Sure, you know all about Amsterdam, but what of The Hague, the unsung hero of the North Sea and one time home of a thirsty genever drinking Vincent van Gogh. The Netherlands’ third city is the only place in the world where you may visit the Girl With a Pearl Earring to decode her sly looks, tackle vertigo at the country’s tallest restaurant, or drop onion coved Dutch sushi down your throat at Europe’s largest outdoor market. Let find out This Is Actually One of Europe’s Most Exciting Cities below.
- This Is Actually One of Europe’s Most Exciting Cities
- See an Original Letter From Oscar Wilde at the Oldest Book Museum in the World
- Bungee Jump Over the North Sea
- Visit the Trippy M.C. Escher Optical Illusion Museum
- Visit the Oldest Parliament Building in the World That’s Still in Use
- Walk the Halls of the Only Palace in the World Dedicated to World Peace
This Is Actually One of Europe’s Most Exciting Cities
See an Original Letter From Oscar Wilde at the Oldest Book Museum in the World
Museum Meermanno is the ultimate book lover attraction. Dating back to 1852, it’s the oldest book museum in the world set in a stunning 18th century Herenhuis building. It belonged to the avid book collector, Baron Van Westreenen van Tiellandt. After his passing, the house became the property of the state and opened as a museum so The Hague and the world could indulge their bibliophilia. Bookmark this museum to see Western book history from all periods, a massively impressive miniature book collection, as well as one of the first printed copies of Oscar Wilde’s final work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. By pure coincidence, the museum discovered a signed letter written by Oscar Wilde himself inside the copy, a priceless piece of history.
Bungee Jump Over the North Sea
The Hague is the only big city with a beach directly on the North Sea coast. That seven mile white sand beach is called Scheveningen, a marvelous mouthful. It has serene swimming spots and swathes of beach with little human presence but also a bustling boulevard and pier where bungee jumping is on the menu.
Walk all the way to the end of the pier to find Bungy Jump Holland where you can let out a full throated scream as you descend over the North Sea. Other whales of a time you can have in Scheveningen include breaking bread at the beachside restaurants, one of a kind museums, an international fireworks festival, and the annual sub zero new year’s dive. That is once of This Is Actually One of Europe’s Most Exciting Cities.
Visit the Trippy M.C. Escher Optical Illusion Museum
Escher in the Palace is a bonkers museum you won’t easily forget. Many may not know the graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher by name, but the Dutchman’s mathematically precise visual statements are in a category of their own, incomparable to any other artist from his era or now. Escher in the Palace is the only museum in the world dedicated to this master of illusion and his explorations of spaces and patterns. Visit this opulent palace turned museum in the center of the city which is a stone’s throw from the Royal Theater and the alfresco cafes of Plein.
Visit the Oldest Parliament Building in the World That’s Still in Use
Binnenhof is the seat of the Dutch parliament in the center of the city, flanked by the Hofvijver and a picturesque leafy park where anyone would be fortunate to snag a seat on a sunny day. Binnenhof and its famous Hall of Knights date back to the 13th century and it’s the oldest parliament building in the world that’s still in use. In fact, it is where The Hague derived its name. Back in 1242 when Count Floris V built a castle in the dunes as his own upscale hunting lodge, the surrounding area was called Die Haghe, which means the enclosed hunting ground. A village grew around the castle and that village is the city we know today.
Walk the Halls of the Only Palace in the World Dedicated to World Peace
The Hague’s reputation as the judicial capital of the world is largely due to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which are situated there. Both are within the Peace Palace, which is the only palace in the world dedicated to maintaining peace. It was presented to the PCA by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie during World War One and it actually isn’t a palace at all. Decorations and building materials were requested from each member and today it’s an awe inspiring collection of international artifacts and adornments Salvadorian wood, Italian marble, refined silk and golden tapestries made by over 48,000 Japanese weavers, and a three-ton Faberge egg from Tsar Nicholas II in Russia that required a special train track to transport.