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 10,11, 17 & 18 August 2018. More information on the festival itself can be found here
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.
When it comes to herring festivals in Holland Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen, in English known as Flag Day, is the first one that comes to mind. On Facebook I posed the facts & fiction question:
Vlaggetjesdag is only celebrated in the sea side resort Scheveningen
In the last fact & fiction you could read that the Vlaggetjesdag was held on Pentecost, preferably the Monday. Most probably our national herring day dates back many centuries, but it was mentioned for the first time in 1787 in a local newspaper referring to Buisjesdag in Vlaardingen.
Buisjesdag in Vlaardingen was the precursor of Vlaggetjesdag. A buis was the type of ship used for fishing in the 18th century. Fishers’wives & their children would pray in the Grote Kerk Vlaardingen for a safe return of the men & a good herring catch. Afterwards women and children stood on the shore waving their husbands and fathers goodbye while the the buizen sailed off.
In the early days, Vlaardingen was the centre of the herring fishing and the start of many of the traditions you can now still see on Vlaggetjesdag. I will explain why Vlaardingen was thé port for herring in the Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen Trivia Tour.
The name of Vlaggetjesdag Scheveningen first appeared in the media in 1947. But, it was just one of the many herring festivals in Holland. Other ports at the North Sea coastline such as IJmuiden and Katwijk had their own Flag days. Vlaggetjesdag took over the concept of Buisjesdag, but was celebrated on a different day. Plus, although many traditions have its intention changed.
Nowadays, many herring festivals in Holland have changed their focus. IJmuiden celebrates the fishing industry with the Havenfestival and the fishers’town of Urk, Flevoland organises the Visserijdagen
A fresh start of spring in Holland. Outside it’s still rather cold and…where’s the sun? When it comes to the temperature spring really has to warm up, but nature is ready for it. Just take a look outside and see the new born lambs curiously looking at the young tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The start of the season brings excitement, some people even get a bit stressed when they see spring has come. Here are my 7 favourite spring events in the Netherlands
Tip 1: Easter on the Beach
Easter is one of these spring events in the Netherlands I wouldn’t want to miss out on. There are lots of activities being organised. When I’m not on a bike showing you and your friends how amazing the Dutch countryside is, I enjoy my Easter brunch on the beach. The real tourist season starts in the Easter weekend. Weeks before Easter the beach is inspected and levelled. The beach boulevards are full of trucks offloading material. Right after the beach is prepared, the beach restaurant owners can set up their restaurants. In the Netherlands cafes and restaurants can only be found on the beach between March and October. This means that every year before Easter the owners have to set up their beach restaurants again. Just to be able to welcome me & you for an Easter brunch. Isn’t that great?
Tip 2: Blossoming Fruit Trees, Asparagus and Bike Races
Another part of the food sector depends on good weather. Every year the fruit and vegetable farmers anxiously wait for the results of the season. Apple-, cherry-, peartrees are not only useful for their fruits, but also for their blossom. Walking trails take you through picturesque fields full of fresh, scented flowers. But, besides walking there is another option. Known all over the world, a typical Dutch activity is cycling. As spring is also the start of the cycling season, many regions in the Netherlands offer arrangements, excursions or routes for the cyclist. Cycling routes go through areas full of blossoming trees, or later in the season through fields of fruit, where farmers give you the opportunity to pick your own fruit or make an arrangement so you can take a picknickbasket and have a picknick in the garden.
Next to the fruit farmers I mentioned the vegetable farmers. Which vegetable am I talking about? The asparagus! Strawberries, the delicious fruit of the season are often linked with the “white gold”. Asparagus are mainly cultivated in the region Limburg, the region in the south of the Netherlands. Here they can also prepare these tasty vegetables in many different ways and a meal doesn’t even have to cost much. And, while you’re at it, try some of the Limburgian wine ( yes, Limburg also cultivates its own grapes).
For the cycling fanatics, it is also the season in which bike races start. Limburg, with its Dutch mountains is also the ideal place for bike races such as the Amstel Gold Race. It is nice to see the cyclist pass by, with the thousand of spectator standing at the sidelines yelling and admiring. Of course, right after the race you can create your own track and set a new record.
Tip 3: Keukenhof and Flower Parade
When you think of spring in Holland, you think of mesmerizing tulip fields, enchanting daffodil fields and hyacinth fields filling the air with their spring perfume. Keukenhof is a must see when you are in the Netherlands around Easter. The park is dedicated to the tulip and other spring flowers. It is a beautiful park where you even get to shoot some good pictures of all that the Netherlands has to offer: a field of tulips in front of a windmill where a girl dressed in Dutch folklore clothes sells cheese.
A very popular spring festival is the flower parade, in Dutch we call it Bloemencorso. These parades are in the bulb flower region, that means in the area of Leiden, Lisse en Haarlem. It’s a great parade to see the beautiful spring flowers and the creativity of the locals, who work on the floats for months.
Both Keukenhof and the Flower Parade are big attractions and they welcome thousands of visitors from every part of the world. If you don’t want to be in a traffic jam of tourist buses for hours or are curious about the many other festivals & activities in the area, just take a look at Flower Festival Lisse for some original ideas. Cycling through the spring flower fields is -of course- one of my favourite ways to pass time and I would definitely recommend you to add it to your visit to the Netherlands in spring.
Tip 4: Cheese Markets
Enough about flowers, let’s talk about cheese. The cheese market season also starts in April. It’s one of those spectacular spring events in the Netherlands that is not to be missed when you come and visit. There are markets in Gouda, Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn and Woerden. Cheese farmers and traders meet on the market square to negotiate the price of the cheese, Dutch cheese girls offer tastings of different cheeses and there are many special activities. It’s a great outing for the whole family.
To see where and how the Dutch -Gouda- cheese is made, I would really recommend you to add a visit to a cheese farm and a historical cheese warehouse.
Tip 5: King’s Day
King’s day is on the 27th of April and Dutch love to celebrate this on the streets. Amsterdam is an orange heaven and should be visited on this dat, but be aware: on the 27th itself everything is fully packed, trains are full, roads are full, streets in Amsterdam are full. If you really want to be in Amsterdam on the 27th go to the city a couple of days before and make sure you have your accomodation booked long before, because Amsterdam will be crowded.
I have been in Amsterdam once on King’s Day and I have to say I didn’t really like it. To get there it takes a lot of patience and walking around in the city is a real pain: it’s just too busy for my liking. I prefer other cities such as Utrecht or The Hague, where every neighbourhood has their own flea market and you can play old Dutch games. Nevertheless, if you want to have an authentic King’s Day experience try celebrating it in a small city or even a village. It’s much easier to get connected with the locals and the celebration is much more intense as it’s much smaller and intimate.
Now King’s Day doesn’t start on the 27th of April, but the evening before. On the 26th in the late afternoon I would suggest you to go to The Hague to celebrate the Life I Live festival. Bands are playing everywhere, special theatre shows are organised and there are lots of things to do and see. It is one of the few nights this very special atmosphere can be sensed in The Hague, people are just having fun and there’s a common vibe everyone can feel.
Tip 6: Liberation Day
Shortly after King’s Day Day the Dutch commemorate the people who died in World War II, during peace operations or in war situations. The day after, the 5th of May it is Liberation Day, the day that we celebrate the end of World War II and think about the meaning of freedom. For this we have special Liberation Festivals in different cities in the Netherlands, where bands and known Dutch artists perform. This website gives you more information about who is performing where and what other activities are planned.
Tip 7: Museumweekend
Spring in the Netherlands means being outdoors. But, if the weather is bad, you can always enjoy the musea. In april Dutch musea organise special activities in a weekend that is cleverly called Museumweekend. Entrance in the musea is for free or you pay very little.