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Rotterdam or Delft?

My husband and I have 4 nights to spend in The Netherlands in June. We have been to Amsterdam and since we are coming from Belgium and flying out of Brussels after our visit to The Netherlands our thought was to stay in Rotterdam and see that city and places nearby. We will be using public transportation and bikes to get around. I have been thinking Rotterdam would make a good home base, we would like to spend all 4 nights in the same location, but after reading some more I am wondering if Deft might be a good choice as well. We are attracted to Rotterdam by the architecture and culture and pulled toward Delft by size and charm. I would appreciate hearing the thoughts of those who know these two places. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
5645 posts

Consider Leiden as well;a wonderful historic small city.

Posted by
1296 posts

I stayed a few nights in Delft after spending five nights in Belgium. I had to change trains in Rotterdam, so I allowed myself the better part of the day to explore before moving on to Delft.

The two cities couldn't be more different, and I liked them both for different reasons. It sounds like you've done your homework and understand the differences between them. The real question is whether you want to spend your nights in a big city like Rotterdam or in the quiet canal-lined streets of Delft. Either way, you should have no problem finding transportation to nearby locales, so I don't think convenience is a factor, though the Rotterdam train station is much bigger and has many more trains coming and going.

I'd say it's just a matter of personal preference. Mine would be to stay in Delft.

Posted by
1514 posts

Hey Donna,

Why not stay in both to get the full diverse experience. 2 days in Rotterdam and 2 Days in Delft. That's your 4 days. Don't forget to do day trips to The Hague and Gouda, both charming cities half hour from Rotterdam.

Posted by
20600 posts

Agree with Lane -- two very different cities. The Allies in WWII reduced all of Rotterdam to a continuous ten foot high pile of rubble. Rotterdam decided to rebuild as a modern city. Delft is still a 13,14,15 century town with a town square, canals, old buildings, etc. Both have their charm but I would choose Delft for a base.

Posted by
1296 posts

Thanks for the affirmation, Frank.

However, your history is incorrect. Rotterdam was leveled by German bombing on May 14, 1940, not by the Allies.

Posted by
2487 posts

I'd go for Delft for indeed its charm. Leiden, mentioned above, is also a good choice, but I might be biased.
When around don't forget to visit nearby Schiedam. It is consistently overlooked, but it is really a nice town, once famous for its gin industry.
It is all very close to each other, e.g. Delft to Rotterdam is less than 15 mins, Leiden to Delft is 20 mins, with trains running every 15 mins.

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate the suggestions. We ended up choosing a place in Rotterdam, largely because we found the best Airbnb deal that came closest to meeting our needs. So, Rotterdam for home base and onward from there, Thanks again.

Posted by
11153 posts

The Rotterdam tourist office has a free map with an architecture walking tour; it also doubles as a free city map, as the regular city map is not free. Do be sure to see some of Rotterdam's impressive modern architecture, and in particular, don't miss the Cube Houses and the Cube House Museum.

And, do try to see Leiden. I preferred it to Delft. It has the oldest university in the Netherlands, and even though various other cities (Delft, Utrecht) have universities, it was the only one I saw with visible students and a "college town" feel.

And now that I've mentioned it, I like Utrecht a lot too. It has the unique bi-level canals, as well as some great museums.

Posted by
2487 posts

When staying in Rotterdam, you should not miss the opportunity to use the Waterbus, the river ferry, to the windmills of Kinderdijk and further on to historical Dordrecht. Marvellous way to travel in this part of the country. You'll find practical information if you scroll down a bit on their website.