One of the pleasures of spending a day or more in The Hague is ambling through its genteel streets. Stroll past the mansions that line Lange Voorhout, overlooking a broad avenue of poplar and elm trees, and you’ll be struck by how these spacious, restrained mansions differ from Amsterdam’s gabled, ornamented canal houses. Take time out in more than 30 sq. km (12 sq. miles) of parks, gardens, and other green spaces within the city limits or head out to The Hague’s sophisticated seacoast resort, Scheveningen, on Tram no 1.

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The Royal Palaces

The working palace for King William-Alexander and his staff, the splendid neoclassical Paleis Noordeinde, Noordeinde (tram: 1 or 10), west of Lange Voorhout, dates from 1553. It was elegantly furnished when William of Orange's widow was in residence, but it became almost derelict by the beginning of the 19th century. In 1815, restoration brought it back to a state suitable for the residence of King Willem I. It is from here that the King, on the third Tuesday of September each year, departs in a golden coach drawn by eight horses, escorted by military corps, bands, local authorities, and a blaze of street pageantry, to proceed to the Binnenhof, where she officially opens Parliament with an address to both houses of the States General in the Ridderzaal.

The King's official royal residence is Paleis Huis ten Bosch (House in the Woods Palace), in the Haagse Bos (Hague Woods; bus no. 4 or 43). For many years, it had been the royal family's summer residence, and originally a small, rather plain structure consisting of several rooms opening from a domed central hall. Prince Willem IV added the two large side wings in the 1700s. Note: The palace isn't open to visitors, but you can view it from the park.

Rising Roses -- In the Rosarium in Westbroekpark (tram: 9), more than 20,000 roses from 300 different varieties bloom each year between July and September. It's open daily from 9am to 1 hour before sunset, and admission is free.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.