Here’s our top beach and dune spots in The Hague:
As the most popular seaside resort in the Netherlands, rain or shine, Scheveningen really does have something for everyone. As soon as the sun breaks through the clouds, the wide sandy beach attracts swimmers and sunbathers in swathes, while the harbour end is a well-known spot for surfers and standup paddle boarders to catch some waves. Besides being a hub for the Dutch fishing industry, the Scheveningen harbour is home to dozens of cafés and restaurants that serve almost every variety of fresh seafood straight from the North Sea.
If adventure is more your thing, head to the pier – an icon of any day at the seaside – for an exhilarating 60-metre bungee jump or to ride the 40-metre-high Ferris wheel. As Europe’s first Ferris wheel over the sea, incredible panoramic views of the waterfront and The Hague’s skyline can be seen from its 36 (enclosed) gondolas. Of course, if that’s all a bit much, calm your heart rate with a gentle stroll along the boulevard, browse the surf shops and smaller fashion boutiques, or visit the Museum Beelden aan Zee sculpture museum. For an extra special experience, look out for the seasonal highlights held in The Hague and Scheveningen each year, including internationally renowned events like the World Championship Sand Sculpting, International Kite Festival and International Fireworks Festival.
With great views, a wide sandy beach and gorgeous dunes, Kijkduin is Scheveningen’s less crowded neighbour. Located just on the edge of a wide stretch of dunes, the beach is within easy walking distance of Scheveningen and serves as the perfect base for making trips into the beach district or city centre. This charming family resort features stylish beach pavilions that provide a wealth of enjoyment for both children and adults alike, as well as laid-back beach clubs and restaurants along the boulevard that serve organic, fresh and delicious meals. Ideal for a day out or even a longer break, the beach is quiet and clean with large swathes of dunes to walk or cycle through as well as plenty of options for overnight stays.
Located between Scheveningen and Kijkduin, Westduinpark (West Dune Park) is one of the largest nature reserves in The Hague. Its diverse landscape includes 240 hectares of dense forests and open spaces, wet dune valleys and high dune tops, making it an ideal spot for exploration and getting out and about in the great outdoors. Once part of the hunting domain of the Dutch Royal Family in The Hague, the park has been revamped with an extensive network of cycling, hiking and horse trails to encourage regeneration of plant and animal life in the area. Explore the paths that weave up into the hills and lead to observation points, and an extensive bunker and underground passageway system built by the Germans as part of the Atlantic Wall during WWII.
Tucked away just behind the dunes of Westduinpark, Zuiderstrand (South Beach) is the country’s second most popular beach after Scheveningen. This beautiful spot between Scheveningen and Kijkduin is often called the 'peaceful beach' by locals. You won’t find as many tourists here, so take the opportunity to laze on the beach in the warmer summer months or watch the sunset over dinner from one of the many nearby beach pavilions. While it’s a fantastic spot for family fun, do keep in mind that certain parts of this beach are designated for naturist recreation.
The largest interconnected dune area in the province of Zuid-Holland extends between Scheveningen, The Hague and Wassenaar to create an expansive nature reserve that consists of open dune landscape, lakes, pine forests and long sandy beaches. Home to a rich diversity of plant and flower life as well as hundreds of bird species, rabbits, foxes, weasels, deer, Fjord horses and Galloways, visitors can enjoy some of the country’s best nature a mere skip, jump and hop from the The Hague’s city centre.