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Moving to The Hague

Located in the west of the Netherlands and on the edge of the North Sea, The Hague is often referred to as the judicial capital of the world owing to the many international courts in the city. It’s the seat of the national government and the country’s third-largest metropolis. The Hague is also a major UN host city and home to more than 150 international organisations, as well as many EU institutions, multinational companies and embassies – all of which make it one of Europe’s most popular expat destinations with a distinctly international character. 

Living in The Hague as an expat

The Hague, some might argue, doesn't have the edgy dynamism of the country’s capital, Amsterdam, which lies a short distance to the northeast. Rather, it has a reputation as a wealthy, conservative and somewhat sedate city. But that doesn’t mean it’s a dull place to live. On the contrary, it boasts plenty of green space, picturesque historical buildings, a beautiful coastline, attractive shopping streets and surprisingly lively nightlife.

There's something to suit everyone's lifestyle, from adrenaline junkies who are into kitesurfing to families with kids who enjoy forest walks and picnics.

While the city has seen a lot of development over recent years, with more and more modern buildings popping up, The Hague is still relatively compact and has an efficient public transport system. It is also very pedestrian-friendly.

The city's accommodation is varied and filled with character, and expats are sure to find something to suit their lifestyle and budget.

Cost of living in The Hague

While the cost of living in The Hague is significantly less expensive than in Amsterdam and other major European capitals, certain costs, such as rent, are still surprisingly high. Then again, although The Hague is considered pricey by some, the city offers an equally high standard of living. There are also ways in which expats can decrease their living costs, such as by choosing to cycle around the city rather than driving or using public transport.

Family and children in The Hague

Expats with children needn’t worry about the quality of their education, as the city has several good international schools and universities. Not to mention the family-friendly entertainment opportunities such as fantastic museums, shopping streets, restaurants and other attractions.

Climate in The Hague

The city's climate, much like in the rest of the Netherlands, is temperate with its coastal location meaning that winters are slightly milder than inland cities, while summers are sunny and warm.

The Hague, while not the most popular expat destination in the Netherlands, is attracting more and more families with its relaxed lifestyle, great international schools and abundance of greenery. Expats are sure to stay far longer than initially anticipated.

Cost of living in The Hague

While the cost of living in The Hague is significantly less than in Amsterdam and other major European capitals, certain costs, such as rent, are still surprisingly expensive.

Then again, although The Hague is considered pricey by some, the city offers an exceptionally high standard of living. There are also ways in which expats can decrease their living costs, such as by choosing to cycle around the city rather than driving or using public transport.


Cost of accommodation in The Hague

Although cheaper than in the country’s capital, accommodation costs in The Hague are rather expensive. Living outside of the city centre will dramatically decrease the price but, when choosing this option, expats should take into consideration the transport costs involved if working in the centre, as these could be significant.


Cost of transport in The Hague

The public transport system in The Hague is efficient and extensive, but costly. Many locals opt to cycle around the city, as it is compact enough to do so and it is equipped with bicycle lanes. Those living outside the city centre may not have this option, however, and therefore may need to invest in transport passes.


Cost of education in The Hague

While public education in The Hague is free, expats who decide to send their children to a private or international school will pay handsomely. The quality of education at these schools is excellent though, and expat children will be able to learn an international curriculum in an international language, usually English. If choosing this option, expats should try and negotiate a school allowance into their salary to reduce the costs involved.


Cost of eating out in The Hague

Expats can eat out on a budget in The Hague, as there are plenty of pocket-friendly spots around the city. Those wanting something a little more luxurious will also find Michelin-star restaurants that provide a fine-dining experience, but at a high cost.


Cost of living in The Hague chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for The Hague in August 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,055

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 830

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,700

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,400

Groceries

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.70

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.54

Dozen eggs

EUR 2.40

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 8

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 8.20

Household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.07

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 42

Utilities (monthly for average-sized home)

EUR 193

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 70

Big Mac Meal

EUR 9.60

Cappuccino

EUR 3

Local beer (500ml)

EUR 5

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.70

Transport

Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.42

City-centre public transport fair

EUR 4

Petrol/gasoline

EUR 2.15

Accommodation in The Hague

While The Hague may not be as diverse as Amsterdam, it’s still home to large expat communities and it’s not uncommon to find people from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures living alongside each other in the city.

There are a number of accommodation options available to suit anyone's needs, but demand is remarkably high, which has also driven up prices. Due to the short-term nature of most assignments, many expats opt to rent rather than buy property in The Hague.


Types of accommodation in The Hague

The two main types of housing in the Netherlands are social housing and free-market renting, or private housing. Expats earning an income below a specified threshold can apply for social housing. While the standard of these properties is generally decent, waiting lists in The Hague are long – sometimes up to four years long. So, while private accommodation is more costly, it may be the only alternative. Expats working in The Hague earning an income above the state-specified threshold will have to look to private rentals.

As space and housing stock are limited, most people live in apartments or row houses as opposed to standalone properties. Most homes in The Hague come with a balcony, and ground-floor housing units may have access to a small garden, but it’s difficult to find places with designated parking spots, so those who own a car will need to look into renting a bay at an additional cost. That said, there are a host of transport options for getting around in The Hague, which makes owning a car unessential. 

Well-off expats often rent luxury spacious flats or serviced apartments. These fully-furnished spaces usually come equipped with all the services and amenities of a hotel – including cleaning services, gym facilities and on-site restaurants – and the privacy of an apartment. Serviced apartments can be found throughout The Hague and are oriented to business travellers and expats on short-term stays in the city.

To save on expenses, many residents in The Hague prefer a simple studio apartment, renting a room or staying in a flatshare.

Although expat-oriented accommodation or housing designed for students may have some furnishings, such as major appliances and beds, many properties come unfurnished in The Hague. Expats will need to invest in some furniture, whether they buy it brand new or second-hand, to make their space feel like home.


Finding accommodation in The Hague

To get an idea of the market, expats can look at options on estate agency websites and property portals, such as IamExpat Media and Pararius, before they move to the Netherlands. Real-estate agents are good sources of information: they have in-depth knowledge of the local housing market and most agencies in The Hague share listings, which will give expats access to a bigger pool of potential homes. It’s important to note that, in the Netherlands, the tenant is responsible for paying the agent’s fee, which is usually equivalent to a month’s rent.

Relocation firms are another great route to follow. Though expensive, these companies offer a full suite of personalised relocation services, from assistance in getting visas for the Netherlands to house hunting and hooking up utilities.

Networking with local connections in The Hague and using social media could also help put prospective tenants in contact with landlords.

Expats who fall below a given income threshold and are eligible for social housing should contact the Municipality of The Hague and visit the official website for more on how to join the housing queue. Note that this is not a quick solution, and securing social housing can take years.


Renting accommodation in The Hague

When renting accommodation in The Hague, expats should confirm what exactly is included in their contract.

Leases

Expats will either sign a fixed-period or indefinite tenancy agreement. The former sets an agreed duration for rent, usually six to 12 months, while the latter has no fixed termination date and is open-ended. Expats must be certain about notice periods, and those signing fixed-period contracts are advised to include a clause allowing early termination in certain contexts.

We also recommend that the lease is in written form and signed by both parties. While verbal agreements are legally viable, it's hard to obtain proof of them. Written documentation detailing property policy and responsibilities of both the tenant and landlord is best. When signing a lease, expats will likely need to provide a citizen service number known as the BSN (burgerservicenummer), and in some cases an employment contract and/or bank statement.

Deposits

Security deposits worth one to three months of rent are generally requested in The Hague. Provided the property is left in the same state without any damages – aside from inevitable wear and tear – this fee will be returned when tenants move out. To ensure an accurate inspection is made and that deposits are returned fairly, an inspection list and inventory must be provided along with the lease. This will detail the condition of the property and describe any furniture for easy comparison when housing agents or landlords later inspect the property.

Utilities

Utilities are usually an additional expense and responsibility of the tenant, while landlords cover general maintenance and insurance. However, expats should find out about the relevant electricity company, and phone and internet service provider.

Areas and suburbs in The Hague

The best places to live in The Hague

The Hague is the capital of the province of South Holland, which includes cities such as Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam. All of these are located close to The Hague and, given the efficient public transport systems available, many people commute into the city from the surrounding areas daily.

Residents of The Hague itself will live in one of the eight principal districts, including the popular central areas and beachfront districts of Centrum, Scheveningen, Loosduinen, Segbroek and Haagse Hout, as well as Escamp, Laak and Leidschenveen-Ypenburg.

Factors that must be considered when choosing an area to live in are, among others, proximity to good schools, access to transport links and the amenities available.

Below are of some of the most popular areas and suburbs in The Hague.


City-centre living in The Hague

Photo by Vyacheslav Koval on Unsplash

Centrum (meaning 'centre') is the heart of the city. It houses everything from shops, embassies, restaurants and cafes to major attractions and green spaces. Accommodation options include luxury villas, historical buildings and modern apartments. Rental prices are high and reflect the area’s desirability, and space is limited, which makes parking a challenge.

This central district encompasses multiple neighbourhoods, including Chinatown, Schilderswijk, Hofkwartier and Noordeinde, Zeeheldenkwartier and Archipelbuurt.

Chinatown

Walk through one of the ornate Chinese-style gates and enter Chinatown. Though compact, this neighbourhood integrates a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian influences, from acupuncture clinics and grocery stores to restaurants with authentic Asian cuisine.

Schilderswijk

Expats with a passion for art history will love Schilderswijk, where the streets are named after renowned painters and artists. Schilderswijk suits expats looking for a central location where they can enjoy the buzzing cosmopolitan lifestyle and conveniently access the popular outdoor De Haagse Markt to buy fresh local produce.

Hofkwartier and Noordeinde

For a charming mix of old and new, the Hofkwartier and Noordeinde areas offer both modern shopping experiences and historical treasures – Noordeinde Palace, for example, is one of the Dutch royal family's three official palaces and is a must-see tourist attraction. Expats can also enjoy window-shopping and browsing the exclusive shops and chic boutiques lining Hoogstreet.

Zeeheldenkwartier

Zeeheldenkwartier – said to be reminiscent of Venice with its charming canals – rewards residents and visitors with an abundance of green spaces and Art Nouveau architecture. Well-off residents, as well as young entrepreneurs, call Zeeheldenkwartier their home, finding accommodation in grand mansions as well as simpler yet luxurious dwellings.

Archipelbuurt

Expats living in Archipelbuurt appreciate the Neo-Renaissance architecture and wide avenues and streets. This area boasts a central location in the heart of the city yet remains connected to nature through its green spaces and access to the nearby forested park, Scheveningen Woods. It is also close to major landmarks and sightseeing opportunities, including the Peace Palace, the renowned judicial court and library.


Beachfront living in The Hague

While The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and a key political and judicial centre, its natural environment also plays a key role. The Hague lies on the west coast of the country along the North Sea, and modern beach resorts have developed here. A number of forested areas are dotted around major districts and outlying towns and municipalities. Below are some examples of residential areas boasting breathtaking natural habitats.

Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash

Scheveningen

Scheveningen, one of The Hague’s eight main districts, lies on the coast, offering a wide stretch of sandy beach popular for unwinding or for residents or visitors to get their adrenaline going by windsurfing and kiteboarding. Expats staying in this area can also enjoy pleasant strolls along the pier and take in the spectacular sea and lighthouse views.

Scheveningen encompasses a selection of neighbourhoods, including Statenkwartier and Belgisch Park. Expats residing in Statenkwartier could find themselves in a residential building inspired by Art Nouveau architecture, and will have easy access to diverse amenities and shops along Frederik Hendriklaan.

Perhaps a quieter area on the outskirts of Scheveningen district is Belgisch Park. Belgisch Park is nestled between the forest areas and parks of Nieuwe Scheveningse Bosjes and Oostduinpark – a huge drawcard for nature lovers. Families with children are also drawn to this neighbourhood, given the host of top schools in the area.

Loosduinen

From expansive parks and the Westduinpark nature reserve to charming waterways, long stretches of dunes and a beach looking out to the North Sea, Loosduinen is certainly picturesque. Expats who live here can take in the sights of the Kijkduin beach resort or try their hand at kitesurfing.

Haagse Hout 

Another principal district, Haagse Hout boasts large homes and plenty of open space, and it’s particularly popular among expat families. Bezuidenhout and other neighbourhoods within Haagse Hout may be quiet but have much to offer and are just as popular among young professionals as with expat families. In addition to its access to green spaces, residents of this district will also find that they’re within easy reach of the beach resort of Scheveningen.

Segbroek 

Segbroek is a peaceful suburb located near a quiet section of the beach. Houses are modest, rent is reasonable and there are lots of little shops, coffee houses and other amenities in the area. Active expats will enjoy taking hikes through the nearby forest.

Wassenaar

Wassenaar lies on the outskirts of The Hague and is considered a separate municipality. The area is surrounded by nature, with the coastal dunes and birdwatching opportunities in Meijendel and walking trails and canals in the tree-filled park of De Horsten, which is home to ducks and swans. Known by some as the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, Wassenaar’s gated villas typically house diplomats and wealthy expats. It’s also highly desirable thanks to its proximity to some of the best international schools.

Education and Schools in The Hague

School is compulsory in the Netherlands for children aged between five and 16, and while standards may vary slightly, both public and private schools provide high-quality education in The Hague.

Expat children can attend public schools, provided there are spaces available. Teaching standards are high and schools are efficiently run, albeit with a slightly more casual feel than some expats may be used to. As lessons are mostly taught in Dutch, public school is really only a feasible option for younger expat children who are in a better position to overcome the language barrier. Nevertheless, there are various routes for expat parents to consider.


Public schools in The Hague

Government-funded primary schools (basisschool) are free to all children aged between four and 12. For the first year, attendance is optional and only becomes compulsory on a child’s fifth birthday.

There are three types of public secondary education, and recommendations made by primary school teachers aim to ensure each child is matched with the option that best suits their character. All three types begin with a generic curriculum for the first two years, after which they specialise in different areas. VMBO (voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs) schools offer a practical and vocational programme, while HAVO (hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs) and VWO (voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs) are more academically inclined.

Expat children in The Hague who do not speak Dutch can enter a specialised language programme in secondary school known as internationale schakelklas (ISK). Select secondary schools offer tweetalig onderwijs (bilingual education) in The Hague, where some classes are taught in English. These options aim to better integrate expat children into the Dutch schooling system.


Private and international schools in The Hague

International schools in The Hague take several forms: Dutch international schools, foreign schools and independent international schools.

In Dutch international schools, the language of instruction is often English and a foreign or international curriculum is taught. These schools are partly funded by the state, so, while they have greater flexibility when it comes to curricula and teaching methods, they’re still required to meet the standards set by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. While some tuition is charged, rates are generally affordable thanks to state subsidies.

The Hague also hosts foreign schools, which are usually funded by their country of origin and follow the associated curriculum, for example from France or Germany.

Additionally, there are independent international schools that are privately funded, and accredited by an international education institution. Most of these schools offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and A-level curriculum or the International Baccalaureate (IB).


Nurseries in The Hague

Expat parents with young children can explore a number of childcare and education options in The Hague. While early childhood education under the age of five is not compulsory, child support benefits are available to parents working in The Hague, and daycares, preschools and after-school care facilities are all available.

Infants as young as six weeks can attend a daycare centre, most of these are open for 10 hours a day in The Hague, while preschools are designed for children from about two years. Waiting lists tend to be long, so expat parents are advised to explore multiple options in their preferred area or suburb to secure a spot.

After-school care services are also available for children in preschool and primary school.


Special-needs education in The Hague

Special-needs education is a priority in Dutch schools, and both public and international schools offer support to students with disabilities.  

Expat children with disabilities, impairments or problems must be evaluated to determine the level of support they need, and it's also recommended for newly arrived expats in the Netherlands to visit a local healthcare professional. Dutch schools must provide services tailored to their students' needs to integrate them into mainstream classrooms. They must also work closely with parents to ensure these needs are met.

In certain cases, specialised schools dedicated to children with specific disabilities and needs may be better suited than mainstream education. In The Hague, these are known as speciaal basisonderwijs (SBO) and speciaal onderwijs schools. These are further categorised into four distinct clusters based on their specialisation: students with visual impairments; hearing or speech impediments; physical or cognitive disabilities or chronic illnesses; and behavioural or social problems.


Tutors in The Hague

Finding a tutor in The Hague is both common and easily accessible. Extra private classes are helpful to children year-round, not just near exam time, and could also benefit the whole expat family. Adults can hire a tutor for language classes to learn Dutch and better integrate into their workplaces or the environment in general.

The best way to find the right tutor in The Hague is online, through portals such as Apprentus or TeacherOn, but word of mouth and networking can also be useful.

International Schools in The Hague

Many international schools in The Hague are partly funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, which means that, while they have greater flexibility when it comes to the curricula and teaching methods, they’re still required to meet the ministry's standards. 

Most of these schools offer the Cambridge IGCSE and A-levels or the International Baccalaureate, but there are some international schools that follow the curriculum of a specific country.

Below is a list of some of the most prominent international schools in The Hague.


International schools in The Hague

American School of The Hague

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: American and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18
Website: www.ash.nl

The British School in the Netherlands

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: English National Curriculum, Cambridge IGCSE, A-levels, BTEC and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 3 to 18
Website: www.britishschool.nl

European School The Hague

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: European Baccalaureate 
Ages: 4 to 18
Curriculum: www.europeanschoolthehague.nl

Deutsche Internationale Schule Den Haag

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: German
Ages: 3 to 18
Website: www.disdh.nl

The International School of The Hague

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: International Primary Curriculum and International Baccalaureate
Ages: 4 to 18
Website: www.ishthehague.nl

Sekolah Indonesia Den Haag

Gender: Co-educational
Curriculum: Indonesian
Ages: 6 to 18
Website: www.sekolahindonesia.nl

Lifestyle in The Hague

While The Hague might not have as much to offer in terms of lifestyle activities as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, expats relocating to the city will still find all sorts of pursuits to suit people with varied interests. 


Shopping in The Hague

Shoppers will find chic fashion boutiques in and around Hofkwartier and Denneweg, but for alternative and edgy styles, they should head to the Prinsestraat and the Oude Molstraat. For a unique shopping experience, there’s De Passage, which dates back to the 19th century and is the oldest mall in the Netherlands.

When it comes to grocery shopping, all the big names in the Netherlands can be found in The Hague. For seasonal and local produce, it’s best to visit the local markets.


Eating out in The Hague

Dutch food is fairly simple and consists of traditional roasted meat dishes, potatoes and boiled vegetables. While it’s always worth sampling local delicacies, expats will also find a range of international cuisines, including African, French, Italian, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Chinese. 

Some of the best areas for eating out are in Willemspark or Chinatown, while the beachfront restaurants in Scheveningen make for a classy and picturesque dining experience.


Nightlife in The Hague

The daytime hustle and bustle of the city centre transforms into a vibrant nightlife when the sun sets – most pubs, cocktail bars and clubs are found in and around Centrum (The Hague city centre). Craft beer lovers can also visit the multiple breweries here to indulge in the best of what The Hague has to offer.

The prevalence of popular bars and clubs makes this area perfect for any pub crawl, while further-out Scheveningen also offers some beachfront clubbing opportunities.


Sports and outdoor activities in The Hague

Fitness enthusiasts living in The Hague can take part in a wide variety of sports, from swimming and water sports to hiking, fishing and cycling. Its location on the North Sea coast affords The Hague residents opportunities for kitesurfing and windsurfing, while those looking for something calmer can enjoy pleasant beach walks.

There are also some wonderful parks that are well worth a visit. The Scheveningen Woods, just a short drive from The Hague’s city centre, offers several scenic walking and hiking trails and cycle paths as well as a children’s playground.

Those who prefer to exercise indoors will find plenty of gyms and fitness centres throughout the city, many of which offer personal training services at an additional cost.


Kid-friendly activities in The Hague

Besides the area's great selection of schools, expats moving to The Hague with children will find that the city has plenty to keep the little ones entertained.

Below are a few fun ideas for both rain and shine.

Outdoor kid-friendly activities

The seaside suburb of Scheveningen is popular with families during the summer, and The Hague’s many parks make great picnic spots too.

Westduinpark boasts some easy walking trails along the dunes that provide great views of the city.

There’s also the tranquil and historic Clingendael estate, and animal lovers can enjoy a day out at one of the city farms or petting zoos.

The incredibly realistic miniature cityscapes at Madurodam are a popular attraction for children and adults alike.

Indoor kid-friendly activities

When the weather is inclement in The Hague, parents will find that there are a number of excellent indoor activities for children as well.

Planet Jump’s indoor trampoline centre is a brilliant venue for children’s parties and a good way to burn up excess energy.

Glow Golf Scheveningen provides a unique indoor glow-in-the-dark miniature golf experience for kids, while the fascinating underwater scenes of the Sea Life Scheveningen aquarium are also among the most popular outings for children.

Getting Around in The Hague

The Hague is a compact city where residents can get around on foot quite easily. The public transport network is efficient and simple to use. While owning a car is not a necessity, many families choose to have their own vehicles for convenience.

In terms of air travel, Rotterdam The Hague Airport serves the region and is located about 12 miles (20km) from The Hague city centre. The city-wide public transport system consists of the light rail, trams and buses that connect the various districts.


Public transport in The Hague

Public transport in The Hague is largely operated by HTM Personenvervoer NV, commonly referred to as HTM. Transport companies Arriva and Connexxion also operate bus and tram lines in the region, along with RET (Rotterdamse Elektrische Tram). Their websites and apps provide up-to-date information on transport regulations, schedules and routes.

OV-chipkaart

The public transport system in the Netherlands is integrated and passengers can use the services via the OV-chipkaart system. The OV-chipkaart is a smart card which can be tapped as passengers enter and exit a bus, tram or train. This card system is used all over the Netherlands, making it easy to travel between different cities. There is a variety of cards available.

Buses

Buses offer an extensive service throughout the city and are mostly used to travel between districts and larger areas in The Hague. HTM's bus fleet boasts more than 100 buses, including eight electric buses across 10 bus lines with night services on certain days.

Trams

The 12 tram lines in The Hague offer fast and efficient services, and are used by more than 275,000 passengers a day. Schedules vary according to the route but are regular and run on time, serving both the central and surrounding areas and suburbs.

All trams are easily accessible for passengers, including those with disabilities.

The Hague’s tram fleet consists of the modern red and grey Avenio urban trams and the GTL red and beige trams connecting the city with Rijswijk, Voorburg, Leidschendam and Delft. The RandstadRail light rail trams also operate in the city and consist of a combined metro, light rail and tram network. These are white and blue, and connect with Rotterdam by the RET metro line E from Den Haag Centraal.

HagaShuttle

The Hague proudly operates a self-driving minibus known as the HagaShuttle. This service operates exclusively for patients and visitors to the Haga Hospital (Leyweg) connecting with the bus and tram stop on the Leyweg.

Trains

The two main railway stations in The Hague are Den Haag Centraal and Den Haag HS. 

Using the train is often the best option for journeys to destinations outside The Hague. The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) has a comprehensive network that stretches across the entire country and also connects other countries, including Belgium and Germany.


Taxis in The Hague

While travelling by taxi can be expensive, the fare structure implemented throughout the Netherlands means that passengers can’t be overcharged by drivers. To avoid potential overcharging, we advise expats to only use authorised taxis, recognised by their blue number plates.

Instead of hailing a taxi on the street, expats should call ahead to reserve a cab, find them at designated taxi stands or use ride-hailing applications such as Uber. 


Driving in The Hague

Most residents use public transport, but those who want to explore the Netherlands might find it useful to have a car. The roads are excellent and because of the relatively small size of the country, most places are easily reachable.

To drive in the Netherlands, expats must check whether their driving licence is valid. Expats should also note that parking is limited in The Hague and can be expensive. We recommend that expats who live in an area where paid parking is in place apply for a resident parking permit.

Getting a car

Expats can buy, ship over or rent a car in The Hague. Those who opt to buy or bring one over must follow the necessary procedures as per the RDW (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer), the national vehicle authority. Several car rental agencies operate in The Hague and generally ask for the car to be returned with a full tank if it was received that way.

The Netherlands is making great efforts to become greener, and as such electric cars are becoming increasingly popular. While being more environmentally friendly, they have additional benefits such as tax incentives. Expats who drive an electric car in The Hague can find a charging point or request a charging station from the municipality to be placed in their area.

Park and Ride

In their efforts to reduce car use, traffic congestion and pollution, The Hague is home to several Park and Ride facilities, where drivers can park their vehicle in a large garage and continue their journey to the city centre or Scheveningen using public transport connections, such as trams.


Cycling in The Hague

Locals love to cycle, and expats will find this is a fast and cost-effective way to get around. Expats can rent bicycles in The Hague – the OV-fiets or the red and white HTM Fiets rental bike are the popular options, available at major railway stations. These can be rented using the OV-chipkaart for a small fee, and if they are returned to a different station an additional fee is usually charged.

Second-hand bikes are cheap to buy, and The Hague’s cycling infrastructure is very good. Expats who buy a new bike are recommended to get insurance for it. Unfortunately, bike theft is a problem in the Netherlands, so expats should ensure that their bicycles are always locked up safely. 

Be sure to check if there are signs that forbid the parking of bikes in a certain area – otherwise, it's normal to securely lock up a bike around a tree or permanent object as well as bike stands.

Bikes are generally not allowed on trams and buses, though in some instances folding bikes are permitted, and there are rules when taking a bike on a train.

The ubiquity of bicycles in the Netherlands means that children start learning to cycle from a young age. Many schools offer cycling activities and help children become familiar with the rules of the road and how to get around by bike.


Walking in The Hague

Aside from the cycle culture, The Hague city centre is easily walkable. Residents enjoy strolling along the shop-lined streets and taking in some major landmarks such as Binnenhof, which houses the Dutch Prime Minister's office, and the Mauritshuis art museum. Getting around on foot is one of the best ways to explore the city and discover its hidden gems and great traditional pubs or cafes.

It's easy to walk from A to B around The Hague, but taking a tram is best for covering longer distances.