It’s not uncommon that I get asked about taking trips to other cities in The Netherlands. Most cities can be reached within an hour train ride away. And although Haarlem, Utrecht, and Rotterdam all have their charms, I think Den Haag is the best place to go which is tourist friendly. Actually if you have the time, I’d get up early, buy a round trip ticket to Delft and do both in one day. Delft is about 15 mins farther away then Den Haag but it’s on the same train, so you can go all the way to Delft in the morning, and then work your way back north and stop off at Den Haag.
Delft is a cute little Dutch city and it’s where the Blue Porcelain comes from (Delfts Blauw). There’s a beautiful church. The Royal Family is buried there. Sometimes there’s a market on the main square and if you wanted to pick up cheesy souvenirs they are much cheaper in Delft than Amsterdam so if you’re heading south anyway you might as well get them when you are there.
Then I’d head back into Den Haag, you can eat lunch at my favorite little British Tea Room, run by a husband and wife from Eritrea called Scally’s Lunchroom. Tell the owner you know me and he’ll treat you even better. I’ve been going there for years and absolutely adore them! The coffee is fantastic and the food great. Then to top it off the cakes and scones are to die for! The service can be a little slow because he has a small kitchen only really big enough for him. Since they now have two kids the wife mostly stay home and he’s hired some help. Last time I was there the helper was a bit new and could use some training. So please just be patient if you do go here. It’s well worth the wait.
Some of my favorite museums are in Den Haag. The Maurits Huis is like a mini version of the Rijksmuseum. You get classic golden ages paintings including: Girl with the Pearl Earring (Vemeer) and Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulip (Rembrandt). It’s far less crowded so you can actually enjoy the art. Then about a 5 minute walk away is also the Escher Museum; he was the optical illusionist artist that had etchings of bees becoming bird becoming something else… or when there are people walking up the stairs and then walking down the stairs and it’s all fluid.
Also in Den Haag is the Internation Criminal Courts located at the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace). If you book an excursion you can tour the Palace. But it’s also lovely to look at from the outside. You can walk out to the Palace or hop on a tram to its location. That same tram will also carry you to the beach Schevenigen. Which would be how I round out my trip. Walk the boardwalk and perhaps take in a sunset dinner at one of the various restaurants along the beach. Of course because of it’s location the prices will be higher than in the city but that’s to be expected.
All in you could take in this trip in a full day.