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Delft/Leiden or Haarlem

Six night in Amsterdam and we would like to do at least one day trip?

Posted by
2487 posts

All three have their charms and all three are easily reached from Amsterdam by frequent direct trains.
Haarlem is just 15 mins away, has a wonderful river front and a lively market place with the city hall and the main church.
Leiden (mind the spelling!) is a little bit further (some 40 mins from Amsterdam), has the largest historical centre of the three, a tall windmill from the 1750s which can be visited, lots of canals, peaceful places around the two main churches, and on Saturdays a lively market along the Nieuwe Rijn (behind the city hall).
Delft (mind the spelling!) is a further 20 mins from Leiden, has, like Haarlem, a lively market square with city hall and main church, and seems to be the most loved by overseas visitors. Delft can easily be combined with The Hague (Den Haag) with the Mauritshuis museum (Vermeer and Rembrandt) or with totally undervisited, but pleasant Schiedam (windmills and gin museum), 10 mins away on still the same railway line.

Posted by
7501 posts

And for Americans, Leiden is where the Pilgrims lived for ten years after fleeing England and before sailing to North America. John Quincy Adams attended the University of Leiden.
One our first trip to Amsterdam, we did day trips to all of the places tomfromleiden mentioned. We returned and spent a week in beautiful Leiden. When in Delft, visit both the Old and the New Churches, in that order. One ticket covers both. Very interesting. Johannes Vermeer is buried in the Old Church, Dutch Royalty in the New Church.
Haarlem is a nice small city but I prefer Leiden, Delft and The Hague.

Posted by
107 posts

tonfromleiden & Suki
Perfect information. Wish I could blame the spelling on spell check, but i can't. I thinks we will book a guide and do Leiden-Delft and consider Haarlem for the one day we havent commited anything.
Awesome to both of you

Safe Travels

Posted by
5393 posts

Leiden deserves a full day, Delft can be done in a half-day. Delft combines well with Den Haag (... Girl With A Pearl Earring and much more) which connects with a local tram. Is your trip in tulip season?

Posted by
2487 posts

... which connects with a local tram
Which is true, but with the train you can interrupt your journey in The Hague and continue to Delft (or the other way around) on the same ticket.

Posted by
3551 posts

They are all wonderful as noted by other posters . U cannot go wrong. I have been to all many t8mes.

Posted by
107 posts

Thank you everyone. We have booked a guide Albert Ab Walet for a day trip to Haarlem and Leiden. We will decide then if we want to push on to The Hague or Delft. If you are in Amsterdam on Oct 2nd and want to join us PM me.
Safe travel all

Posted by
3 posts

We are spending nine days in the Netherlands starting October 1 with Haarlem as our home base. After looking online and in travel guides I am trying to narrow my list of towns and cities to visit. We enjoy ambience and wandering the streets over too many museums. So far I have gleaned that Leiden and Delft are highly recommended, along with our base of Haarlem.
How about these- Edam, Broek in Waterland, and Hoorn?
We are hoping they are reachable from Haarlem by train (or bus) without too many transfers. Thanks in advance for any suggestions Tom and Sandy

Posted by
2487 posts

Hoorn is an absolute beauty. (The Westfries Museum, in the heart of the city, is not to be missed.) You can easily combine it with Enkhuizen, half an hour further on the same railway line. Like Hoorn one of the founding cities of the Dutch East India Company, it has more the feeling of a village. Both are more authentic than the towns just north of Amsterdam, like Edam and Volendam, which have become too touristy.
Use the train planner of the NS (the Dutch Railways) and you'll see these are uncomplicated journeys, which all can be done without changes (even Haarlem to Hoorn/Enkhuizen, by travelling via Alkmaar).

Posted by
107 posts

We will be in Amsterdam during the same time Sept 27 - Oct 4.
We are staying Amsterdam and using RS recommended itinerary below

Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographic proximity into account, here are our recommended priorities:
2–3 days: Amsterdam
4 days, add: Delft
5 days, add: Haarlem
6 days, add: Waterland (Edam/Volendam/Marken — day-trip from Amsterdam)
7–9 days, add: Rotterdam and Leiden (day-trip from Haarlem or Delft), or more day-trip towns north of Amsterdam (Alkmaar and Hoorn/Enkhuizen)

We have plans with a local guide for day trip to Haarlem and Leiden and will decide if we take one to The Hague once we get there.
Enjoy your trip and Safe Travels