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I regularly visit Delft, which is one of my favorite cities in the Netherlands. My husband works in Delft, so I’m often on the look-out for places that aren’t the same tourist attractions (no matter how lovely they are). Keep reading for my favorite hidden spots in Delft to discover Delft off the beaten path.
I love history,
Despite being quite historic, Delft has very few remaining courtyards, which were historically used as housing for the poor. Although you cannot enter Hofje van
Sint Huybrechtstoren is one of the remaining pieces of the city walls of Delft from the middle-ages. It’s said that the building dates back to the 16th century. I passed it while cycling and spent a while looking up the history after discovering that it’s now used as a gym for the local rowing club. You can see it from Oostersingel on the cycling path! Located at Oostplantsoen 140.
This area has a quite interesting history. It was once part of the Poor Clares Monastery,
One of the most infamous events in Delft’s history happened here on October 12, 1654, when 40 tons of gunpowder exploded within the monastery. The blast blew out the stained glass in the Nieuwe Kerk and is said to have been felt as far as Texel.
Since then, the warehouses have been converted into a more peaceful use: offices and restaurants. You can wander into the courtyard during the day time to stroll around. There’s still a canon that sits
Museum Paul Tetar van Elven
Although the Rijksmuseum is super famous, Museum Paul Tetar van Elven is a small
It’s unclear how old Bierhuis De Klomp is. It’s said that this old cafe dates back to the medieval ages although the cafe has certainly existed since the 1650s… On the walls, you’ll find beautiful Delft plates, board games to play, and a cozy atmosphere where you’ll immediately feel at home. The beer selection on tap is quite good. Located at Binnenwatersloot 5.
The Klaeuwshofje is one of the more hidden courtyards in Delft. This charming courtyard has a big heavy door and a friendly cat who followed me around. The houses date back to 1605 and were intended for elderly Catholic women. Today, the inhabitants have double the amount of space, a marked improvement over the original sizes of the homes. Please be considerate as these are private homes. Location: Oranje Plantage 72.
East Indies House Delft
Although Delft is not on the sea, it still has its own history. The VOC (Dutch East Indes company) began in 1602,
Delft’s influence in the VOC expanded as Delft citizens took over the roles of others within the administration of the VOC. The building has since been converted into residential housing, but you can still wander inside. The exterior is far more impressive than the interior (at least from what I’ve seen). Located at Oost-Indiëplaats 101.
Hofje van Pauw
One of my favorite secret places in Delft is Hofje van Pauw. This beautiful courtyard is generally open to the public. This courtyard dates back to 1707 when it was built by Elizabeth Pauw. I love coming in here for a quiet moment to pull my thoughts together.
The houses were intended for those in need and still has a stunning garden that is meticulously kept up. The houses inside are rented to those with disabilities who live under supervision, a great cause
This building is from the 1600s. It was first used as a weapons arsenal and it was much converted into an army museum. The army museum has since closed and the building is not open to the public, however you can view it from across the water from Oude Delft 1. It’s certainly an impressive building!
The Huyterhuis is a beautiful building in Delft that always makes me smile when I pass it. Today, this is owned by the water board, however, the house itself was redone in 1505 by a wealthy citizen who chose to add a facade using s
Medisch Farmaceutisch Museum “de Griffioen”
If you’re traveling with a group, you might want to look into the Griffin Medical and Pharmaceutical Museum. This museum that is generally closed to the public focuses on preserving the medical advances of the past for the future. They often have exhibitions at hospitals, but visiting is quite difficult. It includes nursing tools as well as an old pharmacy.
The Rietveld Tower is another find from a recent cycle around Delft. This old tower was built as a defense tower on the East side of Delft, however there wasn’t so much violence (at least from the neighboring towns) in the 16th century. The tower itself has 1448 written on the brick, but experts say it is from the 16th century.
The tower has had a lot of lives,
Windmill the Rose
Windmill De Rose (often called De Roos)
De Delftse Pauw
You cannot leave out the Delftse Pauw, even if it’s fairly well-known within Delft. This small Delftware factory within the original building on the outskirts on Delft is a must-see if you want to see Delftware made in front of you. Compared to some of the more commercial Delftware factories, this one is free to visit and is definitely worth the visiting. Click for more information about visiting the Delftse Pauw. Delftsweg 133, Rijkswijk.
Stadsherberg De Mol
Stadsherberg De Mol is a unique restaurant housed within one of the oldest buildings in Delft. This building, which luckily survived the medieval fire that burned down much of the city, was once used for housing the homeless as well as an orphanage.
Today, it’s home to a medieval-themed restaurant that I’ve heard that is quite the experience that involves eating by candlelight and with your hands. You can reserve for dinner if you’re curious about the interior and the whole medieval experience. Located at Molslaan 104.
TU Delft Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden in Delft is not as famous as the one in Leiden, but if you’re looking for a quiet place to enjoy a stroll. This 2.5 hectare garden with herbs, flowering plans, and a greenhouse (with orchids) only dates back to 1917, however it’s maintained by the University. You can visit it most days (besides Sundays). Admission costs a few euros, but you can get in free with a Museumkaart.