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My husband and I visited the Netherlands for the first time last September. We were on the second part of our honeymoon and arrived by the Thalys high-speed train from Paris. We wanted to take a day trip during our four days in the Netherlands, so we chose a Rotterdam, Delft, and The Hague Small-Group Tour from Amsterdam, which can be found on Viator.
Our Review of the Rotterdam, Delft, and The Hague Small-Group Tour from Amsterdam on Viator
We were staying near the Amsterdam Centraal Station in the northern district of Amsterdam, so we needed to take the free ferry shuttle to Buiksloterweg. There are two ferries that transport pedestrians, bicyclists, and mopeds every 5 minutes. Once you reach the southern district of Amsterdam, it’s a short walk to the meeting location; THIS IS HOLLAND, an iconic circular building you can’t miss.
We skipped breakfast but hoped to find nourishment at the meeting location. We wanted to grab a bite and coffee at the cafe in the THIS IS HOLLAND building. However, our tour departed at 9 AM, and the cafe did not open until 10 AM. Our tour guide informed us that there was a supermarket around the corner, which ended up being a better option– we could grab a few snacks for the day trip ahead.
One-Hour Road Trip From Amsterdam to Rotterdam with a 75-Minute Boat Tour
At 9 AM, we boarded a luxury Mercedes minivan with one other couple. Our first stop was Rotterdam which took around one hour to reach. Our tour guide was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, pointing out important landmarks and providing us with interesting information about the Netherlands. Once we arrived in Rotterdam, our tour guide took us to a great spot for a few photos.
Havenrondvaart Spido Rotterdam Boat Tour
The 75-minute Spido boat tour along the Nieuwe Maas was excellent! Our tour guide did not attend, but the boat tour was narrated. There was plenty of seating to take in all of the incredible sights. From beautiful modern architecture and old windmills to views of the largest port in Europe, the Spido boat tour was quite enjoyable.
Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and one of the busiest ports in the world, located in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. It is a hub for cargo transportation, handling over 470 million tons of cargo annually. The port has a deep-water access and is well-equipped with modern facilities, making it a key player in global trade. The port has a diverse range of industries including container terminals, oil refineries, and chemical plants. It also has a thriving fishing industry and a cruise terminal.
Rotterdam, like Amsterdam, also has a rich history of windmills. However, unlike Amsterdam, most of the old windmills in Rotterdam have been destroyed or demolished due to the city’s rapid expansion and modernization.
There are only a few remaining windmills in Rotterdam today, including the Kinderdijk windmills, which are located in the nearby town of Kinderdijk. This group of 19 windmills is considered one of the best-preserved mill colonies in the world and is a popular tourist destination. The Kinderdijk windmills are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, recognizing their importance as an example of traditional Dutch water management and technological innovation.
Erasmusbrug Cable Bridge
The Erasmus Bridge, also known as the Erasmusbrug, is a cable-stayed bridge located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It spans the Nieuwe Maas river and connects the northern and southern parts of the city. The bridge was designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and completed in 1996. It is one of the landmarks of Rotterdam and a recognizable symbol of the city’s modernization and growth.
The Erasmus Bridge is a unique and innovative design, with a striking asymmetrical pylon that is 138 meters tall and a distinctive white color. The bridge has a total length of 807 meters and a main span of 139 meters, allowing for ships to pass beneath it. It is also a busy thoroughfare for cyclists, pedestrians and cars, serving as a major connection for residents and visitors alike. The Erasmus Bridge is considered one of the most beautiful bridges in the Netherlands and is a popular tourist attraction in Rotterdam.
Twenty-Minute Drive From Rotterdam to Delft with Roughly 2 Hours to Explore
Our drive from Rotterdam to Delft was only twenty minutes. Delft, Netherlands, is famous for its blue and white pottery. Our first stop was the De Candelaer delftware factory, where we were given a guided tour by the owner, Steffan.
Delftware Factory Tour
Steffan, a 4th generation potter, told us there are only two factories left in Delft that handcraft their pottery from start to finish. We bought jewelry, a decorative plate, and a few other treasures that Steffan shipped to the U.S. for us.
De Candelaer Potter and Painter
Delftware is famous for its intricate and detailed designs, which often depict landscapes, portraits, and historical scenes. The most common motifs in Delftware include landscapes, biblical scenes, allegorical figures, and portraits of Dutch citizens. Delftware became popular throughout Europe and was exported worldwide, becoming a symbol of Dutch culture and craftsmanship. Today, Delftware remains a popular collectible item and is widely appreciated for its historical significance and artistic value.
Café Willem van Oranje in Delft, Netherlands
Our tour guide highly recommended Café Willem van Oranje for lunch. The weather was decent, so we sat outside to watch the families enjoying the nearby carnival. My husband ordered a lamb burger and a Delftsche beer, while I ordered the Kroketten and a pickled onion salad. We enjoyed every bite.
Kroketten are a type of snack food that originated in the Netherlands. They are deep-fried, cylindrical rolls made of a mixture of mashed potatoes, beef or veal ragout, breadcrumbs, and spices. The mixture is shaped into small rolls, breaded, and then deep-fried until golden brown. Kroketten are typically served hot as a snack or appetizer, often accompanied by mustard or mayonnaise.
Exploring Delft, Netherlands
After lunch we walked around admiring the picturesque canalside, cobbled streets, and beautiful architecture. From the iconic old and new churches to green canals and slanted houses, every corner of this city offered something unique. With its calm atmosphere and mesmerizing scenery, Delft was a delight to explore.
Nieuwe Kerk and Oude Kerk
The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) and Oude Kerk (Old Church) are two historic churches located in the city of Delft, Netherlands. The Nieuwe Kerk, which is also known as St. Ursula Church, was built in the 15th century and is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands. The church is renowned for its beautiful stained-glass windows and its magnificent wooden roof, which features intricate carvings and is considered one of the largest and most impressive in the world.
The Oude Kerk, on the other hand, is the oldest church in Delft, dating back to the 13th century. It is known for its simple and elegant architecture, as well as its beautiful stained-glass windows and historic tombstones. The church is also famous as the final resting place of several prominent Dutch figures, including the painter Johannes Vermeer and the scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.
The green canals in Delft are a unique and iconic feature of the city’s landscape. The canals are characterized by their distinctive green color, which is due to the presence of algae and other aquatic plants that grow in the slow-moving waters. The green canals are an important part of Delft’s history and heritage, serving as a reminder of the city’s past as a center of trade and commerce.
The green canals in Delft are surrounded by historic buildings, many of which date back to the 17th century. These buildings, along with the green waters of the canals, create a picturesque and charming atmosphere that is unique to the city. Today, the green canals are a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who come to admire the city’s beautiful scenery and rich history. The green canals are also popular for boating, with many locals and tourists enjoying leisurely boat rides through the city’s waterways.
The Blauwe Hart is a neighborhood in Delft, Netherlands, known for its distinctive blue heart-shaped park. The Blauwe Hart is located in the southern part of Delft and is surrounded by residential areas, shops, and cafes. The park is a popular gathering place for local residents and visitors, who come to enjoy its peaceful surroundings and well-manicured gardens.
20-Minute Trip From Delft to The Hague with a 1-Hour Driving Tour
This part of the trip was mainly a driving tour because everything was spread out. However, our tour guide allowed us to make requests for stops. We drove through neighborhoods and saw several of the 110 embassies at The Hauge. The other couple we were traveling with requested a visit to the Peace Palace— home to the International Court of Justice. By this time, it had begun to rain, and we were all exhausted, so we started our 45-minute drive back to Amsterdam.
Final Thoughts on Our Rotterdam, Delft, and Hague Small-Group Tour from Amsterdam
The final verdict? We thoroughly enjoyed this small-group tour through South Holland. If you are visiting Amsterdam and looking for a good day trip, check out this Rotterdam, Delft, and Hauge Tour from Amsterdam!
This article originally appeared on Wander With Alex.
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog, where she provides vacationers with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, explore, and escape! Alex’s mission is to help peopl find the perfect vacation destination.