Relive the Dutch Golden Age in the Netherlands in Delft, the historical home to Holland’s most famous painters. The Delftware blue-and-white ceramics that made the city so famous are still made here today, in the 17th-century earthenware factory Porceleyne Fles, the last of its kind. There’s enough art history to fill a whole weekend, plus a great selection of canal-side suites, art-inspired hotels or easy-breezy B&Bs in Delft – bookable on Culture Trip.
For a romantic escape, head to boutique hotel Casa Julia in the heart of Delft. Bright and fresh interiors inspire peace of mind, whilst the calming coastal colours evoke a gentle sea breeze. Ease into the day with breakfast in bed, then take advantage of the bike rental service to cycle along the canals, stopping at cafes like Kek for Insta-worthy smoothie bowls and a salted caramel latte. Raid the mini bar before bed for hand-picked goodies and a nightcap.
Bikes line the little bridge outside this 16th-century canal house on a quiet corner of the city. The train station is a five-minute walk away and there’s a yoga studio nearby. All rooms in this hotel in Delft look straight down into the canal, while the Junior Suite boasts a luxurious bath and a modern kitchenette to cook up a storm. Don’t miss complimentary coffee and sweet treats in the lounge every evening.
How about some luxury during your stay in Delft? Warm up and wind down in your own private sauna when you book the Senior Suite, also featuring a deep-soaking bath and walk-in rainfall shower, at this canal-side hotel on Koornmarkt. Peer through the tall sash windows from beneath down duvets for views of the leafy canal, before breakfasting in the courtyard outside. The antique collections of Dutch painter Paul Tétar van Elven are next door, whilst the main market square is just across the canal.
Live piano music provides the backdrop for weekend breakfasts at this music-themed Hampshire Hotel. Meanwhile, Swing restaurant cranks things up every Tuesday and Thursday night with live music events, alongside a fusion of Dutch-French cuisine and jenever – a gin made in the Netherlands. All rooms offer contemporary comfort and some have their own supremely squashy sofas, mini fridges and private balconies overlooking the city centre.
Why be a tourist in Delft when you can live like a local? The city is thrumming with a busy student body, and with the University of Technology right next door to these brand-new apartment blocks, it’s a great place to meet and mingle. Communal areas include a cosy study room, a modern gym, sauna and handy laundrette. Scandi-style studios and apartments feature fully-equipped kitchens with a clean and minimalist style and plenty of natural light thanks to the oversized windows.
Discover the taste of China with a Dutch twist at the Shanghai Hotel Holland, a futuristic glass-fronted building off the A13. Pork schnitzel and bitterballen rub shoulders with spring rolls and chicken satay under low-hanging lanterns at The Bund lounge bar, while at Shanghai Garden it’s all about the best flavours from Cantonese, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine. Rooms are just as tasteful, with contemporary-chic interiors, super king-size beds and luxury Rituals spa products.
On the sun-dappled square of De Beestenmarkt, another hotel pays homage to 17th-century painter Johannes Vermeer – its claim to fame being the birthplace of the Dutch master’s father. Vermeer’s artwork adds heritage to each smart and spacious room, and the culinary scene of Delft is right under your nose. Head next door to Spijshuis De Dis for traditional gourmet cuisine and desserts served in Dutch clogs, or across the square to Kobus Kuch, which boasts a changing menu of Dutch and Belgian beers, stacks of nachos and a locally famous apple pie.
Once a 1920s sweet shop, Hotel de Emauspoort has been welcoming guests in the centre of Delft since 1995. Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer would have found himself quite at home in the Vermeer Room, where his paintings adorn the walls and windows look out to the New Church, an artist’s muse in itself. For a unique stay, hunker down in one of the gypsy caravans in the courtyard, complete with showers, toilets and TVs.
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meet our Local Insider
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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.