Are you looking to get off-the-beaten-path a bit in Rotterdam? How about taking a stroll around the picturesque, historic streets of Delfshaven, which is a suburb of Rotterdam. I’m sure that the trip to Delfshaven and all the walking you’ll do around the quaint streets will work up your appetite, so I’ve also suggested a great stop for a hearty and traditional lunch. Read on to learn about what to see and where to eat in Delfshaven.
How to get to Delfshaven
Though it is a long walk, I’d suggest making the trek on foot to Delfshaven because you get to walk along many beautiful canals, streets, and through the gorgeous Het Park. Just grab a map and the walk to Delfshaven will take you about 30 minutes from Museumpark in central Rotterdam.
Alternatively, you can take the number 8 tram from the Vasteland stop alighting at Delfshaven. Trains come every 10 minutes and this ride takes approximately 13 minutes. Keep in mind that tram fares cost 3 EUR (3.23 USD) per person and can be paid on the train. If you are traveling with a stroller, enter the tram from the last door.
The Dutch are famous for biking, thus if you feel like biking to Delfshaven, it will take about 8 or 9 minutes and is about 2.4 km (1.5 mi).
What to see in Delfshaven
Walk along the quaint streets of Delfshaven near the Nieuwe Maas River. Unlike most of Rotterdam, this area was not bombed during World War II, thus you’ll see old-style architecture and numerous beautiful houses. Several of the old houses now hold little art shops, making it a great area to walk through and window shop. If you do want to pop into a store, I’d have to suggest Petra Jongmans, which is a beautiful jewelry store located on Voorstraat 7 where you can shop or learn to make your own jewelry. However, the hours are limited by appointment or Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm.
Additionally, Delfshaven is the port in which English pilgrims set out for America, so if you want to learn more about this history, visit the Pilgrim Fathers Church (Pelgrimvaderskerk). The historic church, Pelgrimvaderskerk dates to the 1400s and should be added to any itinerary of Delfshaven because this is where pilgrims met before sailing to America in 1620. Keep in mind that Pegrimvaderskerk is only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm to 4 pm to visit. You can also request a guided tour of the church on their website.
De Distillerketel is another historic site to see in Delfshaven. This is a decent-sized 18th century windmill right on the water in Delfshaven. It is an active grain mill used to grind barley, wheat, corn, and teff with traditional processes. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether the inside of the windmill can be visited.
Where to eat in Delfshaven
Eat at Rotterdam’s only brewery called De Pelgrim. Located in one of the historic buildings in Delfshaven, De Pelgrim brews specialty beer using Rotterdam’s water and several of the dishes they offer are prepared with beer. When visiting De Pelgrim, I suggest ordering a sampler of beers so that you can taste their different beers that are on tap.
Regarding what to eat, De Pelgrim has some incredible choices. During my visit, my travel companions and I ordered the burger, an open-faced sandwich, and the chef’s choice dish (called brouwerslunch), which consisted of a cold meatloaf, cheese soup, bread, and salad. I would highly recommend ordering the chef’s choice dish as the meatloaf was unlike anything I have ever eaten — it was full of incredible spices as well as some dried fruit. Additionally, the cheese soup was flavored with beer and was absolutely incredible, especially to dip the bread into. The brouwerslunch cost 12.50 EUR (13.43 USD) and the portion was very generous and could have easily been shared by two people.
The menu is not in English at De Pelgrim, so feel free to ask your server to explain the dishes to you. Keep in mind that De Pelgrim is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is open on Wednesdays through Saturdays from 12 pm to midnight and on Sundays from 12 to 10 pm.
During my off-season visit to Rotterdam and Delfshaven, I noticed that many shops and restaurants were not open and some major construction was being done on some buildings that lined the canals. If you are interested in shopping in one of the cute stores in Delfshaven, be sure to check their opening hours online to avoid disappointment.
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