I used to think of myself as a big city girl, but after moving to the Netherlands, I fell in love with the smaller quieter cities in the Netherlands. One of my favorite cities in the Netherlands, which is an easy day trip from Amsterdam, is Delft. I’ve been living in the Hague for some months now and I routinely visit Delft each month.
Delft has one of the most prestigious universities in the Netherlands, so despite the history, Delft feels like a young town if you know where you’re looking. This itinerary for Delft is a mix of historic sights and new modern shops/restaurants, so you get to experience both sides of this beautiful city. Keep reading for things to do in Delft in a compact one day itinerary for Delft.
There’s plenty to do in Delft and this Delft itinerary is a start. This itinerary focuses on locally owned businesses and cafes as that’s my jam and if you’re going to visit a place, I firmly believe in giving back to the local economy. There’s a map with this Delft itinerary at the bottom!
Start off at Delft Centraal.
You can easily get from Amsterdam to Delft by train. It takes forty-five minutes on a direct train (often with a destination going somewhere else). The train from Amsterdam to Delft costs 26 euros (ish) as of 2018. (The fare may increase.)
From the Hague to Delft, you can take the Tram 1 (€ 3,50 each way with buying a ticket on the tram as of 2018), which takes about 25 minutes. You can save time by taking the NS train from Den Haag HS or Den Haag Centraal to Delft. The train ride costs 5 euros round-trip (2018 prices) and takes only ten minutes.
It only takes fifteen minutes to get from Rotterdam to Delft as well!
Explore along Oude Delft canal
Optional: Oude Kerk (The Old Church in Delft)
Explore the historic city center of Delft
The old church was built along an older canal, however when the tower was erected, a canal was in the way. So, the architects filled in the canal to make room for the church tower. Unfortunately, canals aren’t the best foundations for large stone towers…so the tower leans about two meters.
The church building as it stands today is said to date back to the 1200s-1300s and it’s considered to be the oldest building in Delft. Enjoy the beautiful organ, the stained glass windows, as well as the massive bell. Here, you can see the grave of Vermeer. The church is a must-see if you’re into gothic cathedrals.
Have lunch in Delft
Take it all in—and stop off at Kek. Kek is one of those restaurants in Delft that everyone loves. It’s instagrammable, vegan-friendly, healthy, and delicious. I’m low-key obsessed with their Salted Caramel Latte with real caramel pieces. I’ve had a lot of different sandwiches/desserts and the portions are always huge.
Be warned that it’s quite popular on the weekends (especially for lunch), so it’s best to walk by to put your name on the list if there’s a line.
Otherwise, there’s plenty of other good places to eat in Delft, including the ‘t Postkantoor with more traditional Dutch food (tostis, uitsmijters, pancakes, sandwiches).
After a feast, I recommend taking a walk to enjoy the beautiful city center to enjoy the surroundings and burn off that lunch. (Don’t worry, you’re going to be climbing 350+ stairs!) As soon as you follow the alleyways, you’ll end up in the middle of Markt, the epicenter of Delft.
On one side, you have the Delft city hall, a stunning building, and the other side, the New Church. There’s tons of Delftware shops in the square and expect this part of Delft to be crowded in April/summer.
If you’re into old things, you will definitely want to peek into Drogisterij Salamander to see a functional vintage pharmacy.
Visit Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Delft
Optional: Take a detour to one of the last remaining Delft factories in Delft
The Delftse Pauw is one of the last remaining Delft Blauw factories where Delftware is produced entirely in Delft. It’s free to visit although it’s best to rent a bike or take the 1 tram. Click for my guide to visiting this free Delft factory.
Explore the Beestenmarkt
Local Dinner in Delft
Right off the Beestenmarkt, you’ll turn onto another canal and you’ll see one of my favorite places to eat in Delft, another vegan-friendly place, called Hummus. This Algerian-street food inspired restaurant has really delicious vegetarian food, a good craft beer selection, and massive portions. Don’t get over ambitious with ordering as you will not finish your food. It’s also incredibly reasonable for a meal out with a large platter enough for one very hungry person that costs under ten euros.
It’s not strictly vegan and for all of you worrying that vegan food isn’t going to be exciting/tasty, I write this as a meat-eater: My dinner at Hummus was one of my most memorable meals in the Netherlands. I’m very fond of Sabich after my time in Israel and they nailed it 100%.
If you’re looking for some other places to eat in Delft, you can head back towards the Beestenmarkt or Markt where you’ll have a ton of great food options to choose from, ranging from Dutch to Eritrean. In the opposite direction, you can visit The Living for a vegetarian/vegan-friendly buffet.
Night in Delft: Have a tea OR Beer in Delft!
End your evening with a pint of beer at the oldest beer cafe in the Delft (supposedly). De Klomp dates back to 1651 while the building itself is older than the cafe. The atmosphere instead of the cafe is very Dutch and classic although they have a modern and good beer selection from local Dutch breweries.
Game lovers will love the selection of games sitting in the first room although be warned that most are in Dutch. Even if you’re not a beer drinker, you can get a fresh mint tea to enjoy the historical atmosphere. I personally prefer the second room with the hanging Delft plates. It’s close to the train station.
I’m also partial to locus publicus, which has an extensive local beer selection, and is located in the Brabantse Turfmarkt.
Not included on this itinerary
I didn’t include the Royal Delft Factory (and the tour of the Royal Delft Factory) as it’s a bit outside of the city (about one mile) and you can see A LOT of delftware without going to the factory at the various delft stores around Delft as well as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
It is cool to see the delftware being painted and to learn about the history, but I ended up cutting it to give you a better glimpse into the less touristy side of Delft that most tourists don’t see while showing you more of the city. I recently visited a free Delftware factory on the city limits where Delftware is still handmade. Click to read about visiting this Delftware factory.