One of the least appealing aspects of living next to the North Sea has to be the weather. When it’s not a beautiful beach day, it’s probably raining on and off. These are some recommendations on what to do in the Hague on a rainy day. Hopefully one of these rainy day activities in Den Haag catches your eye.
step into one of the hague’s museums
The Hague is full of world-class museums from the world-famous Mauritshuis to see the Girl With the Pearl Earring herself to Escher in het Paleis, a beautiful museum dedicated to the life work of M.C. Escher inside of a former palace.
Lovers of the old masters will love browsing Rembrandts and other priceless paintings at the Mauritshuis. Be sure to visit their newer exhibitions about the history of the Mauritshuis, their most interesting exhibition yet in my opinion.
For those who love Mondrian, I strongly recommend visiting the Geementemuseum for one of the biggest collections of Mondrian paintings in the world, modern art, and beautiful dollhouses that were created by adult women. There’s really something for everyone here. The Fotomuseum Den Haag also has interesting exhibitions on, so check the schedule online. Most of these museums are free with the Museumkaart for local residents.
explore the passage (and shop!)
The Hague is full of great shops. Whether you’re browsing the independent shops on Noordeinde for high-end goods, stepping into the more hipster vintage shops, or simply browsing the popular Dutch stores for sales near Grote Markt, you’re likely to find something worth purchasing!
One of my favorite spots to wait out bad weather is within the Passage. This UNESCO recognized building in the middle of the Hague will transport you temporarily to the grandeur of Milan when shopping malls were still a novelty. I always love to stop in here for a bubble tea at 8to5, even if I don’t end up buying anything!
go for a fun indoor workout!
Don’t be boring! The Hague is full of surprising yet fun indoor sports gyms. Whether it’s the indoor skiing and snowboarding slope at de Uithof to the ice climbing wall at Klimuur Den Haag HS, you’ll find something for those craving something a bit more adventurous. You can even learn how to dive if you reserve ahead! Click for my climbing recommendations.
For something a bit calmer that is kid-friendly, you can always head to the Megastores for JumpXL, a giant trampoline gym with an obstacle course! There’s always bouldering and taking a climbing lesson at one of the climbing or bouldering halls in the Hague! My husband loves the new bouldering hall next to Klimuur Den Haag HS, perfect for those looking to get into climbing without going too high up!
For something a bit more vigorous, consider going to for a dance lesson at La Bodeguita, a dance studio specialized in Latin dances in the Centre. You can try out a lesson without a partner here. I also enjoy their Zumba classes.
curl up with a book at one of the bookstores in the hague
The Hague is full of cozy bookstores. Due to its large international population, the Hague caters well to foreigners who prefer to read in English. I always love the American Book Center, but head here for my picks for the best bookstores in the Hague!
head to chinatown for dim sum
The Hague has one of the biggest Chinatowns in the Netherlands and this is where to come for great dim sum. I recently went to Full Moon City, which is hidden at the top of a slightly sketchy escalator on the side of a building. Once you get to the top, you’re in a nice looking and crowded dim sum restaurant with an extensive menu. Prices are reasonable and we spent a while just ordering random items off the menu! There are more Chinese dim sum restaurants in Chinatown although I haven’t tried them all yet. I’ve tried a few and so far, Full Moon City was the best.
head to the movies
With bad weather, there’s nothing wrong with giving up and heading to the movies. Unlike some other places, you can view movies without dubbing at some theatres in the Hague. Click for an overview of the best movie theatres with movies in English.
Grab a strong drink
In the Hague, you can always get a strong drink if you’re looking for one. I always love dropping by the historic (and beautiful) Van Kleef Distillery, which is where Van Gogh would buy his genever! You can organize a tasting in advance or simply show up for a tasting with paying per drink. It’s always pretty reasonable and I love the Kruìde Baggâh!
For something a bit different, you can head to the Binkhorst to do a beer tasting at Kompaan or simply grab a pint from this local brewer. You’ll find other breweries and bars in the Hague worth visiting if you’re just looking to lounge around with a nice drink in hand.
go to the icc for a trial (weekdays*)
For something very unique that only the Hague can offer, I recommend checking the schedule at the International Criminal Court during the weekdays to see if you can attend a trial. I’ve been several times and it’s fascinating to see international justice at work. (This is free although carefully read the instructions on what you can bring in–and what you must bring with you.) Click for information about visiting the ICC.
cozy up with a slice of pie or cake and a coffee
Rain always makes me want to laze around. For a lazy brunch, you can click for my favorite brunch spots in the Hague. Two of my new favorite spots for a delicious slice of cake in the Hague (served with a great coffee!) are Cheesecake Company and Bloem.
head to an escape room for an adventure with friends
For something completely different, head to an Escape Room in the Hague! This is something that does require a bit of planning and typically a larger group, but I am a huge fan of Escape Rooms!
I went to Amaze Escape Events in the Binkhorst area, which was a lot of fun, but you’ll find similar experiences in other locations of the Hague. The Escape Challenge in Zoetermeer a bit out of the Hague is supposed to be great!
check social deal for cool new activities to do
If you know that the weather in the Hague will be bad for the next day, get ahead of the crowds and browse Social Deal via your smartphone app store (if you’re a local). You typically need to reserve at least a day ahead, but I’ve seen some really fun rainy day activities on here if you’re looking for something new.