Posts Tagged With: Centrum

New competition in The Hague (Or: Dirk supermarket)

We now have a Dirk supermarket in The Hague city centre, since this week. It is at the Torenstraat (Tower street). It is in the location where Rock Palace used to be, a store where you could buy all sorts of musical instruments including guitars.

There isn’t much supermarket competition in The Hague city centre. Everywhere is Albert Heijn, with a few Jumbo supermarkets here and there. But now we also have a Dirk (pronounced Dyerk, with a bit of a y sound).

Marco and I decided to visit this weekend. The first thing we saw was this sign:

Translated, it reads “By Dirk you don’t need to horde groceries to get savings”. Although the verb to horde, hamsteren, will always make me think of the corona pandemic, where people were warned not to horde groceries and supplies when the pandemic first hit. Most people didn’t listen.

The store technically should have cheaper prices, although most of the products are the same as other supermarkets. The location is a bit on the small side with narrow rows that quickly cause congestion issues. But the worst part is that they only have one cash register with a worker and four self-service checkout points. Definitely not enough in the weekend or during prime time hours. The space for the self-service area wasn’t designed that wisely (the Jumbo in the city centre has six self-checkout points in half the space, for example). But it might be a good location to visit during the quieter hours, maybe.

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Tulips at the Spuiplein (Or: A few photos from last month)

I forgot to post a few photos that I took last month of the gorgeous tulips by the Spuiplein in The Hague (in the city centre). In the background you can also see the artwork that commemorates M.C. Escher on the wall of the city hall. I posted about that at the end of March.

And here is a close up of the tulips:

You have to love the color!

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Breakfast in The Hague (Or: By Hoender en Hop)

Breakfast really isn’t a thing in the Netherlands. At least not the all-you-can-eat and free coffee refills on the side type of breakfast, unless you book a hotel maybe. Recently we read that there is a restaurant in The Hague’s city centre which has a more extensive breakfast that sort of reminded us of American breakfast. We decided to go this past Friday because we both had the day off.

Hoender en Hop translates to something like “Poultry and beer” (Hoender means grouse, a bird, in English). The restaurant is part of the Grote Markt.

This was round one — the highlight for me was the pulled chicken (at the bottom), while the highlight for Marco was the maple-glazed bacon on Marco’s plate at the top. And I even had a bit of scrambled eggs, which is something that only happens every few years at most. Other things on offer were little pancakes and Belgian waffles.

The food was good, the coffee was good. The only thing I might do differently is try it on a Saturday or Sunday. It was pretty quiet on a Friday morning, which meant that we had to wait a while for the coffee refill and the pancakes and waffles weren’t hot anymore. If you had more people taking part in the buffet obviously things would be refreshed more often.

It was definitely worth it, though. We will go back for sure.

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Oliebollen time! (Or: It must be November)

You know it is (almost) November when you see the oliebollen (English Wikipedia) stand pop up in the last few days of October, a sign of yummy things to come. Oliebollen are a donut-like treat that is popular this time of year. They are eaten en masse on New Year’s Eve. Marco and I usually make oliebollen every year. These days the stands are allowed to open from 1 November until the end of January.

As you can see they still have their preferred spot at the end of the Grote Markt street. They used to be closer to city hall but moved to this spot when construction for the Amare cultural centre started some years ago. Speaking of Amare–apparently the building will be getting a Spar grocery store (, in Dutch).

In other news:

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Every day a new dog awaits (Or: Sand art in the city centre)

If you visit The Hague’s city centre in the afternoons, there is a good chance you will see some doggy-related sand art:

Of course, the person was still in the middle of sculpting so the dog looks more like he lost a lot of weight very, very quickly. Here is a close up:

See also: Bijna dagelijks ligt deze hond van zand op de Grote Marktstraat, maar waarom? (This dog of sand is lying on the Grote Markstraat almost every day. Why?) from in Dutch. Apparently this dog sand art is frequently seen in other Dutch cities and even London. Of course the sculptors hope you will drop a few coins into their bag as you walk past, and it seems like dogs are an easy thing to sculpt. If you stick around long enough you will also see puppies being formed. Or just click the news article above to see some sand puppies.

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Chapeau! (Or: Hats exhibition in De Passage)

Look up in De Passage (The Passage) and you will see a few thousand hats floating above you.

The Hat Exhibition Chapeau! is being held in De Passage until mid-October (, article in English). As the story goes, a few years ago about 3,000 hats were found in a vacant space above the Ladies Paradise shop in De Passage. The shop itself closed around 1998-2000. The designer Pink Steenvoorden came up with the idea of hanging most of them from the ceiling for visitors to photograph.

You can view a picture of the interior of the shop at The Hague’s city archive.

If you will be around for Prinsjesdag, you can also take part in The Hague Hat Stroll 2022 on September 17. For more information see (in Dutch). Everyone is asked to wear their prettiest hat. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one for the event from the supply of hats found in De Passage. The walk will go through The Hague’s Museumkwartier (the Museum Quarter [in English]).

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Graffiti by Amare (Or: Color in the city centre)

Here is a look at some of the latest graffiti to pop up nearby the Amare cultural complex. This part of the area in front of the building is still under construction. (Amare is off to the left – you can just barely see the edge of it in the photo below.)

In other news:

  • Speaking of Amare, parts of the building are sinking by a few millimeters (, as first reported back in April of this year. The five concert halls each have their own foundation to prevent vibrations from concerts dragging down the whole structure. But a few of the halls are sinking enough that the doors no longer close properly (!). A construction company is currently working on raising the theatres by two centimeters (official website, in Dutch). The work is taking place during the summer break, with performances scheduled to resume in September.
  • The food court in Scheveningen is beta testing a new ‘order from the beach‘ option. You can order and pay with your phone. You will receive a text message once the food is ready. According to this news article (in Dutch), the system isn’t quite perfect yet.
  • De Lange Poten (a street in the city centre, where the American book centre is) is still being worked on since my last blog post. Apparently it will be even more closed off next week Monday through Friday, with the street completely closed on Tuesday. See also this article. Although I don’t see how you can completely close down a shopping street, so we’ll see.
  • The warm-for-the-Netherlands weather is almost gone. Hopefully we get some rain tomorrow to mark the occasion and help with our drought, but the rain estimates go down each day.
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Trams in The Hague (Or: Colors and tunnels)

Here are two tram-related photos for you. First, a white Avenio tram:

Avenio is the newest type of tram available in The Hague. The big plus for this type of tram is that the there are no stairs to enter it – the door is at the same height as the platform. This is of course useful for people in wheelchairs, people with strollers, etc. Until this year the tram was black and red (see Dutch Wikipedia) but the white/red combination stands out more and is better for traffic safety. Each tram is being repainted as it comes in for a scheduled repair job, so it will take about a year for the black/red tram to disappear from The Hague’s streets.

This is a photo of the entrance to the tram tunnel which services the underground Grote Markt stop and the Spui stop. Trams coming in this direction are headed towards The Hague Central train station and trams going away from this direction are headed above ground, towards the Brouwersgracht stop.

While there isn’t a tram pictured, I thought the plants were nice to photograph. Perhaps I should take another photo in a few weeks to see if the trees still look green. About half of Europe is experiencing drought conditions at the moment. I hate to say it but we could use a bit of rain. Here is a map from the European Drought Observatory.

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Construction work in The Hague (Or: You want me to walk over THAT?)

As usual, like most cities, The Hague is under perpetual construction. Check out this photo:

I know it is perfectly safe, but that still doesn’t mean I want to walk over that board to enter any of those stores. This is was by the Lange Poten (street) in the city centre. The entire street was dug up exposing the cables underneath.

It was only like this a few days before they filled it back in with sand, though. So the crisis has been averted: so far as I can tell no one fell in while the street was open. This time!

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Prime location (Or: MediaMarkt is really in the city centre now)

Last week MediaMarkt moved about 300 meters. Still on Grote Marktstraat, but now it is even closer to the city centre action. MediaMarkt is like a Dutch Best Buy, for my American readers. The new location is in the building which used to house the V&D clothing store (1969-2015) and the Canadian store Hudson’s Bay (2017-2019). Hopefully MediaMarkt has more luck than those two stores did…

It is definitely a prime location, even better than the previous one which was near the end of the Grote Markstraat shopping area. And what picture isn’t accentuated with someone cycling past?

This image is kind of funny – I hadn’t realized the girl in the middle was basically filming herself with MediaMarkt in the background. Maybe she was streaming it to YouTube? Especially with how she is holding her free hand by her face.

I definitely won’t miss the old MediaMarkt location, with its old grimy carpet and horrible stairs. It was either take the horrible stairs or wait for the slowww elevator. Either way, you lost. There’s no carpet in this new location and there are escalators if you want to go to the upper floor. That alone makes it a win in my book.

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