Delft in a Day

Romantic Delft is a dazzling canal-ringed city in the Netherlands that can be explored in a day and here’s how…

Delft in a Day, Netherlands, Europe

Oude Delft Canal and surrounding canals

Start your day by exploring the Oude Delft Canal and also surrounding canals that flank idyllic streets. Similar to Amsterdam’s canals but on a smaller scale, find solace wandering around the beautiful and scenic Delft canals.

Canals, Delft, Netherlands, Europe
Delft Canals

Enter the Old City from Oude Delft Canal, the oldest canal and the first in Delft that dates back to 1100, when Delft was founded.

Although Delft can be a little touristy, this city rates highly as a must-see place to visit.

canals. Delft, Netherlands, Europe

Oostpoort (Eastern Gate)

A landmark in Delft, Oostpoort’s striking Gothic eastern gate dates back to the 1400s.

Only a few minutes walk from Markt Square, the arch and twin spires date back to the 15th century and are all that remains of the fortifications.

De Nieuwe Kerk

The new church (De Nieuwe Kerk) in Markt Square – Delft’s epicentre – is famous not just for its imposing stature, but for housing the royal crypt of the members of the House of Orange-Nassau.

De Nieuwe Kerk, Delft, Netherlands, Europe
De Nieuwe Kerk

The Nieuwe Kerk dates back to the 14th Century and you can climb the tower’s 376 steps.

Markt Square

Bursting with cafes, restaurants, markets, and great shops, spend several hours here taking a break to just people-watch and relax or to observe the culture.

Oude Kerk

The Gothic Protestant church Oude Kerk or Old Church is famous for its slight lean to one side and is also known as Scheve Jan (“Skewed John”).

Oude Kerk, Delft, Netherlands, Europe
Oude Kerk

If you’re feeling energetic, take a climb in the 75-metre stunning brick tower.

Rita, a kind reader also advises in this post’s comments below, that locals also call this church “Oude Jan” (Old John). Evidently, it seems that the old church has invited a plethora of names over the years.

Vermeer Centrum Delft

Although Delft is famous for ceramic Delft Blue pottery, which I didn’t purchase, Delft is also renowned as the home of Dutch baroque painter, Johannes Vermeer.

If you haven’t heard of Vermeer born in 1632 and dying in his early 40s, think of the beautifully haunting painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. This TEDEd video explains why this intriguing painting is a masterpiece.

Recognise this painting?

The Vermeer Centrum Delft is home to this captivating painting and seeing this treasure in the flesh is a must. Learn about Vermeer on a guided tour or just stroll around numerous rooms and immerse yourself in the life of Johannes Vermeer, even discovering his secret love messages. Photography is not allowed.

Getting there

From Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, it’s an easy and comfortable hour’s train journey until you reach Delft Centraal. And, if you time it right, the trip is under an hour on the Inter-City Railway.

The Man in Seat 61 has an excellent detailed schedule for travelling anywhere in Europe and beyond.

train #amsterdam to #delft, Netherlands, Europe

Allow a good long day to explore Delft or if you have time, why not stay for a couple of days as there is quite a lot to see in this alluring city.

Strapped for time, as we flew from Australia to Amsterdam for a one-day exhibition and with all the 2-week accommodation pre-booked, only one day was left to explore the gorgeous city of Delft.

Check back next week for another lovely day trip from Amsterdam, but this time venturing to the pretty fishing town of Volendam with a Dutch friend we first met in Chile last year. And, then bumped into along the way several times more in South America.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

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37 responses to “Delft in a Day”

  1. gillmorris Avatar

    I definitely want to go to Delft and it’s not that far from where my friend Chris lives in Rotterdam. I am going to Rotterdam in April, so may take a day trip there. Love all the buildings and canals 🙂 x

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It’s such a lovely area of Holland and I definitely return.
      For some reason, your comment landed in my trash folder. WP has been doing that to legitimate comments lately and some people that have been following my site for years are also thrown in the trash – it’s so annoying.

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        very annoying. Hope you sort it x

  2. equinoxio21 Avatar

    You beat me there. Never been to Delft. We traveled little in Holland. all my parents did the week-ends was go to auction rooms and buy old furniture and old Dutch painters. I still have most of the paintings. 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, have to beat you somewhere!
      That sounds like a lot of fun. I’m sure those paintings must be worth a bit or more as sentimental value. 😉

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        You beat me by a long distance? How many countries? twice as many as I have?
        And yes, some of the paintings are worth some money. But they’re part of my history.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah but you’ve lived a long time in many more countries than I have, think on the last count it was around 62. 😉
        Of course, part of your history is much more important than the dollar value. Hope you’ve had a great weekend! My last 4 days at work from tomorrow…it’s getting real now and we’ve been packing up our house this weekend.

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I think all approaches to countries bring something. Once you have travelled a bit, it only takes a “minute” to pick up the local stuff. Like in London. Did you know they drive on the left-hand side of the road? Unbelievable… 😉
        You going to rent your house while you’re away?

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, the POMs are a bit like us then (or is that we’re a bit like them?), driving on the left side of the road…quelle horreur!
        Yes, but to a friend so hoping it gets looked after…that’s the plan anyway as we’ve done a lot of renovations in the last 3 years and would hate to have it trashed. Fingers crossed!

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Quelle horreur indeed. 😉
        And yes 🤞

  3. Dave Ply Avatar

    Deft touch on the photos. Or is that Delft touch?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Ha, ha, or is it the Deftones? Thanks, Dave!

  4. Rita Avatar

    The church on the last picture is the Westerkerk in Amsterdam and has no connection with Delft.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you so much Rita for researching that! I’ll move the photo to my Amsterdam. Did another quick online search but still can’t find the name of this church.
      Are you a local in Delft?

    2. Rita Avatar

      Yep, I am a local in Delft

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Fabulous and I really appreciate your feedback on Delft! You’re lucky to live in such a gorgeous city.
        I visited in 2012 so my mind is a little rusty. 😉

  5. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

    What a picturesque town! I’d love to see it.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It definitely is Rebecca. Any travel plans in 2023?

      1. Rebecca Cuningham Avatar

        Not this year. Hopefully next one!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah well, something to look forward to in 2024.

  6. RIta Avatar

    Not the New Church but the Old Church is Scheve Jan (“Skewed John”) because as you wrote “famous for its slight lean to one side”

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Rita
      Thank you for the pick-up and appreciate you taking the time to comment. I’ve edited the post now.
      Many thanks again!

    2. Rita Avatar

      We usually call it “Oude Jan” Old John

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Hi Rita
        Great and thanks again. I’ve also added this name to the post. 😉
        Would you know the name of the church in the last photo of this post? I can’t remember the name and haven’t found it online.
        Thank you!

    3. Rita Avatar

      I don’t know the church in the last picture, I don’t think this one is in Delft

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thanks, Rita, but I sorted it a while ago in Delft, so not sure where this is now.

    4. Rita Avatar

      In the middle part of the tower you can see the coat of arms of Amsterdam (XXX (vertical)). I think it is the Westerkerk.

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yes, maybe that’s where it is but until I can confirm this, I’ll leave it in this post. I can always move to my Amsterdam post. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  7. Diana Avatar

    Thanks for this tour of a city I’ve never even heard of!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Diana
      My pleasure and thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment.

    2. Redefined Timeline Avatar

      EXACTLY what I was thinking, Diana!

      1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Great and thanks, Diana!

  8. Yetismith Avatar

    Your photographs make me wish I could travel again. The black and white is terribly effective! In so many ways I wish I had remained in Europe but there wasn’t really a choice. I have to remember the good things that came of it all and be glad I can access so much information online…such as your wonderful blog! Thank you.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      What lovely feedback Carolyn, thank you!
      Why couldn’t you stay in Europe longer? Visas? Other reasons?

      1. Carolyn Avatar

        No. I am British. Born in London but Dad took a job with UNESCO and off we went to Cambodia, leaving my brother (3 yrs older) in boarding school. I ended up in boarding school first in Vietnam and then in Cambodia but things were getting complicated so after 6 years out there I got sent back and had 2 miserable years in a British convent school. After which I got sent to live with my mother’s sister in NY. Loooonnggg story!!!! I have dual citizenship. Would have gone back but I have no ties there. My earlier blog posts describe a lot of it. I am happy to have experienced Asia back then.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah, that’s right, I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere on your site.
        Wow, that sounds like quite a disruptive childhood but very interesting and the exposure to different cultures would have been amazing. I’ll have to check out your older posts.
        Such an interesting upbringing.

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