Delft Canal with bikes and trees
© Marc Moline BCN via Shutterstock

Canals of Delft

The canals of Delft were incorporated into the original city planning. They served as defense and lifelines throughout the city, delivering goods, people, and supplies. The word “delft” itself is derived from "delven" or, “to dig”. The oldest canal line is the Old Delft, and the city has expanded around it over the past 750 years. The other city canals, or grachten, are still central to city life.

  • The canals of Delft played an important role in forming the city's history.
  • Take a cruise and experience what canal-life was truly like.
  • Ride a canal taxi and travel like a real Delftonian.

Canals of Delft today

Canals in Delft are still used for their original transportation intent, as well as that of keeping water contained and away from areas where people live. The people of Delft are very proud of their canals, and often get around by water-taxi or private boat. Walking and biking are encouraged on city streets, and bridges cross the water in many places, making for a picturesque sight.

Cruise the canals of Delft

A walking tour will give you the background of the buildings as you pass them, but a tour from the water, or exploring the canals on your own, will give you a true feel for the city's history and culture. You can rent a canal taxi boat to take you to the main tourist spots, flagging one down on the canals, or ordering by phone. If you want to avoid the hassle of picking them up after every stop, you can rent one for up to eight people for an hourly rate. Boats are a mainstay of Dutch life and visiting Delft by boat is a way to understand the native people.

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Dining on boats

Enjoy the view and a meal while cruising along the canals of Holland.

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