Het Noordeinde, the Royal Shopping District of The Hague
Historic neighbourhood is The Netherlands’ prime destination for
high end shopping
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 could not find anywhere else. Amongst many monumental buildings you can find some excellent opportunities for dining as well as 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.
History and monuments
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.
Fashion - Dutch couture and global brand names
The fashion stores in Het Noordeinde sell everything but the ordinary. The majestic Maison de Bonneterie is the very definition of a high-end department store. 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 hand bags, 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, Sebago and Roberto Boticelli. Well-known American brands include Tommy Hilfiger and McGregor, while the colourful shoes of Comme ll Faut come all the way from Argentina. But also Belgium contributes to the global atmosphere of Het Noordeinde (Caroline Biss), as do Spain (Massimo Dutti), Denmark (Noa Noa), Sweden (Filippa K) and the United Kingdom (Karen Millen). Are you looking for something unique rather than merely exclusive? Visit the Ettemadis for a tailor-made shirt.
Jewellery, a unique touch
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 van Leijden 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.
Interior design and antiques
A truly history shopping district has its fair share of antiques, and Het Noordeinde certainly does. Renowned antique purveyors such as Van Leeuwen Antiquairs and Egbert Ott offer an eclectic mix of unique objects. Alexander van der Ven specializes in Chinese and Japanese antiques from the 17th to the 20th century.
A great place to shop for some critically acclaimed Dutch Design is Studio 40. High end names for interior design include Laura Ashley, Zara Home, Rivièra Maison, Lifestyle 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 prime destination for art aficionados
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. Some have a very specific offering, such as Latin-American art (Artana), glass objects (Chris Art) or Dutch paintings from the 19th and 20th century (Galerie Cowall). 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.
A culinary tour around the world
No time to visit Paris? No problem – you can have an authentic French experience in Het Noordeinde! Bistrot De La Place offers the finest French cuisine of The Netherlands, and everything inside is completely French, from the menu to the music and the decoration. For a French menu with an exotic twist, head to It Rains Fishes. Just opposite, 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 lunch experience, sit down with your newspaper or e-reader at Trattoria Terranova – 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. True Asian fusion for lunch as well as dinner can be found just to the right of the Palace, in the very unique Royalz Fusion restaurant. 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. Het Zalmhuys specialises in fresh Norewegian salmon.
Expect the unexpected
One the greatest things about Het Noordeinde is the number of different and surprising outlets you will find.
Tesselschade-Arbeid Adelt is the first feminist organisation of The Netherlands and dates back to the French-German wars of 1870, when women sold arts and crafts to support the then recently establish Red Cross. It is still a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs, the proceeds of which are now used to support women’s economic independence, largely through education.
At Rio Grande they sell cowboy boots, American apparel and South-western furniture, making it a store like no other. Do you need to look your best for a meeting or dinner? The specialists of city spa Soap will schedule your treatment around your other obligations. What they sell at Cheese and Souvenirs you can probably guess.
What kind of shop could you only find in The Netherlands? A trendy espresso bar that is also a bicycle store! According to Esquire, Lola Bikes & Coffee brews the meanest cup of the entire country. Every last Thursday you can participate in a coffee workshop and learn about everyone’s favourite beverage. While you are at it, you can pick up a custom made bicycle.
Royal shopping area Het Noordeinde offers shopping in style with something new to discover for everyone!