Where to live in The Hague, the Netherlands

Where to live in The Hague

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Den Haag is the third most populated Dutch city, and has a lively expat population due to a hoard of international organisations, schools and embassies.

Den Haag is a mixture of modern skylines with a historic city centre, and the scenery and activities are as diverse as its mix of residents. Den Haag is the third most populated city in the Netherlands, the capital of South Holland, the seat of government, and home to the Dutch royal family.

Den Haag's history

Living in Den HaagDen Haag is a multicultural, bureaucratic hub with four centuries of international integration. It has grown as an outpost for most of the world’s human rights organisations including the International Court of Justice. Many embassies are based here and, with numerous international schools, it’s a comfortable place for relocation.

It’s also known as ‘s-Gravenhage (literally, the counts’ hedge), dating back to the 13th century when the Count of Holland’s hunting lodge was founded here. History, ritual and tradition play their part in this city, with terrific museums and cultural events.

The Hague today

Smart areas nearby such as Rijswijk and Voorburg have a sprinkling of Michelin-starred restaurants, though Den Haag itself is most famous for Indonesian cuisine. Building development has been active in past years (www.wonenindenhaag.nl), and newly-built residential neighbourhoods on the city’s outskirts, such as Leidschenveen-Ypenburg and Wateringse Veld, are expected to be in demand as the city approaches some 520,000 residents in 2020.

Living in Den Haag

Where to live in The Hague

The gated villas of Wassenaar house diplomats and upmarket expats, as well as members of the House of Orange. This district is known by some as the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, and it remains a favourite among expat families with large budgets for housing, situated in close proximity to several of the area’s international schools.

Archipelbuurt/ Willemspark
This city centre area of beautiful 19th-century houses and apartments is full of character, with broad streets and big town houses and villas. This is embassy land and a top location where prices are premium and parking space problematic.

Staten quartier/ Duinoord
This area has a similar feel to Archipel, with charming, spacious and elegant homes. Close to shops and cafes, it is a popular area. Typically smaller housing can be found in Duinoord, which also has a creative ambiance.

It's a green, quiet location but still close to motorway and other transport links with woodlands to the north and east. There are traditional, beautiful 1930s villas inhabited by wealthy older residents, and some single-family homes. Considering the space and environs, it is a good option for young families with children. Also in this area is Mariahoeve, which has the benefit of being on the train line and close to the British primary school.

If you want something less genteel, head for the seaside town of Scheveningen with its casino on the beachfront (below) and long, sandy beach in either direction. 

Living in Den Haag

Den Haag facts and links

This video by the tourist office gives you a quick glimpse into The Hague.


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 Photo credits: Christopher A. Dominic (casino), zoetnet (Den Haag centre). / Updated 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016.


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5 Comments To This Article

  • Andrey posted:

    on 26th February 2017, 14:44:58 - Reply

    My observation from experience of living in Benoordenhout myself for the past 2.5 years:

    * Benoordenhout - really good area, some embassies here, two parks and Haagseboos (forest with royal residence) are nearby, really child-friendly place. Also quite close to the city centre - walking distance is about 20 minutes to either Den Haag centraal or Het Plein (central square with cafes and parliament).
    Also public transportation is excellent - two buses with a 10-min ride to 2 railway stations, two major A-highways leading to Rotterdam, Amsterdam are nearby. Airport is close too - around 30Km or 30 min train ride.
    About 20-40% of people are expats, based on my estimation. Streets are nice and quiet, good bakeries, cheese shops, a few good cafes, etc. Also very good Dutch schools are nearby (almost top of the schools in Den Haag) several child nurseries (3 or 4). Also the beach and the awesome dune park is nearby - about 5-6 stops on a bus or 20 min by bicycle.
    Disadvantages: no lively cafe areas, as you'd find in Den Haag centre, also no good shopping nearby (grocery stores are close but you might find yourself pretty far, 10 min walk or so from nearby Albert Hijn). Walking to the city centre might still be long (20 min is not very close).
    Also it's expensive - both housing and shops.

    Bezuidenhout - nice area too, much better connected - the train is almost a walking distance. A couple of big grocery stores nearby (nothing like that in Benoordenhout). A couple of parks and the Haagseboos (forest). Also some children playgrounds. By car - connections are just as good or better than Benoordenhout. Bus connection - excellent as well. Centre - I'd say 10-15 min walk (so closer than Benoordenhout).
    A bit more "democratic" I'd say, so less expats, more normal non-boutique shops. Not that white-washed in terms of ethnic profile of people too.
    Cheaper housing.
    My Dutch friends are describing it as "up and coming" and still "very good".
    I hope that helps.
  • ErikJason posted:

    on 6th December 2016, 20:50:20 - Reply

    Bezuidenhout and Zeeheldenquartier are the best new places. Zeeheldenquartier is like SoHo, immensely popular with beautiful 18th century houses and ideally located near the city centre. Bezuidenhout is cheaper and ideally situated between city centre and exit roads to highway towards Rotterdam/Amsterdam.
  • Peter posted:

    on 7th April 2015, 09:57:20 - Reply

    Definitely add the Zeehelden Quartier. Much closer to the city center and beautiful 18th century houses. It's the SoHo of The Hague.
  • DutchBees posted:

    on 12th February 2015, 11:31:11 - Reply

    Yes I would add Bezuidenhout ass well and also Zeeheldenkwartier to the list!!! Very nice houses, child-friendly and cozy neighborhood.
  • Robert posted:

    on 5th August 2014, 10:41:52 - Reply

    I would add Bezuidenhout to the list: accessibility is at least as good and also child-friendly. This primary applies to Bezuidenhout-Midden en the western part of Bezuidenhout-Oost