In February 2015 we spent a long weekend in Amsterdam, celebrating a family birthday. Seven of us rented a town house in the suburb of Zaandam and had a fantastic few days wandering the canals, eating well and marvelling at the treasures of the Rijksmuseum.
Whenever I visit a city I like to take the chance to explore another nearby destination. It makes me feel as though I’ve had two holidays in one and experienced something a little different than other city-breakers. My family returned to the UK a day before us and we decided to use our extra time to take a daytrip to the Hague, which is just over an hour to the south by train.
It was a Sunday, and much of the tourist attractions were closed. Luckily it was a sunny, if cold, day and the buildings of the Hague, including the Royal residences, parliamentary buildings and the UN’s International Court of Justice are very beautiful from the outside. We had also been given a tip not to miss Scheveningen, a seaside resort accessible by tram from the city centre or the train station.
We were very glad that we took the advice. Here we found miles of sand dunes and, dotted along the seafront boulevard, some quirky fairy-tale themed sculptures by American artist Tom Otterness.
As well as the free art, Scheveningen is home to the Netherlands’ only museum dedicated to sculpture, the Beelden aan Zee or Sculptures by the Sea. We chose not to pay the 15 euro per person entry fee on this occasion. The fresh air, open spaces and relative lack of tourists in Scheveningen and the Hague was a stark contrast to Amsterdam and we returned to the city reinvigorated and happy to have seen a bit of the Netherlands not many visitors know is there.
If you’d like to see more photographs from our time in Amsterdam let me know in the comments below.