Will be training from Antwerp to Amsterdam. Smart to bypass Delft and Hague and simply backtrack on a day trip from Amsterdam? Or easier to hop on and off at Delft and Hague on way to AMS. Easy to do both Delft and Hague in single day trip from Amsterdam?
In June my parents and I took a day trip to Delft and Kinderdijk(has 19 windmills) from Ghent Belgium. Even made a stop in Knokke. Easily done.
Take a fast Thalys train from Antwerpen to Amsterdam, then other day you take this trip to Delft (overrated IMO) and Den Haag.
I'm confused. You say that you are going to Amsterdam, and wonder if you should take a daytrip. But then you talk about going to the airport - AMS. I would have thought that it isn't a great idea to try to see 2 cities on the way to the airport with luggage...
Nigel You're so right. i did not mean to suggest the airport...meant to abbreviate the city of Amsterdam. sorry for confusion.
my question is whether it makes good sense, as Andre suggests, to take a train direct from Antwerp to Amsterdam, rather than getting off en route to visit Delft and The Hague, and retrace our steps another day as a day trip to those two cities while sleeping in Amsterdam.
Delft can be seen in a half day. I liked it less than Rick Steves does. Seeing The Hague is all about seeing the museums. So, you need as much or as little time as you will need for them. The Mauritshaus is closed until 2014, but there are others. To connect Delft and the Hague, the easiest way is the tram (particularly since Delft's train station and the streets around it are all torn up for renovation). To answer your original question, I'd probably bypass Delft and the Hague to get to Amsterdam, then see them as a day trip. But, having seen them, I'd prefer a daytrip to Leiden or Utrecht. And, if you have any interest in another, non-quaint side of Holland, stop off in Rotterdam on the way from Antwerp to Amsterdam. The modern architecture is fascinating, and don't miss the Cube Houses and the Erasmus Bridge.
We like Delft, and have stayed there twice for a total of nine nights. It is now our hub city, easy to Amsterdam, easy to Schiphol, easy to the rest of Netherlands. The torn up area won't last for ever and its a short walk to the hotel we use. We have taken day trips from Delft to several other small cities including Gouda. In giving Delft an easy pass means you are looking for something different than we found.
The RS book (at least a few years ago) described taking the train to The Hague, a trolley on from there to Delft, and the train back to Amsterdam. We did this trip and it easily fit within a day. We thought Delft was a delightful town. If you go on a weekend during the summer there are tons of tables set up in the
Beestenmarkt where you can relax and get a glass of wine or beer (perhaps other days and seasons, too). The canals are nice to stroll along, and we popped into several shops with friendly clerks. Hope to go back someday!
Consider Haarlem which is only a fifteen minute treain ride (trains frequent) from Centraal Station, Amsterdam. Franz Hals museum has wonderful exhibition right now and the town square is great for people (and wedding) watching...Royal Delft was interesting, TI staff was wonderful but Delft was kind of a downer overall...
I'd get situated then pick where you want to day-trip. Thanks for the clarification.. I'm on the side of Delft. When the big market is in town it is a double edged sword - neat stuff to see but very busy and a little disorientating. There are several churches including one with a very nice garden and wall - I'm at work so can't get the name - the porcelein factory if you like that sort of thing, several places of WWII interest, a nice small town, a TI impossible to find but you probably won't need that, leafy streets, a very tasty pancake restaurant on a moored boat, and it is extremely well located for getting around the lower half of the Randstadt. I haven't been there during the recent construction so can't comment on that. Den Haag is also well worth it - the beach at Scheveningen (try to say that one three times) which, if you are very lucky, may even have a few sand sculptures; the trams are fun, there's a miniature world for the kiddoes, nice parks and the museums are killer. Shame that there's always one closed for refurb. Do you like Escher?
The Peace palace is in The Hague and is very much worth the trip, reminds one of Paris a bit!