Delft in 1 day: see what to see and where to go
Is there a quiet city in the world that has kept the spirit of the Middle Ages, but lives by modern rules? Yes, and its name is Delft. A cozy little town nestled between the two famous Dutch cities The Hague and Rotterdam. You can get from them at least a streetcar! The trip takes about 10 minutes. The capital Amsterdam and Delft are separated by some 68 km or less than an hour by direct train, so no problems with the road. How can a tourist be surprised by such a small town?
“A ‘toy’ city with a rich history
Even if you do not focus on the sights of Delft, its specialty immediately catches your eye: it is one of the coziest places in the Netherlands. Yes, some would say that the cities of the kingdom are monotonous: gingerbread houses, canals, tulips… But this is where the amazing atmosphere, full of the spirit of past centuries has been preserved. The flow of tourists is low, so do not have to wade through the crowd of curious onlookers.
The city has seen its fair share of boomtimes, fires, a powder magazine explosion in the city center, industrial growth… It even has its own Leaning Tower of Pisa – the leaning bell tower of the Old Church, nicknamed “Falling Jan” – but more on that later.
Over the years, Delft has evolved from a mature market town into the main technological center of the kingdom. And you would think: such a small …
What to see in Delft?
The first thing to see is Market Square. Here are the most famous buildings of the city, which keeps centuries of history, and there are houses with bizarre roofs. In the center of the square, among the cobblestones, there is a wind rose. It was made relatively recently, but it is known that such decorations were on the square back in the XVI century.
The tower, which is part of a beautiful structure, is the oldest in the city. The old lady is about 400 years old. If you arrange in advance with the tour desk, you can get into the torture museum, which preserves the memory of bygone times. Entrance to the town hall itself is usually closed. The exception is the summer months and days when there are events (admission with a ticket).
Located at: Markt, 87 (Market Square).
Opposite the Town Hall is the New Church. Here are buried members of the royal family, including the famous William of Orange. Another attraction is the bell tower, which rises to 108.75 meters (the second highest in the Netherlands). The church hosts organ music concerts, which can be attended by anyone.
In the historic center of Delft stands the Oude Kerk Delft (“Old Church”). Next to it stands a 75-meter bell tower: the ‘Falling Jan’. The bell tower is now tilted about 2 meters off its axis. Tourists are not allowed, but no one bans them from standing nearby and admiring the beauty of the ancient building. If you want to look into the church can do this during Christian holidays and on Sundays for free, on other days – with a ticket.
The address is Heilige Geestkerkhof, 2, 25.
There is a single ticket for the Old and New Church and its tower. Children under 11 years are not allowed in the bell tower (only in the church).
Church hours: April to October 9:00-18:00, November to January 11:00-16:00 (Saturdays to 17:00), in February and March 10:00-17:00. Please note: The tower closes one hour before the church.
It is impossible to visit Delft without visiting the former residence of Prince William of Orange. It is impossible to visit the former residence of Prince William of Orange in Delft without visiting it. There are paintings by local painters from the 16th and 17th centuries, silverware, contemporary art and Delft porcelain. The building is situated next to the Old Church.
Opening hours: 11:00-17:00. You can book your ticket here.
The Voldersgracht Canal was dug in Delft in the 14th century. Today it is the oldest in the city. On one side of the canal runs a road, on the other side the facades of residential buildings. Curiously enough, the floor level of the first floor is below the water level.
There is a cozy park with a pond 20 minutes walk from Market Square (admission is free). It was built in 1884. Here were houses for workers of the yeast and distillery factories. In the park you can take a break from sightseeing activities, admire the preserved houses, visit the cafe, which is located in the former club Lindenhof.
On the edge of the historic center, the Eastern Gate (1514), which was not damaged by a fire in 1536, has been preserved. They attracted many artists in the 17th century.
At the famous De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (Royal Factory) you can not only experience the porcelain manufacturing process and buy something to remember it by, but also try your hand at pottery. Here you can learn all about the production of world-famous products and show how masterpieces are made by hand.
The factory is located at Rotterdamseweg, 196. Opening hours are 9:00-17:00 (on Sundays in winter, 12:00). Book a visit to the factory at this link.
A little history
Because of the deteriorating quality of the river water, breweries began to close and pottery workshops took their place. The delivery of porcelain from China was not easy and the position of the Delft masters strengthened. Their wares became popular throughout Europe. Their peculiarity was their coating with transparent lead glaze and firing at high temperatures. In addition to the traditional Gzhel-like blue-and-white painting, local scenes and biblical scenes decorate the porcelain.
At the end of the 18th century, cream-colored British ceramics became fashionable, and Delft masters gave up their positions. But in 1876, two entrepreneurs revived the art, opening the Royal manufactory, which made the town famous all over the world.
Deftse Pauw factory
Technically De Deftse Pauw is 100 meters beyond the Delft border, so the Royal Factory can call itself the only one preserved in the city. The factory is not a museum and offers guests free tours of the production. Here is a large store, where you can devour the curiosities of Delft porcelain. Factory is located 20 minutes from the center (under the streetcar bridge and farther along the river Schie).
Opening hours are 9:00-16:30. In winter (from November 1 to March 22) and on weekends the factory is open from 11:00 to 13:00.
In addition to outlets in the factories, you can buy porcelain in local stores, such as De Candelaer (Kerkstaat, 13 A). The prices of products range from 60 to 500 euros. Each of them is marked and has a warranty certificate (included in the price).
Where to eat in Delft?
Along with spiritual food, Delft is ready to please guests with daily bread. The progressive cafés and restaurants in the city have menus for every taste, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
You can try local and European cuisine and delicious desserts at Kek (address: Voldersgracht, 27). The cost of the dishes is 2-9 euros.
Steak lovers will find the Toros Santiago restaurant (address: Markt, 70) interesting. The price for a dish is 10-20 euros.
Asian cuisine delicacies are excellent in Malee (Voldersgracht, 29). The price for a dish costs from 17 euros.
The homeland of artists, fighters for rights and Nobel Prize winners.
All over the center are “Vermeer cubes” with paintings by the famous artist Jan Vermeer, the author of “The Girl with the Pearl Earring”. He was originally from this town, and it’s surprising that there are none of his original works in his homeland. The closest one is in a museum in The Hague.
On the market square stands a monument to Hugo Grotius, the founder of international law.
Since 1842 in Delft opened the Royal Academy for the training of engineers (now Delft University of Technology), whose graduates have won the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry.
There are many fascinating excursions to Delft, with Russian-speaking guides who will help you get to know the city better and discover even more. Here you can choose and book a tour of your choice.
It’s worth setting aside at least one day to see the great history preserved by a tiny spot on the map – Delft…