Delft, The Netherlands | Complete travel guide to Delft, The Netherlands

Delft makes for a great day trip, for most visitors to The Netherlands. Strolling along the gable-housed lined streets along the canals and Delft Blue vases, cups and saucers glisten behind windows, it’s impossible not to get lost in the world that inspired Vermeer to create his paintings featuring the famous Dutch skies. So, maybe just stay the night in Delft and enjoy this Dutch city to the fullest?

About Delft, The Netherlands

Delft, The Netherlands | Top things to do in Delft, The Netherlands

Delft, The Netherlands | Complete travel guide to Delft, The Netherlands

Because Delft has more to offer than just Vermeer and blue-and-white ceramics. Delft plays a pivotal role in the history of our small Kingdom. The city was formed around the 10th century and became a wealthy place of trade when then the canal to the Meuse river was dug three centuries later. Not long after that, the famous Delfts Blue ceramic trade came into full bloom. Inspired by porcelain work from the far east, but soon a trademark all by itself.

At the end of the middle ages, Johannes Vermeer produced his 34 famous paintings, featuring dramatic Dutch skies or shy damsels in blue and yellow.

But to the Dutch, Delft is where the history of our country as a Kingdom truly begins. William of Orange (hence we all dress in orange when supporting our national sports teams), Governor of Holland in the 16th century, led a successful revolt against the Spanish oppressors, even after being outlawed, and was eventually murdered in his home in Delft. He’s buried in the New Church and until this day our royal house is named The House of Orange.

Nowadays the city is also the home of one of the largest and most prestigious technical universities in The Netherlands, explaining the extremely large student population that has turned Delft into a lively and fun place to visit.

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How to get to Delft

  • You can get to Delft from both Amsterdam airport as well as Rotterdam/The Hague airport. Check out flights to Amsterdam and flights to Rotterdam/The Hague to see what’s the cheapest option for you.
  • From both Amsterdam and Rotterdam/The Hague airport you’ll be able to reach Delft within the hour by train. This makes Delft a super lovely weekend destination.
  • To travel on all public transport within The Netherlands you’ll need an OV Chip Card, which you can charge as you go, though you can also buy single-use train tickets from the machine at the station.
  • It’s just as easy to travel by train to The Netherlands. If you book your tickets three months in advance you’ll find the cheapest deals.
  • Pressed for time? From Amsterdam, join a small group tour and discover the best of The Hague, Rotterdam and Delft in a day.

Hotels in Delft

Hotel Grand Canal

Hotel Delft, The Netherlands | Hotel Grand Canal Delft, The Netherlands

Hotel Grand Canal is an excellent Delft hotel, right in the city centre on al excellent location near the train station. From the hotel, all the top sights in the city are reached within minutes and you’ll find yourself lost in the beautiful cobbled streets. The rooms are surprisingly spacious, some even have a large bubble bath. In the morning you’ll love the varied breakfast.

Hotel de Koophandel

Hotels Delft, The Netherlands | Hotel de Koophandel, Delft The Netherlands

Hotel de Koophandel is probably the loveliest hotel in Delft. All rooms have Delft blue details and the entire hotel celebrates Delfts most famous inhabitant, painter Johannes Vermeer. Some rooms even have curtains printed with paintings by Vermeer. In the morning take your time for breakfast, as coffee will be served from sweet Delft blue cups and you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous stained-glass windows.

Shanghai hotel

Hotel Delft, The Netherlands | Shanghai hotel, Delft The Netherlands

If you’re travelling to Delft by car Shanghai hotel is a really good choice, as you can park your car there for free. All rooms are exceptionally large and the beds are so, so comfy. The bathrooms are equipped with large baths, making this hotel a lovely place to relax. Breakfast is absolutely scrumptious and having dinner at the hotel is also to be advised.

Top things to do in Delft

Cycling in Delft

Delft by bike | Guided cycling tour in Delft, The Netherlands

One of the best ways to explore Delft is to get on a bike. It’s simply wonderful to see the city as the Dutch do and bike along the quaint canals, beautiful bridges and flower-filled streets. This guided bike tour will show you the best of Delft, in just a few hours. During your bike tour, the guide will show you around the cities most beautiful spots, like the Rose windmill, pretty courtyards, the historical market square, Prinsenhof Museum and the city brewery. 

Nieuwe Kerk

To do in Delft, The Netherlands | Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, The Netherlands

Top things to do in Delft, The Netherlands: Nieuwe Kerk, grave William of Orange | Your Dutch Guide

To understand just a little bit about the history of The Netherlands, a visit to Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is a must. Here, father of The Netherlands ‘William of Orange’ is buried and after that, all royals of the house of Orange found their resting place in Nieuwe Kerk. But best of all is the view after you’ve climbed the 110-meter high tower with a magnificent view of the city. On bright days you’ll even be able to see Rotterdam and The Hague.

Vermeer Centrum

Photo by Vermeer Centrum, Delft | Your Dutch Guide

During your stay in Delft, a visit to the Vermeer Centrum should be on your list. The historical part of Delft still looks like one of Vermeer’s famous paintings and even though the life of Vermeer is shrouded in mysteries, the Vermeer Centrum does give you an excellent idea of what his life looked like. And at the same time, the visit gives you a glance into life in the Holland of the Golden Age, which is pretty priceless. The only downside is that there are no actual Vermeer paintings in the Center, for that you will have to visit Mauritshuis in The Hague or Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Market Square

Things to see in Delft, The Netherlands | Market square Delft, The Netherlands

A stroll on the Delft market square is a real treat. On Saturdays, it’s easy enough to stock up on Dutch souvenirs by simply checking out all the stalls: cheeses, cookies (fresh stroopwafels!) and poffertjes: a food fest all by itself. Behind the most beautiful façade on the market, you’ll find Koos Rozenburgs’ shop, where some amazing antiques are to be found. And of course, you can’t miss the grand City Hall, built in the 17th century.

Museum Prinsenhof

Things to see and do in Delft, The Netherlands | Museum Prinsenhof, Delft

Every child in The Netherlands visits Museum Prinsenhof when in primary school. Why? Basically, because The Netherlands began right here, in Delft. Prinsenhof is where William of Orange was assassinated in 1584 after leading a successful uprising against the Spanish during the 80-year war. Museum Prinsenhof tells about the war, William of Orange (the bullet hole in the wall where he was shot is preserved) and shows beautiful paintings from the Golden Age.

See Delft from the water

Delft, The Netherlands | Canal boats in Delft, The Netherlands

Compared to the grand canals of Amsterdam a tour through the canals in Delft is just incredibly cosy. Canal boats run every hour or so from Koornmarkt and take about 50 minutes. You will be seeing the best of Delft from the water and see the canals from up close. If you’d like something a little more adventurous, rent a stand-up paddleboard (or take a lesson), discovering the canals of Delft by SUP is so much fun.

Delft Blue Factory

Delft Blue | Delft, The Netherlands

You simply can’t leave Delft without seeing how the famous Delft blue is made, so get your tickets to Royal Delft. At this famous factory, you’ll discover that the iconic Delft earthenware is actually painted black and that it gets its bright blue hue after being baked. During the tour, you’ll see painters at work and see the amazing ceramic collection.

Follow Vermeer’s footsteps

Delft, The Netherlands | Self-guided walking tour in Delft, The Netherlands

Looking at Vermeer’s paintings you can only imagine how the painter viewed the city in his days. The Johannes Vermeer self-guided walk, available at the Delft tourist office or the Vermeer Centrum, will lead you along all the places in the city centre that were of importance to this mysterious Dutch master. Places that Vermeer included in his paintings, as well as places where he lived and worked, are highlighted during the tour.

Restaurants in Delft


Restaurants in Delft, The Netherlands | Pleck, Delft

Possibly my favourite place to be in Delft. Pleck is both a café and a shop (or a design supermarket, as declared by the owner). The interior is rough and green and cosy. They serve an excellent cup of coffee and you can shop for interior design, paperware and accessories there. If the sun is out, better go for those few chairs in front of the shop, the best place for people watching.


Restaurants in Delft, The Netherlands | KEK, Delft

KEK is probably the most popular hotspot in town, currently. Especially on weekends you better get there early for some breakfast, brunch or coffee. But it’s worth it. Especially the freshly pressed juices are excellent. You can also buy some fun goodies at Kek.

‘t Postkantoor

Restaurants in Delft, The Netherlands | 't Postkantoor, Delft

Post offices in The Netherlands have been closing their doors more and more in the last decade, as more and more people send e-mails instead of good ol’ snail mail. Too bad, as most post offices were often set in the most beautiful old buildings. This was also true for the post office in Delft and now ‘t Postkantoor is turned into a grand café. Despite it being huge, the café is cosily furnished with lots of vintage, soft rugs, and big plants, resulting in a lovely place for lunch.


Restaurants in Delft, The Netherlands | Hummus, Delft

The extensive menu, the stylish interior design, and the friendly staff make Hummus a wonderful place for lunch or dinner. All dishes are inspired by the middle-east (and yes, you can order 4 kinds of hummus, just because), and you can also compile your own perfect sandwich.

Delft, The Netherlands
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Delft things to do | Delft, The Netherlands
Delft things to see | Delft, The Netherlands

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