If you’re visiting Den Haag, you should definitely go for a day trip to Delft.
Delft is a lovely and peaceful small town just 25 minutes tram ride away from Den Haag. Although it’s quite small, Delft offers many nice things to see and things to do in the time window of a day, or even half a day.
A short introduction to Delft
Delft is one of the most beautiful cities in The Netherlands located south of Den Haag and a popular one-day tourist destination. The town is known for its historical center with canals, the blue pottery, and the Delft University of Technology.
The name ”Delft” comes from the world delves, which means delving or digging.
How to get to Delft from Den Haag
Getting from Den Haag to Delft is very easy. Trams 1 and 9 are connecting Den Haag city center with Delft. The stop that you need to get off at is Prinsenhof.
I used tram 1, which runs from Delft via station HS and Den Haag city center to Scheveningen (aka Den Haag beach, which is one of the best things to do in Den Haag for free, btw).
The tram ride takes about 25 minutes and the route that is going through is wonderful, so you also get as a + the opportunity to enjoy typical Netherlands scenery on the way.
The tram ticket costs 3.50 euros/journey.
I will recommend after exploring Delft to get on the tram and get off directly at the beach. If you do so, please don’t make the same mistake as me to buy tickets for every journey. Instead buy a day ticket, which costs 6 or 7 euros and will definitely save you a lot of money in this case.
IMPORTANT: If you’re visiting Delft from Den Haag in the period 1st July – 17th December 2017, have in mind that there would be work on the HS station, therefore some trams (including 1 & 9) and buses will be operating different routes.
Things to see & things to do in Delft
Get lost in the small streets away from the center
For me, Delft looks like a place coming from a fairytale. Charming, authentic, and welcoming, I liked it from first sight.
The center is very nice and pretty but the small streets away from it are even better. They are quieter, calmer and you can have them just for yourself.
Relax by one of the canals
Like in all other places in the Netherlands, the canals in Delft are the perfect place to relax by. In the central area, they are picture-perfect, with flowers and bicycles all around them. And of course, beautiful architecture to admire. Surely, one of my favorite things to do in Delft, Den Haag, and everywhere else in the Netherlands.
Check the harbor
Something that I didn’t even know it exists until I went there.
There are signs pointing the direction you need to follow to get to the harbor and no one was going there, so I decided that I will. I decided to check the harbor.
It is nothing impressive or interesting but it’s very relaxed and also a nice place where you can just sit and do nothing.
You will see a couple of small and lovely boats with people in them just living their lives, reading a newspaper, or preparing something to eat. Absolutely worth checking it and staying there for a while just to watch and see.
Make a wish
While I was wandering around the lovely streets of Delft, I ended up next to one church. Usually, because I’m not a believer and I’m not interested in churches, I’m just passing them most of the times but I don’t know why I decided to go inside this one and I’m glad I did.
Inside the church, I found this wall of wishes and I love writing something on a piece of paper and just leaving it in different parts of the world. So, I wrote my wish and put it on the wall.
Maybe now you’ll think ”but you’ve said you’re not a believer and you do that?” (people will usually do it if they believe that their wishes will come true because of that), yes, I know, it doesn’t make any sense, does it, but as I said I just love to have my wishes written somewhere all over the world.
However, the church where you can find the wall of wishes and put your wish as well is called Maria Van Jesse Church. The address is Burgwal 20, 2611 GJ Delft, Netherlands.
Enjoy the street artists
When I visited Delft it was Sunday. Maybe because of that, the whole town was full of locals and fellow travelers, tourists who were watching the performance of the street artists (which were all over the place). Some of them were hilarious, while others were mysterious.
I stopped a few times to watch what each of them is doing and their overall performance.
There are many beautiful things to see in Delft shops, which are also very expensive, though. However, window shopping doesn’t cost a thing and you can admire the beautiful crafts for free.
Delft is very popular for its blue pottery, indeed, beautiful pieces of art. If you want to take a souvenir back home, I would say that this will be your best choice for something to remember from your day trip to Delft.
Discover the street art
It’s not much but there is street art in Delft. It’s kind of hidden but if you take advice one of the things to do in Delft, to get lost in the small streets, you will surely discover those hidden gems.
The girl with the pearl earrings
Maybe you’ve seen this girl somewhere?
The girl with the pearl earrings is a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The original is kept in the Mauritshuis in The Hague, which is not one of the things to do in Den Haag for free but if you are an art fan, then maybe you should check it out.
However, Delft was the hometown of Vermeer. The town itself was Vermeer’s muse and I can see why.
You can find the girl with the pearl earring everywhere in Delft.
The main square
The main square aka the Markt is the busiest part of Delft. At the square are located the City Hall (Stadhuis) and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk). Around the square, there are many shops and restaurants and it’s also one of the street artists spots.
Lunch / coffee with a view
Without a doubt, the best places to have lunch or just a coffee are the ones next to the canals with views to the canals. You will find also many places where you can sit almost on the same level as the canals, which is very cool.
Where to stay in Delft
Delft is more like a place just for a day trip destination. However, if I go again one day I would love to stay there for a night or two because I really liked the town a lot.
Of course, if you want to stay overnight, there are hotels and hostels in Delft to choose from.
When I visited Delft, it was a day trip from Den Haag, where I stayed in the Stayokay Den Haag hostel. The location of the hostel is great and the tram that goes to Delft stops 2 minutes’ walk away from the hostel. So, if you’re wondering where to stay in Den Haag, this is my suggestion.
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