Though it’s not the capital of The Netherlands, The Hague is the seat of Dutch government and a center for international affairs. The international community here gives the city a diverse culture and lends a certain amount of flavour to its culinary and nightlife scenes. Visitors can explore the heart of The Hague by visiting the Binnenhof, found on the edge of the Hofvijver lake. The Binnenhof is a sprawling complex of 13th-century Gothic buildings that are home to the Dutch government, with the Ridderzaal at its center. Make your way to Escher in Het Paleis to marvel at the mind-bending works of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher.

For a really unique artistic experience, visit the Panorama Mesdag, which is a 360-degree painting of a beach scene in nearby Scheveningen by H.W. Mesdag. From there, it’s a short trip to the beach itself to enjoy De Pier or to take a relaxing stroll in the sand at sunset. Bring your swimsuit if you dare; the North Sea is intensely invigorating.

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