Top Travel Days of 2021, Day Trip to The Hague from Amsterdam

MC Escher Museum, the HagueBy Lisa Leavitt

I spent 9 days in the Netherlands last October and believe it or not, it wasn’t enough time to see all I wanted to see in that small country! We cruised down sunshine-dappled canals in “saloon” boats, we viewed the international flower auction where millions of the world’s flowers are sold and shipped, we strolled cobblestone streets through small villages, we visited the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum and checked out the fascinating Maastricht region in the south. Each of our nine days were jam-packed with wonderful sights, delicious food and lots of wine and champagne. The Dutch were delighted to see our group of American travel advisors, since the pandemic has been long and difficult for them.

If I had to choose one favorite day on my whirlwind trip, it would be the one where we journeyed to The Hague, one hour southwest of Amsterdam, and the seat of government for the country. Our first stop was at the Mauritshuis Museum, a tiny gem of a place with a magnificent art collection. Our guide was witty and informative and best of all, we could get face to face with such famous paintings as Vermeer’s The Girl with The Pearl Earring, and Fabritius’s Goldfinch. What an absolute joy!

Lunch was next in a former city palace now turned luxury hotel, Hotel des Indes. This hotel opened in 1881 and has hosted such luminaries as Winston Churchill, the Dalai Lama and Josephine Baker. I would love to be at their dinner table! Lunch was sumptuous and delicious and they served us way too much champagne.

Our next stop was just a few steps up the road, thankfully. We were headed to the M.C. Escher Museum, also housed in a former palace, this time for Queen Emma of the Netherlands. Now Escher’s works are displayed throughout this lovely building adding a discordant note to all the opulence. The chandeliers by Dutch sculptor Hans van Bentem adorn many of the galleries and are not to be believed. Madonna saw them while visiting and now has some in her home.

Mesdag Panorama, The HagueYou’d think our day would be complete at this point, but no! Our last stop in The Hague was the Panorama Museum. Here is a circular painting, Europe’s biggest, by Hendrik Willem Mesdag. It’s as if you are standing in a lighthouse and looking 360 degrees out to see the beach, the ocean, the nearby villages. And, we were able to get behind the scenes with a guide. What an amazing day!

I can’t thank the Dutch Travel Advisor enough for arranging this trip for me and other travel advisors. They are true destination experts and showed us the authentic Netherlands with wonderful guides, excellent experiences, providing for me memories I won’t soon forget. ActiveTravels is happy to help recreate this experience for you!