The place now known as Scheveningen used to be just a fishing village with a very small connection to The Hague. In 1570, Scheveningen suffered a major loss of half the village with the “All Saints” flood. Due to this, Scheveningen had only a small dune path connecting it to The Hague. It was later on, in 1665, that a road connecting The Hague and Scheveningen together was created.

The bathing culture that you can currently experience at the seaside came much later, in the 18th century. Jacob Pronk started the first beach house in 1818, which was bought a few years later by the municipality. This beach house is now known as the famous “Kurhaus”. Despite its grand appearance, the Kurhaus hasn’t always been so beautiful. The building, along with the pier, was destroyed due to a fire and then later rebuilt during 1886 and 1887. After falling into disrepair in the late 1960’s the Kurhaus was saved again from demolition in 1975, by becoming a listed historic building.

Kurhaus in Scheveningen
In the night, the classical beauty of the Kurhaus comes out. (Photo Credit: Anne de Rijk)

Eventually, the concept and culture of beach resorts was introduced to tourists, and equally brought some economical advantages to locals. This slowly meant that Scheveningen was no longer a fishing village and instead became a popular summer destination for tourists and locals alike.

Arriving annually and leaving much sooner than we all hope for, the Dutch summer is like a rare animal – hard to catch a glimpse of. So if you do come to the Netherlands on a good summer day, you should enjoy it to the fullest by partaking in a day at the beach – have a little walk on the boulevard, enjoy some ice cream, and have some fun in the sun!

Pack Your Bags

You decided to hunt down the Dutch summer and make a trip to The Hague. You pack your bags with summer clothes (and a few light jackets and jeans as it is always very handy to have a change of clothes with the Dutch weather). Finally – you are here. To guide you through the unpredictable Dutch weather you can use Weeronline for your weatherly needs.

If you are not from Europe or just a little confused about time zones, you will want to know that the Netherlands is in the Central European Time Zone (UTC+1:00) and since we are talking about a summer day the time zone will shift into Central European Summer Time (UTC+2:00). You are now aware of the time zone and the weather, your wallet is filled with Euros (EUR) – as this is the currency in the Netherlands – and you are ready to go to the beach, now how do you get there? 

new haven
The fresh smell of “catch of the day”. (Photo Credit: Anne de Rijk)

Getting There

Let’s start with directing you to the sun, beach, and clubs – basically how to get there. I’m assuming that you will be arriving from one of the stations (Central Station or Hollands Spoor) and that you are aiming to visit Scheveningen or how the young folks like to call it – Skiffa). From both stations you are able to take tram 9 and 5 (direction to Scheveningen). From Hollands Spoor you can also add tram 1 to the transport you are able to take. There is also a bus or two that you are able to take from these two stations but they will take much longer than taking the tram. You have a few options on where to stop near the beach area. I would suggest to stop at either Kurhaus (if you would just like to have a stroll on the boulevard) or all the way at the end in Zwarte Pad (where I personally enjoy the beach clubs more).

If you want to plan a little extra you can always check this handy Dutch website called 9292 where you can fill in your starting point, end point, and what time you will be departing. It will then give you a few choices of transport you are able to take (including prices). 

Where to Eat

There’s more than enough places to choose from when you head out to Scheveningen. Whether you want a small snack or a big meal, or you want asian or mexican – you have a wide variety to choose from. Because I personally enjoy going off path from the boulevard and onto the beach itself, I want to pick my own three choices of where I would go if I had a summer day out. All these beach clubs can be found in Zwarte Pad.

Barbarossa Beach Club
A semi-sailor themed beach club with a calm and relaxing vibe. It’s a perfect location if you want to enjoy the beach but not have it too crowded or loud. It’s also great for families with their kids. The staff is friendly and well experienced, the menu has a wide variety for whatever cravings you are having. They have brunches on Sundays and events especially for kids.

Indigo Beach Club
The bohemian exterior and all the energetic people surrounding the beach club will make you want to stay at the beach until late-hours of the night – which is also possible with the amount of parties that are organized in the surrounding area. They are known for their fun events (e.g. movie at the beach).

Buiten
Buiten (meaning outside in Dutch), has a more calm exterior, fairly fitting with Scheveningen. The rustic chairs and wooden tables makes you feel at home (or not – depending where you grew up). Like Barbarossa they also have a family feeling. I would imagine – if I had a pet –  that I would feel very welcome around that area. However, do pay attention to animal regulations in the summer.

I would also have to mention that their falafel and fruit juices are one of the reason I visit often. If you are more into the soft spoken guitar music, reggae feel then you should definitely go to Buiten.

Honorable mentions go out to Zanzibar and Sol Beach on the boulevard for having delicious menus and having that fun idea of personal BBQ grills on your table for a do-it-yourself dinner experience.

Aside from food – which is mainly the priority in life, there are other entertainment opportunities in the Scheveningen scene. For example:

New pier
The pier has been re-opened and looking more fabulous then before. (Photo Credit: Anne de Rijk)

Craving More?

For those with a more adventurer side that prefer movement over sun-bathing, you can always go in the opposite direction of Zwarte Pad. At the end of the boulevard there’s a surf school and plenty of activities to play around with.

To learn more about where, how, and when, you can visit the official website of Scheveningen beach. It’s all documented in English, Dutch, and German so do not worry if you think you won’t understand the Dutchies!

Some other fun or quirky websites to surf through in relation to Scheveningen are:

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About Lay Kuen Yee

Lay is a snacker with her head in the clouds. A non-meat eater with a taste for colourful food, she spends her time searching for music while planning her next life adventure. You're likely to spot her in antique markets, record shops, book stores, and at festivals. Oh, and you can get her to giggle by showing her cartoon foods with smileys on them.

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