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Many international organizations and companies have their seat here and foreign lots of countries have their embassies here. You can visit this Embassy website for detailed information which is of interest for travellers. The Hague also houses the international court of Justice, which in the last decade was mainly busy with judging war criminals from the Yugoslavian war, including Milosevic and Karadzic. As a result of the many institutions and ambassies a lot of nationalities live and work in this city.
The Hague is also the home of many of the most famous Dutch music groups and artists. The most famous group to emerge from The Hague is probably the Golden Earring, who got world famous with their American No.1 hit: Radar Love. Also Shocking Blue (Venus, later covered by Bananarama), Q65, Anouk and Earth & Fire, and a whole bunch of others come from the Hague. That The Hague is a musical city is something you can see if you look at the many music festival and events in the city. Sadly enough the world famous North Sea Jazz Festival has moved a couple of years to ago to Rotterdam.
The Hague has 8 neighbourhoods:
These neighbourhoods can in most cases be divided in several smaller areas.
The Hague offers visitors more than political interest. It is also an excellent place to browse great museums, or laze on the Netherlands' primary beach.
The Hague is best known for the political and international organisations that operate there, including the Dutch royal family. Some of its most popular attractions are the Binnenhof, the national centre of politics (Parliament still meets there) and the Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall), where you can enjoy a guided tour of the Upper and Lower chambers where politicians meet.
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Scheveningen (nowadays part of The Hague) is the main beach city of the Netherlands - and has been so for over 100 years. Hence The Hague can profile itself as City by the Sea. The beach is favourite place of a lot of people in the Netherlands. When the weather is good, the beach is packed with people. But when the weather is bad, and a strong wind is blowing it can be nice to be on the beach aswell. In Scheveningen you will find a lot of bars on the beach, as well as the two landmarks of this stretch of the Dutch coast: the Kurhaus, and the Pier.
The Hague boasts a number of internationally acclaimed museums, including
On every 3rd tuesday in September the Queen reads out her Speech of the throne (Troonrede) in the Ridderzaal. The speech itself is a dry piece of information written by politicians and not that interesting for visitors. What is interesting is the rituals surrounding the day. At 1:00pm the Queen gets into the Golden Coach, that will take her to the Ridderzaal. Along the route many people gather to grasp a glimpse of the Queen and the other members of the royal family. The route starts at the Palace Noordeinde and the goes to the Lange Voorhout and the Korte Vijverberg to the Binnenhof. It's only a short route and it takes about 15 minutes in total. After the speech, the Queen heads back to the palace, where she will appear on the balcony to say goodbye.
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On the last Sunday of June, the biggest music festival in the Netherlands takes place in the Zuiderpark. On several stages in the park several bands are playing from young and local talents to big names of the international music business. On a good day it is possible that 350,000 to 400,000 people come to visit the festival. The line-up every year consist of a mix of Dutch bands and International bands, with a good mix of genres, so that everybody can find a band he or she likes. Besides the music, there are markets and of course food and drink stalls. If you plan to visit and you need to get out of The Hague by public transport, have some patience as the transport is somewhat overloaded, especially when the weather is good. And the best part of the festival is, that the entrance is for free.
In 2013, the Dutch throne was passed on to King Willem-Alexander and what used to be Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) will from 2014 become Koningsdag (King's Day). The date will be changed to the 27th of April, which is the king's birthday. In 2014 however it will be on the 26th of April because the 27th falls on a Sunday. On this day the streets of almost every sizable town in the country come alive with activity.
Beatstad is a music festival that takes place at the end of August or beginning of September at the Malieveld. The festival started in 2005, as a festival with a line-up consisting of only bands from The Hague, but since a couple of years the headliner is an International group.
The City-Pier-City Run is a half marathon from the centre of The Hague to the Pier in Scheveningen, and back again. The fastest male runners run the distance in just under an hour. Besides a half marathon there are also runs of 5 and 10 kilometres, and runs for kids (1 kilometre and 2.5 kilometres). All the races finish at the Lange Voorhout. Along the route of the run several bands are playing, providing a good atmosphere for runners and spectators.
The Hague weather is typical of what you get in the Netherlands: mild winters (December - February) with rare snow, and reasonably warm summers (June - August). In general, The Hague is just bit cooler during the summer and a bit warmer during winter, meaning average temperatures of around or just above 20 °C in summer and several degrees above zero during winter.
Rotterdam The Hague Airport, formerly Zestienhoven serves The Hague. It's mostly used by Transavia, Correndon and VLM airlines. The first two are specialised in holiday destinations, and the last services a lot of the smaller airports in the Netherlands and Begium, and connects from Rotterdam to for example London City Airport, Manchester Airport, the Isle of Man, Hamburg Airport and Jersey. Skywork Airlines has a weekly flight to Bern in Switzerland (winter only).
The Hague has a couple of train stations, of which the Central Station and Holland Spoor are the most used ones. The Hague can be reached easily from other bigger Dutch cities. The line between Venlo and The Hague connects all the bigger cities in North Brabant and Rotterdam with The Hague.
A regional light rail system called RandstadRail connects The Hague to nearby cities, Zoetermeer and Rotterdam and was completed in August 2010. Check the map online.
Eurolines has international connections, sometimes stopping in other Dutch cities, like Arnhem and Breda first.
HTM provides bus and tram connections just outside The Hague, including a route to Scheveningen beaches.
Although The Hague is located along the water, at least Scheveningen is, there is no regular transport for passenger by boat.
As roads, especially during rush hours and on popular shopping times (including Saturday), are congested, it's not advised to travel around by car. Parking is expensive as well, like most Dutch cities.
HTM offers trams and buses in the city.
Much of The Hague can easily be explored on foot, as it's not a very big city and the centre is relatively compact.
Taking the bike is especially nice if you like to explore more of the outskirts of The Hague as well, including Scheveningen.
|Appartement Royal Den Haag||Repelaerstraat 35 Den Haag||Apartment||-|
|Stayokay Den Haag (The Hague)||Scheepmakersstraat 27 2515 VA||Hostel||83|
|Treetop||Huygenspark 27a Den Haag||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Hage||Seinpostduin 24 2856 SCHEVENINGEN The Hague||Hotel||-|
|F.A.S.T.||Strandweg 1A 2586 JK SCHEVENINGEN The Hague||Hostel||81|
|Historische Haven Den Haag||Zieken 153||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B City Stay The Hague||Hoge Zand 17||GUESTHOUSE||88|
Internet cafés are not as widespread as you would expect, but you can easily find one in the popular cities. Most hostels, hotels and camp sites have several computers, so you can keep connected with folk at home. Here is a list of internet cafés that could come in handy for travellers. Otherwise, most libraries have lots of computers and prices are around the €2-3 per hour range, although sometimes it can be even more expensive.
Wireless internet access using wifi is becoming more popular and is usually available at most hotels and increasingly at train stations. Also in trains (at least in most first class wagons, but also more and more in second class) and some buses you can use wifi. Finally, places like McDonald's and Starbucks have free wifi, and smaller individual business like cafés and restaurants are on the rise too offering these services. More often than not, these service tend to be free of charge, though there might be a limited time you can use the internet.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country code for the Netherlands is 31. The outbound international prefix is 00. The general emergency number is 112, like many other countries.
0800 numbers are toll-free and for 09xx numbers are charged at premium rates. Mobile phones have numbers in the 06 range, and calls to cell phones are also priced at higher rates.
From internet cafés, it is also usually possible to make long distance international calls. Like in other countries, telephone booths have almost disappeared, though some are still found around public transport stations, where you can use a few coins to make calls. It is only recommended for local calls.
The cellular phone network in the Netherlands is GSM 900/1800. The main providers of cell phone networks are KPN (Dutch only), T-mobile and Vodafone, who cover the whole country. Other operators, like Hollandsnieuwe, Simyo or Tele2, use one of these 3 networks basically.
It is best to buy a SIM card when in the Netherlands for use in your cellphone, as this usually works out cheaper than using the one from home. If you are planning to study or work in the country and stay for several months, buying a cellphone is the best option. A simple one, sometimes with €10 worth on it, can be bought from around €25. The simplest smartphones are around €75.
The rate for sending a postcard or letter up to 20 grams within the Netherlands is €0.64 (2014). Since 2010 there are stamps available for domestic post which no longer include the value in €. Instead, there are stamps available with either a '1' or a '2' as a substitute for value. The '1' can be used for letters and postcards up to 20 grams, while 20-50 grams require you to use the '2'-valued stamps (or two '1'-valued stamps of course).
Sending items to other EU countries and the rest of the world (there is one price since 2014) will cost €1.05. Stamps are sold at post offices, supermarkets and smaller shops/kiosks; often the place where you buy your postcards can also supply you with stamps.
Sending parcels abroad is more costly. A standard-sized parcel between up to 2 kilograms will cost you €9 for destinations within the EU and €18 (both without Track & Trace) to the rest of the world. Prices with Track & Trace start at €13 and €24.30 respectively. Parcel service is available from major post offices only; standard-size boxes are on sale there as well. For sending parcels, it might be just as competitive and fast to use a company like TNT, UPS or DHL.
If you need to receive mail while moving around, you can have it sent poste restante (to be called for) to a post office of your choice, where it will be kept for a month. If you come to claim it, bring a valid ID, and make sure to have told the sender that the name on the envelope must be an exact match with that in your passport. For addresses of post offices, as well as more information, consult the TNT website.
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