Familiarity with the Netherlands should not be limited to visiting the capital, because in addition to the bustling Amsterdam, there are many other attractive places in this country. One of them, the city of Delft, is located in the province of South Holland. This city is located on the banks of the river Shekh, between two large cities – business Rotterdam and the legal colorful Hague . Delft is 16 km from Rotterdam, 11.5 km from The Hague.
Delft covers an area of just over 24 km² and is inhabited by almost 100,000 people. Most of the inhabitants (70%) are Dutch, the rest of the population (25%) are Indians, Turks, Chinese, Moroccans.
Things to do in Delft
Delft gained fame in the Netherlands thanks to porcelain, the manufacture of which has been engaged here for many centuries in a row. But not only porcelain is famous for this small, as if a provincial city, frozen in time – there are many interesting sights here! The center of Delft, like in many old cities, has an oval shape (along the walls of the fortress walls) and is very compact – even one day is enough to get to know it.
By the way, before the trip, many travelers prefer to get acquainted with the features and attractions of the place where they intend to go. It makes sense to first learn about the most interesting objects of the city of Delft.
The streets in the old part of Delft are narrow, And because of the large crowding of bicycles, they are difficult to pass. This is one of the reasons why the squares here are especially loved by both local citizens and tourists.
In the heart of Delft is the main town square Markt. It is almost rectangular in shape (dimensions 120 m by 50 m) and is rightfully recognized as one of the largest historical squares in European cities.
The real market place Markt becomes on Thursdays, as it was back in the Middle Ages. Every Thursday, everything here is transformed into a trade fair: a huge number of benches and tables are arranged in rows, umbrellas and tents are placed above them. On such counters you can find anything, for example:
- fruits and vegetables – both local and imported;
- various cheeses: lavender blue, old sheep, perennial goat, with nuts, pepper, garlic and seasonings;
- large skeins of fabric and a variety of textiles;
- harring – herring, for example, salted, with pickles, deep-fried or with onions;
- books, old postcards, modern photos of Delft and various sights of the Netherlands;
- Antique and modern porcelain.
And the most interesting thing at such fairs is a special festive atmosphere, which gives rise to an insane desire to at least buy something.
On the central square of the city there is something to do not only on Thursdays. You can go to a modest antique shop, where New Year’s toys from Delft porcelain are sold at the same prices as in the factory store. You can buy ice cream or a glass of beer and sit down at a table on the street under a large yellow umbrella. Other local attractions include the Stadhuis van Delft and the Nieuwe Kerk, located on the main Markt square.
The Delft Town Hall is located at: Delft, Markt, 87 – this is on the southwest side of Markt Square.
The Town Hall is a recognized example of the Dutch Renaissance style. This building harmoniously includes the old tower of the former prison, which locals call the “Stone”. This tower is equipped with original watches created by the masters of the city of Delft – by themselves they are already a separate attraction, since they have 4 dials. A kind of reminder that prisoners were once kept in the tower walls is the statue of Justice, which adorned its facade.
Currently, the city hall of Delft is located in the town hall building, city council meetings, wedding ceremonies, social events are held here. There is a torture museum on the premises of the Town Hall, which can only be visited if you have arranged this with the tour desk in advance. The entrance to the city hall is generally closed to tourists, although in the summer sometimes organized organized excursion programs with visits to this attraction.
Nieuwe Kerk in Delft is located opposite the town hall, address: Markt, 80.
The name Nieuwe Kerk (translated as “New Church”) was given this shrine only because it became the second Christian church in Delft.
The bell tower was especially famous for Nieuwe Kerk – having a height of 108.75 m, it became the second tallest in the Netherlands. The bell tower offers gorgeous views of Delft, even the nearest cities The Hague and Rotterdam are visible. To climb to the observation deck, you need to overcome 376 steps.
In the building of the temple lies the remains of William of Orange, and under his mausoleum a crypt of the royal family is arranged.
The New Church is active. In addition, organ music concerts are regularly held here, because the temple has an organ with 3,000 trumpets and 48 voices.
Nieuwe Kerk Church is open to the public at this time:
- from the beginning of November to the end of January from 11:00 to 16:00 (on Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00);
- in February and March from 10:00 to 17:00;
- from April to the end of October from 9:00 to 18:00.
The tower is always closed an hour earlier.
As for the ticket, it is most profitable to buy a combined ticket that allows visiting Nieve Kerk and the tower with it, as well as visiting another city attraction – Oude Kerk.
Oude Kerk, which means “Old Church,” is Delft’s first, oldest temple. It was built in 1246 between the two famous canals of Oude Delft and Voorstraat.
After 100 years, they decided to build a bell tower 75 m high nearby, and since there was not enough space for this, one canal was partially filled up. As a result, the base of the tower was located both on sandy soil and on an earthen embankment that appeared at the site of the reservoir. Since the bell tower was too high and heavy, and the soil under it was different, she began to heel. In 1843, the strong slope of the bell tower was stopped thanks to specially carried out work. At this time, the structure is deviated from its axis by 2 m, which is why it is very similar to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This bell tower of the Old Church, which many call Scheve Jan (“Falling Yang”), is a landmark not only of Delft, but of the Netherlands.
The Bourdon bell, the largest in the Netherlands, is installed on the bell tower: it reaches 2.3 m in diameter and weighs almost 9 tons. Since the ringing of the bell is accompanied by extremely strong vibrations that can harm the structure, they ring it only when they bury it one of the members of the royal family.
There are more than 400 burial places in Oude Kerk. By the way, the famous painter Jan Vermeer is buried in the family crypt, the information center-museum of which is located very close by.
The old temple impresses with its beautiful stained glass windows and a wooden pulpit, which is considered the most beautiful not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. And also there are 3 organs installed, the sound of which pleases visitors who come to regularly held concerts.
Divine services are held in the ancient temple now, they can be visited by everyone, and absolutely free. Tourists are not allowed in the bell tower.
- Oude Kerk Delft is located just 500 meters from Nieuwe Kerk, at Heilige Geestkerkhof, 2, 25.
- Tourists who do not want to visit the temple during worship should pay entrance fees. The combined ticket for visiting Oude Kerk, Nieuwe Kerk and the tower has the following price in euros: for adults – 8, for students and children from 12 to 18 years old – 5.5, for children from 6 to 11 years old – 2, 5, for children under 6 years old entrance is allowed only to the church (free).
- At the entrance to the temple, you can take a brief description, including in Russian.
Very close to the Old Church is another famous attraction – the center of Vermeer. It is located in a historic guild building, at Voldergracht 21, 2611 EV Delft.
Traveling around the Netherlands, many art lovers travel specifically to Delft, to the Vermeer information and museum museum, to enjoy the atmosphere of a city that inspired one of the best Dutch painters. Vermeer Centrum is of interest mainly to connoisseurs and connoisseurs of Jan Vermeer, who already know his work. The center-museum can be called an attempt to recreate the past era, to tell visitors about the secrets of the artist’s skill. Here are 37 full-scale reproductions of Vermeer’s paintings, the originals are not here – authentic canvases can be seen in Amsterdam and The Hague.
Vermeer Centrum has a huge gift shop with Vermeer’s replicated works, but the prices there are very high. There is a cafe Mechelen – it is named the same as the hotel of the artist’s father, in which the young Jan Vermeer lived. By the way, the coffee there is great!
Vermeer Centrum is open for visits every day from 10:00 to 17:00, January 1 and December 25 are weekends.
Admission price in Euro:
- for adults – 8;
- for pensioners and students – 6;
- for children aged 7 to 15 years – 4;
- for children from 15 to 18 years – 5;
- For children under 7 years of age, admission is free.
Mechelen Gift Shop and Café is free of charge.
Among other attractions of Delft there is another square – Beestenmarkt. It is also located in the city center, and it is separated by some 200 m from the main Markt square.
Beestenmarkt is a small public garden with a monument to a cow in the center. Everything else that this area is remarkable for is a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars with open summer areas. In the warm season, everything here is literally crowded with tables – it’s convenient to sit at them with a glass of cold beer, which is sold in a lot of varieties.
The endless trading rows of the flea market are located almost on the central streets of Delft.
Besides the fact that Saturday Flea Market helps you get acquainted with the local culture, among the offered assortment you can find interesting antique gizmos. Moreover, at prices much lower than in stores. When shopping here, you must bargain!
There are also fish stalls selling delicious sandwiches with herring and onions.
A flea market is organized every Thursday and Saturday, from April to October.
See also: What to bring from the Netherlands as a souvenir – a selection of interesting souvenirs .
Where to stay in Delft
Booking.com offers over 40 hotels to book in Delft.
In the summer, a double room can be found at a price of 70 € per day – it is for this amount that they offer accommodation at the 3 * Campanile Hotel & Restaurant Delft. A little more expensive, 82 €, will cost a double room at the 4 * Shanghai Hotel Holland.
Average prices for double rooms are in the range of 125-150 €, and there are a lot of similar offers. For example, bed & breakfast ROOM 1637, hotel 4 * Royal Bridges, ecological hotel 4 * WestCord Delft, villa Vermeerhuisje.
Traditional food in Delft is no different from traditional food in the Netherlands . Hot food is usually eaten for dinner, and mainly sandwiches and salads are prepared during the day.
In Delft, you can’t do without stalls with ready-made fish and potatoes, perfect for an inexpensive snack. Lunch in restaurants can be ordered from 10 to 30 €, the menu includes salads, soups, hot dishes, desserts, drinks.
From the category of more expensive establishments, we can recommend the Italian restaurant Il Tartufo (average bill 35 €) – it is prepared from fresh products that are brought from Italy every week. The Le Vieux Jean restaurant (average bill 40 €) with French cuisine located in the old part of Delft is also a good place for a romantic dinner.
You can eat tasty and satisfying food in Hema chain hypermarkets, and buy food in the most common supermarkets Jumbo, Albert Heijn, Dirk.
To Delft from Amsterdam – Travel Options
Delft is 68 km from the capital of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, transport links are organized in such a way that you can easily and easily travel around the country and beyond.
The largest airport in the Netherlands – Schiphol – is located in Amsterdam and accepts flights from many airlines from around the world.
It is most convenient to travel from Amsterdam to Delft by train, and you can get to the platform from which the railway departs directly from the airport building. For travel to Delft you need to pay 10-13 euros, tickets are sold at the box office or through an automatic machine, but it is most beneficial to purchase a special OV-chipkaart card for 7.5 euros. From Amsterdam Airport to Delft, the Intercity train takes 40 minutes.
You can take a taxi to Delft, but the cost of such a trip from Amsterdam will be quite decent – about 70 euros. It is best to order a taxi on official sites, they often provide discounts.
A car rental option is also possible. The Netherlands has very good roads, from the airport to Delft you can get there in just 35 minutes (if you’re lucky and there are no traffic jams). From Amsterdam to Delft there is an A4 highway.
It should be noted that in Delft, driving by car is somewhat problematic, because the historical center is mainly a pedestrian zone, and the car will have to be left in one of the nearby parking lots (P-route signs lead to them). The cost of parking per day is 15 – 18, per hour – 2.9 euros. Before the trip, it is advisable to find out about the location of paid street parking and parking prices.