Many people think that The Hague is a court, and while the International Court of Justice is in The Hague, there is a lot more to this city than international criminal trials. The ICJ is the reason that many people have heard of this city of 500,000 people, but I wanted to one day explore The Hague for all that it has to offer. I never really thought I’d get the chance, but then one day circumstances conspired to provide me with an opportunity for a 24-hour layover in The Hague. I decided to do whatever I could to make the most of that opportunity. The most difficult aspect of it, or so it seemed at the time, was finding a hotel room in The Hague at the last minute. This was a busy city with travelers from all over the world there on any given day, so finding a room seemed like a challenge.
It wasn’t a challenge after all, thanks to an app called HotelTonight. I found the app on my phone, opened it and searched for The Hague hotels. HotelTonight provided several different options, and the information present helped me quickly narrow my choices to one that seemed like the right fit for me. I was extremely impressed with the booking process as well. This is often a hassle in other environments, but HotelTonight had my hotel in The Hague booked and confirmed within a few minutes. I couldn’t believe my luck; all I had to do now was figure out what parts of town I wanted to explore while I was there.
Where better to start a day of exploring in a city than at its center? City Centre is where you’ll find a lot of landmarks in The Hague, including palaces that are stunningly beautiful. However, there is also a lot of culture here, as I walked by several art galleries and even stopped into a couple. I walked through a museum as well and spent some time admiring the entire look of the place. It’s what you’d expect from the Dutch in that water is prominent in the city’s setup, it’s very clean and it’s unique in terms of its architecture.
Schilderswijk is a painter’s paradise. Everywhere you turn here, you see artists working on something. There is even an open-air museum here, which was unlike anything I had ever seen. I was a little bit hungry at this point in the day, so I walked by The Hague Market, which seemed to offer something from every culture that has ever contributed to the way of life here. I bought a nice piece of fruit and found a nearby cafe that served coffee. I sat and enjoyed my drink and snack and watched the artists continue about their days while locals and visitors alike admired their efforts. This was a very interesting place to say the least.
Hofkwartier was obviously a place with a lot of high-end style. There were extremely expensive vehicles everywhere and people were shopping like there was no tomorrow. There were shops, boutiques, retail outlets and just about every type of trading in goods that you could imagine on these beautiful streets. There were also quite a few restaurants nearby, which was important for me because it was the middle of the day and I was beyond famished. I asked a few people where to go, and I was directed to a local place that served incredibly tasty seafood. I ate hungrily and happily, and when I was finished I was ready to attack the afternoon.
Buurtschap is another part of town where entertainment is paramount. The PePijn Theatre is here, and it’s filled to capacity on most nights in this performance art center of The Hague. Once again, there is a lot of artwork on display in shops and galleries. There were also quite a few different looking shops that were attractive to me because I needed to get some gifts for the people in my life. I found some things that were definitely not touristy trinkets, which I like to avoid whenever I can. I was happy with what I had found and was ready for my final stop of the day.
Zeeheldenkwartier offered a bit of a different perspective on The Hague. It was filled with open spaces and flowers. It was almost like that fairy tale place you thought of as a child when someone mentioned The Netherlands. I walked around here for a while and enjoyed the scenery, and then asked some people about where I should go for dinner. I heard a lot of different choices, but chose one that served French food. It was as delicious as I had hoped, and I was now ready to call it a day.
It had been a great day, but it was time to turn in and get some sleep before flying out in the morning. As I got back to my inviting hotel room, I thought about how I had found HotelTonight and how it had helped me find a hotel room in The Hague within a few minutes. Without HotelTonight, I’m not sure all of this would have been possible. I was sure, however, that when I traveled in the future I would do so with the help of this powerful app.