Best beach day ideas in The Hague.
things to do
The Hague is the Netherlands’ royal capital, its seat of justice, famous for being home to the International Criminal Court. A wonderfully liveable city, it’s also one of the best places in the Netherlands to spend a day at the beach. In fact, YAYS The Hague Willemspark in the Hague Old Town is just a few minutes’ bike ride away from one of the finest stretches of sand in Western Europe, Scheveningen.
Just picture it: eleven kilometers of golden sands, perfect for a range of activities from swimming to surfing and kite surfing, and even on the busiest days, you can find a quiet patch. Since the Netherlands enjoys plenty of sunny and warm weather throughout the year, we’ve put together our best beach day ideas in The Hague. And remember: the vibe at YAYS is always about feeling at home, so no one’s going to judge you for your choice of a summer hat. (p.s. if you do fancy making a splash on the beach though, funky neighbourhood shop House of Hats sells all manner of stylish headgear – ask one of our YAYS Insiders where to find it).
Best The Hague’s beach resorts
There are two main beach resorts in The Hague: Scheveningen and Kijkduin. Of the two, Scheveningen is the larger and more well-known, but they are close to each other, so you could easily visit both on the same day if you wanted. Both Scheveningen and Kijkduin are reachable from The Hague in under half an hour, and hitting the beach is among the most popular things to do in The Hague at the weekend.
Scheveningen and Kijkduin cater to everyone in terms of activities and places to eat and drink. Families mingle easily with couples and groups in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. But if you want to know how to avoid the crowds at Scheveningen Beach then think about Kijkduin, with its peaceful backdrop of sand dunes.
Family-friendly beaches in The Hague
If you’re looking for family-friendly beaches in The Hague then rest assured that both Scheveningen and Kijkduin have everything you need. As well as lots of activities that will appeal to kids of all ages, there is a generally very peaceful atmosphere, plenty of great places to eat, and facilities for baby-changing. Kijkduin is the quietest beach in the Hague, with Scheveningen reliably livelier.
If you need inspiration on things to do with kids on Scheveningen beach or advice on what to expect, then your first port of call should always be our YAYS Insiders. Brimming with local knowledge, they can show you exactly where to catch the tram to the beach (or arrange your YAYS bike rental from our inhouse collection), tell you where to find sun cream or beach towels nearby in case you forgot, and recommend the best family-friendly restaurants in Scheveningen.
The Hague’s beach restaurants
Your YAYS apartment has a fully equipped kitchen for all the convenience of home, so if you want to put together a picnic for the beach, you’ll have everything you need at hand. Ask one of our Insiders for their tips on where to pick up supplies, and any tasty Dutch snacks they’d recommend – they’re there to help you unlock the neighbourhood and really get the most out of your stay in The Hague.
But if you’d prefer to eat at a restaurant or a beach bar, you’ll be spoilt for choice, as there is no end of options along the boardwalk. Tapas bars; trendy fusion restaurants serving fresh and healthy meals; bars with DJs spinning tunes on the deck; African-themed restaurants offering breakfast and barbecues; pizza joints and surf shacks where you can snack on pancakes and smoothies. There are The Hague’s beach restaurants to suit all budgets, diets, and appetites, so whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll be well-fed.
And because we love nothing more than providing our guests with Insider tips: in the summer months, keep an eye out for the little fish shacks along the beach, serving ‘New Dutch herring’. Traditionally served raw on a bun, sometimes with onions and pickles, it’s a healthy and mouth-watering snack.
How to get to the beach in The Hague
It’s quite rare to have an attractive beach right on your doorstep when you live in a city, but that’s exactly what you get with The Hague. From the Old Town, where our YAYS The Hague Willemspark is located, it’s just five kilometers or a 15-minute bike ride to Scheveningen, with flat terrain and bike lanes for most of the way. Have a word with your YAYS Insider, and they can tell you exactly how to get to Scheveningen beach. They can fix you up with some of our stylish YAYS hire bikes so you can be on your way in moments.
You can also get to Scheveningen by tram or bus in around 15 minutes from the Central Station, which is just moments from our YAYS aparthotel in The Hague. There are regular services throughout the day and you need tram line 1, or bus line 22. If you prefer to drive, there is parking at Scheveningen, just bear in mind that on a sunny summer day it can be hard to find a space. The best way to get to Scheveningen from The Hague is definitely by bike or by public transport.
Things to do at Scheveningen Beach
Not everyone is content to spend their beach days sunbathing and swimming, and there are plenty of fun things to do at Scheveningen beach.
This stretch of coast is fantastic for surfing, windsurfing, and kite surfing; the waves are so good that World Cup events are frequently held here. Watersports always rank among the best things to do at Scheveningen Beach. There are several companies that offer beginner lessons for adults and kids too.
The historic, recently restored pier jutting out into the sea from the lively Strandweg (promenade) is an unmissable landmark, and a pleasant place to while away an afternoon. Highlights include the 50m Ferris wheel which affords superb views, and there are lots of good places to eat and drink as well.
As well as hosting sports events, The Hague Beach Stadium, which is just south of the pier, has regular beach fitness classes. Workouts, yoga, and team sports take place all year-round, even when it’s raining, but for summer activities in The Hague, this is the place to be.
Sculptures by the Sea
This renowned sculpture park is a tranquil spot to wander and take in some works of art. Set around an old royal pavilion amid the dunes, it hosts a permanent collection as well as regular temporary exhibitions, a bronze monument of the Dutch Royal Family is a highlight.
As well as the pier, the second major landmark in Scheveningen is the 19th-century lighthouse. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons there are interesting tours available, for those happy to tackle the lighthouse’s 159 steps!
Staying on the beach until sunset? Great idea, and may we also suggest tracking down the Celestial Vault, a large artificial crater dug into the Kijkduin dunes? Lying down here, or perching on a bench, is an amazing way to observe the night sky.
If you’d like to see the highlights of the Netherlands in under an hour, or you simply enjoy feeling like a giant, then Madurodam is where you should head. 1:25 scale models of landmarks including Amsterdam’s ‘Westerkerk’ Church, the Anne Frank Museum, and of course, windmills, in a fun way to explore the Netherlands’ history and architecture.
Meijendel sand dunes
This nature reserve is a lovely area to ride bikes or walk if you’d like a few hours away from the beach. Easily reached from Scheveningen, the dunes are home to many friendly ‘Konik’ horses. Meijendel is also a good idea for what to do on a hot day in the Hague, with pine forest providing plenty of shade.
Legoland Discovery Centre
Great for creative kids of all ages (and their parents), the Legoland Discovery Centre has several fun sections including a 4D cinema, a few gentle rides, and best of all, workshops to help inspire your little ones with their building techniques.
The Hague beach fireworks
In the third week of August every summer, a fireworks festival (vuurwerkfestival) is usually held on Scheveningen Beach, at the pier. Thousands of spectators come to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ across three evenings of brilliant noise and colour. The festival is actually a contest, with competing teams from several countries vying for a trophy, which is awarded on the third evening. Come early and bring a blanket for the Scheveningen fireworks display, one of the best things to do on The Hague beach. A smaller, but no less impressive, winter fireworks event also taks place across several evenings in December.
(It’s worth checking with your YAYS Insider before making definite plans, as the 2019 summer event was canceled due to licensing problems.)
Scheveningen is not only the best beach near The Hague but the best in the Netherlands. And as you can see from our guide to The Hague beach day ideas, it’s definitely not limited to sunny days either. A morning workout, kids need entertaining, lunch with friends, a meditative stroll in a scenic spot – whatever the reason, the beach is just 15 minutes away.
meet the writer.
Julia is a real sucker for the Scheveningen beach in every season. In the summer, you’ll find her there letting her dog Bink off the leash for a run on the dunes, enjoying seafood and drinks with friends at one of the beach kiosks, watching a late sunset or going for a swim in the North Sea. Needless to say, if you plan to rent a YAYS bike for a day at the beach, she’s the right YAYS Insider to ask for the most enthusiastic recommendations. Julia speaks English, Dutch, and Haags – the local dialect.
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