Prison Gate Museum

Prison Gate Museum, The Hague

Prison Gate Museum
4
Speciality Museums • History Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
In the year 1280 AD, the gate to the outer courtyard or Buitenhof served as the main entrance to the castle of the Counts of Holland, known as the Binnenhof today. In 1428, this ‘Front Gate to the Court’ also became a prison. It was where defaulters were incarcerated and suspected criminals awaited their trials. It was a prison for four hundred years. The Prison Gate has been a museum since 1882. Ever since, it has been home to the biggest collection of instruments of punishment and torture in the Netherlands.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Plan your visit
Popular mentions

4.0
434 reviews
Excellent
141
Very good
199
Average
69
Poor
15
Terrible
10

Trek785517
1 contribution
Haunted visit
Aug 2021 • Solo
I was there today for a tour. I had no preconceived ideas about the attraction at all. One thing I can tell you for certain is it is haunted. Floor 2 specifically where the poorer prisoners were kept. Very heavy atmosphere, I got dizzy and nauseous and saw a brief light flash in the dark prison cell out of the corner of my eye. Just a quick flash. I was standing there all alone, no one was around me. The other rooms were okay, but floor 2, not so much. I mentioned it to one of the guides. He said he was sensitive to it also. Otherwise an interesting attraction. Brutal, but that is the history as it was.
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dan K
The Hague, The Netherlands6,196 contributions
Very interesting afterniin (didn't see any ghosts)
Oct 2020
It must've been around or over ten years ago since I last visited here. Since my wife had never visit, it was good reason to do so on a rainy afternoon.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 there aren't any guided tours. I can remember that you could only visit in conjunction with a guide, but like I said. That was quite some time ago.

De Gevangenpoort holds a very rich history in regard to the city of The Hague and the former province of Holland, later south Holland. There's an audio tour available, which I can highly recommend. Rumour has it, this place this place is haunted. Which isn't a crazy idea, ggiven the fact of all the horrible things that happened here. In fact, there are various ghost stories and even a YouTube video to be find if you Google it (in Dutch).

Let's hope it will be possible to visit with guides soon. But for now I also recommend a visit without one. Capacity is limited and works with a system of time slots. Museum attendants who oversee crowd control, will make sure hat rooms do not get to crowded. Face masks are not obligatory. All in all we had a very interesting afternoon!
Written October 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alicia
3 contributions
Terrible service
Jun 2020 • Family
Today, following the new rules to visit museums, I made a reservation for four people to visit the Gevangenpoort museum. Although I made the reservation successfully with our museumkaarts in the museum website, I did not received an e-mail with the reservation details.

At the entrance I explained the situation to the security guard but he did not allow us to enter to the museum.

I am very disappointed about the way this situation was handled. The security guard did not even try to check if the reservation was in the system and made me accountable for the malfunctioning of the museum reservation system.

My advice for those who decide to buy a ticket in advance for this museum is to be careful with your confirmation, since the security guard will not move a finger to proof if the reservation was processed in the reservation system.
Written June 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chepri-Ra-Atu
Cologne, Germany21 contributions
Frustrating tourist trap
Sep 2019
We have visited this museum last summer because it seemed to be very promising but unfortunately we were disappointed on site.

This museum ist very expensive for a short period of visiting time and it is very disappointing for tourists.

You have to visit this museum as part of a guided group. You receive an audio-guide device und you can join the group which receives a guided tour from a local tourist guide in Dutch. You obtain only few information in comparison to the Dutch local group and every time the tape stops you witness that the dutch guide tells a lot more stories but without translation in English.

Every time you feel like a second-class tourist.

If the guided tour can be held in both Dutch and English, it would be much nicer and more suitable. At least if the price was much lower for this kind of guided tour only via audio-guide-device.

I have never witnessed such an unpleasant museum experience. This should be changed immediately.
Written June 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

George N
The Hague, The Netherlands136 contributions
The Disgrace of the Netherlands
Jan 2020
This sight was very interesting. One saw the condition which prisoners had to endure, the cells, torture instruments and chambers.

It really is a disgrace for the Netherlands, a country that preaches human rights and political correctness all over the world, could have let people suffer such inhuman conditions. As if that were not bad enough, one sees how they obtained confessions in order to judge any suspect irrespective of whether he was innocent or guilty.

It really is a wonder how the Kingdom of the Netherlands can live down such a disgrace. If they had any shame they would probably have demolished this building, to expunge any memories of their disgrace.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter2019
6 contributions
A historical site comparable to the London Tower
Dec 2019
A very well kept state prison which displays cells and interrogation chambers as well as "instruments" used during such interrogations. Here events took place which were decisive for shaping the history of the Netherlands. Experience a period in history when people were tried without any notion of the basic principles of independent criminal justice.
Written December 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peachy
4 contributions
Make sure all rooms are open!
Dec 2019 • Couples
I went here with my husband and I was just struck with disappointment. Being a history Buff, I was saddened by the closure of nearly half the rooms. They were all kept for supervision. We finished the tour in 10 minutes and I was just shocked with the fact that the front office people didn't bother to inform us that half the museum is actually closed. My husband paid his hard earned money and this wasn't fair on him or me. They could have atleast told us. Funny thing is, he is also a local and he was pretty surprised with the outcome too as this doesn't happen in other museums. Make sure when you do go here, ask whether all rooms are open or not. Otherwise you will be just as disappointed as we were.
Written December 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John P
Detroit, MI71 contributions
GREAT find in this BEAUTIFUL city
Oct 2019
I took a quick train from Amsterdam to the Hague for a day of exploring and am so happy that I did. What a GREAT city -- from the moment you walk out of the train station, you feel an Amsterdam vibe, but on a smaller scale and with way fewer tourists. Walking the streets is a treat alone. When doing so, I came across this museum and on a whim, I went it. I am so glad that I did! It was such a unique (albeit creepy) depiction of ancient Dutch law-and-order. It is fantastic. Most tours are in Dutch, but if you can't speak the language, you will be given a headset with English translations, which I found to be adequate enough to follow along with the group.
Written November 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dennis J
Los Angeles, CA1 contribution
A nice short excursion
Oct 2019 • Solo
I took the train to The Hague from Amsterdam to explore this wonderful charming city. It was quite easy to get to. And there is a lot to see. The prison wall museum is a good alternative. A lot of history here.
Written November 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

George
Nicosia, Cyprus1,929 contributions
Small museum
Sep 2019
A small museum with guided tour but speaker speaks in Dutch, people who don't understand will get headphones.
Written September 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 162
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Prison Gate Museum

Prison Gate Museum is open:
  • Tue - Fri 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - Sun 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Prison Gate Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 6 Prison Gate Museum tours on Tripadvisor