Delightful Delft

Delft is a gorgeous Dutch town located between The Hague and Rotterdam. Despite its small size, Delft is an important historic and cultural centre and there are many things to see and do for the casual visitor. The best way to explore Delft is to walk – the town centre is very compact and most of the important sights are located here. Follow me on a little photo tour around Delft.

A stroll around Delft

A leisurely stroll will take you past beautiful lily-filled canals, quaint squares, and magnificent churches, manors and other historic monuments.

Molslaan canal

Beesten Markt square

The Maria van Jesse Church

Maria van Jesse Church

One of many historic monuments in Delft

Delft’s main square, Markt (‘Market’), houses two of the town’s most important buildings, the Nieuwe Kerk (‘New Church’) and the Stadhuis (‘Town Hall’).

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), Delft

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), Delft

Stadhuis (Town Hall), Delft

The Nieuwe Kerk has an important place in the history of the Dutch monarchy as this is where the royal family’s burial vault is located. The entrance to the vault is covered by a 5,000 kg rock slab!

The entrance to the burial vault of the Dutch Royal Family

The Golden Age: Delft Blue and Vermeer

Delft is famous the world over for its blue ceramics aptly called Delft Blue. This particular style was inspired by the arrival of Chinese porcelain, which was imported to Europe by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Delft Blue ceramics in the form of plates, jugs, salt and pepper shakers, fridge magnets, clogs, miniature windmills and vases are some of the most popular souvenirs for visitors to the Netherlands.

Shop selling Delft Blue

In addition to the many shops selling Delft Blue items, there are also various museums which house private collections of antique Delft Blue and Chinese porcelain, such as the Paul Tetar van Elven Museum.

Delft is also famous as the birthplace of Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch painter who lived during the country’s Golden Age in the 17th century. Vermeer used Delft as the backdrop in many of his paintings. A visit to Delft wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Vermeer Centre!

A short walk from the Vermeer Museum is the Oude Kerk (Old Church) where many prominent citizens of Delft were buried, including Vermeer.

The spot where Vermeer was buried in the Oude Kerk.

Antique Markets

There are numerous antique markets in Delft, especially in the summer months. The biggest Antique Market is held every Saturday between mid-April and late-September. On these Saturdays, hundreds of stalls line the canals and offer a colorful and varied collection, ranging from ancient porcelain pieces to slightly more contemporary record collections!

Another market that is worth a visit is the Book and Art Market that is held every Thursday in the Hippolytusbuurt (in the town centre) between early-April and late-October.

Getting to Delft

Delft is easily accessible by train from the major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. If you’re driving, Delft is just off the main A13 highway between The Hague and Rotterdam. Its accessibility makes it a perfect day-trip from any of these cities.

Search for hotels in Delft.

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6 Responses to “Delightful Delft”

  1. Yurina Martin 12/04/2011 3:39 pm
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    Great post! Since I live here in Delft for the last 2 years, I would recommend you to begin or end your trip in Delft at Stads-Koffyhuis :).

  2. Beatrix 19/08/2010 6:59 pm
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    Great pictures Keith.Brings back fond memories. Holland is beautiful.Could you post some photos of Arnhem and Nijmegen.Love these two cities. Love checking out your posts .You are doing a great job.Thanks

  3. velvet 09/08/2010 2:54 pm
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    Thanks! You really have to check out Delft then. You’ll love it! Here’s more info: The Book & Art market ends on Thursday 7th Oct and the Antique Market ends on Saturday 9th Oct. Hope you can make it!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  4. Guy and Girl Travels 09/08/2010 1:13 pm
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    Great post Keith! Love the pictures! Looks like a beautiful city! We’re going to Delft in October for the first time! Can’t wait! :) Joey’s favorite artist is Vermeer, so he’s been dying to check out this city! We’re going to have to check out that Book and Art Market! That sounds right up our alley! Thanks for the tip! :)

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