the binnenhof and Mauritshuis museum in the hague

13 Best Museums in The Hague (Beyond Mauritshuis)

The Hague has more amazing museums than almost anywhere I’ve ever visited! Seriously, if you’re a museum lover then you absolutely MUST make The Hague part of your Netherlands travel itinerary. Keep reading to find out all about The Hague’s excellent museums (way beyond the famous Mauritshuis)!

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If you’re planning a day trip to The Hague from Amsterdam, you’ll definitely want to make time in your itinerary to visit at least one of the excellent museums in The Hague.

The Hague is an incredibly important city in the Netherlands: it’s where the Dutch seat of government is, and it’s where the Royal Palace is located. Not only that, but it’s well known as a city of international peace and justice, due to the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court being there.

So it’s no surprise that some of the Netherland’s best museums are located here! If you want to level up your day trip from Amsterdam to The Hague, keep reading to discover all the best museums in The Hague so you can better plan your perfect day trip itinerary in The Hague.

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

Delve into the Netherlands

The 13 Best Museums in The Hague, Netherlands

1. Mauritshuis 

the binnenhof and Mauritshuis museum in the hague

The Hague’s Mauritshuis Museum is definitely the city’s most famous—and most impressive—art gallery. Its collection of Dutch art is world-renowned, and holds some of the most recognizable works of art by the Dutch masters, most famously the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. 

If the collection isn’t enough to convince you, the museum itself is contained in a former mansion that dates back to 1641, and much of the interior is still original. I would say that The Hague Mauritshuis Museum is definitely one of the best choices for museums in the city.

P.S. When you book using my links, you help support Rachel IRL at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win!

2. Escher in Het Paleis

things to do in the hague: escher in het paleis

Only a five minute walk from the Mauritshuis Museum is Escher in Het Paleis. It’s located on Lange Voorhout, which is a well known leafy square/pedestrian boulevard in the city. This museum is located in a former royal residence, which is a draw in itself, but to be honest, the work of Escher is far more impressive.

Escher, the Netherland’s most famous graphic artist, is well-known for his stunning, maze-like lithographs. We spent a lot of time studying the intricate and unique pieces, and I recommend this museum to anyone looking to discover a interesting artist they may never have heard of!

3. Beelden aan Zee 

Beelden aan Zee museums in the hague at Scheveningen

Museum Beelden aan Zee is actually in Scheveningen, which is the seaside town at the end of The Hague’s tram lines.

The museum is a collection of contemporary sculptures that is incorporated into the sand dunes of the beach! It’s a truly unique experience.

While the permanent exhibit is well worth your time, the temporary exhibits are also often quite the draw.

4. Haags Historisch Museum

the hague historical museum at the binnenhof

The Hague Historical Museum is the perfect museum in The Hague to visit if you want to get a better idea of the history of the city you’re visiting.

In addition to a digitized map showing the changes through the years, and lots of historic paintings and objects, there are some impressive temporary exhibitions too. For example, at the moment they’re running an exhibition on The Hague’s colonial history, which is both interesting and incredibly important.

5. Kunstmuseum 

the Kunstmuseum in the hague museums

The Kunstmuseum Den Haag has a staggering 160,000 works of art, so it’s definitely best to visit if you have a plan, otherwise you may find yourself deeply overwhelmed. The Hague’s art museum is a behemoth, but is well-suited to casual museum goers and serious art enthusiasts alike.

This is an especially good option for any Piet Modrian fans: they have roughly 300 pieces of his work here.

You can also see some works of other world-famous artists like Monet, Picasso, and Kandinsky. This would also be an ideal option for a rainy day, as you’ll without a doubt be able to spend all day here.

6. Prison Gate Museum

prison gate museums in the hague

I’m not personally a fan of these kinds of museums (I’m a total wimp!) but I know prison museums are interesting to tons of people, so here we are!

The Prison Gate Museum is located in The Hague’s old prison, which is inside one of the old city’s fortified gates. The main thing visitors will get to see are the medieval interrogation and torture devices.

I’ve read that the museum also makes an effort to ask important questions surrounding crime, justice, and punishment—very appropriate in a city famous for being the home of the International Criminal Court! 

7. The Hague Public Transport Museum 

The Hague Public Transport Museum represented by a historic dutch tram

The Hague Public Transport Museum (HOVM, site only in Dutch) is making this list at the behest of Daniel, who loves public transportation.

As the name suggests, it’s a museum dedicated to the history of public transportation like  buses, streetcars, etc. You’ll learn how public transit in The Hague developed over time, and you can even take a tour in a historic streetcar.

8. Museum Bredius

Museum Bredius is located in an 18th century mansion, and contains the private collection of Dr. Abraham Bredius, an art historian, and former director of the Mauritshuis. It’s made up of over 200 paintings from the Dutch masters, mostly from the 17th century. There are also a lot of historical art objects, like silver, crystal and porcelain. 

9. The National Archive

the national archives in the hague netherlands

The National Archive is one of the only museums on this list that is nationally focused, rather than locally. Here you’ll find things that span thousands of years of Dutch history from all over the Netherlands.

The amount of history that the National Archive holds is immeasurable, but luckily the exhibitions are purposefully created to be engaging and interactive, so as to not overwhelm visitors.

10. Museum Meermanno

Meermanno book museums the hague

Museum Meermanno is a museum dedicated to books!! As a big reader and huge book lover, this is thrilling to me and I am so bummed I didn’t get a chance to visit myself when I was there this summer.

The museum’s permanent exhibition has a 19th century book room, and in addition to medieval works, there are also examples of the earliest form of the printed book. If you’re lucky you may find yourself there during one of their excellent temporary exhibitions as well!

11. The Hague Photography Museum

the hague photography museum in the netherlands

The Hague Museum of Photography is technically an offshoot of the Kunstmuseum. The photography exhibits became so large and rich that they decided to dedicate a whole museum to it.

You’ll find incredible exhibitions here and some great permanent pieces too. One thing I love so much about this museum is their insistence on photography as an art form, rather than a record of truth. As an (amateur) photographer myself, I think this is a really cool way to frame a museum of photography. 

12. KM21

art gallery to represent the KM21 contemporary art museum in the hague

KM21 is another offshoot of the Kunstmuseum dedicated to contemporary art. They do exhibits of well-known names and emerging artists alike, including artist talks and performances.

Because contemporary art can be a total hit or miss depending on who is consuming it, I would definitely recommend checking out what’s on (and making sure you’re compelled by it!) before planning to visit.

13. Louwman Museum 

Louwman Museum for vintage cars in the hague netherlands

This feels like the most random museum in The Hague on this list, but honestly it’s kind of cool, so I wanted to include it.

The Louwman Museum is the world’s oldest private collection of cars, notably, historic cars and carriages. They have over 250 historic cars, as well as lots of car memorabilia and other impressive automobile-related items.

It’s a pretty cool space even for those only casually interested in cars, but is a must visit for any car enthusiasts who find themselves visiting The Hague.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many museums are there in The Hague?

Because there are so many smaller museums or little exhibits that either do or don’t get counted—depending who’s counting—it’s hard to give an answer with 100% certainty. However, an average count would yield at least about 30 museums in The Hague. Considering how small the city is, this is pretty impressive. This tiny city has so much art, history, and culture packed into it that it’s the perfect place for anyone who loves a good museum.

Is it worth seeing The Hague?

The Hague is definitely worth visiting, and this is especially true if you’re a museum lover. With so many museums in the small city center, and even more if you go a bit beyond, you’ll be sure to have a lovely time. My day trip itinerary, and my things to do in The Hague article will help you plan the perfect day trip from Amsterdam.

What paintings are in the Mauritshuis?

The Hague Mauritshuis museum is without a doubt the most famous museum in the city, and with good reason. They have hundreds and hundreds of important art pieces, including a number of famous paintings by the Dutch masters. Included in these are, notably: 

1. Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft
2. Carel Fabritius’s The Goldfinch
3. Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson and Self Portrait
4. Paulus Potter’s The Bull and De Heem’s Vase of Flowers
5. Jan Steen’s As the Old Sing and Pipe the Young
6. Bruegenel and Ruben’s The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man

Can you visit the Girl with the Pearl Earring?

Yes, entry to The Hague Mauritshuis Museum includes the area where the Girl with the Pearl Earring is held, and you can visit it during your time at the museum.

P.S. When you book using my links, you help support Rachel IRL at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win!

Still planning your perfect trip?

Now that you’re all squared away on museums in The Hague, if you’re looking for more resources to plan your perfect trip to the Netherlands, you’ve gotta check out the Dutch archives. I’ve got all sorts of guides and posts in there about all the best places to visit in the Netherlands!

If you’re leaving me here, thank you for reading! Leave me a comment if you think I’ve missed anything or want to share your experience in The Hague. You can also always find me in my newsletter, Instagram, Youtube or Pinterest.

Happy traveling!

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