1. The Hague: Mauritshuis Entrance Ticket
Indulge the art-lover in you at the Mauritshuis, home to the best of Dutch painting from the Golden Age. Explore one of the most iconic buildings in the Hague, located next to the Parliament. Look out of its windows for a view of the pond. Discover the art museum's compact, yet world-renowned collection. See more than 200 masterpieces such as Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring", "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" by Rembrandt, "The Goldfinch" by Fabritius, and "The Bull" by Potter on permanent display. Appreciate the collection's rich variety, with genre paintings by Jan Steen, landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, still lifes by Adriaen Coorte, and portraits by Rubens. Admire the 17th-century monument's historic yet intimate interior, with its silken wall coverings, sparkling chandeliers, and monumental painted ceilings. Stay as long as you wish and visit the museum at your own pace. Allow around 1.5 hours, which is the average visit duration. Visit the restaurant and coffee shop, purchase some souvenirs, or visit the temporary exhibition. The current Facelifts & Make-overs exhibition tells the story of paintings that have been treated in the Mauritshuis over the past 25 years. What do you do if a painting is damaged by woodworm? Why was something added to a painting by Frans Hals for no apparent reason? And what dilemma does a conservator face if an extra figure suddenly reappears in a picture? Learn all about making the lower layers of paintings visible (sometimes revealing a completely different composition underneath) and the development of ‘craquelure’ (those fine cracks in the paint of old paintings). Find out how ‘dendrochronology’ (a technique for dating wood by studying the annual growth rings in tree trunks).