Planning a Trip
By Plane -- Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, 40km (25 miles) away, also serves the Hague. Train service frequently runs from the airport to the Hague, with up to six trains an hour during the day and one an hour at night; the ride takes around 35 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 7.30€ ($12). A taxi from Schiphol to the Hague center city takes 30 minutes in light traffic and costs around 80€ ($128).
By Train -- The Hague has excellent rail connections from around the Netherlands, with up to six trains arriving hourly from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht. Intercity trains take around 50 minutes from Amsterdam and Utrecht, and 25 minutes from Rotterdam. A round-trip ticket from Amsterdam is 18€ ($29). Note that the city has two main stations: Centraal station (CS) and Hollands Spoor (HS). Most city sights are closer to Centraal station, but many trains, among them Thalys and other international trains from France and Belgium, stop only at Hollands Spoor. Both stations are well served by public transportation.
By Car -- From Amsterdam and the north, take A4/E19; from Rotterdam and the south, take A13/E19; and from Utrecht and the east, take A12/E30. You'll want to avoid all three snelwegen (expressways) during the morning and evening peak hours, when the designation can seem like a bad joke. At other times, you should be able to go from both Amsterdam and Utrecht in under an hour, and from Rotterdam in around 20 minutes.
VVV Den Haag, Hofweg 1 (mailing address: Postbus 85456, 2500 CD Den Haag; tel. 0900/340-3505; fax 0900/352-0426; www.denhaag.com; tram: 1 or 16), across from the Binnenhof (Parliament). The office is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm.
Public transportation in the city is operated by HTM (tel. 0900/9292; www.htm.net). Centraal station (tram: 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 15, 16, or 17) is the primary interchange point for bus and tram routes, and Hollands Spoor station (tram: 1, 9, 11, 12, 16, or 17) the secondary node. Going by tram is the quickest way to get around town, but some points are served only by bus. Note that on tram line 1 you can go from the North Sea coast at Scheveningen, through the Hague, and all the way to Delft. Regional bus service is handled by Connexxion (tel. 0900/266-6399; www.connexxion.nl).
Taxis operated by HTMC (tel. 070/390-7722; www.htmc.nl), wait at stands outside both main rail stations and at other strategic points around town.
The best thing about going by car in the Hague is that it's not as bad as in Amsterdam. But tight restrictions on parking and vigorous enforcement of the rules make using public transportation a better option.
The State Opening of Parliament, during which the queen delivers a speech from the throne in the Hall of the Knights , is worth being in town for. On Prinsjesdag (Princes' Day), the third Tuesday in September, she arrives and departs in her golden coach -- like Cinderella -- drawn by high-stepping royal horses.