Hoi Netherlands: Day 6- Breakfast at HEMA and Madurodam, The Hague

Today is our last day at Haarlem.

Before we leave Haarlem, we wanted to have our breakfast at HEMA. I intended to leave apartment at 8.30am, for a slow stroll to HEMA, which opens at 9am.

At 8.00am, it was raining, so I didn’t wake ZE. So, we arrived at Hema around 9.30am instead. So, we didn’t explore Haarlem much, despite it being our base for five days.

I read that HEMA has €1 budget breakfast between 9.00am and 10.00am, which includes a bread and a cup of coffee and tea. But, we didn’t see the deal. But nevertheless, we enjoyed our €4.70 breakfast. 

MY breakfast
ZE’s baguette sandwich with cheese

 I gave ZE a treat and she chose a croissant and a baguette sandwich with cheese.

Whilst I had HEMA dog with a cup of coffee. I heart HEMA dog, and can’t wait to sink my teeth on it again.

We needed to check out by 11am, latest as per our Airbnb host’s request. So, I was agitated and rushing ZE. Sigh. Me and my punctuality trait sometimes does bring stress to people around me. Sorry, folks.

Bye-bye Haarlem. Tot siens.

Our next stop is Rotterdam, but stopped at The Hague for Madurodam, en route to Rotterdam.

We met a couple with their adopted child in the train to The Hague. The child is Chinese, and the mommy was singing a Chinese song to her. So cute!  

Share your talent at Den Haag Centraal


Figuring out the locker system

 It took us 35 minutes to arrive at Den Haag Centraal. The first thing we did was to store our luggage at luggage locker at basement. As we didn’t have Chipknip card, I used my credit card.

Our ticket

 Two bags at €7.35, for a large locker.

We then walked around the station, looking for food. My gweimui (foreigner girl) niece told me that she doesn’t want any bread, since she just had it for breakfast.

And she said, she prefers rice! I was gobsmacked. My niece asking for rice! She said that her diet has changed, since we last traveled together two years ago. She has also been eating rice on a daily basis back home.

Pasta for lunch

 But anyway, my lovely niece did relent and said no problem, if there is no other choice. We ended up with pasta at Julia’s (€6.00).

After lunch, we walked to bus station for bus no 69 to Madurodam. 

Bus at The Hague was expensive, and there was no children fare! One-hour ticket costs €3.50. I used my OV Chipkaart, but ZE had to pay hers.

We missed our Madurodam stop. ZE, my niece misses home. So, it was difficult focusing on bus driver’s announcement and bus stop, whilst trying to cheer her up. We missed the stop, and went all the way to bus terminus at Zwarte Pad.

We took the same bus again, and the driver was kind enough to waive off our bus fare.

The Madurodam stop is Pleamanweg, and it is only 4-5 stations away from Centraal station.

My earlier research shows that buying tickets online is cheaper €10, vs. €15.50. I conveniently forgotten about it, and we both had to fork out additional €5.50 per person.

Half-way through Madurodam, I realized that I have lost my OV-chipkaart which I’ve just loaded with €50 credit.

“Smile, why let something spoil your day?” Sounds easy, but can be difficult. 

A card to be activated

  No wonder people recommend Madurodam over Mini World in Brussels. It is indeed more interactive, and provide more activities for kids.

Leaving Madurodam, we hopped into bus no 69 again. The lady driver was very kind, and told us to pay for only one person, since it’s just a short ride away. And she did it with a wink. 

Kind bus drivers at The Hague, thank you very much! Bedankt!


Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.