delft: things to do in one day

DelftThe Hague / Volendam, Zaanse Schans, Zaandam / Haarlem

Ah, Delft. The little city that gave me rest during a summer peak month. Quaint, charming, and content. That's little Delft.

This is a 1.5 day itinerary that can be compressed into 1 day for sure.

Check out the video!

Straight from a 16-hour flight, I took a train from Amsterdam Schiphol to Delft. It's a 40 minute ride and it costs EUR11 one way.

It was the beginning of summer in Europe and even though I tried booking a month or 2 months ahead of time, it was really expensive to stay in Amsterdam. The regular room rate of EUR20 for a bed in a female dorm room in Generator Amsterdam during fall and winter TRIPLED (or more) when I checked for rates for June which is a summer month. It was out of my budget and so, I looked on the map and checked the nearby cities I could stay in. After a couple of readings and checking of available female dorm rooms (yes, only female dorm rooms cos I got a bad experience in Graz, Austria), I decided to stay in Delft.

I booked a bed in a female dorm room at Hostel Delft through Agoda. Location is very good as it is just a street away from the main square and it’s on the same street as the Vermeer Centrum. It is very clean and I liked that my room had large windows in it that I would open up for some cool air. It has several roof deck patios people can hang out at.

Things to do

To fight off the looming jetlag (my body was in a +6 hour time zone), I walked around the main square, commonly called as Markt to get a feel of the city. It was so laid-back. It was windy, and sunny at noon, the birds were chirping, and there were not much people. And oh my goodness, the flowers. I’ve never seen such colorful, vibrant flowers in my life. In the tropics, most flowers can’t stand the heat and will only bloom for a short period of time, and maybe this is the reason why I wasn’t not much of a fan, but seeing the flowers in Delft? Flowers just in street pots, or crawling so naturally on walls and fences made me change my mind. FULLY. Like I’m converted in some way. 😜 Now I can’t stop thinking about visiting in Spring and witness those tulips bloom. I think I’m going to cry when that happens.

It was a Friday and at noon not much of the restaurants are open. I dropped by the neighborly Albert Heijn and bought juice and a meal of microwavable kebab and couscous (I know, such a craving). And while my third-world Asian bum is used to concentrated juices, I literally felt healthier when I drank the juice I bought.

It was hot that week when I stayed, around 21-28 celsius with lots of sun which is a bit unusual in the Netherlands as they’ve said. Everyone was telling me to go to the beach (which I did on my next post 😊). And then it happened – I succumbed to shopping. C’mon I needed shorts!

Maybe it was just the jet lag kicking in but I just really spent the afternoon people-watching. I was so into observing normal life in Delft, how people approach each other, how easy and laid-back they seem to be. How I see so much commercialism from where I’m from versus the simple life they seem to lead here. How we’re caught up in lots of clothes, new phones, dirty politics, poverty, and so many other issues versus a simple life in a first world country where the transportation system is well-established and is constantly evolving and how they can think of the future because they’ve already resolved problems of the past and the now. I know I shouldn’t compare, but it’s what keeping me in hoping that one day, my country would be better. If at least a fraction of what I saw that afternoon.

I said I’m going to open my eyes til sunset, but my eyes wouldn’t cooperate and closed before 10PM. I’ve never experienced sunset at 10PM before and yet I slept away. I blame my chinky Asian eyes.

I woke up before sunrise though, at around 4AM the next day. I walked and took photos for about 3 hours. I walked and meandered through the small alleyways and the little bridges and took photos of flowers against the morning sun and walked some more until the daylight was full. The small city felt so intimate, like it showed a secret part of itself to me. I know, it’s cheesy and I’m getting a lil bit poetic here, but it felt exactly like that. Some things you don’t forget.

When I got back to the hostel, I slept. Again. Because jetlag. I woke up at 9AM though and prepared for the day trip to The Hague. It was a Saturday, and voila – there’s a Saturday flea market! The streets were on an upbeat as stalls line up beside  the canals. Ceramics, old coins, paintings, RFID-free cardholders, leather bags, little trinkets – you name it, it’s there. I even saw Delft Blue Houses given on KLM flights with numbers 4 and 12 (without the gin of course) being sold for EUR10. Vintage, I know.

Before going to the Hague, I got iced coffee in Kek. I forgot what it is called exactly but it’s kind of a latte with a distinct chocolate taste. It was very good! Very warm staff in the café as well and the vibe was really homey. The place is grammable but thanks, this millennial is okay. 😋 The café is on the same street as Hostel Delft and the Vermeer Centrum.

Afterwards, I went to Stadsbakkerij de Diamanten Ring and bought a ham and cheese croissant for lunch. Oh, I bought a coffee and a cream croissant the day before. And then a plain croissant early the next morning. We’re in Europe, aren’t we? Coffee and croissant combo is a must. I wanted to try the cakes too, but I got no one to share them with, so. Better bring people with me next time!

The bakery is just a 3-minute walk from Hostel Delft.

Tourist Spots
In the Markt, you have the New Church or Nieuwe Kerk. I didn’t go inside but apparently there are crypts or tombs inside it where the royals and famous personalities are buried, including members of the House of Orange-Nassau and the queens and kings of the Netherlands. The tall building also provides a viewpoint for the small city.

You also have the impressive Delft City Hall or Stadhuis opposite the church.

I also passed by the Old Church or Oude Kerk and from afar, you can see that it is leaning like it’s about to fall to the side.

There is also the Vermeer Centrum Delft if you’re interested in the arts and Vermeer’s paintings about love.

Nieuwe Kerk
Pretty flowers and artwork right?
Get that croissant!
The Eastern Gate or Oostpoort
Really charming hotel
Outside Hostel Delft
Wish I could have a roof deck and I can hang out in it too
Iced coffee = Love
Asked her what it is going to be, she said it's the restaurant logo and that they have an event and that they alley will be draped in lights
Ah, Delft
That's it for now, check back soon and happy travels! 💛

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