Travelling with (young) kids.
Are you nervous about taking your baby or child on a plane trip? You aren't alone, most parents are nervous about it. We have moved with the kids to Alkmaar by car this holiday and drove some distances by car on when we were there and we learned a few things that hopefully will help you.
Bring books, old favourite toys and new surprise toys. Do remember that balls are not a good idea as they can end up anywhere! Our best buys were definitely books, especially sticker books are great! They can peel the stickers off, are glossy, have thick pages to turn easy, have bright colours and come in endless subjects. They're a nice break from the other books your child might be tired of, too. Put aside fears of setting poor eating habits, and bring on the snacks! We told Iris: “Welcome to the world of boredom eating."
Toy bars meant for stroller use are a big help in the car, as they often feature toys plus a snack cup, and are big and easy for you to grab from the front seat for refills. During the car trip it’s always a good idea to play a game and sing some songs. It sounds rather easy, but it does work!
We only have one last statement! Just do it! Don’t be afraid that it might go wrong. We have learned this, because we have been travelling with Iris from the beginning. She was only 6 weeks young when we had our first short vacation and stayed in a hotel. Iris has been used to it rather fast and (maybe because of it) has always been an easy kid to get along with.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Delft's whizzy new station
When I first visited Delft in 2013 the old brick station building was set in a vast sea of mud, cranes, diggers, building equipment and supplies and numerous men working very hard indeed. We passengers were channelled from the station into the town through a 'passageway' created from hoarding boards, to keep us safe as we traversed the building site.
By the time of my 2015 visit all that had changed. Some building work is still going on but Delft now has a super, sparklingly-new railway station, with its railway lines underground and reached by escalators.
There's a small branch of Albert Heijn, a Starbucks, a bakery shop, a newsagents....a piano which anyone with the urge can play....and a rather wonderful ceiling. I don't know what the material is but the concept is really rather stunning.
The building is set in a large, brick-paved open plaza, with a small canal running alongside and (of course) a bike lane. It's not quite finished yet but I think it will make a very pleasant spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine whilst waiting for a train (or not). And the station building itself has ample warm space to shelter from wind, rain and snow.
Delft's new station is, imo, a job very well done. :-)
PS Don't forget to 'tap' your ticket in and out of the station.
- Family Travel
We got the train to & from Delft (from Amsterdam). Two easy 55 minute journeys. €25.40 each for a day return. Trains run every 15 minutes during the day.
I think it was my first inter city trip on NS - both on time and comfortable.
Tickets are simple to buy from machines at Amsterdam Centraal. Instructions in several languages are available. You just have to remember to check in and out for each leg of the journey by scanning the ticket on the machines provided.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
After a bit of research and a call to Delft Pauw (the Delft Pottery) we decided a tram from the railway station would be our best way of getting to the pottery.
The trams seem to be part of the nearby Den Haag system, and Line 1 would take us from outside the railway station to quite near the pottery (in the suburbs).
We got a “single” ticket each, valid for 1 hour. That’s single as opposed to a day ticket. It cost €3.50 each. As it turned out, we were able to get back to the station within the hour or it would have been an expensive tram ride. Like Amsterdam, tram fares seem to be geared to passengers buying day, week or month tickets as opposed to just jumping on one occasionally.
I suspect a taxi would have been cheaper for two people had we taken more than an hour for our visit.
To English speakers a "single" ticket usually means it can only be used once, but these tram tickets could be used any number of times within the hour of being bought.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
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.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
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.
- Family Travel
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.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
"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.