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Rondvaart Hofvijver

The Hague prepares for royal highlight of the year

15 August 2023

Numerous 'royal' activities will take place in September, including canal cruises on the Hofvijver. (Photo: The Hague & Partners/Nikki Born)

The Hague - Traditionally, The Hague is abuzz with royal festivities in the month of September, in the run-up to Prinsjesdag. For ten days, from 9 September to the third Tuesday of the month, the royal city will be buzzing with activities celebrating The Hague's royal connection.

The royal programme includes varied activities including openings of royal heritage on Open Monument Day, horse-drawn carriages, an outdoor cinema and exercises by the mounted brigade. Also part of the royal programme is the Prinsjesfestival with a royal market, the largest hat parade in the Netherlands, lectures, cabaret, an outdoor breakfast overlooking the Hofvijver.

In addition, due to great success in previous years, visitors will once again have the chance to see the Binnenhof from up close via the daily canal cruises on the Hofvijver. "Sailing on the Hofvijver is sailing through the history of the Netherlands," says Peter Duivesteijn of boating company the Ooievaart, which provides the tours. "Only in September can you take a canal cruise on the Hofvijver. Sail with us into history, you'll never get that close to the Torentje otherwise."

Binnenhof opening
On a canal cruise, you will see the Binnenhof in the Museum Quarter from a different perspective while a guide on board shares remarkable facts and tells you about the rich history of the Binnenhof and the role it has played in the development of Dutch democracy. The Binnenhof, for centuries the centre of Dutch politics and the seat of parliament, is currently undergoing extensive restoration and modernisation. As a result, it will be less accessible in the coming years. There will be a special opening of the Binnenhof on 9 September.

Royal heritage
Besides being the political heart of the Netherlands, The Hague is also home to the Royal Family. The city exudes royal grandeur and is home to the magnificent Noordeinde Palace, King Willem-Alexander's working palace, the adjacent Palace Garden and the Royal Stables, Huis ten Bosch Palace, the official residence of the royal family, Kneuterdijk Palace, the King's Cabinet and Lange Voorhout Palace (to be visited as Escher in Het Paleis museum).

Several palaces can be visited regularly at special openings, including Kneuterdijk Palace on Open Monument Day on 9 and 10 September. Via the free 'Royal Tour', visitors can take a royal walk on their own initiative and take a virtual look inside The Hague's royal heritage. During several weekends in September and October, it is also possible to visit the beautiful royal waiting room, hidden behind the fa├žade of Hollands Spoor station. Visitors eager to see the king and queen in real life can book a ticket for the Prinsjesdag grandstand seats to see the royal carriage tour, including the glass coach, pass by up close.

The royal programme will be festively opened on 13 September by Mayor Jan van Zanen with the raising of the flags at Hofvijver.

For more information, go to denhaag.com/koninklijk