The Hague

The Museon derives its name from the Greek word 'Museion', meaning 'the temple of the muses'. The museum wasn't always the Museon, though; it originated from the Foundation of Education and the Museum of Education. The Foundation of Education was founded with the goal of providing children with trips to the museum, combining schoolwork with a museum visit to give the children a unique learning experience. As a result of the educational process, the museum's collection began to expand rapidly, with 75,000 objects in 1984. The museum therefore had to be renovated and moved several times, until finally the municipality of The Hague decided on the construction of a new museum, situated in a location where architects and urban developers in World War II paid special attention to size and construction material. The museum is a large building with enough space for many different collection s, and is divided into five main themes: geology, biology and environmental science, history and archaeology, psychics and technology and cultural anthropology. There are always several temporary exhibitions, and also guided tours available. A learning experience for the whole family, kids can have fun making their own jewellery while you sit in the café and have a coffee.

Museum of Photography is rather new, having only been open to the public since 2002, and has a successful exhibition of Photography in the Netherlands dating from 1852 to 2002. Another museum is located in the same building, the GEM, which has visual art from national as well as international artists. The Museum of Photography has ever-changing exhibitions with various kinds of material, such as journalistic, natural and retrospective. Admission is charged, and keep in mind that taking photographs or filming is not allowed.

The Mauritshuis is located in the center of The Hague, and worth having a look at. Even if you don't want to go inside, take a look at the beautiful building and its construction in the classic Dutch style. Built in 1640, the museum's collection began in 1822, when the Royal Cabinet of Paintings was formed, becoming the world's most famous art collection. Jan Vermeer has the most important painting here, but besides Vermeer there are also paintings by Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Jan van Steen. The permanent exhibition of the Mauritshuis consists of paintings from the 15th to the 18th Centuries. The paintings vary from biblical figures to Dutch and Belgian landscapes.

The Hague's Museum of Public Transport is located in an old depot which was constructed in 1906. After a few renovations, it was officially declared a museum in 1984. The museum has a collection of 28 trams which are all part of the exhibition. Additional material such as photographs, video and small models of trams show the public how public transport in The Hague has developed over the years. The museum is an experience in itself and one highlight is the opportunity to purchase bus or tram parts.

The sea in Holland is quite cold, but it isn't necessary to take a dip. It's worthwhile just to walk on the beach and let the wind blow through your hair, and Scheveningen is the best place to do that. It's a long beach where you can stroll for hours and watch the seagulls catch their food from the sea. Bring your Frisbee along, And later on sit and have a coffee at one of the numerous restaurants and cafés on the coastline. If you'd like a fishy snack, there is an abundance of seafood around, of course. You can also visit the casino at the Kurhaus, but the most important thing is to relax and feel the spirit of the sea.

There are several shopping malls in the center of The Hague which offer the usual clothing, music, videos, DVDs, basically anything you could want. However, if you want some second-hand clothing, music or movies, stop by the Plaatboef, where you'll be sure to find something for yourself at a nice price. Don't forget to buy a nice souvenir for your friends or family back home, perhaps a windmill or classic Dutch wooden shoes.