The Hague

The Flag of Netherlands

Good to know about The Netherlands

Now that I’ve lived half a year in the Netherlands, I can finally sum up some of the things that I’ve learned of the mysterious Dutch. Many everyday things are very similar to those in Finland and English language is spoken well in everywhere. This summary is from a Finnish point of view and deals with The Hague (Den Haag), and other nearby cities, as Amsterdam is a completely different topic. But anyways, here are some things that are good to know from the Netherlands. I’m not going to make BuzzFeed style listing or numbering, so topics below are in no particular order.

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Madurodam Miniature Holland in Den Haag

Madurodam

Madurodam is one of the most popular attractions in The Hague. A large open-air park contains a huge amount of The Netherlands in miniature size. The park is located near to the Scheveningen Beach. The park has almost all of the Dutch must-see attractions; Port of Rotterdam, Shiphol Airport, Tulip fields, Windmills, Cheese factories, Cathedrals, Castles, Wooden Clogs, Canals, Binnenhof, Streets of Amsterdam, International Peace Palace and many many more…

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Holi Festival 2015 Den Haag

Holi Festival

Holi Festival is also known as the festival of colors and the festival of love. The festival is celebrated in the spring It’s origin is in India and Hindu religion, but today also many non-Hindus celebrate it. There are a lot of people from India in The Hague. 15th of March people gathered at Schalk Burgerplein to celebrate the spring. A loud parade lead by a truck with speakers and singers circled the local neighbourhood for couple of hours.

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Six birds captured with one click

Clingendael Estate and Duinbos Park

Clingendael estate and the surrounding parks are easily my favourite places to visit on a sunny day. Because its location in the center of The Hague, it is an excellent place to visit on a beautiful day. It also covers a pretty large area, especially if you include Oosterbeek. Clingendael estate is currently the home of The Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael or Clingendael Institute. This Clingendael isn’t old industrial area like the Finnish Klingendahl in city of Tampere.

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Westduinpark Hiking

Westduinpark on The Coast of The Hague

Westduinpark is kind of a big dune in between the city of Hague and the North Sea. There is a smaller park right next to Westduinpark called Bosjes van Poot. Together these two parks cover 235 hectares. In the area there are many cycling and hiking trails. Westduinpark has also been designated with a Natura 2000 nature protection status. Believe or not, there is also Highland Cattle roaming free in the park.

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Chinese New Year 2015 Dragon Watches Fireworks

China Town Den Haag – Chinese New Year 2015

Chinese New Year Festival celebration in The Hague 21st of February 2015. Dragon costumes, colorful decorations and constant music playing across the city center. Chinese parade of dragon costumes and musicians circled the center for several hours, stopping from time to time in order to give a show for the crowds. Dragons danced, drummers drummed and fireworks exploded! People seemed to have a good time. Most of the people (including I) watched the festival through smartphones (or lens) most of the time. There was also a small chinese foods and souvenirs market with a band playing. All in all it was a colorful and nice day in the Hague center.

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Mauritshuis Art Museum in The Hague

Part of our introduction days in The Hague University included a museum tour in the legendary Mauritshuis. The Museum is located in the heart of The Hauge right next to Binnenhof. It was renovated a couple of years ago and has hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. The most famous paintings are Girl with a Pearl Earring, aka Dutch Mona Lisa, by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt. I tried my best not to be the obtrusive picture snapping tourist, so I didn’t use flash even though conditions were pretty dim.

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Malakkastraat

From My Home Street to The Hague Beach

Malakkastraat – My Home Street

My current living quarters in The Hague are located at Malakkastraat in the Archipelbuurt district. It’s a quiet neighborhood without shopping streets, but still within a 15 minutes walk from the City Center. Almost at backyard is a nice park or forest named Scheveningse Bosjes (Woods). Great place to jog and walk your dog. Wherever you walk the canals as a signposts. I took some photos from the surrounding streets and parks, enjoy.

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The City of Peace and Justice

The Hague is not the constitutional capital of The Netherlands (it’s Amsterdam). But it is the home of The Dutch Government, Parliament, Supreme Court, Council of State, Embassies, International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court plus a ton of different EU agencies. One of the biggest sights to see is Binnenhof, which is next to a small pond called Hofvijver. Binnenhof is a Gothic castle built in the 13th century. Pictures of The Binnenhof and Hofvijver right below.

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The Hague University – Erasmus+

Who, what, where?

Okey, let’s get this blogging strarted! Hi, my name is Aleksi and this blog is mainly about my Erasmus+ exchange studies from City of Lappeenranta in Finland to The Hague in The Netherlands. I’m currently studying Business Administration Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) where I was given a great possibility of exchange studies. From several potential exchange location I chose The Hague, the capital of the province of South-Holland and the seat of government.

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