The Unexpected European Destination You Should Visit For Relaxing Beach Time

When people think of the Netherlands, it's likely that the images that pop into mind are bustling cities like Rotterdam, canals with charming boats, stroopwafels and other foodie trends of Amsterdam – maybe even Heineken beer. It's likely that beaches are one of the last things to come to mind, but the Netherlands has about 280 miles of coastline, and a total of 172 beaches. And one of the best Dutch beach getaways is located closely to The Hague, one of the Netherlands' most popular cities: Scheveningen Beach.

While many might associate The Hague with the United Nations' International Court of Justice, they're missing out if they only travel to this Dutch city for legal history. Scheveningen Beach is a great European beach getaway, especially for those who want to avoid the crowds of more popular beach destinations such as Ibiza, Mykonos, or Positano. There are plenty of eateries, a large Ferris wheel, a bungee-jumping facility, and, in true The Hague fashion, a lot of historical sites to visit, dating back to World War II. 

What to do at Scheveningen Beach

Scheveningen Beach is a resort town with some top chain hotels and family-run boutique spots for guests to spend a night or two in. Some of the best options right in town are Bilderberg Europa Hotel Scheveningen, Ramada The Hague Scheveningen, and Hotel Bor Scheveningen. Of course, you don't need to stay overnight here and can make it an easy day trip from the center of The Hague.

Accommodations aside, what exactly is there to do in Scheveningen Beach? Some of the most popular activities include kiteboarding and windsurfing. For those adventurous enough to brave the cold, people gather every New Year's Eve to dive in the icy cold waters off the beach. The ritual is called the Nieuwjaarsduik, which simply translates to New Year's Dive. If the beach or water activities aren't for you, one of the most unique things to do in Scheveningen Beach is to visit old World War II bunkers at Atlantik Wall Museum.

It's worth noting that the weather in the Netherlands can be quite unpredictable even in summer months, so you'll want to plan accordingly, and be strategic about what time of year you choose to visit. It's rare that the temperature will go above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other activities in the area to consider

The most notable landmark not only in The Hague but arguably in all of the Netherlands is the International Criminal Court. It is well worth a visit even if you base yourself out of Scheveningen Beach, simply because you are so close.

Aside from important sites like the International Criminal Court, you'll need to know where to eat at Scheveningen Beach. Brasserie the Beachroom has some great options for that classic pub-style Dutch fare. Haring, or "Holandse Nieuwe," is a common Dutch dish, comprised of raw herring, chopped red onions, and gherkins, most commonly served on a sandwich called "broodje haring." Herring, being a type of seafood, is a great dish to order when visiting Scheveningen Beach.

Scheveningen Beach also has several beach clubs. Some of the most popular are Buena Vista Beach Club, Spice Beach Club, and El Niño Beach Club, where visitors can grab a drink and enjoy lounge chairs throughout the day.