• Binnenhof parliament complex

The Hague

The Dutch constitution may identify Amsterdam as the official "capital," but The Hague has been the Netherlands' seat of government since 1588. Or, as locals say, the money is made in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague, and spent in Amsterdam. The Hague is also home to several fine museums — including the excellent Mauritshuis art gallery — and international organizations such as the International Court of Justice (at the tourable Peace Palace, where nations try to settle their disputes without bloodshed). Urban but still manageable — if not exactly charming — The Hague is ideal for a few engaging hours of sightseeing (and practically next door to sleepier, more atmospheric Delft).