Spuiplein, several blocks west of Centraal station, is the city's modern cultural square. Here you'll find the Dr. Anton Philipszaal and the attached Lucent Danstheater, Spuiplein 150 (tel. 070/880-0333; www.philipszaal.nl; www.ldt.nl), where the Hague's Residentie Orchestra and the renowned Netherlands Dance Theater perform. If you're more into jazz, modern, and experimental music, check out Paard van Troje, Prinsengracht 12 (tel. 070/360-1838; www.paard.nl).
The Hague's natural formality somewhat subdues its nightlife, but there is a thriving bar and cafe culture. Plein, a large square in front of the Tweede Kamer (lower house of Parliament), is a favorite for recess with politicians and civil servants. If you want to combine eating and drinking, and hide in a quiet walled garden, head for close-by Schlemmer, Lange Houtstraat 17 (tel. 070/360-9000; www.ropeni.nl). The Grote Markt square is lined with busy bars and restaurants, ranging from traditional brown cafes to trendy designer spots. De Zwarte Ruiter, Grote Markt 27 (tel. 070/364-9549; www.zwarteruiter.nl), is a popular drinking and eating place that makes a good starting point. One of the Hague's oldest lesbian and gay bars, Cafe De Landman, Denneweg 48 (tel. 070/346-7727; www.cafedelandman.nl), is close by.
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