I’m Luuk, I’m 38 years old and have been living in The Hague since I was 19. I was born in Limburg but I’ve come to feel like more of a Hagenaar. The Hague is a big city where there’s always something going on, but at the same time it has the geniality and hospitality of a small village. The Hague is home to the embassies, the Parliament and the Royal Palace, giving it something no other city in the Netherlands has. You can feel how special that is, and it’s something that really brings the residents of the city together.
Luuk: “The great thing about living in the city centre is that you can be on the highway within 2 minutes, on your way to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam or Antwerp. That makes my job a lot easier!”
I’m self-employed and have my office in the city centre. Among other things, I organise two gay and straight-friendly parties: Popcake (which takes place every month on the 42nd floor of the Haagse Toren) and Cotton Candy (which takes place in mid-February in the Paard van Troje). This is my way of helping to promote the city and put the city centre and the seaside firmly on partygoers’ maps. Thanks to its easy accessibility both by car and on public transport, the centre of The Hague is a great place to meet up with people.
I have a boyfriend, but I live by myself on the 20th floor with a beautiful view of the city stretching out towards the beach and the sea. I work out at a gym on Mauritskade and like to walk there through the inner city, via the Plein across the Binnenhof and past Noordeinde Palace. On the way back, I like to have a coffee at Hometown on the Buitenhof. This is one of my favourite spots because of the great view. You can enjoy the city bustle and watch the world go by in a cosy atmosphere with friendly staff. The Hague has so many lovely, friendly squares and restaurants, and luckily there are exciting new spots opening up every day!Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
What you need to know about Centre
The city centre is vibrant and varied and known for the Binnenhof, the Hofvijver, Noordeinde Palace and the Royal Stables, among other things. It’s full of shops, restaurants, nightlife venues, cultural institutions and museums. A range of modern high-rise buildings make up the city’s distinctive skyline, while the old town centre – with its historical buildings, stately avenues and charming squares – is a great place to wander around for hours on end, losing yourself in the tiny streets and intimate courtyards. The city centre also forms the backdrop to major events that take place on the Malieveld, around the Hofvijver and on Lange Voorhout.
The city centre offers a wide range of housing, from stately canal houses and 17th-century courtyard houses to modern apartments. The squares and streets all have their own unique atmosphere, and there are a number of beautiful public gardens. Living in the centre, you’ll have access to all the amenities you could wish for, just minutes from your front door. In the pedestrian-only historical centre, you’ll find well-known international chains within walking distance from trendy boutiques, shops selling handmade and artisanal products, and concept stores. The Haagse Passage and Chinatown are both places of special interest that are definitely worth a visit. If you feel like having a drink on a terrace or going out at night, the Plein or the Grote Markt are perfect for that.
Tucked away among Noordeinde Palace, the Royal Stables and the Royal Archives you will find the beautiful Palace Gardens, a lovely place to enjoy a picnic in the outdoors. Want to get away from the city bustle? The nearby Haagse Bos is a beautiful city forest – the ideal place to go for a walk or relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. If you have a green thumb but don’t have your own backyard, you can rent an allotment in Park Kortenbos.
In the city centre, the average WOZ (Valuation of Immovable Property Act) value is €308,302 for family homes and €172,359 for apartments (2015 price level). Around 34% of the residential units are private rental properties. Over the past few years, the rental price for newly-available properties has often been more than € 650 per month. Around 40% of these properties rented for € 900–€1,500 per month.