Hitting the Beach at Scheveningen
A four-kilometer seaside promenade is the perfect place for a stroll at Scheveningen, a beach resort in Den Haag's wealthy northernmost district. In addition to a sandy beach, colorful esplanade, pier and the Scheveningen lighthouse, there's a Sea Life aquarium, Pathé cinema, the Steigenberger Kurhaus music theater, Scheveningen Museum and a casino. Trendy clubs, restaurants, surf schools and other water sports options line the wide Noorderstrand (North Beach) boulevard. After a three-year metamorphoses completed in 2013, the beach-side stretch offers the best of sun, sand and surf on Holland's western coastline. Giant sculptures by the sea add a whimsical touch, while numerous bars and eating establishments provide spots to grab a drink or a meal while watching the action in the harbor.
Sun, Sand and Surf at Scheveningen
Water activities along Scheveningen's new beach promenade include bungee jumping, surfing and swimming. You'll have plenty of places to chill after your adventure, as the four-kilometer stretch is lined with trendy clubs, bars and restaurants. Most feature colorful loungers and comfy sofas for watching the action on the water. For land-bound fun, cycle along the wide esplanade or take a hike on sand dunes located a five-minute walk from Scheveningen Boulevard.
Fairytale Sculptures by The Sea
One of the most whimsical attractions of the renewed Scheveningen Boulevard designed by architect Manuel de Solà-Morales is Sprookjes Beelden aan Zee or Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea. The enchanting outdoor sculpture garden features 23 playful sculptures by American artist Tom Otterness. Among them is this sky-high Crying Giant. He joins the 12-meter-high Herring Eater and sculptures depicting Hans Brinker and Hansel and Gretel as the tallest of the somewhat bizarre creatures on the boardwalk, open for viewing 24/7. Study the bizarre bronze figures and you may see hints of Otterness' critical attitude toward social structure. Inspired by popular fairytales and sea stories, the imaginative exhibit opened in 2004. It was removed in 2009 for renovation of Scheveningen Boulevard and replaced in 2012. American sculptor Tom Otterness is best known for his works in subway stations and monuments around the globe. His best-known creation, "The Real World," is a garden project with human and animal figures in Battery Park, New York.
Getting in the Mood for Fun at Scheveningen
Scheveningen is a laid-back beach resort and popular tourist attraction just north of central Den Haag. Whether you like active fun like swimming and surfing or just want to chill on a beach, beer in hand, there's plenty to do its colorful boardwalk. A local shop rents bikes for full or half-day excursions. On two wheels, head past the four-kilometer stretch of esplanade to Kijkduin Beach, a 20-minute ride along the coast. Pack a picnic with Dutch cheese or herring and stop on the trail or eat on the sand at the beach. If you prefer hiking to cycling, head for nearby sand dunes and forests where you'll feel far removed from the seat of government in The Hague. Beyond Scheveningen Beach, bring the kids to Westbroek park, a tranquil green space with a fragrant rose garden and children's playground.
Chills and Thrills: Nightlife in Scheveningen
The promenade at Scheveningen is lined with dozens of trendy bars, restaurants and clubs decorated with colorful beach-side loungers. Choose the one that looks good to you and spend a whole day and evening on the sand. Some of the clubs offer peace and seclusion with a tropical twist; others are more boisterous and better for watching dudes in the waves and strolling surfer girls. On the beach side, the bars are right on the beach, so you can enjoy drinks, snacks or a meal with a perfect view of crashing waves. You can get married at The Blue Lagoon, one of the most popular clubs in town. Chill out on a comfy beach chair at Bora Bora and get toasty by its fire pit at night. Opposite the water, celebrate at Crazy Pianos or have some striptease fun at Club Live, previously owned by porn star Kim Holland. Have a go at winning big at the Holland casino and cash in on a show at the renowned Circus Theater.
Scheveningen, The Hague, Netherlands