The picturesque city of Delft combines elegance and history with modern innovation and invites visitors to discover its rich past and vibrant present. Known for its charming canals and historical facades, the city is a living museum of Dutch history and culture. Delft is the birthplace of the world-famous Delft Blue ceramics and one of the great Dutch Masters, Johannes Vermeer. His influence and presence can still be felt in the city. Visit this lovely, walkable city for a true ‘Delluf’ experience.

Like a local
Feel like a real Delft local

Feel like a real Delft local

Ladies look out over Delft canal

Delft is a city where history and modern innovation go hand in hand. The characterful city centre with its historical facades and canals reflects a rich history, while the cityscape is graced by the subtle appearances of Delft Blue. This traditional ceramic, recognisable for its deep blue colour, helps maintain cultural heritage by adorning numerous elements of the city, from public artworks to street signs. Did you know that the name Delft comes from the verb 'delven', which means ‘to dig’? The city originated on a delf, a man-made watercourse we now call a 'canal'.

The influence of Johannes Vermeer, the famous painter from the Dutch Era, is unmistakable in Delft. As the home of this Dutch Master, the city offers a living canvas where his artistic legacy lives on. Vermeer's work is known for its masterful use of light and perspective and still inspires many artists and enthusiasts who visit Delft from around the world. The calm, almost 'hushed' atmosphere of the city reflects the aesthetics of his paintings, establishing Delft as a centre of cultural and artistic appreciation. Visit the city centre to learn more about this creative genius.

Alone with Vermeer's painting View of Delft

The Nieuwe Kerk is a Protestant church in Delft and plays a key role in national history due to its function as a royal crypt. This aspect reinforces the city's historical and ceremonial ties with the Dutch royal family. Visitors to the church are struck by its majestic interior and reverent atmosphere. It not only connects the past with the present, but also highlights Delft's role as a city of national importance, where history and royal tradition come together and contribute to the city's unique character.

Nieuwe Kerk Delft
Work of art Blue Heart Delft

But amongst all this iconic splendour, an essential part of this extraordinary city should not be forgotten: TU Delft is home to some of the smartest students in the Netherlands. The city centre is also a great place to enjoy student life, which just goes to show that culture and innovation go hand in hand in Delft. The artwork Het Blauwe Hart (The Blue Heart) in the city centre, with its shiny blue glass panels and steel frame, is also a striking ode to the city’s connection with technology.

A plethora of green choices

A plethora of green choices

Delft is a natural beauty. Walk from the station through the Garden of Delft towards the historic city centre. Stroll along canals and discover hidden courtyards like Oude Delft, where nature and history meet. Agneta Park was designed as one of the first garden villages in the Netherlands. It’s an idyllic setting for a quiet afternoon. Delftse Hout has a vast recreational area of forests, lakes and fields. Perfect for walks and picnics. There’s even a campsite for longer stays! Or visit the TU Delft Botanical Garden, with its exotic plants and innovative sustainable projects.

Delft Botanical Garden
Station Delft with aluminium slats depicting a historic city map of Delft

Want to travel responsibly when visiting Delft? No problem. The city is actively committed to sustainability and green transport. Travel in comfort to Delft by train from throughout the Netherlands and you’ll immediately encounter the beautiful station that balances technical innovation with historical charm. Explore the city in an eco-friendly way, e.g. with an e-bike. Its extensive bike lanes and car-free zones make sustainable travel easy. Visit the weekly Delft Market for organic and local produce and find out how the city is promoting green initiatives such as waste reduction and recycling. The Papaver Delft, a sustainability centre aiming to inspire in a fun way to achieve a more sustainable existence, is a great example of this.

Just outside Delft, you will find even more nature and sustainable activities. Explore the Bieslandse Bos, a beautiful nature reserve with extensive walking and cycling trails, ideal for nature lovers. Visit the nearby town of Den Hoorn and explore the beautiful gardens of Vlietlanden. Participate in organised nature walks or cycle along the scenic route of a network of green areas and sustainable initiatives around the city. For a unique experience, head to the Westland, known for its innovative horticulture and sustainable greenhouses offering a glimpse into the future of sustainable food production.

Green surroundings of Delft: 't Woudt

Hidden gems
Architectural delights

Architectural delights

Delft Botanical Garden TUD

Obviously, Delft is known for its rich history and beautiful architecture. It's also home to special buildings that are historically valuable and architecturally impressive. For example: Oude Delft 167 is a unique building full of decorative elements, but few people know about it. In 1645, the property was bought by the Delfland Water Board and it’s been the Gemeenlandshuis (its main office) ever since. The 18th-century painted wallpaper panels in the garden room are quite special. The façade was restored in 1888 and the interior was refurbished between 1931 and 1933, preserving the building's historic charm.

As you walk around the train station, you’ll likely spot the Huis van Delft, a modern architectural marvel inspired by the famous Delft Blue KLM houses. This building is a contemporary icon that fits perfectly in the historic centre of Delft. Its design is a nod to the city's rich history and traditions and offers a unique living experience with all the modern conveniences. The central location is perfect for anyone who wants to have the best of Delft at their fingertips.

House of Delft is a modern translation of the original homes and birthplaces of important Delft pioneers
3D printed entrance gate Poortmeester Delft

The 3D printed Delft Blue ceramic entrance gate is another unique architectural highlight in Delft. Composed of 4,000 Delft Blue tiles, this impressive construction is a wonderful blend of innovation and tradition. The gate is a giant puzzle that brings the classic Delft Blue to life in a modern way. The design is not only a tribute to Delft's rich heritage, but also a testament to the cutting-edge technologies possible today. It is a must-see for anyone interested in both historical and modern architecture.

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