We're going to be in Amsterdam for a few days for the second time. I'd like to do a day trip this time and it seems like it would be possible to go to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague in one day? Am I missing something? We don't need to see everything, just wander around, maybe get a bite to eat. Advice appreciated.
Sure, that should be easy logistically - I've taken trains to those places (except Rotterdam - maybe next time). The trains in the Netherlands are excellent. It's up to you whether you think you can fit those three places into a single day trip? I think most people would find it a little much for a single day. I'm sure you can look up the train schedules and logistics and work it out.
There is a tram between Delft and The Hague FYI as an option instead of the train. Not saying it's better, just that it is an option (I think I took it, don't remember).
Thanks for the tip about the tram! I'll check that out.
I second the tram between Delft and The Hague. Tram #1 has stops from the beach of The Hague to Delft train station. Convenient stops throughout. Also, please consider renting some bikes and seeing the area that way.
“ and it seems like it would be possible to go to Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague in one day? Am I missing something?”
Well… to me what you would be missing is actually seeing Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague. Yes, they are located somewhat near each other and I guess by American standards they’re small cities, but I don’t understand why you would want to visit all three in just one day. You can very easily spend at least a full day in each of these cities without scratching the surface and without getting bored.
I agree with Dutch_Traveler. You could maybe do two in one day, but three is really pushing it. You will be rushing through everything very quickly. I know you said you don't want to see everything but just wander around and get a bite to eat. If that is true, then one or two cities would work for that purpose.
I would stick with Den Haag and Delft. Rotterdam is a larger city and would take more time to go through anyway.
What I like to do in a situation like this is have a plan to see all 3 of those places. If you have time to see them all great, you have worked out the logistics for visiting all 3. But if you only have time for 1 or 2, that’s ok too.
I have a trip planned to the Netherlands next month and I have more day trip options than I have days. I have notes on all the places in case I’m able to fit them all in. I have my priority list and I’ll start with those. Depending on how much time I spend in each location, I might have time to see more or less than I have on my list.
You may love Delft and decide you want to spend all day there. Or you may go to Rotterdam and Delft and decide a short time in each is fine and you move on to the Hague. There’s no need to have a set plan in advance. Be flexible.
These three places (as well as Leiden) are on the same railway line and you can travel the hop-on hop-off way. So buy a return ticket to Rotterdam and visit the place you prefer in random order, however no backtracking allowed. In this case you can’t visit Rotterdam twice. The ticket is only valid for the day it is issued.
Rotterdam is interesting for fans of modern architecture, I like anyway the entrance of Rotterdam Centraal railway station.
I took a full day for each of these cities, from sleeping in Amsterdam. What you're missing is also that train stations are seldom right at the most interesting part of a city. And you have to arrive early and wait for the bus to the station and then for the train. Have you ever used public transportation? There's a bit of "overhead."
I know not everyone likes art museums, but don't you want to see The Girl With The Pearl Earring, or a museum of Delft-ware? How about historic windmills, a UNESCO World Heritage Site? I agree that Delft and The Hague are combinable for your idea of one day. Cities like Rotterdam, Leiden or Utrecht have too much to do, even just walking around.
Yes, Tim, I am well acquainted with public transportation here and abroad and not too worried about that aspect.
I would just go to Delft and the Hague if I were you. I spent about 3 hours or so in Rotterdam. I rented a bike near the train station and followed Rick's walking tour on the bike. So you could do Rotterdam in the morning (by bike) and then see Delft and the Hague in the afternoon and evening but even without sightseeing that's a bit much. If you'd rather see modern architecture, skip Delft and the Hague and just go to Rotterdam. But I can't imagine that's what you're going to Holland for.
I was staying in The Hague. Went to Rotterdam for the day by train, specifically to see some of the architecture and also go on a harbour boat trip. It happened to be pouring with rain. I found Rotterdam quite an exhausting place. It’s quite spread out, and it’s very much the modern city. It reminded me a lot of Hamburg - interesting in parts but not lovable.
I cut short my day there and hopped on a train at about 3pm and got off at Delft, and spent a lovely three hours there wandering the streets, looking at churches and old houses and having an early dinner.
Then I caught the tram back to The Hague, which had the advantage over the train in that there was a stop right outside my hotel.
But I didn’t exactly do them all in a day, because I mostly “did” The Hague the following day.
Delft is lovely and can easily be enjoyed in half a day as it’s very small and very cute, but you might want to linger.
For Rotterdam, decide ahead of time what you want to see and work out the public transport within the city. It’s not a “meander round” kind of place.
The Hague - well, there’s the Mauritshuis and some nice streets around there, and you can catch that same tram all the way out to Scheveningen, which is a bracing beach resort.
I think it’s probably two days or a day and a half rather than one day.