City of Delft

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Delft

Delft (map) is a beautiful, unspoiled town with traditional architecture, canals and bikes. It is located between Rotterdam, to the southeast, and The Hague, to the northwest. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area.

It’s also home to the world famous blue and white ceramics. And if the bustling crowds of Amsterdam are not really your thing, Delft is a lovely alternative, offering an equally interesting insight into the cultural wealth of old “Holland”, on a far more intimate scale.

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Walking – the centre is small enough to walk across in ten minutes. Most streets in the city centre are pedestrianized. Suggested streets: Oude Delft (map), Boterbrug (map), Wijnhaven (map), Hippolytusbuurt (map), Choorstraat (map), Vrouwjuttenland (map), Rietveld (map), Kerkstraat (map), Markt ending at the Beestenmarkt (map) for a refreshment.

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church, map). Located at Markt, this church was built in 1496. The royal burial chamber is in this church but is not accessible. Prince William of Orange was the first to be buried here, after being shot in 1584. It is possible to climb the 108.75 m tower to get a impressive view of Delft and surroundings. It’s the second highest church tower, after the Dom church of Utrecht. You can see both Rotterdam and The Hague. On clear days is it possible to see Leiden and even Amsterdam. It’s well worth the effort.

Oude Kerk (Old Church, map). This is Delft’s oldest church, built in 1246. The interior of this church is excellent. Famous Dutchmen are buried in this church, including: Piet Hein, Maerten Tromp and Johannes Vermeer.

Stadhuis Delft (map). After a fire in 1618 after which only the tower remained, Hendrick de Keyser rebuilt the town hall. He reused the tower and some remaining walls. In 1620 construction was finished. The building was renovated in the 19th century.

Visbanken (map). Adjacent to the Vleeshal is the old city’s fish market. Try traditional Dutch herring. The taste holds between raw tuna and “gravad lax” (cured salmon).

Beestenmarkt (map). This is a tree-covered square with restaurants, cafés and bars all with outside seating. Very busy all year round. Many pubs have patio heaters to provide comfort after sunset.

Delfts Blauw (Delft Blue) is a traditional Delft pottery. In the 18th century the city was famous for its porcelain. Around 1750, 32 earthenware factories were located in Delft. Avoid anything that says “Holland” on it, or depicts windmills. Check out the antique stores if you want something really traditional. >> Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (Royal Delft factory, map) is the only porcelain factory still operating in the town. It is possible to visit the factory or to participate in a workshop. + Aardewerkfabriek De Candelaer (map)

On Thursday (at the Grote Markt and brabantse Turfmarkt) and Saturday (at the Brabantse Turfmarkt only) a market is held in Delft centre. Fresh produce, fish and flowers and non-food at bargain prices.

Public transport

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GETTING THERE (delft.com)

Local public transport in the town is a part of the public transport system of the Hague. The historical centre of Delft is small enough to be explored on foot, but local public transport could be used to reach the Hague and come back. HTM travel cards are also valid here.

OV Reisplanner – All public transport companies.

All public transport in the Netherlands (buses, trams, metros and trains) use contactless smart cards called >> OV-chipkaart

CityMapper – The Netherlands | The ultimate transport app and technology for mobility in cities.

+ Public transport in the Netherlands (holland.com)

 BUS >   FlixbusConnexxionArrivaQbuzz

 RAIL >   Information about trains can be found at the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS, Dutch Railways) + NS — International App, which includes a trip planner which uses the latest information about train delays and detours. (*Rail travel in the Netherlands)

 AIRPORTS >   Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is 15 km (9.3 mi) southwest of Amsterdam. It’s a point of interest in itself, being 4 metres below mean sea level.

 WATERWAYS >   Amsterdam Central Station (map). Waterbus Rotterdam & Dordrecht >> waterbus.nl. + AFerry.co.uk.

 CYCLING >  route.nl. Cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transport in the Netherlands. The best online routeplanner for cyclists can be found at a wikiplanner made by volunteers of the Dutch cyclist union “Fietsersbond”.

Useful links

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