure of the hotel so we can better respond to requests from large numbers of users.

If you could choose one famous person you would like to welcome to your hotel in the future, who would that person be?
For sure, welcoming none other than the President of the United States is a highpoint for every hotelier. We feel even more connected with the United States through our membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. However, regardless of which guest we welcome or whatever their positions or nationalities may be, we’d be determined to exceed expectations.