LivingTravelTips for a day trip to Delft, South Holland

Tips for a day trip to Delft, South Holland

Delft, just an hour by train from Amsterdam, is a city that positively exudes old Dutch charm. Synonymous with the ‘Delft Blue’ porcelain that is loved the world over, Delft also features the painter Jan Vermeer as its native son, as well as some of the most iconic sights in the Netherlands: from the spacious square in the shadow of the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), to the five majestic towers of the Oude Kerk (Old Church).

How to get there

  • By train : two direct trains per hour connect Amsterdam and Delft; The trip takes about an hour. Check the Dutch Railways website for information on timetables and fares.

What to see

  • Visit the quintessential attractions of Delft, Nieuwe Kerk and Oude Kerk , two splendid churches that house the remains of some of the Netherlands’ most famous citizens. The Nieuwe Kerk, on the northern perimeter of Delft’s charming main square (simply called “de Markt,” or marketplace), is a 15th-century Gothic monument. It serves as a burial place for members of the Dutch Royal Household, and not least of the national hero William the Silent. The nearby Oude Kerk, which predates the Nieuwe Kerk by two centuries, is the final home of Jan Vermeer, the Dutch Baroque painter and one of the most famous masters of the 17th century.
  • Witness the production of Delft Blue porcelain in Royal Delft , the oldest existing Delftware factory. Dutch potters took the blue and white motifs from Chinese porcelain in the early 17th century and soon personalized them with native Dutch icons such as tulips and windmills. See beautiful vases, plates and tiles in the open factory, and learn about their laborious manufacture.
  • Discover your fondness for inner history at the Het Prinsenhof Museum , which tells the story of the Dutch Republic. Housed in a converted 15th-century convent, the quiet courtyard leaves visitors breathless with manicured bushes snaking around a monumental statue of William the Silent; Inside, visitors can learn about this “Father of the Nation” and the 17th century heyday of the Dutch Republic.
  • When the Lambert van Meerten distiller went bankrupt in the early 1900s, his friends took up his vision of a public home for their collection. These fine decorative arts are still in public view at the Lambert van Meerten Museum, from period furniture to priceless Dutch porcelain and tiles.

Go out for dinner

  • Het Wapen van Delft (Markt 34) – This restaurant’s claim to fame is a day in 1997 when President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton stopped for poffertjes , the Dutch version of silver dollar pancakes. With a picturesque market square location and a classic menu of traditional Dutch pancakes, Het Wapen van Delft is a safe choice to enjoy Dutch culture and cuisine rolled into one.
  • From Zeven Zonden: “The Seven Sins” offers a small but exclusively eclectic menu with a couple of meatless options at affordable prices, which makes the Seven Sins not sound so sinful after all.
  • De Ruif: This student favorite serves comfort food in a casual setting; Its comically named dishes fuse Dutch, French and Italian cuisine for a sophisticated yet unpretentious pan-European result.

Delft festivals and events

  • Delft Chamber Music Festival – Classical music lovers flock to this annual festival, a multi-week summer event that draws accomplished international musicians to the traditional venue, Museum het Prinsenhof.
  • Delft Ceramica – This international ceramic exhibition takes over the market square in July, with around 60 new and established artist booths. Collectors rub shoulders in the search for new acquisitions, while fans wait to find out who receives the Annual Delft Ceramics Prize.

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