In the centre of The Hague lies one of the most interesting neighbourhoods of the country: Het Noordeinde. Centered around the working palace of King Willem-Alexander, the area is known for its abundance of art galleries, brand stores of internationally renowned fashion designers as well as many unique and surprising shops that you will not find anywhere else. Amongst many monumental buildings you can find some excellent opportunities for dining as well as a number of prize winning cafés. Many merchants in Het Noordeinde are official purveyors to the Dutch Court, making this truly the Royal shopping area of The Netherlands.
Perhaps Het Noordeinde is best characterized by its start and finish. At the start of the street you will find ‘t Goude Hooft, an historic inn dating back to 1423. At the far end you will find the newly constructed Hilton Hotel, a haven of modern luxury and comfort. In between you will be surprised by the many different languages you hear. While Het Noordeinde represents The Netherlands at its most cosmopolitan, there is no mistaking where you are: amidst the classic Dutch architecture you find many reminders of the country’s long history.
When it comes to jewellery, specialism is the keyword at Het Noordeinde. Family Weapons engraved in signet rings, cufflinks and other objects is the specialty of the century old Backers & Zoon jewellers. Eigenmann goldsmith specialises in their own custom designs, while Van Ravenstein offers a large collection of antique ornaments. For the world’s most prestigious branded jewellery and a high level of personal service, you can visit Juwelier van Willegen, Schaap & Citroen or Steltman.
High end names for interior design include Stoop Furniture, Zara Home, Rivièra Maison, and Byron & Jones. Well-designed crockery of high quality can be found at Aan tafel met Portazul, while Dille & Kamille and the Finnish top brand Iittala provide everything else you need to complete your kitchen.
The fashion stores in Het Noordeinde sell everything but the ordinary. The great names of Dutch fashion are all represented here, with stores by Scotch & Soda, Anna van Toor, Oger, Claudia Sträter and others. For amazing Dutch designer handbags, visit Omar Munie.
Many global fashion stars have selected Het Noordeinde to locate their brand stores. Germany is well represented with Escada, Marc Cain and Hugo Boss, as is Italy with globally renowned names such as Max Mara, Marina Rinaldi and Boggi Milano. Well-known American brands include Tommy Hilfiger and McGregor, both of which have a flagship store at the Hoogstraat. But also Belgium contributes to the global atmosphere of Het Noordeinde (Caroline Biss), as do Spain (Massimo Dutti) and Sweden (Filippa K) . Are you looking for something unique rather than merely exclusive? Visit the Ettemadis for a tailor-made shirt, or Store Du Nord for artisan-made collections.
No time to visit Paris? No problem – you can have an authentic French experience at Het Noordeinde! Rodolphe from Lyon sells mouth-watering specialties from his hometown at Le Gône.
Italian cuisine is served at La Liguria and La Passione, two excellent locations for pasta and other dishes for those who crave la dolce vita. For a truly authentic Italian experience, sit down with your newspaper or e-reader at Da Lina – it doesn’t get any more Italian than that.
For more than 30 years now, Maharani excites the senses with a plethora of Indian dishes, both spicy and mild. The Indonesian Tri Tunggal prides itself on its service. Why not visit the other side of the world just a few meters down the road; in La Cubanita sensual salsa sounds blend nicely with cocktails and unlimited tapas.
A more local experience you can find at Palmette, Dungelmann and ‘t Goude Hooft, among others.
Art aficionados from the entire country know their way around the unique and often highly specialized art galleries in Het Noordeinde. Galleries carry local artists such as Karel Appel, Jaqueline Bozon, Corneille, Guus van Eck and Casper Faasen. Visit Project 2.0 to discover a unique experience of modern and contemporary art, or De Twee Pauwen for high-quality figurative art. At De Kunstuitleen Den Haag you can rent or lease any artwork of your choosing – an ideal proposition for those who spend only limited time in the country, or who regularly crave something new.
See our art page for a complete overview of all galleries and the current and upcoming openings and exhibitions.
The imposing statue in front of the Palace depicts King William the Silent, founder of the Dutch monarchy. The statue is wonderfully lit at night. Right behind him stands a large monument dedicated to one of his descendants, queen Wilhelmina, great-grandmother of the current king. A greater effort is needed to discover the small, mesmerizing courtyards spread around the area. Some date back to medieval times, as do some of the churches.
The Palace itself started out as a farmhouse in medieval times, but it was converted to a comfortable residence at the start of the 16th century. In 1609 the Palace was gifted to the Royal Family, who traditionally used it as their winter home. In 1984, queen Beatrix designated Noordeinde Palace as her place of work, which is very convenient being just meters away from the Parliament of The Netherlands. Just to the left of the Palace, at Noordeinde 66, you can see the former home of the current King, Willem-Alexander. Those who look closely will find his initials engraved in the posts in front of it. If you want to know if the king is town, all you need to do is look at the Palace; if the royal flag is waving proudly on top, it means the king is in The Hague.
Het Noordeinde has been host to many international figures. In 1740, the French enlightenment writer Voltaire stayed in Het Noordeinde. In modern times, the area plays a role in many official state visits and banquets - among the overnight guests are Mr. Putin of Russia and Mr. Lula da Silva of Brazil. Because the Palace is actively used by the King at this moment, it is not opened to the general public.
Just a stone’s throw from the Palace you can find the Walloon church, funded by Napoleon’s younger brother Louis Napoleon, who wanted to support the decedents of French Huguenots who found refuge in Holland after fleeing religious prosecution in France. To this date, all services here are held in French.