Traveling to The Hague - tips to get to the highlights

The best thing about traveling to The Hague is the sights you see enroute. Starting your journey from Amsterdam you see the typical Dutch landscape passing by. You can take the car or even cycle. The best way to go to The Hague though is by train. Here's why.

The Hague ICC bike tour Peace & Justice fietstocht vrede & recht Den Haag
Criminal Court The Hague bike parked

The Hague is one of the top destinations in the Netherlands. Dive into the culture, history and nature on a daytrip to the city by the sea. Or stay over for a day or two. Celebrate the Dutch traditions and get social with a local. From spotting the royal family during King's Day or Prince's Day to visiting the Peace Palace or International Criminal Court on the International Day of Peace, all year through there are festivals and events for you to enjoy.

Amsterdam public transportDriving to The Hague

Traveling to The Hague by car from Amsterdam or Amsterdam airport Schiphol is doable. Let's say you are staying near Amsterdam Museumplein and want to get to The Hague city centre, Houses of Parliament.  In my opinion driving in the city centre of Amsterdam is a real hassle and I wouldn't recommend it, public transport in Amsterdam is easy and comfortable. The bike is a good alternative for the car as you have less parking problems. It's easy to get around by bike, but quite stressful. Look out for pedestrians, other cyclists and public transport.  Pay extra attention near tramway tracks!

Finding a relaxed route cycling in AmsterdamOk, so you've found your way to Amsterdam Zuid by car. There you take the highway A4. If you follow this road, you will be in The Hague within 1 hour. The highway is often crammed though, traffic jams outside peak hours are not unusual. Check ANWB, the Royal Dutch Touring Club for updated traffic info or use Google Maps.

3 windmill tour Leiden 3 molentjes route fiets Verita's VisitTip for when you are coming to the Netherlands in spring: take a slight detour to the A44 for some fantastic tulip fields. 

Staying on the A4? Look on your left side when you pass Leiden. You see a 3 mill cascade - 3 molengang in Dutch- . This area near Leiden is one of my favorite. It's one of the best examples of Dutch countryside: full of windmills and cheese farms. 

Duinenfietstocht Amsterdam Den Haag North Sea coastal bike tour Verita's VisitNorth Sea Cycling Route to The Hague

Traveling to The Hague by bike sounds wonderful, especially when your an avid cyclist like me. I would definitely take multiple days to enjoy the bike ride to the fullest. The shortest cycling route from Amsterdam city centre to The Hague is about 60 km (37 miles) so technically you could reach the Houses of Parliament in one day. Then again, you are probably on vacation, so I would recommend taking a longer cycling route. Getting out of the Dutch capital is never easy and the first part of the route is not very exciting. Just keep pedalling. Head to Haarlem, a beautiful city with lovely historical centre and stay there for the night. The following day cycle through the dunes towards Zandvoort and just follow the coastline. The cycling route is part of the long distance cycling network, the LF1 North Sea route . You'll reach The Hague's beach resort Scheveningen. This is where you could find me guiding a bike tour!

tulip fields in between Amsterdam & Leiden tour groepsreis Verita's Visit
tulip fields in between Amsterdam & Leiden

Traveling to The Hague by train

Now I know many of you are on a Europe trip and have very short time to visit the Netherlands. You definitely want to visit Amsterdam and you might still have a few hours to see another city in Holland. Well, I could give you many tips on cities to visit, but let's focus on traveling to The Hague for now. From Amsterdam or Amsterdam airport Schiphol there is a direct connection by train to The Hague Hollands Spoor (HS station).  It's easy, stressfree and comfortable. You don't need to book ahead and can get out of the train whenever you want. When you take the train from Amsterdam it will stop at great places such as Haarlem and Leiden. Do visit these cities if you have time! Take the intercity Amsterdam Centraal in spring and you'll be able to see the gorgeous flower fields between these two cities.

Bike route royal the Hague koninklijk den haag route fiets Verita's VisitWithin 1 hour you reach The Hague Hollands Spoor station. From here take a tram or rent a bicycle to get to The Hague beach 'Scheveningen'. The tram will stop at city centre Hague . You can also go for a 10 minutes walk to the highlights of the historical city centre: Houses of Parliament, museum Mauritshuis, royal palace Noordeinde, Lange Voorhout.

 

Enjoy your journey!


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Amsterdam beach cycling route

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Active in The Hague area

 

 


Where is the best windmill in The Hague - Delft?

Woosh woosh woosh. The typical Dutch flat land is great for cycling except for when there's wind. And there always is wind. Always. So, it took me some time to get here, but here I am. On the dike, next to the best windmill in The Hague - Delft. And I have to say: this giant typical Dutch icon is making a terrible noise.

Delft windmill molen fietstocht gids bike tour Verita's VisitPeek inside a Dutch windmill

There are several opportunities per year to visit a Dutch windmill and have a look inside. Most popular are the industrial windmills in Zaanse Schans, near Amsterdam and the polder windmills in Unesco heritage site Kinderdijk, near Rotterdam.  If you want to meet more locals and get a more authentic experience keep your eyes open for a National Heritage Day or a National Windmill  Day. In my humble opinion the regional windmill days are even better. Take the Westland windmill day for instance. It is your chance to live the life of a miller in the best windmill in The Hague - Delft.

flour windmill Delft bike tour molentocht fiets groepsuitje Verita's VisitSmell Dutch delicacies at Delft windmill

She's a tough lady. No matter how the landscape around her changes, Windmill de Roos in Delft stands tall.  She's been here for ages. Not at exactly the same spot, she has been moved a few metres to the left, a few metres to the right when new roads or new railway tracks were created. And now, after the construction of the underground railway, she's earned her spot along a wide cycling path.  For your great view on the city, go here. At least, that's what they say. I am afraid of heights and the steep stairs will garantee I stay with both feet on the ground. When my participants climb up to the windmill's deck I  follow the flour dust to the small shop. As I wander past the rye flour, the mixes for cakes and crumbles I can almost smell the delicious fragrances of fresh made bread and pastries. The mix for the Dutch gingerbread cookies, which they sell in winter really makes my mouth water.

Holland's best kept secrets

The best kept secrets from Holland are best kept secrets because they are either hidden from view or not that easy to reach. For the next best windmill The Hague - Delft area, leave the car at the parking and hop on a bike. One of the reasons why we cycle so much in the Netherlands is that we get everywhere. Even to the places that are not on Google Maps.

 

Cycle below the water

From the one and only flour windmill in Delft it is a 15 minutes bike ride to the Schaapweimolen. You could follow the route of the Westland floating flower parade. Essentialy that means you follow the water. Best part is where you go through a small cycling tunnel. The experience is over in the blink of an eye, so make sure you blink slowly. While you cycle in the deep dark tunnel, take a look at your right. At the deepest point you cycle below the water!

Best windmill The Hague -Delft for water management

The water level in this area is all managed by the electric pumping station you see when your eyes get used to the light again. Up you go, swirling on the bridge to cross the canal. Don't swirl to fast now. Take a moment to look out on the canal. You'll immediately see the Schaapweimolen. A few metres before are the remains of another windmill. Can you picture a row of windmills here, pumping the water from the polder land into the canal?

Meet the miller

When you visit the Schaapweimolen take your time. Many visitors take a few pictures from the outside and have a quick look inside during one of the open windmill days. If you take your time, you'll meet the miller. From the tiny window of the miller's house Wim has a good view on everyone passing by. Wim is 80 years old and quite a character.  When I ask him if he still puts the sails on the blades himself, I know I've made a mistake. He looks at me as if I just asked him if windmills can walk. Having worked at windmills for most of his life, putting the sails is like eating a sandwich with cheese. Wim is a man of little words. He'll take you inside the miller's house, where grandgrandparents would just feel at home. There are images of windmills everywhere. And, you can take a look outside of that tiny window. "Say hi to Rob" is what Wim mumbles when I tell him we're off to the Groeneveldsemolen.

local food  Verita's Visit gastronomy tour Delft region

Coffee stop on windmill route

There's more wind now, but nothing can stop me to get to my final destination, definitely on my list of  best windmill in The Hague - Delft . I've never been to the Groeneveldsemolen,  although it has a big attraction on me. I passed by when a thunderstorm was about to hit The Hague area. It looked like Jekyll and Hyde, its white side overtaken by its dark side. The cycling route from Schaapweimolen to this polder windmill leads past the tiniest village in this region: 't Woudt. It's always busy and gezellig at Koffiehuis de Hooiberg, thé place for a coffee break.

windnill The Hague Delft tour groep reis uitje event  Verita's Visit Den Haag Delft

Highspeed windmill scale models

Back on the pedals, cross the bridge and then take a right. Rob, the miller and other volunteers organise many activities for all ages on the open windmill days. Rob is so busy, I don't get a chance to talk to him today. A kid leads me to the small scale models of different windmills in the polder land. He opens each model and shows the mechanism. At a model of a flour windmill he scoops up some of the grain here, some of the flour there. "See, feel, touch' he yells through the sound of the turning blades.  The blades, wow, the blades of these models. They  turn in a high speed.  It's nothing compared to the Groeneveldsemolen itself.

Whoosh whoosh and krikkriek

The blades of this giant Dutch icon turn at a terrifying speed.  The doors of the windmill open a view into the wheel. Krikkriek. It rattles as the water runs through. The water gushes out and foam splashes everywhere. It goes without saying that I'm spellbound by the rhytms this windmill makes. Is this the best windmill The Hague - Delft?

Visit the The Hague - Delft windmills

Visit these and other windmills during National windmill Day in May or on the regional windmill day . Or, book a personalised bike tour with visit windmill. We start in The Hague, Delft or an amazing location in Westland - more than greenhouses!-

 


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Half day team event Hague area

Pack your bags! You’re going on a trip to the Netherlands. The grand finale: a half day team event Hague area with your work team. After a couple of days of trainings and workshops in the company’s Dutch headquarter you and your international colleagues head out for adventure!

boating Gouda event teambuilding Verita's Visit bootrace
Boat race corporate event Gouda area

Relaxing or active half day team event around The Hague

The global organisation you work for has given you carte blanche for a half day team event The Hague. It’s up to you and your team to decide if you want to do an active event or something relaxing. It could be a workshop Delft blue painting or a boat race on the Leiden lakes.

Delft blue workshop teambuilding Verita's Visit familie vriendenConnecting with your global team

Due to time differences it’s not easy to get your team members from US, UK, Europe and South Africa together in a meeting to discuss the subject of the trainings in the Dutch headquarter or the content of the company outing on the last day. So, emails go back and forth and you manage to set up a call  with some of the colleagues who have been in the team for a while now.

Local event inspired food tasting teambuilding Verita's Visit inspiratie proeverij lokaal festival

Dutch culture activities in cities around the Hague

These hardcore team-building event participants have quite some suggestions.  One of  them reminds you: “We’ve done a canal cruise in Leiden a few years ago and a cooking workshop in The Hague”. “The activity should definitely something fun. I don’t mind traveling outside of The Hague, see a different city” another colleague writes in a email. After a while yet another colleague adds:

“Indeed! See a bit of the area, would love it if we could incorporate some Dutch culture. Food would be great too.” 

King's Day local event  Verita's Visit Koningsdag activiteit family friends company

Fun group activity on Dutch food

Food does give an extra dimension to a group activity, you think. After having gathered all suggestions, you have an idea of what kind of half day team event Hague area could look like. After the trainings and workshops you don’t want to have to think too much. So, it should be a fun and relaxing outing. It should not take too long either. Some kind of tour in a historical city not far from The Hague to absorb the Dutch culture and maybe add something food-related.  Could you combine it with a local festival or typical Dutch event that already takes place?


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Private tour Dutch greenhouse with family & friends

It's your mother's birthday. She's got green fingers, owns a plant nursery in the UK for over 35 years now. So what do you gift her? A private tour Dutch greenhouse in the area below The Hague! Read more


tulip tree Verita's Visit Holland

Will the real tulip tree please stand up?

The tulip tree was tree of the year 2019 Tree cultivars had to choose the best shade and shelter tree. The tulip tree won with 60% of the votes. Do you know what this tree looks like?

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What if it rains on bike tour Verita's Visit als het regent op fietstocht

What if it rains on the day of your bike tour Holland?

A Vermeer-like sky greets locals and visitors of Delft. A few cotton clouds float in an otherwise blue sky.  Still, weather in the Netherlands is unpredictable. What if it rains on the day of your bike tour Holland?

 

Cycling in the rain Netherlands
Bad weather, beautiful bike ride Netherlands

The Dutch weather is fine

In Dutch there’s a saying: Geen vuiltje aan de lucht. Literally this means there’s not a dirt spot in the sky. And there wasn’t. When I opened the curtains this morning it was just another summer day in the Netherlands. A bit of wind, but nothing the German group couldn’t handle. The leader of the pack, a friendly lady, had messaged me: “We’re members of a bowling club. Every other year we pick a city and do some activities there. Bike tours are often part of our weekend trip.”

The Dutch and their weather apps

I always check the weather forecast. Weather in the Netherlands can be unpredictable. It can be so unpredictable that the forecast changes every minute. Which is why the Dutch like their weather apps. Buienradar, Buienalarm, weeronline. Try them, they’re quite addictive! A couple of days before the tour I message my participants with the latest weather updates. In case the weather prediction is really bad I offer to reschedule the tour or give a –partly-  refund.

Cycling in the rain in the Netherlands

If a light drizzle is predicted or rain is altered with sun the cycling tour will happen. Cycling in the rain in the Netherlands is a whole experience and can actually be nice! I’ve even had two participants who insisted on doing the cycling tour even though it was pouring. They had booked a tulip field bike tour and I have to say: it was amazing! There were hardly any people on the road and we could take great pictures of tulips covered in rain drops.

No such thing as bad weather

 Another time I had warned my participants for rain showers. They came dressed in fantastic waterproof outfits and said: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”. We stopped in cafés and typical Dutch farms every time the rain became too much and actually enjoyed the sun everytime it found its way to the clouds.

Best season to cycle in Holland

What if it rains on the day of your bike tour in Holland? The German lady and I, we hadn’t talked about it. It hadn’t even crossed my mind. Summer weather in the Netherlands usually is ok. The wind plays a huge part in the other seasons, but summer is quiet, weather is good. Most of the time the wind, rain, storm is on holiday in summer.  Unfortunately, there are exceptions. Like today.

best restaurant shelter rain Netherlands
Waiting for the rain to stop in a restaurant

Restaurant shelter from the rain

The wind got stronger in the afternoon. All the fluffy clouds gathered and turned into one massive rain cloud. It started to rain. First a light drizzle, then harder and harder. Our rain ponchos couldn’t keep us dry anymore. Which is why we stopped at my favorite restaurant. It was nice and warm inside. I ordered the lovely local snacks for the whole group. While we enjoyed some bites and drinks, I told the group the stories about the area I had wanted to tell enroute. We had lovely conversations until the rain stopped. Quickly we got back on our bicycles and head back to the city centre.

Being outdoors in the Dutch countryside

Despite the Dutch weather everyone was happy. “Thank you for this bike tour”, the group leader said, “we are glad to have seen something from the Dutch countryside. Else we would just have been in a café in the city centre, close to our hotel. Next time we contact you again!”

What if it rains on the day of your bike tour in Holland?

So, what if it rains on the day of your bike tour in Holland? Then we discuss the options. Reschedule? Cancel? Or just go through with it?  Just to let you know: wherever we go, there's always a great place to stop for shelter, coffee or local beer ;)


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other flower events in the Netherlands Verita's Visit Holland

3 beautiful villages Holland a daytrip away from Amsterdam

Small picturesque towns in the Netherlands, where locals are not used to tourists. Places where you sit on a terrace overlooking a cosy market square and take in typical Dutch daily scenes or see small sailing boats pass by. In these 3 beautiful villages Holland you still experience the authentic Dutch way of life.

 

Plan your stops on your bike ride through the Dutch countryside. It was one of my recommendations in my post on countryside cycling in Holland. The 5 beautiful villages in the Netherlands mentioned in this post definitely deserve a visit and offer great cafés and restaurants for a drink and a bite.

Dutch famous flower village

The first Dutch village is well known for the biggest tulip garden in Europe. Direct busses from Amsterdam airport Schiphol, Haarlem and Leiden drop millions of visitors right in front of the Keukenhof. They visit the flower park, get back on the bus and leave the cute flower village Lisse behind.  It has a cosy town square, called De Vierkant, where different events are organised. From this square you can easily access bulb culture museum De Zwarte Tulp. The St Agatha church around the corner is worth seeing! Love Dutch pancakes or in for Italian pasta? Pick one of the small restaurants in this beautiful village in Holland.

On my flower field bike tours I regularly make a stop at Lisse or any of the other small flower towns near Keukenhof.

Beautful villages Holland
One of the beautiful villages Holland

History of one of the most beautiful villages Holland

For me one of the most beautiful villages Holland, in the greenhouse area, is Naaldwijk. With close to 20.300 habitants it's actually a city, although its compact city centre feels like a village. Naaldwijk is in the heart of the Westland and is famous for its horticulture. You might know the place from Royal Flora Holland, the largest flower auction cooperation. You can find it right outside the city centre, next to a busy highway.  The best kept secret in Naaldwijk is the Kerkstraat, a circular road around the main church. It's for pedestrians and cyclists. There's even a signposted cycle route through this small street. This historical street, decorated with flowers in summer, is very picturesque. Hidden in a corner is a 15th century courtyard with a unique small chapel. On the market square around the corner are plenty of options for food & drinks.

Verita's Visit quaint town near The Hague tour & event Netherlands
Heilig Geesthofje, Naaldwijk

Village with tradition in local products

Flowers need to be transported. Many towns in the surroundings of Delft have a history in the production and transportation of products grown in the greenhouse area. Delft is just a daytrip away from Amsterdam. Not all visitors need a full day in the city of Vermeer, Prince William of Orange and Delftware. If you are visiting Delft and have some time on hands, my tip is to explore Holland by bike and head into the Delft countryside. Besides the typical Dutch landscapes like polders, windmills and canals you'll also pass through authentic and beautiful villages in this part of Holland. One of these pretty towns is Schipluiden. It's a place where many ships transporting goods such as flowers, vegetables and cheese went through. Nowadays you can still see boats on the canal that runs through the centre. The sight of the bridge which is still handdrawn is spectacular. Sit down on one of the terraces along the canal for a coffee or one of the exquisite dishes made from locally grown products.

Delft family activity familie uitje Verita's Visit

 


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key to typical Dutch teambuilding outside Amsterdam Verita's Visit excursion corporate family

Team event Leiden

It was February when I received a request from the event manager of an international company. She was looking for a nice team event Leiden and had seen the Leidens Ontzet Treasure Hunt on the website of Verita's Visit Holland. Could I organise this group activity late March?

key to typical Dutch teambuilding outside Amsterdam Verita's Visit excursion corporate family I smiled while I was reading the inquiry for the group event Leiden. The Leidens Ontzet, Relief of Leiden is festival celebrated on the 3rd of October. There's a great vibe and it's quite easy to connect with the locals. To organise an event in spring around a winter festival would be quite a challenge. I soon discovered that all the venues the teams would pass on the 3rd of October were closed or being renovated. So, the  plans changed and I created  a completely different team building activity. Same style, same adventure, same mix of creative challenges  & intriguing questions, but with a different theme. Focus wasn't just on the Relief of Leiden, but on the history & culture of Leiden in general. Artists, monuments, symbols all played a part in this team event Leiden.

 

Rembrandt cultural activity Leiden cultureel uitje Verita's Visit

I do love using my creativity and organising such a custom-made group activity. At the end the 25 young professionals from the international company based in Leiden area had a great time. Well, see for yourself.

 

 Thank you so much for your kind cooperation with the event! We had a blast! 

Event manager international company Leiden area

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ico0Pzu5W7g&t=23s


Magical castles in South Holland

Tall, direct and often - extremely- extravert. The Dutch are not known for being refined, courteous or even humble. Dutch style is sober. In every day life you'll hardly ever find the ground covered with a red carpet in front of you . Fortunately we have a great Dutch tradition on Pentecost. On this bank holiday you can live your fairytale. See what it's like to live like a king. Several estates and a few magical castles in South Holland and in other Dutch regions open their doors to the public. A day to dive in a world of glamour and exciting history.

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Visit to Gouda Cheese Farm

Golden Glow Gouda Cheese-veritasvisit
Golden Glow over Gouda City

The Gouda city hall lights up in a golden glow. The few rays of sunlight passing the city hall direct all attention to the negotiation game of the cheese farmer and the buyer on this Thursday’s Gouda cheese market.  After the deal has been sealed the farmer approaches me and asks:

Would you like to try out different cheeses and make your own cheese in a cheese farm”?

There's a little spark inside me and I nodd my head. He makes a phone call, arranges a bike and….Read more