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Delft recommendations

My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a trip starting in London (4 nights), then on to Belgium (Brussels and Brugge 2 and 4 nights respectively), and ending in Paris (4 nights). Before Paris, we're considering taking the train from Brugge to Delft and staying two nights, with one full day to explore the city and its canals. We'd like a reasonably priced B&B with a canal view, and the Hotel Leeuwenbrug looks like a possible choice. Any opinions from those who have stayed there or elsewhere in Delft on a canal?

We would like to visit the Mauritshuis Gallery at the Hague and possibly Kinderdijk. One option would be to rent a car in Brugge and stop at Kinderdijk on the way to Delft. Any thoughts?

Any other must see sights near Delft? Three years ago we stayed in Amsterdam for 3 nights and are looking for a different Dutch experience.

Posted by
149 posts

Thanks for the suggestions. I should have clarified...by "different" I meant smaller than Amsterdam but I still want canals. Also, we're planning for late spring/early summer 2015. As I mentioned, we've only just started working on the itinerary and have already taken London off and allocated 3 nights to Delft. We thought we'd go directly to the Mauritshuis Gallery on the day we arrive, have a day to explore Delft, and then day trip to Kinderdijk by boat from Rotterdam. I have a thing for Dutch windmills and didn't get my fill when we visited Zaanse Schans as a day trip from Amsterdam.

Posted by
161 posts

I absolutely adore Delft. While Haarlem is a smaller version of Amsterdam, many say, Delft is incomparable. Another option is Leyden, which has a university, so has young life, as well as an in-tact wonderful historic center. Two delightful places, and I like the idea of staying not in Amsterdam, in a smaller, quieter town.

Posted by
149 posts

Thanks to both of you for the input. Laurel, did you stay overnight in Delft on a canal?

Wonderful, I got a bit of the flavor of Ultrecht watching Househunters International on HGTV a few nights ago. Do you favor it over Delft and if so why? How does it compare with respect to crowds/tourists?

Posted by
11286 posts

Personally, I loved Utrecht and found Delft to be meh at best (a real disappointment). Utrecht has lovely and unusual bi-level canals, and as a bonus it's the hub of the Dutch rail system. In Utrecht, there's the rail museum and the Centraal Museum, with its very varied collection (ancient ships to modern art, often juxtaposed in a way that's constantly refreshing). And Utrecht has the wonderful "Museum From Music Boxes to Pipe Organs" (a very rough translation of the Dutch name). This has all kinds of mechanical music makers, including huge pipe organs designed to provide music for an entire fair. You see them on a one-hour guided tour, during which your guide demonstrates them - unique and fascinating.

I also enjoyed Leiden; although Delft and Utrecht are also supposed to be university towns, Leiden has the oldest university in the country, and of the three it's the only one that had a visible student presence and feel. Leiden has an interesting science museum (did you know that EKG's and renal dialysis are from the Netherlands?)

If you're really looking for something different from Amsterdam, try Rotterdam. It was heavily bombed in 1940 and now has all kinds of fascinating architecture, and in no way is "quaint" or "ye olde Holland." Don't miss the Cube Houses (you can pay a few euros to go inside - wonderful) or the Erasmus Bridge.

Posted by
14898 posts

I haven't been to Utrecht . . . yet. I stayed in The Hague 2 years ago and took a day trip to Delft. It was very nice, but one day was enough. I really enjoyed staying in The Hague - much more to see and do and better train connections.

Posted by
1005 posts

Just wanted to add that I loved Delft--much livelier than Haarlem--and I stayed at Hotel Leeuwenbrug. The hotel was well-run and conveniently located--and the breakfast was one of the best I've had in the Netherlands.

Posted by
149 posts

As always, thanks to everyone for the great advice. I still think Delft deserves to be on the itinerary for its proximity to the Hague and a relaxing day of exploration by foot. I may allocate a third night there for a day trip to Kinderdijk. I've also become convinced that Utrecht should be on the itinerary as well with at least one full day to explore the city and another for a day trip to Kröller-Müller Museum for the Van Goghs.

Posted by
914 posts

I really like the Hotel Emauspoort. It's across the street from a canal. Heck, there are canals all over the place so not sure why you need/want to stay right on a canal. But anyway, nice place, nice people.

Posted by
3 posts

I've stayed three times now in the Netherlands: Utrecht, Haarlem and Leiden.

When I was younger, I spent one month in Utrecht, loved it! Very old medieval centre, canals and church, with Kasteel de Haar close by in Haarzuilens which is well worth a visit if you have time. I made sure to go back and visit Utrecht and the Kasteel on my next two visits and it did not disappoint!

Haarlem was a typical Dutch suburban town, a good base to visit central Holland/Amsterdam. However I did not feel the need to go back there on my next visit.

My children and I stayed in Leiden for 9 nights in 2011, loved it! Lots of canals and a very quaint city centre. You are very close to the south/coast regions and towns: the Hague, Kinderdijk, and Delft. Also by the Hague is the seaside resort of Scheveningen with its pier and restaurant lined beachwalk. Although I have really fond memories of Delft from my two earlier visits, I found that a one day visit was more than enough this time. We did take a canal ride, which was very nice and informative, things you wouldn’t otherwise know or notice.

Have a lovely trip!