You can’t go into a souvenir shop in Holland without falling over dozens of knick-knacks painted in blue and white. The traditional pottery comes from the town of Delft, a gezellig little place halfway between Den Haag and Leiden. So is Delft a tourist trap, or is it worth a visit?

Like many southern Dutch towns, Delft is criss-crossed with small canals; not as many as Amsterdam but enough to offer the chance to sit on a cafe-boat sipping a cool drink or a slice of appelgebak and a coffee as you watch the world go by. There something very peaceful and quaint about the gable-laden houses reflected in the still waters.

The Oude Kerk was built between the 13th and 15th centuries in the Gothic Protestant style. There’s a small charge to look inside but this also gives you entry to the Nieuwe Kerk on the main square, from the 15th century. There’s also a lovely building close to the church, on the left-hand side of the canal. It looks like a medieval hall and is decorated with crests of local families.


Wending your way through the main streets will eventually bring you onto the huge main square (if you can’t find it just look for the spire of the Nieuwe Kerk). Home to a very impressive town hall on one side, the church on another and flanked by those ubiquitous pottery shops on the other two. So is Delft worth and hour or two of your time? If you get the chance, then I’d say yes.

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