Delft is a small storybook-like city in the western part of the Netherlands. Delft is famous for its ceramic blue and white Delft pottery, and the birthplace of the Dutch renowned painter, Johannes Vermeer. The canal ringed city is only an hour away from Amsterdam, making it a great option for a day trip.
The sun has been shining gloriously after a very chilly stint of winter. I decided to take advantage of the sunshine, and headed to Delft for a quick day trip. I was blown away by how beautiful it was, and so had to share what I saw.
How To Get To Delft
The easiest way to get to Delft is by train. The railway network is so vastly connected, making it the best way to travel in the Netherlands. Delft is an hour away by train from Amsterdam, and ten minutes from The Hague (Den Haag) and Rotterdam. There are two trains running every hour from Amsterdam Centraal and Amsterdam Zuid. To get to Delft, hop on the train heading to Dordrecht.
What To Do In Delft
Delft is really small. It takes only twenty five minutes to walk from one side to the other in the centre. Delft is a big student town so the atmosphere feels really lively. Here are my top picks on what to do in the city of Delft.
The central square in Delft is a great starting point to explore from. Markt has a Renaissance era town hall on one side and Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on the other. Between both landmarks in the spacious open square are lots of shops and restaurants. When the sun shines, locals congregate with their lunch in hand beneath the bell towers that ring every quarter of the hour.
My favorite thing to do in Delft is simply walk around the canals. The picturesque and idyllic streets are beautifully quiet, and feel so untouched by mass tourism. Narrow bridges connect the roads, and the canal streets are lined with typically Dutch architecture, making you feel like you are walking through a movie set. I recommend getting lost in the canal streets without no real route planned.
Delft Blue Shopping
Delft is home to Delft blue porcelain and pottery. There are lots of shops to purchase Delft blue tiles, plates, vases and hand-painted earthenware, as well as antique shops that house Delftware. I recommend De Blauwe Tulp (The Blue Tulip), which is just off Markt square.
No trip to Delft is complete without visiting Oospoort. The Gothic eastern gate dating from the 1400s is a landmark in Delft, just a few minutes walk from Markt. The twin spires and arch is all that remains from the 15th century fortifications, and makes for a picture perfect postcard.
Delft's Secret Gardens
Delft has a number of secret gardens called hofjes. Hofjes are courtyards within residential blocks, often tucked away and easy to miss, marked with an unassuming gate. There are four secret gardens that are accessible to the public in Delft. The names of the hofjes are Hofje van Pauw, Hofje van Gratie, Hofje van Almonde, and Klaauwshofje. You can put these into Google maps and can easily find them. Take your morning coffee and enjoy it in the hofje.
Voldersgracht is one of the oldest canals in Delft, dating back to 1348. It's known as a 'half canal' as it has a street on one side and houses directly on the other, without a sidewalk. It strangely reminded me of Venice. On the street side, there are so many wonderful shops and cafes, some of which I list below.
Oude Kerk (Old Church), or nicknamed Oude Jan (Old John), is a Gothic Protestant church, famous for how much it leans to one side. With its stunning architecture and rich history, along with a tower you can climb, Oude Kerk is one of the most popular landmarks in Delft.
Where To Eat & Drink In Delft
LOT. coffee Boutique - specialty coffee right in the centre on Voldersgracht.
City Bakery Diamond Ring - Delft's famous bakery that's over 200 years old, serving cakes, bread and pastries.
't Postkantoor - a spacious old post office turned restaurant, bar and cafe that is a great lunch option
Kek - De koffiebar van Delft - popular cafe and coffee shop, ideal for lunch.
Otelli - best gellateria in Delft.
Kobus Kuch - a living room style cafe and pub with a casual, slow vibe.
Hummus - Middle Eastern style vegan and vegetarian food just off the shopping streets.
PLECK shop&eat - concept store where you can shop and have coffee.
Where To Stay In Delft
Although Delft can be done in a day, you may wish to spend a night here, especially if you plan on visiting museums once they reopen. Here are my top options for hotels in Delft.
Casa Julia - Stylish minimalist rooms with chic white design.
Herberg De Vliegende Vos - a charming historical inn overlooking the church with a popular restaurant in house.
Please note that restaurants, bars and cafes are only open for take away right now. I have not listed museums here as they have been closed due to Covid.
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