Delft is in the Netherlands. It's a beautiful, unspoiled town with traditional architecture, canals, bikes, and the world famous blue and white ceramics.
Delft is more than 750 years old. Its name is derived from 'delven' which means delve or digging. Delft's oldest canal is called The Old Delft (de Oude Delft). Delft expanded around it; later on many other city-canals were dug as life lines through the city. These grachten are still the pride of Delft.
In 1246 Delft received city rights, granted by Holland's Duke William II. Delft grew prosperous and new neighbourhoods were added to the city. In 1355 it reached the size it would remain at until the 1900s.
In 1536 a great fire destroyed 2300 houses. The most likely cause was lightning striking the tower of The New Church. About 100 years later, in 1654, an explosion destroyed large parts of town; a warehouse with 36000 kg of gunpowder blew up. A new warehouse (Kruithuis) was later built, outside the city perimeter.
Delft has long been a centre of art and science. With the foundation of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1602, Delft also became a trading center. The VOC was at one time the largest trading company in the world, with a huge fleet and offices all over Asia. One of the Dutch offices was in Delft.
In 1842 the Royal Academy for Civil Engineering (Koninklijke Acedemie voor Burgerlijke Ingenieurs) was founded. Nowadays know as Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) it is Delft's biggest employer. About 13,000 students study in Delft.
Amsterdam - and limited flights to Rotterdam airport which is only a few kilometres away.
Delft has two railway stations: Delft (near the city center and the best connection for the universtity) and Delft Zuid (Delft's southern residential area). (Direct) train connections run from:
Den Haag Central Station or Hollands Spoor(10 mins, €2)
Schiphol Airport (45 mins, €8) (the train from Schiphol does not stop at Delft, you need to change train at Leiden or Den Haag HS).
Amsterdam (1 hour, €11)
Rotterdam (15 mins, €3)
Delft is a short tram ride from Den Haag by tram. Tramline 1 runs from Scheveningen, through the center of Den Haag and Den Haag HS to Delft. Travelling time is approximately 20 minutes from the center of Den Haag to the center of Delft. From Scheveningen to Delft takes about 45 min.
Delft is easily reached by car. Coming from Amsterdam or Schiphol, it is at the end of the A4 motorway; coming from Rotterdam, Delft has several exits off the A13 motorway. The old city center has been made largely car-free, but there are two large car parks at the edge of the center (Zuidpoortgarage and Phoenixgarage). These car parks are expensive, but parking on the few public parking spaces on the streets in or near the city center can be even more expensive. Beware of the signs "alleen vergunninghouders" (only permit holders) in some streets in the vicinity of the city center, especially in residential areas. Unauthorized parking in those streets will cost you about €60. If you do not mind a 15-minute walk, consider parking for free in the university area. Usually at weekends there is a lot of free parking space.
Buses from Den Haag and Rotterdam terminate at the Delft bus terminal, which is in front of Delft railway station. Tram line 1 from Den Haag (HS) runs to Delft and has stops near the city center and railway station.
Walking - the centre is small enough to walk across in ten minutes. If you want to go further, hire a bike near the railway station or take a bus. Tram no 1. connects the center and station.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), Markt 80, +31 15 2123025, . Closed on Sundays. Located on the Markt square, this church was built in 1496. The royal burial chamber is in this church. Prince William of Orange was the first to be buried here, after being shot in 1584. It is possible to climb the 108,75 meter tower to get a impressive view of Delft and surroundings. €3 (€2,50 extra to climb the tower), with free entrance to the Old Church
Oude Kerk (Old Church), Heilige Geestkerkhof 25, +31 15 2123015, . Closed on Sundays. This is Delft's oldest Church, being built in 1246. The interior of this church is excellent. Famous Dutchmen are buried in this church, including: Piet Hein, Maerten Tromp and Johannes Vermeer. €3, with free entrance to the New Church
De Prinsenhof, Sint Agathaplein 1, +31 15 2602358, . Open M-F 10AM-5PM, Sa,Su 1PM-5PM. In medieval Delft Sint Agathaklooster was the biggest cloister in Delft. After 1650 it was split in two parts. Part of the chapel remained for religious service (Waalse Kerk). Prince William of Orange held court in the rest of the complex. He was killed here in 1584. Nowadays the complex houses some museums, including the city museum. €7,50.
Synagogue, Koornmarkt 12, +31 15 2563371. Open Jun-Oct only on sat 14-17. This former synagogue was built in 1862 as temple, to a design of Ir. Leon Winkel. The building houses a permanent exhibition to the remembrance of the Jewish victims in WWII.
Porceleyne Fles (Royal Delft factory), Rotterdamseweg 196, +31 15 2512030, . Open 9-17. Around 1750 32 earthenware factories were located in Delft. Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles is the only factory remaining from that era. It is possible to visit the factory or to participate in a workshop. Guided tour €8.00.
Molen de Roos (windmill), Phoenixstraat 112, +31 71 5012672. It is possible to visit the mill if the blue flag is flying. For a group visit, call ahead.
Artilleriemagazijn( Artillery Depot), Paardenmarkt 1. As a result of the reformation around 1572, many cloisters were abandoned. This happened to the Clarissenklooster as well. It became a warehouse for sulphur, saltpeter and canon. In 1637 a small tower for firepowder was built. In 1654 this tower exploded, destroying a large part of the city. After this it was rebuilt.
Universiteitsbibliotheek (University Library), Prometheusplein 1, +31 15 2785678 . Between the Mekelweg and the Schoemakerstraat sits one of the largest technical libraries of Europe. It is housed in a glass building, with a sloping grass roof penetrated by a concrete cone. Free entrance during opening hours.
Armamentarium, Korte Geer 1, +31 15 2150500 . Open 10-17. Its location made Delft a good place for a central weapons warehouse. In 1601 a large warehouse was built. It is a very beautiful building. Nowadays it houses the army museum. €6.
Botanische Tuin (Botanical Garden), Julianalaan 67, +31 15 2782356, . Open mon-fri 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM, Su (only May-Sep) 12PM-4PM. The botanical garden of Delft University houses a large collection of 'utility' plants, both in greenhouses and a nicely laid out park. Good place to spend a few quiet hours on a sunny afternoon. €2, free for TU Delft students.
Techniekmuseum (Technology Museum), Ezelsveldlaan 62, +31 15 2785200 . Open Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM. This museum, run by Delft University, is housed in a beautiful building. It displays a wide range of historical engines, as well as the history of the calculator. Activities aimed at children are organized regularly. €2,30.
Hofje van Gratie, Van der Mastenstraat 26-38. This was a hofje for single women, founded in 1575 by Pieter Sasbout. Originally situated on Korte Geer, but with expansion of the Armamentarium it was relocated to its current location.
Hofje van Pauw, Paardenmarkt 54-62. This hofje was built in 1707 as stated in the will of Elizabeth Pauw.
Klaeuwshofje, Oranje Plantage 58-77. This hofje was meant for unmarried or widowed catholic women. It was founded in 1605 by Dirck and Elizabeth Uyttenhage.
Stadhuis (Town Hall), Markt 78. After a fire in 1618 after which only the tower remained, Hendrick de Keyser rebuilt the town hall. He reused the tower and some remaining walls. In 1620 construction was finished. The building was renovated in the 19th century.
Vleeshal (Meat Hall), Voldersgracht 1. Built in 1650. It is one of the only Hollands Classical buildings in Delft. Originally a meat market, later it was converted for wheat. Nowadays it is a youth society. It is possible to eat here for a modest price (around €4).
Visbanken (Fish Trade), Cameretten. Fish market, one of the oldest shops in the world.
VOC-Huis (Dutch East India Company House), Oude Delft 39. The VOC consisted of 6 chambers. One of them was located in Delft. Part of the sea harbour of Rotterdam belonged to Delft at that time.
Oostpoort (East Gate), Oostpoort 1. Eastern gate to the city, built around 1400 and of the four original gates the only surviving one. Small building. It looks kind of cute. It is not on the famous painting by Vermeer (because that's the South Gate), as many tourists wrongly think.
Agnetapark, Agnetapark. Just northwest, 10 minutes of walking outside the inner city, this small park was built around 1880 by a local factory owner for his workers. It contains small working-class cottages and has been a state monument since 1989.
Stroll through town
Climb Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) tower
Visit De Porceleyne Fles, or take a workshop
Rent a bike and visit De Delftse Hout, a park/leisure area to the east of Delft. Cycle through the woods, sail on the lake, have a picnic, walk through the arboretum
Visit the Antique Markets around the streets and canals of Central Delft , every Saturday, April - October (free to visit)
There are a few theaters in the inner city; Theater de Veste, Vesteplein 1 is the largest theater, with shows almost every night (except during summer). The Microtheater, next to the New Church is a small theater with around one show per week.
There are two cinemas in Delft. Filmhuis Lumen, Doelenplein 5 , shows mostly cultural and foreign movies. MustSee Delft, Vesteplein 5 , is a new cinema near the Theater de Veste in the Zuidpoort (big screen, large seats).
Especially during summer there are several annual events to visit, most of them are in the open air and free to visit. For a list of upcoming events, you can check out the Event calender: . An incomplete list of annual events:
Taptoe, National event of non-military marching bands performing parades and demonstrations, usually the first weekend of September (free)
Varend corso, flower decorated boats sailing from the Westland (the glasshouse area where special flowers are grown) to Delft, usually a Sunday in the beginning of August (free)
Lichtjesavond ("evening of lights"), evening with christmas atmosphere, where christmas songs are sung, a large christmas tree on the central market square and many, many lights. Usually on a Tuesday evening, halfway December (free)
Open Monumentendag ("day of the open monuments"), on this national event, many monumental buildings can be visited for free, which are otherwise closed to the public. This includes climbing to the top of "Molen De Roos", the windmill on Phoenixstraat 112, and visiting the former city prison and torturing room (backside of the City Hall), where the alleged murderer of William of Orange was tortured in 1584. It usually takes place on a Saturday. Inform at the tourism office when the next open monumentendag is held.
Note that restaurants on the central market place can be more expensive than those in back-streets.
The café Kobus Kuch, Beestenmarkt 1 , has a nice choice of lunch breads, but is probably best known for its home made pies. If the personnel is not to busy to bake one for you, you can even order an entire pie to take home.
At Lunchroom Leonidas, Choorstraat , named after the Belgian chocolates (which they sell too) has nice lunch breads and a wide variety of tea. During summer time you can take your lunch out in the patio at the back. Bonus here: no background music!
Spijshuis de Dis, Beesten markt 36 +31 15-213 1782. Authentic Dutch fare, based on recipes of the 'golden age' Dutch chef John (jan) whom also had a place in CA. http://www.spijshuisdedis.com/
De Parel van Flores, Volders Gracht 31, +31 15 2130946 . Authentic Indonesian cuisine (unlike the other indo-chin-thai places in town). Family owned with excellent service and reasonable prices. No reservation needed. Appetizers €5, Meals €10. Great atmosphere and amazing food.
Pizzeria Dennis , Nieuwstraat 8, +31 15 2158677 . Reasonable pizza's and middle eastern dishes (shoarma/kebab). Relatively cheap. The place is much more oriented on take-aways then on eat-ins. 7 days a week 4.00 - 10.00 p.m. Service fast and friendly, delivery service. Large portions. No reservation needed. Pizza €5-7.50, Meals €10-14.50, Drinks €1.50. Has a nice website especially the registered users section.
Ladera, Oosteinde 123, +31 15 2125950. Affordable traditional dutch menu. Join the locals for a chat at the main table, have your own table, or eat in the garden (out the back, not indicated). Weekdays 4:30 - 8:00 p.m. Service fast and friendly, no reservation needed. Ask for special dishes, not indicated on the menu. Dinner € 6.50 - 9.50, coffee € 1.00.
Vlaanderen, Beestenmarkt 16, +31 15 2133311 . Nice location for lunch or dinner. Good food (but slightly overpriced), sometimes activities take place, such as an open stage. Check out the patio at the back. When making reservations ask for the patio. Lunch €10, dinner about €30, 3 course menue about€35.
Café de V, Voorstraat 9, +31 15 2140916 . Excellent food, probably the best price/quality ratio in Delft, where food and hotels are generally overpriced. Daily menue at unbeatable prices (except maybe "De Ruif"), about €7.50. Dinner about €10-20.
Eetcafé de Ruif, Kerkstraat 22-24, +31 15 2142206 . Excellent food at acceptable prices, the best place in Delft for a sunny summer day, food served in the garden and on a barge with sunshine till late in the evening. Daily menue at low prices is usually out at about 20:00h, dinner about €15-20.
Olympia, Hippolytusbuurt 43, +31 15 2136579 . Greek restaurant. Lots of seats, but cozy atmosphere. Outside terrace with a view of the Oude Kerk. Large portions of good quality food (try the specials!) at reasonable prices. Very fast service. Main courses €15-25.
Malee, Voldersgracht 29, +31 15 2120781 . Authentic Thai food in a small restaurant. Every day, "auntie Malee" cooks a 3 course dinner for her guests. Not as spicy as you'll get in Thailand, but still a treat for your tastebuds. Reservation advisable for larger groups. 3 course meal €15. Closed on Mondays.
Mañana Mañana, Verwersdijk 124, +31 15 2141472 . A wide variety of tapas in a Spanish restaurant, also much choice for veggies. A bit outside the city center, but worth the walk. 3 course meal around 20 to 25 €.
Het Pakhuis, Phoenixstraat 4c, +31 15 2125925 . Tapas-like design restaurant on the edge of the inner city. About twenty totally different dishes, also five recommendable ones for veggies. Tram 1 stops almost in front of the entrance. 3 plates of tapas, a drink and a dessert around 30 to 35 € Good price/quality ratio.
If you are on a really tight budget, many student societies provide food, for a modest price (around €4). To check what is on offer look here: . De Koornbeurs (one street away from the main market place) is probably the best choice, the others are much less used to visitors, especially when they are not students.
Try the local Delftse Mueselare Bier.
Al fresco at one of the many bars around the market square, or on a floating terrace (apparently unique to Delft) on a canal.
"De Beestenmarkt"; around this square in the city center are many pubs and bars. In the summer it is filled with people drinking a beer between the trees.
Many students get a drink at their fraternity (extremely cheap). Mostly you need to be a member or be introduced.
There are a few places to go out and dance:
The Koornbeurs (alternative student fraternity and youth society, no membership needed) has a disco on Friday and a metal underground scene on Saturday
Speakers. Here you can dance during the weekend.
The Lorre. This is a student disco that belongs to a fraternity (DSC). It is not always open to the public.
Cine Dans Cafe (still under construction, not open yet). This one is just new and located near the theater (theater de Veste).
Hotel Coen Delft, Coenderstraat 47, +31 15 2145914 . Comfortable, clean, reasonably priced and right next to the railway station, the only hotel in Delft offering a free sauna for it's guests. Also offering a free WiFi service and a lobby computer. 40 rooms, double room €110, breakfast €12.
Hotel Grand Canal, Breestraat 1, +31 15 2157133 . Housed in a historic building (former city prison and VOC building) overlooking the canals, 2 minutes from the railway station. Clean and well-furnished, not very wheelchair-friendly. WiFi internet. Double room €95/150, breakfast €16.
There are three campgrounds in Delft.
Camping Delfse Hout is located near een small artificial lake, suited for swimming. A camping spot for two persons, including a car costs between €19,50 and €24,00. Cabins (for three/four persons) are also available for €36,00. Cottages can be rented for €265,00 per week. Services include a restaurant, recreation room, supermarket, launderette, playground, tabletennis, bike rent, swimmingpool. This is not a quiet place. Korftlaan 5, tel: 015 2130040.
If you look for a smaller setting, try Uylenburg . Sites cost €10,50 for a tent/caravan/camper or €7,50 for a two persontent. Additionally you have to pay €2,50 per person. There is also a very pleasant guesthouse. Rooms are €45/50/75 for 1/2/4 persons. Breakfast is €6 per person. Tel.: 015-2143732, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even smaller is De Grutto. This is definitely only for the real nature lover. You have to be a member of NIVON to camp here. There are only 25 spots. For more information call Mrs. W. Klunder tel. 079 - 341 83 25 (18.00 - 20.00). Directions, take bus 64 from Delft Station. Ask the driver to let you out at Rietzangerstraat, it is a 30 minute walk from there.
Traditional Delft pottery. Avoid anything that says "Holland" on it, or depicts windmills. Check out the antique stores if you want something really traditional.
The shopping area in the city center spreads roughly from the "Zuidwal" on the south to the "Choorstraat" on the north. The national and international stores like C&A, H&M and McDonalds concentrate on the southern part of the city, while the more alternative small stores and gift shops can be found more to the north. Apart from some supermarkets, shops are usually closed on Sundays and on Monday mornings.
Vrouwjuttenland: In this short street along a canal, near the New Church, alternative clothing and gift stores can be found. Pipe or cigar smokers should definitely visit "Van Renssen". The street also contains a small organic / health food supermarket. On summer evenings, once a week there are performances of musical artists, performing from a boat on the canal. Check the health food supermarket for the exact dates.
Choorstraat: Just around the corner from the Vrouwjuttenland, the Choorstraat can be found. This pleasant small street offers a variety of stores, like a drugstore selling all sorts of tea, an international gift store selling everything from tajinnes to buddha statues, a chocolate store, a gameshop and a large book store.
Bastiaansplein: The newest shopping area in town, consisting of a large supermarket (7 days a week open until 10:00PM) and several clothing stores. Tiles in the street light up at night.
Voldersgracht: For those who need good advise on tasteful alcoholic beverages, they definitely should visit the store Wines and Whisky's. Furthermore the Voldersgracht holds a large record shop, which sells a wide range of LP's and CD's from all ages. The street also has a religious gift shop, the Bijbel-In.
Martinus Nijhofflaan: The "Hovenpassage" is a covered shopping area, 15 minutes of walking outside the city center. The shops are smaller and less alternative, but it contains a wide variety of stores and a large supermarket, the "C1000". Another large supermarket, the Albert Heijn, is on the other side of the street.
There are several church services available also in English. Some of them offer partly English spoken services, others offer translations by a headset or written on paper (both handed over at the entrance). The list below is not complete, but gives an impression of the possibilities.
Take tramline 1 to Scheveningen. It terminates right on the beach. It takes about 1 hour to get there (the same trip by train is faster, you have change in Den Haag). Also, rent a bike and go exploring, go west.
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Siperkov, Mart, Niels Elgaard Larsen, Hans Hoppe, David, Nick Roux, Tom Holland, David Edgar and Ian Eiloart, Rein N., Globe-trotter, Inas, Stijn, Episteme, Morph, Pashley and Jonboy
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