What To Do In Delft: So Quintessentially Dutch

A great little post from Trudy about what to do in Delft and some things you can get up to, from the main sights to secret tucked-away cafes. Read on!

Photo of a canal in Delft

Being just 15 minutes away by train (from Rotterdam), Delft is a stunning little city and it’s a crime that Tom and I don’t visit more often. When we do make the visit, invariably on a Sunday, I always walk the canals with my camera out, oohing and aahing over just how beautiful and quintessentially Dutch it is.

Delft As The Sun Sets

Delft is the home of the famous 17th century painter Johannes Vermeer – even if you don’t know his paintings (you know, The Girl with The Pearl Earring) surely you’ve heard of the Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth movie about his life. He was an incredible painter and lived his whole life in Delft siring many children and painting this beautiful city with a delft hand (see what I did there?).

Dutch Houses in Delft

Another famous production of Delft is the Royal Delft pottery, the instantly recognizable blue and white pieces can be very expensive but there are plenty of touristy knock-offs that you can pick up all over the city.

While small, Delft is a charming alternative to busy Amsterdam and modern Rotterdam. There are plenty of things to do, but a day trip or visit is normally enough. It’s very easy to get to and as such Tom and I have never spent the night there. I would in fact recommend staying in one of the larger cities then just catching the train and spending a leisurely day in Delft itself.

Dutch Bicycle Wheel in Delft

So what are some things to do in Delft once you arrive there? Firstly, don’t forget your camera! Delft is extremely picturesque and will have you bending at all angles capturing the sun glinting off the canals while the bicycles serenely glide past on the cobble stoned streets. Once you have taken your (or in my case, your boyfriends) fill of photos there are a few other lovely things that may interest you.

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)

Closed on Sundays this church dates back to 1496 and for a couple of euros you can climb right to the top of this 108m tower to gain impressive views out over Delft. On a clear day you can even see to Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

What To Do In Delft: The Church

Oude Kerk (Old Church)

Seeing as the New Church was built in 1496, the old church must be REALLY old right? Right. Built in 1246 the interior of this church is just beautiful. It’s the burial place of Vermeer, so have a wander around inside and appreciate just how stunning these old churches can be.

Saturday Flea Market

If you are visiting the churches see if you can align your visit with a Saturday morning to catch the flea market. Filled with lots of vintagey goodness just spend some time to wander the stalls of old junk and treasures, local produce and beautiful flowers. I love a good flea market!

Apotheek De Salamander

Make sure you duck into this old fashioned pharmacy to see the pharmacist in a white lab coat providing excellent care and working to an old fashioned standard.

Sun Setting Canal Delft

Vrouwenregt

At the back of the New Church is a little street with a warped house that was featured in the film ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. A really pretty little street to walk down and pretend you are in the 17th century, minus the social divides and inadequate health care.

Jazzcafe Bebop

Tucked away just a couple of streets over from the Markt at Kromstraat 33, Bebop is the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon if you are looking for somewhere cosy to listen to live Jazz and watch elderly people dance their hearts outs. Really, who isn’t looking for that?

Delft - Live Jazz at Bebop Cafe

We had a great time here one Sunday afternoon being out danced by Dutchies who were more than 3 times our age. Awesome atmosphere, lots of tasty beers and live Jazz – what more could you want?

Bierhuis De Klomp

Close to the station at Binnenwatersloot 5, De Klomp (The Clog) is the oldest café in Delft. At over 350 years old they would like to think they’re the oldest in all of Holland but unfortunately that can’t be proven. A rabbit warren of little rooms filled with old fashioned signage, Delft pottery on the wall and board games to play it’s a fantastic spot to while away a cold winter’s evening.

Bierhuis De Klomp in Delft

Koffiehuis Uit de Kunst

Located at Oude Delft 140 this cute little café has great coffee which cannot be readily said in Holland, unfortunately (yeah, we’re real coffee snobs in Australia!). Make sure you sit in the back atrium with the sun streaming in and the parrots entertaining you with their squawks.

Koffie in Delft

If you do make it to Delft or you have ever been let us know what you found there. Little cities like this often have so many little treasures hidden away that it’s a real shame to keep them secret!

A photo of us in Delft, The Netherlands

16 Responses to “What To Do In Delft: So Quintessentially Dutch”

  1. Wouterpedia says:

    Maybe a nice addition to the Nieuwe Kerk: the entire Dutch royal family is buried here. When a member of the royal family dies the funeral is being held in this church. You can see the tomb of William of Orange and some other monuments and stuff but you can’t enter the crypt under the church.

    Why not in The Hague or Amsterdam you say? Because good old Willem was shot in Delft (You can still see the bulletholes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prinsenhof) and they simply buried him here, and the rest of the kings and queens ever since.

  2. Vera says:

    The more of your posts about Holland I read, the more I want to live there for a while and explore, too! I mean, I often went over the border (coming from Aachen, Germany), spent a week-end at the sea, bought Vla^^, ate French fries, drank chocomel, had a look at the ‘coffee shops’, visited a festival, but I have never even been to Amsterdam yet! Sometimes, when destinations are so close, you set other priorities -and miss out! But now I’m far away in the middle of France, and finally I have to ‘really’ travel to go to Holland. I conclude: the time has come!

    • Tom says:

      Yes! You should absolutely visit Holland 😀 I know exactly what you mean about setting other priorities when destinations are close by though, that’s the reason half of Holland has backpacked and seen more of Australia then we have 😛

      Anyway, now you’re based in France – it’s far enough away to be worth the trip I think! Too bad we won’t be living there anymore and then we just miss you guys in Bangkok too, doh!

  3. I have been to Amsterdam (mostly passing through on my way to somewhere else) but I haven’t made it into the rest of the country yet. It looks like there are a ton of beautiful spots in the Netherlands that get completely overlooked!

    Amsterdam is an easy spot to get to (we have 2-3 direct flight daily from Minneapolis)…I might have to make a point of making a trip just to get into the Dutch countryside!

    • Tom says:

      So true Shanna, there really are some fantastic little cities in The Netherlands worth visiting that most people don’t get a chance as they just stop in at Amsterdam. Delft, Leiden, Utrecht (and Rotterdam of course) are all worth a look, Rotterdam for it’s modern feel which is a rarity in Holland and the others for the ever-so-dutch ambience with the canals and bicycles 🙂

  4. Sofie says:

    Love the post! I’ve already been to several Dutch cities (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Leiden…), but hadn’t thought of Delft yet!
    And sicne I’m from Belgium, it really isn’t far to go.
    So true that we often only look at travel locations that need a plane to get there!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Sofie 🙂 Yep, when you first start travelling you always want to explore something more exotic. As an Australian you head to Europe or Asia and as a European I guess you head to Australia and New Zealand 😀

  5. Jen says:

    I lived in Holland for a year, it’s such a great country and delft is an adorable city!

  6. Ash says:

    Hoping to get to Holland in 2013, will def take a few pointers from this and get myself to Delft!
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kriszti says:

    Delft is such a beautiful city! It is more quiet than amsterdam, but it still has got that cool characteristic…I’ve studied there for a semester, I had such a great time there! Thanks for making me remember;)

  8. Stephen S. says:

    Great pictures and post. The church looks amazing. Might have to put this on the 2013 Itinerary.

  9. Renee says:

    Love your blogs I have just started reading them after coming across photos on Instagram! I am also from Brisbane Australia. I am currently living in the Netherlands and have visited delft recently it is beautiful! Keep up the posts I enjoy reading them!!

    • Tom says:

      Aww this is awesome to hear, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment Renee. Great to hear you’re living in the Netherlands, we’re back in Oz at the moment so we can’t meet up – hope the weather is treating you nice!

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