Life in The Hague
The Hague from our Pupil’s Perspective
The Hague International Centre – The City Hall Atrium
Expats moving to The Hague join a large international community, so you are definitely not alone. Currently there are more than 50,000 foreigners residing in The Hague, making it the country’s third-largest metropolis home. With such a large expat community, the municipality of The Hague houses an International centre dedicated to helping the expat community with information on the services provided by various municipal departments (parking permits, marriages, registration of birth, converting driving licenses, rubbish collection etc.). This is run by the not-for-profit organisation ACCESS. Click here to see more information about the Helpdesk’s services.
Look no further than the essential rental or buying website for housing in the Netherlands, Funda.
The majority of expats live in the charming neighbourhood of Statenkwartier, but you will also find many in Willemspark, Zeeheldenkwartier, Archipelbuurt, Duinoord, Benoordenhout and Bezuidenhout, to name the most popular.
As they say, ‘when in Rome…’! The Hague is the perfect place to use bike riding as the primary form of transportation. Bike paths are usually running along the foot path and not on the road, so it’s relatively safe; the land surface is flat, so it’s not as strenuous as living in San Francisco. If you are keen to ride, there are countless possibilities for purchasing a new or second-hand bike. Here are a few tips:
Get insurance – If you buy an expensive bike i.e. A bakfiets (cargo bike), make sure it’s insured. Even if the bike is second hand, you can get insurance at a bike store. Bike theft is incredibly common in the Netherlands, so insurance really is a must (and affordable). If you do insure, make sure you get a copy of your bike keys and keep the original keys in a safe place at home.
Get the best lock you can buy – For the same reasons as above, especially if your bike needs to live on the street, get yourself a decent lock.
Buying a new bike – Bikes come at all kinds of price-points. Don’t be afraid to shop around and test drive (bike shops are more common than ATMs!). Large price differences usually comes down to whether or not your bike has pedal breaks or hand brakes.
Buying a second hand bike – Buying a second-hand bike is just as easy as buying a new bike. Again, shop around. You can also find second-hand bikes on the Dutch answer to eBay, a trading website called markplaats.
Other Useful Tips
– Paid parking is everywhere in The Hague, even around residential areas. For this reason, the parking app ‘Parkmobile’ is the best thing since sliced bread. You will never need to carry change or even get out of your car to find the parking meter. Simply turn on and off the app on your smartphone once you’ve parked.
– If you have smaller children, consider joining an expat playgroup. Click here to link you to a number around The Hague.
– There are a number of English speaking and Dutch speaking childcare facilities in The Hague. It’s wise to consider a provider that also offers ‘after school care’, which is known as ‘BSO’ in Dutch. Click here to see which providers are close to our schools.