I’m going to be so real with you right now: the first time I heard of Delft was as we passed through it on our train from Brussels to The Hague, and I’m pretty sure my only reaction was that the name felt funny to say in my mouth. So you can imagine my surprise when we arrived to The Hague and the friend we were staying with told us she really wanted to visit Delft while we were there.
Turns out, Delft is pretty cool, there’s a lot of history and charm to the place, and I feel like an idiot for not knowing about it sooner.
After visiting Delft for the day I can confidently say that a Delft from Amsterdam day trip is probably my top recommendation if you’re looking to get a sense of the Netherlands beyond the big city.We were so charmed and had such a lovely time that we actually ended up returning for another day later in our stay. I honestly wish we’d been staying in Delft instead of The Hague! So, if you’re looking for the best day trip from Amsterdam, look no further than Delft, arguably the cutest town in the Netherlands.
If you’re not yet convinced, keep reading to hear all about the things to do in Delft, and check out my proposed Delft itinerary. First I’m going to run us through some of the most common questions I get about visiting Delft, and then we’ll plan a Delft day trip from Amsterdam together!
Feel free to use the table of contents if you know where you wanna skip to—otherwise sit back, relax, and let’s get into it!
- Delft day trip from Amsterdam FAQs
- Things to do in Delft
- 1. See the Main Sights
- 2. Stroll the Quaint Streets
- 3. Take the Royal Delft Factory Tour
- 4. Visit the Vermeer Museum
- 5. Rent a Boat
- 6. Take a Delft Walking Tour
- 7. Sit for a Beer (or Apple Pie!)
- 8. Visit the Delft Flea Market
- 9. Swim in the Canal
- 10. Visit the Rose Windmill
- 11. Pick Through the Thrift and Vintage Stores
- Day Trip Itinerary from Amsterdam to Delft
- Delft Hotels: Where to stay in Delft
- Are you ready for a day trip to Delft from Amsterdam?
Frequently asked Questions about a Delft day trip from Amsterdam
Is Delft worth visiting?
Now, if you read the introduction to this post, I imagine you’ll know how I’m about to answer this question.
Delft is without a doubt worth visiting if you have the time and space in your itinerary. Not only is Delft easy to get to from most major cities in The Netherlands, it’s one of the quaintest and most picturesque Dutch towns you can visit. It’s full of history and culture, and it’s a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities you’re probably staying in.
It’s also a great option if you’re wanting to rent a boat for a nice time on the canals (more on that later), and also if you’re looking for an interesting souvenir to bring home!
TL;DR: if you’re thinking about visiting Delft, stop thinking about it and just do it. You won’t be disappointed—there are tons of things to do in Delft.
What is Delft best known for?
Delft is best known for its famous “Delft blue” ceramics, which you’re probably familiar with visually, even if you’ve never heard of them before. The Delft style of pottery comes from traditional Chinese porcelain, which was imported into Europe through the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. The Royal Delft museum is a great place to see how the pottery is made with a factory tour, and even buy some ceramics for yourself if you have room in your luggage!
Delft is also well known as the home and birthplace of Johannes Vermeer, who painted the famous “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” You can visit the Vermeer museum in Delft, though it focuses more on the history of his life than on his works.
Where can I see pottery in Delft?
There are two main ways to see pottery in Delft. The first option is the most official and in depth, but it is technically a bit outside the city.
You can take the Delft factory tour by visiting the Royal Delft, a 17th century factory that still produces the famous Delft Blue pottery. The museum visit includes a factory tour, and the gift shop is a great place to buy unique and authentic souvenirs.
Getting there from the main train station in Delft will require you to either walk 16 minutes, call a cab or Uber, or ride the Delft City Shuttle.
Alternatively, if you don’t have time or you’d rather skip the Delft factory tour and museum, you can stick to the main part of town, where you’ll find endless options of shops that carry the famous Delft blue pottery—including an official shop of the Royal Delft—so you won’t feel like you’ve missed out.
Is Delft worth a day trip?
Yes, it’s definitely worth it to take a day trip from Amsterdam to Delft.
I think that it’s so important to visit more than just the main cities that a country has to offer (more on my slow travel philosophy here).
Of the cities I’ve been to in the Netherlands, Delft without a doubt comes out towards the top of my list. My advice would be that if you have more than four days in Amsterdam, it’s worth spending one of them going to Delft.
Can you do Delft and The Hague in one day?
Technically, yes, you can do Delft and The Hague in one day trip. Practically though, it highly depends on how much you want to see in each place.
The Hague is only about 20 minutes from Delft, making them super easy to lump together. I think it’s totally possible to achieve this if you’re smart about your planning!
My personal recommendation to maximise your day trip from Amsterdam to include Delft and The Hague would be to take a train from Amsterdam to The Hague early in the morning, grab breakfast at either Walter Benedict or Kaafi (my two top picks for breakfast in the center). Once you’re done, head to the Mauritshuis Museum, where you can see the Girl with a Pearl Earring, among other incredible art pieces.
After you’ve done this, you should make your way to Delft, which can be done either by train, by tram, or by a very quintessential canal boat trip.
Once in Delft, enjoy the rest of your day here until the evening—either visiting some museums like the Royal Delft, or just exploring and enjoying the atmosphere. Perhaps even take a boat tour (this one has excellent reviews and this one focuses specifically on Vermeer history)!
If you’d rather not deal with the stress of planning a big day like this by yourself, I can recommend this well rated tour that will allow you to do a day trip from Amsterdam to Delft that includes The Hague and Rotterdam as well.
Check out the full day trip tour here!
How far is Delft from Amsterdam by train?
Delft is about an hour from Amsterdam by train, leaving from Amsterdam Centraal Station or Sloterdijk Station. Alternatively, it’s 40 minutes on the train from Schiphol Airport station. Basically, an ideal distance for a day trip from Amsterdam to Delft. Depending where you’re staying in the city, it may make more sense for you to travel from the airport train station, so check the map!
There are multiple trains each day, so you shouldn’t have any problems, but I still recommend planning ahead of time to make sure you know what train you want to catch! The easiest way to do this is with Omio.
As for paying for the train (and all public transit in Amsterdam, as well as most other cities in the Netherlands), you can easily use your contactless payment option (Apple Pay or your contactless card). Alternatively, you could buy an OV-chipkaart which is the Dutch version of New York’s Metrocard or London’s Oystercard—but it can be difficult to find a location that sells these and they are a bit obsolete now.
If you’re a planner, you can also pre-purchase train tickets using Omio at the same price as you would pay on the day.
I find the trains in the Netherlands to be super easy to navigate, and incredibly straightforward, and I’m almost always able to get a seat.
If you want to check train timetables and buy tickets for your Delft from Amsterdam journey, you can search train times directly below:
11 Best Things to Do on a Delft Day Trip From Amsterdam
1. See the Main Sights
Now, if you’ve read my blog before, you may know that I don’t think it’s strictly necessary to see all the main tourist attractions when you visit a new place. However, I also think it can be fun to check out the main attractions if they’re easy to see and you’ve got the time.
Luckily Delft is quite small, so it’s not so hard to see the majority of these (and if you take a Delft boat tour you’ll see a ton of them). I’ve chosen four main ones that I think are convenient but also interesting and worthwhile:
Oude Kerk is the old church, best seen from the water in my opinion, and is worthwhile because it’s visually quite funny. The church spire is leaning like, super aggressively off kilter – it’s totally safe, but cool to see.
The smallest house of Delft is also a fun thing to see if you happen to be strolling by, and it’s also on the main boat tour route.
The Markt Center is where you can find both the Delft Town Hall, which is a stunning Renaissance-era building, and the Nieuwe Kerk, the new church which you can climb up to get the best view of Delft.
2. Stroll the Quaint Streets
One of my favorite things to do in Delft is without a doubt just wandering the streets and canals. I think there’s no better way to get acquainted with a new place than simply wandering around without a destination and seeing what you discover!
Delft is quite small, so this is a pretty manageable task and luckily you’ll have a hard time getting lost here, so I wouldn’t worry about straying off course too much. My favorite areas to wander were definitely the main city center were the canals are small and quaint, although a walk along the main canal Oostsingel on a late summer evening can also be really peaceful.
The most surprising thing I discovered as I wandered Delft was that this is a city full of gorgeous Art Nouveau/Art Deco architecture from the 1920s and 1930s. Think gorgeous stained glass windows, old signs on buildings with cool vintage fonts, and beautiful woodwork. The unique architecture you’ll encounter on a Delft day trip from Amsterdam is worth it alone, in my opinion!
3. Take the Royal Delft Factory Tour
The Royal Delft Museum is the best and most comprehensive way to get an up-close look at the famous Delft Blue pottery. The Delft factory tour is also probably one of the most well known things to do in Delft.
The museum is housed in an almost 400-year-old factory, and is dedicated to the production and craft of the work. Visit the museum to gain a complete history of Delftware, and also learn how it’s still made today.
After you’ve visited the museum you can enjoy a lunch or high tea at The Brasserie1653 restaurant which is also housed in the building. The lunchroom has beautiful views of the garden, which is accessible all year, and there’s a stunning terrace during the summer months. You can also visit and eat at the restaurant without visiting the museum, if that’s more your speed.
4. Visit the Vermeer Museum
At the Vermeer Centrum Delft you can learn about the life and work of Delft’s most famous painter, Johannes Vermeer. The museum is super easy to find, located right in the center of the city, just off the main square.
The museum offers a visual journey through the life, work and city of Johannes Vermeer, though it should be noted that there are no original Vermeers in the museum. It is a museum dedicated to the life of the artist, rather than the art itself. Well worth a visit if you’re interested in art or art history, or even just curious about the history of Delft.
5. Rent a Boat
Renting a boat was probably the best thing we did on our Delft day trip from Amsterdam. It was easy and affordable and such a nice way to end our day and see the city from a different vantage point.
You can easily rent a boat to sail yourself, or book a guided boat tour piloted by a skipper knowledgeable about boating and the history of the city.
We rented a boat to sail ourselves from Randstad Recreaties. It was super easy to book online the night before our visit and the guys at the dock were extremely nice and helpful. It was only €90 for two hours, which felt super reasonable when split between three of us.
None of us had any prior experience driving a boat, but Daniel got the hang of it almost immediately and we felt super safe out on the canals even though we were alone. They even give you a pamphlet that includes all the notable sights along the route so you can have a self-guided tour—honestly it was my favorite of all the things to do in Delft. I recommend bringing snacks and drinks to really elevate the experience for you (make sure to bring some non-alcoholic drinks for whoever is driving!).
Alternatively, if you’d all rather chill out rather than man a boat, I recommend hiring a private boat tour so you can get the same experience. If you’re an art lover or want a more “targeted” theme to your tour, this Vermeer boat tour is another excellent option!
Of all the things I recommend doing in Delft, some sort of boat experience is definitely my top pick.
6. Take a Delft Walking Tour
If you’re more of a land lover and/or the boat tour idea stressed you out, but you still want to learn more about the buildings and sights you’re seeing, I recommend doing a Delft walking tour.
A walking tour is always a nice way to get acquainted with a new place because it allows you to get your bearings and not feel so turned around—and taking a Delft walking tour is no different.
It’s also ideal because you get face time with a local resident who will always be able to point you in the direction of their favorite bars and restaurants that you may have never found otherwise!
7. Sit for a Beer (or Apple Pie!)
Beer is obviously a huge part of Dutch culture, and I personally love enjoying a cold Heineken while traveling through the Netherlands, so it’s no surprise that I would make it a key part of a Delft itinerary!
If you want to go historical you can grab a pint at what is (apparently) the oldest bar in Delft.
Make sure to order some frites (fries) with your drinks to get the full Dutch experience.
If alcohol isn’t your thing, never fear!!
There’s another cafe in Delft—Kobus Kuch—that is famous for its Dutch apple pie. They also have some creative and delicious iced coffee drinks that are the perfect refresher on a hot day!
8. Visit the Delft Flea Market
Every Saturday you can find the Antiekmarkt Curiosa—the biggest Delft flea market—in full swing in the town square. Not only is it a top notch flea market, with good bargains and finds, there are also activities and music happening all day, making it the perfect “local” stop on a Delft day trip from Amsterdam itinerary!
The flea market features roughly 120 stalls spread along the canal that borders Hippolytusbuurt, meaning there are thousands of items for you to look through. Pricing is quite reasonable, and bargaining is welcomed. It’s not to be missed for anyone who enjoys a good flea or antique market.
It’s also open on Thursdays, but the one on Saturday is much larger, and includes a book market.
9. Swim in the Canal
If you want a truly local experience you can head to Oostsingel canal on the eastern edge of the city between Oostpoort and Plantagebrug, park yourself in a nice spot on the grass, and swim in the canal. Yes, you read that right, you can swim in the canal!
It’s not uncommon to find locals taking cold dips in the canals year round, but personally I would only do this on a particularly warm day (which it was, when we visited). Make sure you only swim in areas where it’s allowed, like the canal I’ve linked you to.
If you want to make a full afternoon of it you can bring some snacks and drinks and make it a picnic! Remember that the sun sets after 10pm in the summer, so why not make like a local and spend the evening swimming before you jump on your train back to Amsterdam!
10. Visit the Rose Windmill
Windmill De Rose is the only windmill left in Delft that’s still operating, and it dates all the way back to 1679! It’s since been restored so that it can continue to remain operational (and looking nice). Windmills are such an iconic piece of the Dutch landscape, so if you’re wanting to see one while you’re in the Netherlands, this is a great choice.
If you visit the windmill you can also check out the store, which sells essentials like flour and grains to locals. The windmill is open on Thursdays to Sundays, only during the day.
11. Pick Through the Thrift and Vintage Stores
Now, it wouldn’t be a Rachel IRL guide if I didn’t recommend some thrift and vintage shops!
Vintage Factory is the main choice in the center, they have a great curated selection for decent prices. There’s also de Flinstones (which was closed when I visited), Leuke Boel, which is a bit further out of the center and specializes in furniture and things rather than clothes, and Terre des Hommes Winkel, a charity shop.
You’ll also find antique shops dotted around the city, though I didn’t go into any because I absolutely did not have room in my luggage and I didn’t want to be tempted!
Day Trip from Amsterdam to Delft: Itinerary for a Perfect Day
In case you wanted inspiration for how to organize the things to do in Delft into an itinerary, I’ve done just that for you! This is how I would spend one ideal day in Delft.
Start your day with a coffee and light pastry at LOT. coffee boutique – I found this to be the best coffee option we tried in Delft, but we only got the chance to try this one and Kek (which I don’t super recommend).
Then, make your way towards the Royal Delft factory—I would personally choose to go by foot. It’s a 20 minute walk from LOT to the factory, and you can choose to walk along the canal which is a super pleasant walk.
Once you’re at the factory it should take about an hour to fully explore. You can also choose to do an additional workshop to make your own Delft Blue pottery, and/or choose to have a high tea or lunch at the on site restaurant.
Once you’ve made your way back to the center I would spend time exploring the shops, especially the vintage and thrift stores.
Spend some time walking around and enjoying the quaint buildings and soaking up the Dutch charm.
If you’re not too tired you can hike up to the top of the Nieuwe Kerk to see a stunning view of the city and surrounding areas.
If you’re feeling peckish I really enjoyed Kobus Kuch, where we had the apple pie and coffees, but plenty of people were having beers and more savory food items.
I love having the opportunity to just relax for a while, so at this point on the day trip I would probably just reset for a bit. Either park yourself in one of the squares or at one of the cafes and have a beer/coffee while people-watching, reading, or playing a card game. Or you can head Oostsingel on the edge of the center and hang out there on the grass—and even swim if it’s warm enough!
We did our boat tour from 7pm-9pm, and I think it was the ideal time. It’s still fully light out in the summer, but the heat is beginning to break, and more importantly, the sun is low enough that it isn’t beating directly onto you the entire time.
You can book a little meal kit to go along with your boat ride if you use the same company we did, but personally I think it was ideal to just bring our own food and drinks! So make sure to head to a shop before heading to the dock.
The boat tour ends right in front of the central station, so you can head straight inside and hop on a train to say goodbye to beautiful Delft!
Delft Hotels: Where to stay in Delft
If you’re more into quaint towns than huge cities, or if you just enjoy traveling slowly and want a little getaway, I’ve rounded up my absolute favorite hotel options for staying in Delft. Guaranteed to elevate your time and serve as a very comfortable home base while you’re traveling.
My personal favorite option, and the place I would choose to stay if I returned to Delft would be Hotel Arsenaal Delft. Housed in a historic building on the canals, Hotel Arsenaal puts you right in the middle of the action and does it in style. I’m obsessed with the interior design of this hotel and I love how comfortable the rooms are.
A bit further out of the city, but still quite close (it splits the difference between the center and the Royal Delft factory, is Casa Julia, a lovely hotel in a 1920s building that offers a garden, lounge, and bar, as well as incredibly cute and bright interiors. Perfect if you want to be close to the action but not smack dab in it.
And last but not least is Hoeve BuytenHout, which is really more of a country house located on the edge of town than anything else, but it was so damn pretty that I wanted to include it as well. It’s probably best to have access to a car if you want to stay here while also enjoying the city of Delft, although you could also rely on taxis and Ubers if you wanted to. Personally, I would stay here if I wanted to go off the grid a little bit but still have access to a town. It’s so serene, but only a 15 minute drive into Delft.
Are you ready for a day trip to Delft from Amsterdam?
I’ll be honest, all this writing about Delft has made me itch to plan another trip to Delft. I hope I’ve inspired you to plan your own Delft day trip from Amsterdam to Delft, and that you’re feeling prepared! As always, my biggest recommendation for travel is to get off the beaten track when you can, and to soak up the energy and atmosphere of everywhere you go.
As per usual, if you have any questions or need any further clarifications, you can always leave a comment, send me an email, or find me on Instagram 🙂
Happy traveling, and I hope you enjoy Delft as much as I did!