The Delft City Tour by Happy Day Tours Delft is the ideal combination of a quintessentially Dutch canal boat tour and a walking tour through the historic centre of Delft. Here are some of the highlights you can expect based on my own experience of joining the tour in September 2017…
What's there to see?
1. Delft's old (and new) canal houses
On the first part of your tour – the boat tour – you will pass by Delft's main "canal houses". Most of them are pretty old, but have been beautifully renovated. Others date from more modern times, but are equally nice to look at.
The captain navigating the boat is at the same your tour guide. He or she will provide commentary in Dutch and English (plus German if there are several people on the boat who'd prefer German).
So you can sit back and relax while your guide will tell you all about the sights you will pass by.
For example a building which still bears the inscription "Indische Instelling".
This house dates back to so-called "Dutch Golden Age" (well portrayed in the contemporary drama-film Tulip Fever), when the Netherlands were a very powerful trading nation and Delft became one of the most important harbour towns for the Dutch East India Company.
If you would like to see what a historic canal house looks from the inside, check out the Museum House Paul Tetar van Elven (more info in my post on tracing the settings of Girl with a Pearl Earring in Delft).
2. The Historic City Centre
When you arrive back at shore, the tour guide for your walking tour will pick you up for your stroll through the historic city centre of Delft. Just like the boat guide, the walking tour guide is multilingual.
On our walking tour, we passed by all the main "must-sees" of Delft including the main Market Square, which served as a filming location in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), and the street in which the painter Johannes Vermeer used to live.
3. Delft Filming Locations
Upon request, our tour guide Martin provided some additional information on filming locations in Delft. These include the stone bridge that Gries walks across in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003).
Somewhat unexpectedly, the vampire thriller Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), in which Martin himself appeared as an extra while a student, was shot in Delft, too.
What other Delft tours can I book with
Happy Day Tours Delft?
These include the join-in 3 h High Wine or High Beer Tours on Friday evenings and the High Tea Tour on Saturday afternoons as well as the Happy Lunch or Happy Dinner Tour and the The Delicious Delft Tour for groups.
Historic Walking Tours
This 1‑hour tour is your best bet to get a good first overview of Delft and its history as well as Dutch history in general.
Blue & Orange Tours
The Blue & Orange Tour is another combi tour. It includes a city walking tour and a tour inside the New Church (1.5 hours) as well as a visit to the Royal Delft, the only remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century (1 h).
Guided Church Tours
If you come with a group and would like some more insight on Delft's historic churches, book a Guided Church Tour (Mondays to Saturdays).
If you would like to discover Delft like a local, book a guided bicycle tour on request.
Ready to cruise the canal?
Unless otherwise credited, all photos by © Sonja Irani | filmfantravel.com
Disclosure: In order to write my review, I received a complimentary ticket for the City Tour Delft by Happy Day Tours Delft. The views expressed in this blog post, however, are entirely my own and thus reflect my honest option.