Park and Walk: Free parking in Delft
You have to pay to park in or near the center of Delft, and most of the center is closed for cars
There are several car parks around the center, where you pay 2 euros/hour (2012).
If you are cheap like us, you park just outside of the center for free in the residential areas. We parked near the Weteringlaan, less than 15 minutes walking to the center and saved 12 euros :-)
Make sure that you carefully look if you need a parking permit or not when you park there...
The colored parts in the picture indicate where you have to pay in 2012, or see http://www.delft.nl/Inwoners/Bereikbaar_Delft/Parkeren_in_Delft/Parkeervergunning/Parkeren_voor_bewoners and click on the link "plattegrond parkeergebieden Delft"
Access to Delft
Delft is located on major highways and accessible by car and also connected directly to The Hague by a tram that takes only a few minutes. Yet for most visitors intercity train must be the easiest. Twice an hour service from Amsterdam, maybe an hour and ten minutes, buy tickets and get on the train. Crowded cars, but available seats on every train we boarded to and from Delft and The Hague. Clean and comfortable. From the airport, direct service is only 45 minutes.
The main station at Delft is an interesting building, complete with an onion dome, built in 1885 architect Christiaan Posthumus Meyjes Sr- strange bulding but with little available coverage. And the station will soon be an ultramodern monstrosity and this remarkable red brick building will be a thing of the past.
By tram to or from Den Haag
I decided to take the tram from Delft to Den Haag instead of the train. I'd recommend it as a safe, comfortable-enough, easy and cheap way to see a bit of suburban Delft and Den Haag on your way between the two places. There are only two tram route in Delft: the number 1 goes to Den Haag
The tram stop had a very helpful diagram showing all tram routes, as well as timetables for both buses and trams which stopped at that point. Very useful indeed.
Even more useful was the screen inside the tram which showed the route, with a list of named stops and the next stop. It's always reassuring to strangers when that sort of information is easily visible: its saves worrying about getting off at the right place!
I bought my ticket from the driver with no problem (2.5 euro in April 2013) but i noticed that most passengers used their OV Chipcaarts, which they 'swiped' across machines on entry and exit.
You can find information and timetables for buses and trams in the Haaglanden region (Den Haas, Delft etc etc) in English on the link below.
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By train, of course!
Dutch trains are super...safe, comfortable and easy to use. There are very frequent services to Delft from Amsterdaam Central station so you'll have no problem at all in making a day visit.
You can buy tickets from the ticket machine at the station. Machines all have English language options and are easy to use.
If you don't have an OV Chipcaart (which is unlikely to be worthwhile unless you are staying for a long time or plan on using a lot of public transport during your visit), and if you don't want to use your credit card, you'll have to find a ticket machine with a coin slot. They do exist..and the machines give change...but there are not as many of them as there are non-coin-slot machines.
I didn't find any machines which accepted notes, which might be a problem if you are short of coins or have an expensive ticket to buy. If you are in that situation you'll need to use the ticket office.
Platforms are electronically signed, so you can see exactly which train is expected next or is standing at the platform. Station announcements are also made on the train (sometimes in English as well as Dutch, although Dutch is fairly easy to work out) and some trains also have computerised displays telling you what station is next, expected time of arrival and so on.
You can find train times, details and fares in English on the link below.
Getting to Delft by train is extremely easy ...and it's a place well worth a visit.
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The tram is a good way of exploring the whole city of Delft. Line 1 drives along the railtrack of the trains and also goes directly to the beach of Scheveningen. In the south it gives connection to a nice park where you can walk, south of the area called Tanthof. Here you can have a rest and stroll around the beautiful landscape where people walk with their dogs, horses or children.
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"Old" Horse Drawn Tram
This was an excellent way to see the city other than walking. However it did make at least one of the passenegers a little queezy, and she had to get off the tram part way through the tour.
Address: Schieweg 57, Delft
Parking, always a trouble in old city centres
Parking is difficult, especially when you want to do so within the old city centre. This is actually disrecommended by me, as it is not only very difficult, but also ruining the view on the old surroundings. There are some parkhouses around the centre and one can also park in the neighborhood of the Central Station as well as underneath the tracks of the railroad. this last option could be difficult in the years 2005-2007, as plans are made to put the railroad underground, which will lead to many roadconstructions and the (temporary) disappearing of this option.
Or take a bike and do like the students
You cannot be a student and do not have a bike in the Netherlands. This is THE means of transport for students, if it's not to get to the school building or cafe, then it is to have the opportunity to drink and get home legally. For tourists this option also could be interesting and bicycles can be rented at the NS-Rijwielshop just uotside the Central station.
Walk and discover the old centre intensively
With only a few square kilometres in it's old city centre, Delft is definately requesting you to start walking. This way also gives you the most intensive impression of the town and leaves the possibility to stop at museums, interesting places or just for a drink or quick bite.
Tram from The Hague brings you here.
If you are visiting The Hague and want to make some more out of it, take the tram that drives you directly to Delft. There are two lines heading that way, one reaching even into the Delft centre.
From Rotterdam some bus lines head into Delft direction and bring you in the centre of the old town.
Take the train
The train system in the Netherlands and especially in the Randstad Holland, can be seen as a gigantic metrosystem. Okay, they hardly go on time, but with an interval of only 15 minutes on average, one never has to wait very long. Delft has two stations of which the Central brings you direct into the old centre of town. The other, Delft Zuid (South) is especially created for the enormous amounts of students arriving by train and heading for the Technical University buildings.
Canalboats give impressions from the water
Seeing a Holland town with it's typical canals is often done in a great way from these canals! The impression from the water with details told by a guide is a perfect way to get to know the town in an easy and comfortable way. In Delft this is done by the company "Rondvaart Delft" and the journeys take around 45 minutes. Groups can reserve, but individual visitors van get tickets at the point where the boats regularly leave for their trips (from April until October.
Delft can easily be reached by car. It is close to Highway A13 between Den Haag (The Hague) and Rotterdam. Take exit 9 and follow Oostpoortweg.
The centre of Delft is less easy to access by car. There is sufficient parking space at the edge of town from where the small town centre can easily be reached on foot.
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The train Station
One of the easiest ways to get to Delft is by train from Den Haag. It'll take about 5 minutes. And another 5 minutes to walk to the very heart fo Delft. Trains depart both from Den Haag Central Station and Den Haag Hollands Spoor.
Another option is to take tram 1 to Delft. This tram you can catch in Den Haag centrum (not the central station!) and the trainstation Den Haag Hollands Spoor.
Delft is an old town and so parking is not quite easy. It's best to park on the free car park at the Mekelweg (Mekel street) and a bus will take you to the city center within 10 minutes. A ride costs € 0,50 and children up to 12 ride for free.
If you must park in the city center, make sure you have a loaded chip bankcard or plenty of small change. Streetparking on Fridays has to be paid for until 22.00 hrs and all other days until 18 hrs. This costs € 1,50 to € 2 per hour.
At the Tourist Information Point (see my General tips) you can get a brochure about Parking in Delft with a handy little map.
Photo: Note the parking ticket vending machine behind the tree on the left.
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