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Walking tours

Historically, in the Royal Quarter the world of royalty and the world of the artisans has always been entwined. On the one hand, the court, and on the other, the court retinue of servants. And so it remains; two different worlds bound together by the court and history. Winding little streets, leafy avenues, and the dappled Palace Gardens in the oldest, most historic part of The Hague, they make up this beautiful area. The king, the dignitaries, the artisans and the artists; they all still live here. Extremes that together form a whole. From high tea to a cuppa, from chips to caviar and from monk to drinking-pal. Experience all of this by following the four walking-tours, marked on the map in colour.

 

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Arts and culture

Fossils to Art Deco

<<1>> Begin the walking tour opposite the Hilton Hotel in the Noordeinde. In this famous street you will find lots of art- and antique-shops with the loveliest and most exclusive collector’s items. <<2>> Walk down the Noordeinde until you come to Molenstraat and turn right into this street. ‘Rocks and Clocks’ has beautiful antique and vintage jewellery. <<3> Carry on until you come to the crossroads and turn into Prinsestraat. Renowned goldsmiths can be found here: ‘Gallery Guhsmith’ (no. 39) sells work from designers from The Netherlands and abroad. At ‘Oh Dear’ (no.56) four goldsmiths work together, creating their own designs. Don’t forget to visit ‘Hopi Navajo’ too (no.32). This is the only shop in The Netherlands selling genuine North American Indian art, herbs, musical instruments and of course bows and arrows. <<4>> Walk back in the direction of the Great Church and turn left into Korte Molenstraat. At the end of the street you will come across the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, ‘Rariteitenkabinet Natural Choice’(no.23) where you can while away quite some time admiring the various animal skulls, stuffed animals, fossils, and many more fascinating items.

Food and drinks

From chips to caviar

<<1>> Start on the Torenplein at the iconic ice-cream parlour ‘Florencia’ (no.55). This is where the real ‘Hagenezen’ (people from The Hague) like to sit on the terrace and enjoy an ice-cream or a coffee, during the day or in the evening, all year round. <<2>> From here, walk into Nobelstraat. Here you will find numerous eateries, such as ‘N’ (no.22), the chic ‘6 & 24’ (no.13) and the exotic ‘Ruen Thai (no.19). <<3>> Continue along the street and at the crossroads with Prinsestraat, turn left. Be sure to arrive here at lunchtime, as there are so many restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice! ‘Confetti’ (no.63), for example. <<4>> Or go to ‘Le Petit Café Lou’, halfway down Molenstraat, or ‘Bij HeM’ (no. 21A). <<5>> Would you like to have lunch in the sunny Palace Gardens? Pick up a take-away lunch from ‘Pistache Café’ and wander through the gate into the nearby Gardens. <<6>> Are you in this area late in the afternoon? Carry on to Veenkade, to ‘Grapes and Olives’, specialising in the South Italian cuisine, which is the place for an aperitif. You can also enjoy an excellent dinner here. <<7>> Walk back to Prinsestraat. If you would like to dine in a chic restaurant, try the Scandinavian restaurant ‘Bog’, the Chinese restaurant ‘Zheng’, worthy of a (Michelin) star, or the top-class ‘Portfolio’(no.6).For those who would like to spend a little less, ‘Kua’, at Torenstraat 77 and ‘Sapore’ at Molenstraat 30 are highly recommended. <<8>> Carry on down Molenstraat and turn left into Oude Molstraat. This characterful mediaeval street is full of bars and restaurants and is buzzing with life every evening. <<9>> Turn left into Papestraat for Belgian chips at ‘Het Kleinste Winkeltje’ (no.1). Wait in the queue together with politicians, elegant ladies and lanky teenagers – everyone in The Hague knows that this is the best chip-shop in town.

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Fashion and accessories

From blazer to suspenders

<<1>> Begin this walking route at the ‘Goude Hooft’, the oldest tavern in The Hague. <<2>>From here, go into Hoogstraat. The big designer-names, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Claudia Strater and Hugo Boss all have shops here. Since 1860, the purveyor to the royal household, ‘Hofleverancier Pelger‘ (no.16) has been selling tailor-made clothing for gentlemen. <<3>> Turn left into Papestraat and admire the many small and exceptional shops. Designer ‘Michael Barnaart’(no.1B) makes stylish gowns. Further along the street you can find hip outfits and shoes at ‘Concrete’(no.17) and ‘Manus’(no.19). Just opposite there is a hat or cap for everyone at “House of Hats’(no.24). Want to make something yourself? Pop into ‘Tessuti’ (no.29). <<4>> Walk along Nobelstraat past the ‘Venduehuis’ (auctioneering house) and turn left into Prinsestraat. Rummage in the racks at ‘Bendorff’ (no.11) for fashion brands such as Nudie Jeans and Cold Method. <<5>> Turn right at the Kerkeplein for a good cup of coffee at ‘Anne & Max’ (no.4). <<6>> Carry on your way, passing the Great Church, to Torenstraat. There you will find ‘Mae West’, (no.64) which has an extensive collection of ladies’ fashionwear. <<7>> Go to the right, walk a few yards and cross over to enter Korte Molenstraat. At ‘Second Best’ (no.7) they stock chic second-hand clothes. <<8>> At the end of the street turn left into Prinsestraat and visit ‘Wwen’ (no.70) for clothes and gifts to put a smile on your face. Turn around in the direction of Molenstraat. If you’re looking for an exciting sexy outfit, at ‘Gabriel Clothing’(no.73) you’ll be in the right place. <<9>> Continue on your way and turn right into Molenstraat. ‘Daens’ (no.40) has a collection of exclusive clothing, mainly created by Belgian designers. A little further on you can complete your new outfit at ‘Emma Jewels & Strass’(no.22) with a pretty bag, earrings or a scarf. <<10>> At the end of the street turn right into Noordeinde. This area is full of ‘big names’, including ‘Zara Home’(no.10) and ‘Max Mara’(no.41). 11) De Plaats is on the left. Here you will find lovely jewellery at “Schaap and Citroen’(no.2). “Gaudi’(no.13a) has a huge collection of shoes, bags, accessories and dresses. Recently ‘Boston Trader’(no.20) opened a new store here too.

History

From blood to passion

<<1>> This walking route begins at one of the bloodiest spots in Dutch history, the Plaats. This is the place where in 1672 the de Witt brothers were murdered in a gruesome manner by a raging mob. In the ‘Gevangenpoort’ (Prison Gate Museum) next to the Plaats you can find all the details about this shocking event. <<2>> Walk across the Plaats and turn right into Noordeinde. After a few minutes walking you will see the Noordeinde Palace on the left, behind the wrought-iron fence. Every Wednesday morning new ambassadors arrive at the Palace in their horse-drawn carriages, accompanied by the Royal Military Band, to present their credentials to the King. <<3>> Walk back a little way and go into Molenstraat. This is one of the oldest streets in The Hague. De Koningspoort (King’s Gate), (next to no. 33A) is the side-entrance to the Palace. Ring the bell next to the red door, and the Military Police will allow you to step through and enter the public Palace Gardens. <<4>> Go into Oude Molstraat. Here is the Sint Jan’s Monastery (no.35). For a few years now the monks have been brewing their own beer, ‘Willibrordus Beer’, which can be bought at the monastery-shop next door. Take a look at the Willibrordus Chapel upstairs. <<5>> Walk back to Juffrouw Idastraat and turn left. At number 7 there is the entrance to an eighteenth-century baroque hidden church. In 1720 the city fathers gave their permission for the church to be built, providing it was not recognisable as such. And this was indeed the case! <<6>> Carry on to Prinsestraat and turn left. Korzo (no.42) is a theatre which provides a stage for young, talented dancers and is additionally one of the most important modern dance theatres in The Netherlands. <<7>> From Prinsestraat turn left into Nobelstraat. The Venduehuis (Auctioneering House) (no.5) regularly holds viewing-days. In 1881 the famous ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, by Vermeer, was sold here for two guilders and thirty cents! <<8>> At the junction turn right and walk on to Dagelijkse Groenmarkt. Here is the Old Town Hall. The oldest part of this building, the Vierschaar (judiciary) dates from 1561. <<9>> Next to the Old Town Hall is the Great Church, which together with the Binnenhof form the oldest buildings in The Hague. In 1335 there is recorded reference to the Great Church <<10>> In 1985 Cesar Zuiderwijk and Rinus Gerritsen from the famous band Golden Earring opened a music shop at number 132A: ‘Rock Palace’. They aimed to create a meeting-place for musicians. The careers of Anouk and bands such as Di-rect and Kane all began here. Who knows, you might even bump into them!

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