Is it worthwhile to visit Delft in The Netherlands when you’re making travel plans there? Delft is a city rich in culture, traditions, and an amazing system of canals. There are top things to do in Delft for a booming 2022 like visiting famous museums, churches, and canals,…
Canals in Delft
Delft has a network of canals that are a real pleasure to walk around, similar to many Dutch cities. Several different interconnecting canals that are bordered by lovely trees and typical Dutch architecture can be found in the old town center.
The stretch of Hippoltusbuurt street with its cafes and charming bridges and the stretch of Voldersgracht street where the water comes up to the doorsteps of the houses are two particularly pleasant canals. Spend some time strolling the length of the canals and discovering Delft’s streets.
Delft is renowned for its incredible churches.
The magnificent New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), which dominates Delft’s expansive Market Square (Markt), is in fact anything but new. The Gothic tower of this magnificent church, which was constructed between 1396 and 1496, rises just over 108 meters above the spacious square and provides stunning views. When the church’s 17th-century carillon plays its soothing chimes across the square, it is especially pleasant if you are nearby. It’s a bit of a climb with 376 steps to negotiate (Editor’s Note).
The Oude Kerk (Old Church) isn’t all that old, but neither is the Nieuwe Kerk. The Oude Kerk in Delft, built in 1246, about 100 years before the new church, has a distinctive leaning tower that is 75 meters tall.
The main entrance is reached over a lovely bridge on one of the city’s canals. The exterior of this church has a combined brick and stone design with many arched stained glass windows.
Three elaborate pipe organs from the 18th and 19th centuries, a decorative stone floor with numerous carvings, and a number of tall vaulted ceilings can all be found inside this magnificent building.
Eat Dutch cuisine!
One of the things to do in Delft is visit the market, which is a great place to sample local specialties like fresh Herring or Kibbeling from the Market in the Town Center or go shopping and buy some fresh produce like locally produced honey! Additionally, there is Albert Heijn Delft, the largest supermarket in the Netherlands, where you can buy groceries or picnic supplies for other things to do in Delft.
Don’t overlook the museums in Delft.
Spend some time at the Prinsenhof Museum while you are exploring the Prinsenhof neighborhood (Stedelijk Museum het Prinsenhof). This fascinating museum, which was founded in 1911, is devoted to the nation’s 80-year war with Spain from 1568 to 1648.
Visit the nearby Medical and Pharmaceutical Museum in Delft as well, if time permits (Medisch Farmaceutisch Museum). Highlights include a variety of fascinating exhibits of authentic surgical and medical instrumentation. There are guided tours available in English.
A must-see tourist destination in Delft is the Lambert van Meerten Museum (Museumhuis Lambert van Meerten), which reopened in 2019 following a significant renovation. Along with historical pieces of furniture, paintings, and a sizable collection of Delftware, it houses a significant collection of applied art.
The Paul Tetar van Elven Museum, which is situated in the historic Corn Market (Koornmarkt) district, houses an impressive collection compiled by the 19th-century Dutch painter and educator. The artist’s original studio is actually housed in a 17th-century canal house and is regarded as one of the nation’s best-preserved historic interiors thanks to its antique furniture and exquisite Delft tiles.
A trip to this historic museum, which first opened its doors in 1927, is sure to be highlighted by a number of exquisite works of art, many of which are framed in groups and collages and some of which were originally gifts to Dutch royalty. There are guided tours available in English.
Another interesting activity is going to the windmills.
Visit the immaculately preserved Rose Windmill, which is among the best free things to do in Delft (Delft Windmill de Roos). This 350-year-old building, constructed in 1679 to grind corn, was actually built on the site of an earlier mill, which was known to have existed in the middle of the fourteenth century.
This attractive stone structure is about seven stories tall and offers stunning views over the city and its most popular tourist destinations and historic landmarks. It is the last surviving windmill of the 15 that once graced Delft. Unfortunately, this attraction is not appropriate for young children or people with mobility issues due to the steep ladder climb.
Visit the Vermeer Center
A trip to the educational Vermeer Center (Vermeer Centrum Delft) is the perfect way to learn more about the life and times of Delft’s most well-known painter, Johannes Vermeer. The museum houses exact replicas of the artist’s work with in-depth explanations revealing fascinating facts about its creation, meaning, and influences. It is packed with educational displays about the artist and his leading contemporaries.
Along the way, you’ll come across many insightful multi-media displays that provide additional context and understanding, as well as an intriguing look at his methods in a real studio environment. Numerous artifacts, a short film, a Camera Obscura, an on-site store, and a café are also noteworthy features. Free, English-language guided tours are offered.