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Are you going to the Netherlands, and want to know what to do in Delft? First of all, I’m so happy you added Delft to your Dutch itinerary. It’s seriously one of the most lovely university towns (well, towns in general) that I’ve ever visited in Europe.
And, to tell you the truth, upon stepping out of the train station, I didn’t know much about Delft at all. I didn’t even know about the famous Royal Delft Blue, which shows how much I care about home decoration, but I digress.
However, much like many other places I’ve encountered on my travels, Delft surprised me in the best possible way.
I’m dead serious. Guys, I thought Delft was adorable in “the stereotypical cobblestone streets and old brick buildings” sort of cutesy way that’s common across Europe.
However, Delft is also incredibly historically significant and has enough sites to keep tourists busy for hours and hours on end. Oh, and the food was divine.
So, yeah, surprisingly, there are …
… So Many Great Things to do in Delft
Honestly, I was shocked to see just how many things there were to do in Delft. My feet were beyond sore at the end of the day. I know I walked well over 10,000 steps, haha.
Like I said, I had initially expected a small, cute town where it would only take a single afternoon to see all points of interest. Wrong!
Delft has multiple churches, a factory, museums, plenty of squares, and lots of delightful restaurants. Don’t even get me started on the canals. Oh, the canals. I loved them.
You can spend hours upon hours in Delft, and not feel the slightest bit bored. I’d even go so far as to say to base yourself in Delft for a couple days. More on staying in Delft later.
How to Reach Delft from Amsterdam
Most visitors will reach Delft from Amsterdam. And this makes sense. Amsterdam is the most popular city in the Netherlands and home to the country’s largest international airport.
I’d say 90%+ of international travelers come into the Netherlands via Amsterdam.
The best way to reach Delft is to take a train from Amsterdam Centraal. Intercity trains run on a regular basis, and you can purchase your tickets right at the station. Just make sure you have a card with a chip so you’re able to use the machines without having any problems.
After leaving Amsterdam, the entire journey takes roughly an hour. And, luckily for you, Delft’s main station is within walking distance of all the attractions, such as the main square and the Delftware Factory and Museum.
Sadly, in my case, the tracks were under construction making it impossible to take the most direct route from Amsterdam to Delft. I had to switch at either the Hague or Rotterdam. Was it inconvenient? Sure, a little bit, but the public transit was still clean and on time.
Even if you encounter construction, both of the above cities (The Hague and Rotterdam) are well worth visiting, so if you need to make the train switch, be sure to check them out.
Staying in Amsterdam? Check Out My Itinerary for 2 Days in Amsterdam
What to Do in Delft
Whew! That was a long introduction, wasn’t it?
Now let’s figure out together what to do in Delft for your own upcoming trip. I’m jealous of you. You’ll fall in love with Delft. I have zero doubts about that.
As for day trippers, you might feel overwhelmed at all the options that I list in this guide. Sorry about that!
Please remember to prioritize according to your own personal interests. You probably won’t be able to see and do everything given the time restrictions most of us have on our trips.
Let’s do this!
1. Stroll Along the Scenic Canals
Eee, first and foremost, Delft’s canals are absolute treasures. Go in summer, and see flowers in bloom all around these charming waterways.
Unlike Amsterdam, Delft’s canals are also much less crowded, enabling you to take plenty of pictures, without tourists competing for the same space.
Additionally, Delft offers canals tours so you’re able to see the buildings from the water, and learn all about the town at the same time. You can’t go to the Netherlands and not take at least one canal tour, after all.
Don’t forget to see the canals at night too. I loved seeing the lights sparkling around the water.
Staying Awhile? Read My 5 Day Itinerary for the Netherlands
2. Prinsenhof Museum
Next on your list for what to do in Delft is the Prinsenhof Museum. I’d actually recommend going here even if you’re not a big fan of museums.
Why should you pay for a ticket? This museum used to be the home of William the Silent – a central figure who participated in the Dutch Revolt against Spain. Actually, he was one of the leaders.
Unfortunately for him, William the Silent was brutally killed in his own home. When visiting the Prinsenhof Museum, you can still see the bullet holes which tore through the wall. It’s a harrowing experience.
The Prinsenhof also has special exhibits and a collection of beautiful paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. It’s a surprisingly large museum, too. Wear comfortable footwear.
You can find the Prinsenhof Museum at Sint Agathaplein 1.
3. Eat Pancakes at Stads-Koffyhuis
Are you ready for some food and coffee? Duh, of course you are! Come to Delft on an empty stomach, and ditch the low carb fad diet. Because one of the specialities here are the pancakes.
As for specific recommendations, don’t skip a meal at Stads-Koffyhuis. This town classic really isn’t a secret, so try to go during “off hours” to claim a table. I went after 7:00 pm., and trust me, there was plenty of room available for diners.
The pancakes are very different from their American counterparts. For example, mine was stuffed with beef and vegetables. Delicious.
If you’re visiting in a group, each of you should order a different pancake and then sample all the varieties.
4. See William the Silent at Nieuwe Kerk
Delft is home to two epic churches. You really ought to see both of them.
The first church I’m going to talk about in this guide is the Nieuwe Kerk or the “New Church.” And, well, as you can guess, Nieuwe Kerk isn’t really new in the grand scheme of things. Construction began in the late 1300s. It was originally called St. Ursula’s Church.
Inside the New Church, one of the center pieces is William the Silent’s ornate mausoleum. An entire exhibit is dedicated to this leader, so make sure to read all the signs if you have the spare time.
The Nieuwe Kerk is also known for its prominent tower, offering some of the greatest views of Delft.
5. Do the Royal Delft Experience
A lot of people think of “Delft Blue” pottery prior to coming to Delft. And this is understandable. Delft Blue is absolutely gorgeous.
The Royal Delft Museum and Factory is still in operation. At the museum, you will receive an audioguide and learn all about the production of Delft Blue. You’ll see the painters in action, too! Just don’t disturb them while they’re focusing on their work.
Most likely, you won’t have to plan a visit to the museum, given that it’s open seven days a week.
Finally, make sure to bring your credit card with you to the factory. You’ll receive a discount at the Delftware store simply by purchasing a ticket.
Want a more “hands on” experience? Then I recommend taking a masterclass on Delftware and embracing your inner artist!
6. Go into Oude Kerk and See Vermeer
Want to see the oldest building in all of Delft? Then you need to visit Oude Kerk which was originally established way back in 1050. Yup, you correctly read that date. Insane, isn’t it?
The Oude Kerk is beautiful inside, like most churches in Europe, but more importantly, you’ll learn about some of Delft’s most famous residents. Some extremely prominent figures in all of Dutch history are entombed inside Oude Kerk. The most famous burial site is the final resting place of painter John Vermeer.
Another cool tidbit about Oude Kerk is the leaning tower. If you look carefully, you’ll see the tower is a bit off center due to a construction error.
7. Take Pictures Outside of Gorgeous Delft City Hall
Delft is home to a spectacular city hall, which is located in Markt Square.
Delft City Hall faces the Nieuwe Kerk across the main square, and it’s pretty cool to see the stark differences in architecture.
The back tower was home to a medieval prison, which is a bit creepy to think about considering the gorgeous golden front of the Renaissance building. You’re able to visit the prison, but only with a tour guide, so make proper preparations ahead of your visit to Delft.
Ultimately, the City Hall is a great place to pose for your travel photography shenanigans.
8. Shop for Cheese in Markt Square
Markt Square is the “core” of Delft. Even though it’s crowded with tourists, I still loved Markt Square especially in the later afternoon and early evening.
In particular, I had a great time sampling and shopping for cheese near Markt Square at a place called Cheese and More. As some of you know, the Netherlands is known for producing outstandingly yummy cheese, and most cheese shops will let you try each type! Cheese and More is one of them.
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a few slices of cheese after a long day of sightseeing.
9. Have a Drink at Beestenmarkt
Want a less crowded version of Markt Square? Then you need to take a walk to charming Beestenmarkt.
In this part of Delft, you’ll discover many wonderful bars and restaurants without the tourist crowds or prices encroaching on your space.
Grab a seat outside on a fine night and do a bit of people watching. The environment is created for casual relaxation in a scenic space.
And are you ready for dinner? Well, get ready, because one of Delft’s best restaurants is located right in Beestenmarkt.
10. Eat til Your Tummy Bursts at Spijshuis
I’m not kidding when I say that one of my all time favorite restaurants in the Netherlands was Spijshuis in Delft.
Dear god, what a spectacular meal. I’m glad Spijshuis isn’t in my home town, or else I’d be the size of the Nieuwe Kerk’s tower. The meats, vegetables, bread bowl soups, and amazing ice cream in a wooden shoe create the meal of a lifetime. I swear, I’m not exaggerating.
Not to mention, the atmosphere at Spijshuis is delightful. It reminds me of a cozy cabin situated in the woods in autumn.
You need to make reservations at Spijshuis. We saw several people who were unable to get a table. Plan ahead.
Should I Do a Day Trip in Delft?
You might already know that I included Delft in my guide about the best day trips to take from Amsterdam. And, yes, I still think visiting Delft for the day is a wonderful idea.
However, if you’ve room in your itinerary, then I highly recommend staying in Delft for the night. You’ve plenty of accommodation options to choose from depending on your budget and wants.
Strolling along the streets after the tourists have departed for Amsterdam is an experience you don’t want to miss. I always advocate for spending the night in “day trip” locations for this reason.
I hope you enjoyed reading about what to do in Delft. Have you ever visited Delft? Do you have plans to come to the Netherlands? Share all your thoughts in the comments.