Living in The Hague?
Living in The Hague
At a Glance:
- Finding accommodation in the city center can prove difficult and expensive — The Hague’s most beautiful neighborhoods often require a generous housing budget.
- Having a real estate agent is a great option for making the local housing search easier.
- The quality of medical care is very high, and you can choose your general practitioner freely.
- Expat parents in The Hague can choose between publicly and privately run Dutch schools, as well as a wide range of international schools in and around the city.
Located on the western North Sea coast of the Netherlands, The Hague has a relatively mild maritime climate. While summers are often cooler than in an inland location, the city is at least sunnier than many other places in the country! The Hague is also home to the seaside resort Scheveningen, which is very popular for its beach clubs, harbor promenade, and leisure activities like sailing, windsurfing, or kiteboarding.
But Scheveningen isn’t the only reason why expats living in The Hague are in for a treat. While the city is not particularly large, which allows for a comfortable small-town feeling, it is also the political center of Europe and home to several international organizations, such as the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and Europol.
Living in The Hague is a truly international experience: the multicultural atmosphere is not only prevalent in The Hague’s political and judicial world.
In 2017, only 46% of the city’s population were Dutch nationals. There are large Turkish, Moroccan, and Surinamese communities, among other nationalities. The expat community in a narrower sense of the word — diplomats, embassy staff, foreign assignees, employees of international organizations, etc. — is estimated at about 50,000 people, and there are over 3,000 international students living in the city.
If you are looking for a large selection of international food and goods, you will feel right at home at the Haagse Markt on Herman Costerstraat. In addition, Chinatown, located around Wagenstraat, is home to various authentic Asian shops and restaurants.
Apartments and Town Houses
’s-Gravenhage — the old name of the city, from which The Hague originates — offers a variety of housing opportunities. Living in the city is suitable both for expats who want to settle in vibrant urban areas and for families looking for quiet residential neighborhoods. However, space is quite limited in the city, which is why many people are choosing apartments or town houses over stand-alone buildings in The Hague.
Not only are small stand-alone houses hard to find for people living in The Hague, parking is also extremely rare. You may have to rent a parking spot separately if you want to or need to own a car. (Moby Park is a website that can help you find a parking spot in your area at your desired price.) On the upside, many homes for expats come with a balcony or even access to a small garden.
Where to Live?
Most neighborhoods in The Hague benefit from the city’s moderate size, great infrastructure, and excellent transport connections. However, these are some of the most beautiful and popular areas to live:
- Archipelbuurt: Although this neighborhood is located right in the Centrum district, it contains many fairly quiet residential areas. Romantic 19th-century villas and generous green spaces like the Willemspark are typical of this affluent corner of The Hague.
- Belgisch Park: This neighborhood in the district of Scheveningen is just a stone’s throw away from the North Sea, with its famous pier overlooking the beach and offering plenty of leisure activities. For this reason, it is unfortunately one of the most expensive areas in The Hague.
- Benoordenhout: This luxurious neighborhood with its large family homes and semi-detached buildings has housing prices to rival those in Belgisch Park. While it can’t boast direct access to the sea, it does feature lots of natural areas and a charming Japanese Garden.
- Duinoord: Belonging to the district of Segbroek, this posh neighborhood is less than a 20-minute bike ride from either the city center of the sea. It is especially famous for its stately townhouses and the Reinkenstraat shopping street.
- Kijkduin en Ockenburgh: Part of the larger Loosduinen district, Kijkduin is The Hague’s second seaside resort. This green residential area is home to a family-oriented community, but its wonderful beachside location requires a generous housing budget.
- Mariahoeve & Marlot: This “twin neighborhood” includes two planned residential areas, each with its distinctive character. The park-like 1960s style of Mariahoeve forms an interesting contrast to the large villas in Marlot.
- Statenkwartier: This international neighborhood in the district of Scheveningen is particularly popular among expats. Such significant organizations as Europol are located here after all. And let’s not forget about “De Fred”, the charming Frederik Hendriklaan shopping street, which is the heart of this area.
Due to the negligible distances within the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area, you should consider searching for a new home outside the city as well. Today, smaller municipalities like Rijswik (which houses a branch of the European Parent Office and a Shell research campus), Leidschendam-Voorburg, the village-like commuter town of Voorschoten, and the beachside town of Wassenaar (home to many diplomats) have turned more or less into suburbs of The Hague. Other cities like Delft or Leiden also within easy reach by public transport.
Real Estate Agents and Websites for House Hunting
Before you settle down in The Hague or the larger metropolitan area, you need to figure out if you want to rent (huur) or buy (koop) your new home. The latter mostly makes sense if you are going to stay in The Hague long term or maybe even forever.
Real estate agents can help you get ready for life in The Hague. They may even be able to negotiate a better price for you and will help you save money that way. There are always multiple listings for properties in The Hague. Your agent can find apartments or houses which are listed with other agencies as well. You will then have to pay a broker’s fee of one month’s rent.
When trying to find an apartment or house, you may find the website of the NVM (the Netherlands Association of Real Estate Agents) helpful. This association offers both rentals and property for purchase in The Hague. Alternatively, you can turn to Pararius, another independent real estate website for people living in The Hague or other cities in the Netherlands. Unlike Pararius, Huurwoningen is only available in Dutch. The site specializes in rentals.
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