50 Free, Fun or Cheap Things To Do In Scheveningen: The Ultimate Newbie Guide
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Great Things to Do in Scheveningen in 2020
If you’re looking for sun, sea and sand, then Scheveningen can provide all three (if the Dutch weather is playing ball). If you’re looking to check out the most popular beach resort in the Netherlands, then read on!
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What Is Scheveningen Known For?
The chances are, if you’re Googling Scheveningen then you’ll know that it’s a popular place to visit in the Netherlands, especially in the summer. Scheveningen is known for its long sandy beach and is the most popular beach resort in the whole country. It is a subdistrict of The Hague / Den Haag, another popular city for tourists (you must go and check out 100 things to do in The Hague here). Scheveningen is home to watersports, museums, beach bars and events.
There’s no time to be bored in Scheveningen.
Things to Do in Scheveningen:
1. Enjoy the Beach
Scheveningen is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the whole of the Netherlands. With endless golden sand and blue sea, you can enjoy it in the summer or the winter.
2. Visit the Sea Life Centre
The Sea Life Centre in Scheveningen is full of many different sea mammals and will keep you and your family/friends young and old, entertained for a few hours. Located right by the beach, it’s the perfect place to learn something new about our sea creatures.
3. Head to Scheveningen Pier
Like many seaside resorts, Scheveningen also has its own pier. However, it’s not what you might be used to. Some resorts have generally run-down and unloved piers, filled with old arcade machines. Scheveningen Pier is filled with trendy and modern restaurants and bars, a luxury hotel and independent shops.
4. Take a Bike Ride Around the Area
Like the rest of the country, Scheveningen is bike-friendly. However, in the summer expect to be caught in ‘bike traffic’. It’s the best way to explore somewhere, so get on your bike and cycle along the seafront and in the town.
5. Go Bungee Jumping over Scheveningen Pier
Looking for a thrill? You can bungee jump from the pier and out over the sea. You will be taken up in a little crane and then plunge to your (near) death. 😉
6. Visit an Escape Room
Escape rooms have stolen our hearts over the past couple of years and Scheveningen has them. So if you’re wanting a challenge, then here’s your place. Just make sure they provide instructions in English or you may be stuck in that room forever.
7. Play Glow Golf
There’s plenty for young and old in Scheveningen and glow golf is one of them. It’s literally what it says on the tin – an adventure golf experience but in the dark with all of the area glowing. So cool and so fun!
8. Visit an Arcade
You’re never too old to go to an arcade, so if you’re stuck for things to do, head to the shopping centre on the promenade and check out their arcade. Game on!
9. Attend an NYE Bonfire at Scheveningen
Okay, so maybe NYE can get a little full-on in Scheveningen (read about what happened when I went on NYE 2018 here!), but New Year’s Eve is a huge celebration for the people of Scheveningen. Gather around the beach and see record-breaking bonfires with a firework display.
10. Take a Boat Trip Around the Area
You can take regular boat trips around The Hague and Scheveningen, along with a ‘powerboat’ tour. These are high-speed boat tours if you’re yet again after an adrenaline rush,
11. Have a Drink at a Beach Bar on Scheveningen Beach
Every summer beach bars are erected all along the beach, all complete with outside and inside seating areas. Here you can get drinks, cocktails and food, cosied up on a sofa watching the sunset, with a firepit. It’s honestly the best thing to do in Scheveningen at that time of year.
12. Rent a Jet Ski in Scheveningen
If regular swimming in the sea just doesn’t do it for you, then you can explore the ocean via a jetski. These are available to rent from beach companies around Scheveningen.
13. Check out the Sculptures Along the Beach
If you want to check out something unique, then check out the ‘Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea’, by American artist Tom Otterness. These sculptures are based on Dutch fairytales. Many of them are quite depressing – I remember first seeing them and being like ‘oh, wow’, but they are really cool pieces of art.
14. Go on the Ferris Wheel on the Pier
Too scared to do a bungee jump, but desperate to see the view all over Scheveningen? On the pier, you’ll find the Scheveningen Ferris Wheel – here you can sit out on your little pod and watch the world go by.
15. Go to a Coffeeshop
For some reason, tourists always seem to think that coffeeshops only exist in Amsterdam, when in fact they are found all over the country. There’s a coffeeshop on The Hague/Scheveningen border, so you can enjoy a smoke and a coffee. Don’t expect to find them as swish and as popular as you would in Amsterdam, but if you’re looking for somewhere to relax, it’s there!
16. Go to Kijkduin (Nr Scheveningen)
Kijkduin, just along from Scheveningen, is another beach resort in Holland. This is a much quieter beach and is a nice alternative to Scheveningen if you’re finding it too busy.
17. Stay in a Beach House (Kijkduin)
If you want to stay somewhere unique, then check out the luxury beach houses on Kijkduin beach. These modern houses provide you with all the amenities you need and the most stunning view out to sea. You can even hire one with a hot tub on the beach – bliss!
18. Grab Some Fries/Herring from a Van
Here’s your chance to try some Dutch food. If you don’t mind cold fish, order some herring. Meat eater? Order some bitterballen. Like Belgium fries? Well they’re just as good here in the Netherlands. You can find them around the beachfront and the harbour.
19. Go to the Celestial Vault
Something that you really won’t see anywhere else is the Celestial Vault. It’s a large artificial crater located in Kijkduin in the dunes. Here you can have the most perfect view of the sky. There are also benches located around it, so you can really take it all in.
20. Look at all the different countries and their stones at the World Peace Flame
The World Peace Flame is located right outside the Peace Palace. This flame monument has been burning outside the palace since 2002, and here you’ll be able to see different stones representing every country of the world.
21. Check out the local windmills (molen de Korenaer)
If you’re in Holland, there’s no harm in checking out the local windmills around The Hague/Scheveningen area. Molen de Korenaer is just one of these windmills. It’s possible to visit the mill and also buy flour from there – so if you’re looking for a more traditional trip, then here it is.
22. Watch the International Fireworks Festival on the Beach (Seasonal)
Every year in August, the international firework festival begins in Scheveningen. Countries compete by firing an incredible firework display from barges in the ocean. This means that you can sit on the beach, look out to sea and enjoy the spectacle, completely free!
23. Wake up on the Seafront While Staying in a Hotel on the Pier
If you want to wake up surrounded by the ocean, then it’s possible to stay in a luxury suite at the end of the pier. This suite includes comfy beds, a minibar, a stand-alone bath in the room and a balcony overlooking the sea.
24. Watch a Show at the AFAS Circustheater
If wining and dining and watching a show is your thing, then check out the AFAS Circustheater. This theatre has an agenda jam-packed with cabarets, concerts and musicals.
25. Zipline down the Iconic Pier
As if bungee-jumping from the pier wasn’t cool enough, then you could zipline down it. This new addition to the pier means that you can speed down the pier whilst taking in the beautiful scenery.
26. Enjoy Beach Sports in the Beach Stadium in the Summer
If you’re in the mood to check out some beach sports in a unique environment, then The Hague Beach Stadium on Scheveningen beach is open from mid-May, all the way through to mid-September. It’s not one to be missed!
27. Go to Museum Beelden Aan Zee
If you’re a fan of unique sculptures, then this museum is for you. Museum Beelden Aan Zee is a one-of-a-kind museum and is located close to the beach.
28. Check out the Shopping Streets (Keizerstraat) and Indoor Shopping Centre
Scheveningen has more going for it than just the beach. If shopping is the sort of activity that you love doing, then check out Keizerstraat and the indoor shopping centre (located right on the promenade).
29. Have a dance at Crazy Pianos
Anybody who has ever drunk (literally) in Scheveningen knows that the night either starts or finishes in Crazy Pianos. If you’re after a bite to eat, or a delicious cocktail or just to watch someone jamming on a piano, then you know where to go. Thank me later.
30. Go to Muzee Scheveningen
Scheveningen used to be a separate fishing village and this museum is dedicated to its history. So, if you’re interested in learning a lot more about the local area, then this is one to visit.
31. Attend Flag Day
If you’re new to the Netherlands, then you really need to check out the Dutch tradition of eating herring. Flag Day is the perfect day to learn about it, as this whole day is dedicated to celebrating the ‘first catch of the year.’ Here you’ll be able to learn about it, try it and also participate in lots of different activities.
32. Go for a Swim in the Sea
Just a prewarning if you’re from a warmer country than the Netherlands: Swimming in the sea is incredibly refreshing. In a my-legs-are-stinging-and-feel-like-they’re-going-to-drop-off sort of way. Coming from the UK, I’m used to this feeling and I kinda like it. Take a dip and see for yourselves!
33. Go to the Peace Palace
The Peace Palace, located on the walk to Scheveningen from the center of The Hague, is the home of the International Court of Justice. Here you’ll be able to learn all about the palace by visiting the Vistors Centre, taking a summer tour through the gardens and/or taking a specially guided tour.
34. Take a Picnic
If you need to save some money, then you could easily have a day in Scheveningen without spending a penny. Prep a lunch in advance and enjoy a picnic on the beach.
35. Take a Look at the Kurhaus
The spectacular Kurhaus, situated on the seafront, is a building that you really can’t miss when you’re in Scheveningen. This impressive building has been around since the 1800s and is now a hotel (I stayed there once and it’s beaut!)
36. Take a Walk Through the Scheveningen Woods
On the way to the beach from The Hague, you’ll come across Scheveningen forest. This beautiful wooded area takes you all the way to the sea and provided kilometres of beautiful scenery.
37. Take a Walk or a Bike Ride Through the Sand Dunes
Sand dunes are extremely common on Dutch beaches and Scheveningen is no exception. Check out the sand dunes for yourself on a walk, or if you’re daring, a bike ride.
38. Learn to Surf (Or Go Surfing Anyway)
High winds = good surfing conditions. If you have your own surfboard and are ready to go out, then be sure to check the surf conditions before you go. For the newbies – it’s possible to attend one of the surf schools in the area.
39. Go Bowling
Simple and fun, Scheveningen has its own bowling alley located inside its shopping centre. So if the weather isn’t as promised, then there will something to keep you occupied.
40. Head to the Casino and Make Some Dollar
If the sun has gone down and you’re looking for something to do, then there’s a huge Holland Casino in Scheveningen (you can’t really miss it). If you’re feeling lucky, then this is something you could do to pass the time.
41. Take a Trip on the Rib Action Scheveningen
If the idea of a high-speed boat ride appeals to you, then consider a trip with Rib Action Scheveningen. If the sea is rough, then you’re in for a bumpy (and wet) ride and if it’s not, then you’ll feel the full force of the rib powerboat.
42. Take a Look at the Vissers Namen Monument Scheveningen
This monument was erected in Scheveningen to pay tribute to all of the fishermen who have lost their lives out to sea. Here you’ll be able to see this moving monument.
43. Go Kiteflying (And Check out the Seasonal Festival Too)
If you have a kite, Scheveningen beach is the perfect place to fly it. The Netherlands is one of the flattest countries, which equals high winds. If you’re not a kite flying yourself, then every year at the end of September, you’ll be able to witness loads of impressive kites, all although the beach at the annual International Kite Festival.
44. Catch a Movie at the Cinema
Is it a rainy day? Or are you just desperate to see a new movie? Thankfully Scheveningen has a huge Pathe cinema near the seafront. If you’re worried about the language issue, then no worries. Films in the Netherlands are rarely dubbed, just look for the subtitled movies!
45. Attend the Bonfire Beach Fest
Bonfire Beach Fest is an annual festival dedicated to celebrating the opening of the beach season. This means, summer, beach bars, and beach sports!
46. Explore the Whole Country at Madurodam
The Madurodam is an attraction dedicated to a ‘mini Netherlands.’ Here you’ll find the whole country mapped out through model villages (the best one I’ve visited). It’s really interactive, really realistic and it kills hours.
47. Brave the New Year’s Dive
The traditional Dutch New Year’s Day in Scheveningen involves everyone gathering on the beach in their swimwear and then running into the sea. I’ve got to admit, it’s the perfect hangover cure (as I found out doing the exact same thing in Cornwall in the UK on New Year’s Day). If it’s not for you, then there are still many spectators that you can join.
48. Check out Scheveningen Harbour
If you want to check out the fishing vessels, or just go for a bite to eat, then the Scheveningen harbour is a place to take a walk. The harbour is lively and has lots of cafes and restaurants.
49. Go on a bar crawl
If you’re looking for a variety of nice bars to have a drink in, then there’s no shortage of that in Scheveningen, especially in the summer. In the summer months, you’ll find beach bars all along the beach and all year round you’ll find bars along the promenade. The perfect place for a bar crawl! Like I said before – Crazy Piano’s… 😉
50. Take a visit to the Scheveningen Lighthouse
AIn’t no seaside visit complete without a visit to a lighthouse. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons you’ll be able to climb all the way to the top of the lighthouse to get spectacular views over the whole resort. Don’t forget your camera!
Map of Scheveningen Attractions
How to Get to Scheveningen from Amsterdam Central / Schiphol Airport
It’s easy to get to Scheveningen from both Amsterdam and Schiphol airport. Trains leave to The Hague / Den Haag Central every 5 – 10 mins and it should take around an hour, you also may have to change trains. Once you arrive you can take the tram from outside the station and it will take to straight to the beach and surrounding areas.
Where to Stay in Scheveningen
Staying in Scheveningen can be as cheap or expensive as you’d like – however, be aware that in the peak summer periods, hotels will be much more expensive. If you’re looking for luxury, you can stay on the pier or the Kurhaus. If you’re on a budget, it’s best to look around the outskirts or a short tram ride away.
How to Get Around Scheveningen
Most of Scheveningen is accessible on foot, but if you want to go further afield you can cycle, take a bus or the tram. The main tram stop is located behind the Kurhaus.
Places to Visit near Scheveningen
Things to Do in Scheveningen in the Rain
Things to Do in Scheveningen with Children
Things to Do in Scheveningen for Free
Where to Eat and Drink in Scheveningen
The best places to eat and drink are along the beachfront – either in the beach bars (seasonal) or at the permanent restaurants off the beach, but along the front. You can also find restaurants in the main town and along the main route to the beach.
What Can You Do in Scheveningen in a Day?
You can spend all day at the beach, or take a walk/cycle around the area. If the weather isn’t as nice, you can check out a couple of the museums within a day.
How Many Days Do You Need in Scheveningen?
You can do most things in Scheveningen in a couple of days, but it’s all weather dependent. If it’s a beautiful sunny day and you love to sunbathe, then you can stay at Scheveningen for as many days as you can manage just lying on the beach.
Need any more information? Drop me a comment!
*Cover pic: Pixabay