What many visitors to the Hague do not know is that one of its districts is the most famous (not to mention popular) seaside resort in the Netherlands. Scheveningen can be found around a fifteen-minute cycle ride away from The Hague city centre and, once there, one of the best things to do is to ride the Ferris Wheel in Scheveningen at sunset!
Scheveningen: The Hague District you’ve never heard of
On any visit to The Hague, a half day trip to the pretty seaside resort of Scheveningen is an absolute must. Once there, there’s a sandy beach to explore, a myriad of seaside cafés, and two centuries worth of history to discover.
Oh, and did I mention that the old town has a small village vibe complete with cobbled lanes and an old church? The town still functions as a fishing port and herring is the most famous catch of all. In fact, the town’s emblem includes several herring depictions!
In the early 19th-century, Scheveningen was once famed for its iconic bathhouse when Jacob Pronk constructed a wooden boathouse whereby people could bathe in one of four rooms. Over the years, the place expanded as a go-to destination for tourists wishing to wander along sandy dunes, stay in luxurious hotels, and sample some sea-inspired cuisine.
Today, the seaside resort and fishing community is one of The Hague’s eight districts and is incredibly popular come the summer months. Highlights of Scheveningen include an extensive pier, numerous beach cafés (I recommend the fries at Fat Mermaid), a lighthouse, and of course its Europe-unique Ferris Wheel!
Should you wish to cycle to Sceheningen (and I highly recommend that you do so as to make the most of the views from your bike), then it’s worth bearing in mind that the sand dunes there mean a slightly hillier terrain than you might be used to!
Riding on Europe’s first Ferris Wheel over the sea (The Ferris Wheel in Scheveningen)
The first Ferris Wheel in Europe to be situated right above the crashing and salty waves of the sea below can be found in the form of the Ferris Wheel de Pier. Standing at 40 metres high, the wheel offers one of the best views of Scheveningen. 36 enclosed cabins offer breathtaking vistas of the sandy beach and city beyond, as well as air conditioning (though I didn’t test this, because, autumn!)
Each gondola sits up to six people and adult tickets start from €9. Should you visit Scheveningen in the shoulder seasons or in the winter when the sun sets earlier, you’ll be lucky enough to board the wheel for sunset when everything is bathed in a golden glow and candy colours dance across the sky.
Visiting in the off seasons also means that you’ll find fewer crowds vying for a spot on the wheel. What this means is that you’ll definitely get a booth all to yourself and have no waiting time to ride the wheel! With this being said, be sure to pick a clear and sunny day for riding the wheel. On a rainy or wet day, cloud coverage may mean that you miss out on the best of the views.
The entrance to the Ferris Wheel in Scheveningen can be found at the end of the pier (which itself is free to visit). In total, you get to ride the wheel for fifteen to twenty minutes. What this means, in reality, is a fair few turns!
So bring your camera, pack your wanderlust, and plan a visit to Europe’s first Ferris Wheel over the sea. And, if you want to get a completely different feel for the Hague and experience the Dutch countryside at its very best, then be sure to head in the opposite direction towards the Molendriegang!
I visited the Ferris Wheel in Scheveningen thanks to The Hague Marketing Bureau. However, all opinions, words, photos (and fear of heights!) remain my own. Special thanks to Wendy for making me feel so welcome in this beautiful Dutch city!