The other day, it was still August, I was on my way to my favourite summer bike path: the Scheveningseweg. When I got there I was amazed that the trees already showed some signs of autumn. The colours made me smile, but I wondered if it was an early autumn on The Hague road to Scheveningen. Today, the 1st of September, on the official day of metereological fall, I found some answers.
Great that you’re coming to the International Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. To get to Scheveningen is quite easy, but I would recommend you to prepare your trip as this popular festival expects tens of thousands of visitors. Here are some tips on how to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen.
Cycling to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen
Of course, as a bike fan I would suggest to come by bike. Your journey to the Scheveningen beach won’t be any longer than usual, you don’t depend on bus or tram schedules and you can easily leave the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen. Finding a parking spot for your bike can be difficult though, so even when you come by bike, come a bit earlier. If you’re looking for a bike parking check biesieklette. If you’re not from The Hague you can also rent a bike at Biesieklette. These are the rental locations:
- Grote Markt (Laan 9)
- Driehoekjes (Grote Halstraat 9)
- Spuiplein (onder het stadhuis)
- Anna van Buerenstraat (achter het Centraal Station)
- Zeeman Grote Markstraat
- Rabbijn Maarsenplein
- Du Nord Keizerstraatpark & bike in Fireworks Festival Scheveningen
Park & Bike
Coming by car is a real hassle and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. If you do want to come by car, check https://bksparking.nl/ for available parking spot in the area of the International Fireworks Festival. If you really want to take the car to Scheveningen beach I suggest to use this website . This is a special Park & Ride system as you book a parking spot in advance ánd can add public transport, taxi service or a rental bike . Do make sure that you reserve a bike at least one day in advance as this is quite a popular service.
Fireworks Festival Scheveningen: just a tramride away
The last option to get to the Fireworks Festival Scheveningen is to come by tram. At the servicedesks in The Hague Centraal Station and Hollands Spoor they sell €4.00 event tickets which is valid for both ways. You can take tram 1 and 11 from and to railway station The Hague Hollands Spoor or tram 9 from The Hague Centraal railway station. Bus 21, 22 and 23 have several stops in The Hague city centre. Check for more information ( in Dutch) HTM or 9292.nl
General information on how to get to beach resort Scheveningen can be found on this website. The fireworks festival Scheveningen takes place on 11,12, 18 & 19 August 2017. More information on the festival itself can be found here
The kids were exhausted. On the way back to their hotel in The Hague they just fell asleep. It didn’t seem to matter that they were doing something unusual. The The Hague horse drawn carriage ride, the cherry on the cake of the whole tour, passed unnoticed. Did we do too much on this one day tour The Hague area?
In retrospective I think it may have been too much, the schedule packed with activities in the The Hague dunes, the Scheveningen beach and harbour. But, I really can’t help it: I’m a big fan of alternative tours and showing cities and their surroundings from a different perspective. I do know that things don’t always go the way you planned. Well, that’s for sure! I had planned a tramride to Delft and a short Delft city tour. Then I found out the tram didn’t go all the way to Delft and it was raining cats and dogs. One of the participants texted me with the question if they could visit the Escher museum. Slightly relieved, I proposed they visited the museum instead of going to Delft, which wouldn’t be that much fun anyway if my favourite tram wasn’t running.
At noon I met the participants, a Jewish American family who instead of doing a traditional celebration for the bar mitswa of their daughter/ niece went on a Europe trip. After having visited three European countries, they were now visiting the Netherlands for 5 days.
Fortunately the tram to the Scheveningen beach ran on a normal schedule. I brought the family to beach restaurant De Waterreus, where they had a fantastic sea food lunch and service was perfect.
When the sky cleared we rented bikes and made our way to the Dunea information centre , which is located in the midst of the The Hague dunes. The park ranger stood in front of the centre waiting for us. The walk we made with him through the dunes was amazing. From a land full of potatoes he took us to a foresty area and whispered that we might be able to see the wild horses that were grazing in this valley full of maythorns ( hence the name Meijendel). The eyes of the youngest participant lit up. When she spotted them she was extatic. The funny thing was that the horses followed her as if they were on a magic spell.
While she was still enjoying the attention of the wild horses, we climbed up the hill to get the most spectacular view overlooking a big lake with in the background the skyline of beach resort Scheveningen.
It was at this point the park ranger explained how the dune water was extracted and used for distribution of drinking water to thousands of households in The Hague region.
Enchanted by the dune walk we returned to our bikes and cycled to the horse and wagon. The Hague horse drawn carriage ride back was, like I said, a quiet one. Only the youngest participant still chatted excitingly about the wild horses. The route was beautiful though and we had a lot of spectators. Everyone stopped to see the horse drawn carriage wagon pass by.
The day tour The Hague area was quite an adventure. And to be honest, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
It wasn’t supposed to get all the attention, but somehow it did. A small café by the harbour became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge. This is how it happened.
Celebration of the Dutch New Herring
The new herring catch of the season calls for a typical Dutch celebration. A typical Dutch celebration calls for a challenge by Verita’s Visit. So there we were, me and a bunch of international minded people, at the harbour of Scheveningen with just one mission: find out what Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen was all about and if it was more than Dutch new herring.
King William and Madonna at Vlaggetjesdag
The participants had no idea what to expect, there were question marks all over their faces when we met at the Scheveningen library. As there was some drizzle outside that was expected to turn into heavy rainfall, we headed inside for a short introduction. The given information could be used during the challenge. King William, Madonna, the painter Mesdag and of course the Dutch herring, also known as Hollandse Nieuwe all dropped by in this introduction.
the go with the flow festival challenge
Exactly at the moment the rain stopped, the participants, now divided in teams, were off to the first location in the Scheveningen harbour where they had to answer a question and complete a creative challenge. Now, finding your way in a local festival is quite a challenge by itself, so at first all teams were a bit lost. By the time they had done two or three challenges they got the hang of it. They somehow realized the best thing to do was to just go with the flow, dive into the festivities and have fun.
Enjoy the local atmosphere and get social with a local
The best thing on local festivals like Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen is the atmosphere, everyone is relaxed and it’s easy to make contact with locals or visitors. Just like in the Leidens Ontzet Treasure Hunt the participants of the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Challenge had to step out of their comfort zone and get social with a local.
Sharing Experiences during Herring & Corenwijn tasting
At the end of the Scheveningen Vlaggetjesdag challenge we all gathered at Restaurant de Dagvisser. In this small café by the harbour we tasted 4 exquisite herring dishes with 4 types of Corenwijn. All teams shared their experiences there. When I asked them why they all had chosen the song ‘Het kleine café aan de haven’ for one of the challenges they all responded in unison: “Because it was the shortest!”
Small cafe by the harbour of Scheveningen
Athough they were all enjoyed, it was not the Hollandse Nieuwe, the fishers’ boats, the stands demonstrating the local crafts or the men and women in traditional clothing, it was a small café by the harbour that became the core of the Vlaggetjesdag Challenge edition 2016.