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Need help with daytrip to Den Haag, Delft and Haarlem

Need help with daytrip to Den Haag, Delft and Haarlem

Old May 5th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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Need help with daytrip to Den Haag, Delft and Haarlem

I know I'm trying to do "too much", but I don't have enough time. I want to go to Den Haag & Deflt, but not sure if it's worthwhile to squeeze in Haarlem.

Here are my Qs:

1. I want to visit Mauritshuis, Escher Museum and Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag. How much time is the "minimum" to see each museum? Also, geographically, where are the locations of these 3 museums in relation to each other (I'll be arriving by train)?

2. I believe Robyn (artstuff) has recommended taking Tram #1 from Den Haag to Delft. Where is the station for Tram #1? How long is the trip?

3. Is it worthwhile to go to Haarlem if I can only spare 1 hour there? I won't have time to go to Frans Hals museum.

4. Train - is there some kind of day ticket that I can buy for the trips or I should buy individual tickets? If there is a train day ticket, does it cover any local transportation (such as the Tram from Den Haag to Delft?)
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I can't help, but these are excellent questions that I would also love to hear the answers to. I am going to piggy back here and slide in my own Netherlands Daytrip question!

We have time for one daytrip in the Netherlands, and can't decide between visiting Delft and Den Haag (just like yk is proposing), or an outdoor museum. Any thoughts? Is it possible to get a taste of both city and country Netherlands in one day trip?

Thanks, and I hope you don't mind me tagging along yk!
Old May 5th, 2005, 09:13 AM
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I've only been to Mauritshuis. It's a very small museum. I'd compare it with the Frick Collection in NYC. You can easily see this museum in less than an hour if you rush. The Vermeers and the Rembrandt are fairly close to one another. And there's also a collaboration between Jan Bruegel and Rubens (if I remember right).

If memory serves, Binnenhof (the seat of the Dutch Parliament) is nearby. When I was there with my friend, he suggested getting some herring (?). When fried that was really delicious finger food. Try not to miss it. We found a cart near Binnenhof.

We took Tram #1 to Delft, but I can't remember how long it takes. At most 20 minutes? It's very quick.

I don't know about day train tickets, but you can buy a strippenkarten (sp?) for the trams. I think that I read here (maybe through something artstuff wrote) that this works throughout the Netherlands. So you can use it on Tram #1 and subsequently when you're in Amsterdam.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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I'll answer part of Q #1 myself, after looking up the museums on mappy.com

Gemeentemuseum is located outside on the city center. I think I'll go there first (from Central station). Then I'll tackle Escher, followed by Mauritshuis. (The latter 2 are close to each other, about 300 yards.)
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Old May 5th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Hi yk.....

#1 - I would allow a minimum of 2 hours to visit the Escher Museum. I've never visited the Mauritshuis (maybe next time) or the Gemeentemuseum, so I can't comment on time needed for those museums.

#2 - We started in Delft and took Tram #1 to den Haag HS (Hollandse Spoor) Station, where we transfered to Tram #8, then proceeded to the Lange Voorhout, where we got off and visited the Escher Museum. From there we took the #7-#8 to the Panorama Mesdag, then afterwards took the #7 into Scheveningen. We took tram #1 from Scheveningen all the way back to Delft. It was a leisurly ride that took about 40 minutes.

How are you planning to get from Centraal Station to the Gemeentemuseum? From the Gemeentemuseum, it looks like you could pick up the #8 tram at the Statenplein and run that down to the Lange Voorhoot, where you could visit the Escher Museum and the Mauritshuis.

If you want to travel into Delft, from there you could just reverse my directions, taking the #8 to the HS Station, then picking up the #1.

Travel on the tram is done with the Strippenkaart, so you will need to check when you get on the tram how many zones you need to fold under (do you know how to use the Strippenkaart?).

To get from Scheveningen to Delft it was 4 zones, so we had to fold and stamp on the 5th section (3 people traveled, so we used one Strippenkaart, 5 sections each, for a total of 15 sections, which cost EUR6.20 back in 2003 - darn cheap travel, if you ask me).

#3. If you only have one hour, I would probably save Haarlem for another time, and just use that extra hour in a town where you will already be.

#4. If you were doing 3 day trips from Amsterdam, I would recommend the 3-day Amsterdam Rail Pass, which includes tram/bus travel for an extra small fee (at least it was in 1998, the last time we used it). If you are only doing one day trip, then I would recommend point-to-point tickets. You can check schedules and prices at:


????'s For You - Which Delft Pottery factory are you planning on visiting. It you visit de Delftse Pauw (my favorite), get off of tram #1 on your way in from den Haag at the Vrijenbanselaan stop and walk 5-10 minutes to the pottery factory. If you are going to the other one, be sure to check out the Delft tunnel on your way there.

I've got to get ready to go to the theatre tonight (a mini Fodor's get toether), so I will check back this evening and answer any other questions you might have. Gotta go... Peace.

Robyn >-
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Old May 5th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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You're the true resident expert on the Netherlands, artstuff!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Hi yk,

>3. Is it worthwhile to go to Haarlem if I can only spare 1 hour there? I won't have time to go to Frans Hals museum.<


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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Hi Robyn-

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I just finished reading 2 guidebooks to Amsterdam (and surrounding areas), so now I have a better idea.

#1 - I think I'll spend about 2 hours in Gemeentemuseum, 2 hours at Escher, and about 1 hour at Mauritshuis.

#2 - I found the website for local transportation for Den Haag.
I'll take tram #17 from Centraal station to Gemeentemuseum, then the same #17 back and get off at Korte Voorhout for Escher Museum. Then will walk to Mauritshuis. From Mauritshuis, it looks like it's not too far a walk to Kneuterdijk stop to catch Tram #1.
I think I can handle the Strippenkaart.

#3 - I think I'll skip Haarlem, and spend more time in Delft.

#4 - It looks like the individual tickets are cheaper. I'll ask at the Amsterdam station to see what tickets are the cheapest option.

To answer your question, I'm actually not planning to visit any factories in Delft (gasp!) I probably won't get into Delft until 4-5pm, which by then the factories are closed anyway. I'm going to Delft to absorb the Vermeer ambience. But if I find myself in Delft earlier than I expected, I'll be sure to check out the factory.

2 more questions for you (or anyone):

Does Tram #1 drop me off in the center of Delft? I probably want to start off somewhere near the Markt.

Did you see my 2 other posts?
"Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam"
"Anyone been to Stedelijk Musuem CS in Amsterdam lately?"
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Old May 5th, 2005, 07:40 PM
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Hello yk -

Thanks for the link to the den Haag transportation page. I have bookmarked it for future use. I've been using a Falkplan map of den Haag from 1998, which probably isn't current as I'm sure the tram/bus lines change from time-to-time. I looked at the website briefly and they had a good tutorial on the Strippenkaart.

If you can't get to one of the two Delft Pottery factories, you can still get to see some interesting Delft artwork. Check out the following thread for information about the Delftware Mosaic Bike Tunnel.


If you scroll down to jenviolin's response from 06/08/2004, you will find some other places in Delft to view Delftware.

"Does Tram #1 drop me off in the center of Delft?"

According to my Falk map of Delft (which I purchased at the VVV in 1998, and well worth my money) as you come into Delft on Tram #1 there is a stop at Vrijenbanselaan, then Kalverbos, then Wateringse Vest, then Phoenixstraat by Schoolstraat, then Phoenixstraat by Binnenwatersloot. If you get off at this stop, cross the street, walking away from the rail line, keep walking, and you will cross the Oude Delft, take Pepperstraat, make a left then right, then across another canal and you will be in the Markt, with the impressive Stadhuis on one end of the square and the Nieuwe Kerk at the other end. The VVV is also located on the square. The next stop down on Tram #1 would be Centraal Station.

I saw your other two posts, but didn't have any info to share. I've been to Rotterdam four times, mostly for the modern architecture and the port. I just checked with my husband and he can't remember us ever doing any museums in Rotterdam, although there are many to pick from. I've been to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (next to the van Gogh), but went primarily to see a special exhibit by Dennis Hopper.

Hope this info helps with your planning.

111op - Thanks for the compliment I love the Netherlands, in fact I recently found an elementary school report that I did in 4th grade (too many years ago) all about Holland - perhaps that's when my love of the country began.

Peace, Robyn >-
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:18 AM
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Thanks again, Robyn, for your detailed explanation.

When I was still half-asleep this morning, I've decided to switch my plans around.

Now that I've decided to skip Haarlem completely, I think I'll go to Delft first and then Den Haag. The reason is the museums in Den Haag don't open until 10a or 11a. If I get to Delft around 9am or so, this seems to be a better use of my (very limited) time. Do you know what time the Delft factories open?

Anyway, if I end up going to Delft first, I can ask the VVV where to pick up Tram #1 - and I already know where to get off in Den Haag!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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Thanks for this thread. My daughter and I had previously decided to go to Den Haag for our day trip in August, but maybe we'll try to squeeze in one more town too.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 06:23 PM
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I'm back from my trip, and here's an update if this thread ever came up on a search. Cut & pasted from my lengthy trip report:
Author: yk
Date: 05/29/2005, 12:23 am
May 25, Day 6
Part I - 2 hours in Delft

I'm in a hurry again. I got up early and caught the 8:10am train to Delft. Breakfast at the hotel doesn't start until 8am, so I had to skip breakfast. The train ride to Delft took about 1 hour (2 direct trains/hour).

There is no TI at Delft train station, but there is a computer TI kiosk right outside the station. I managed to get the computer to print out a map for me. In reality, one doesn't really need a map, as there are plenty of signs around.

The station is a short walk from the Old Center (maybe 5-10 mins?). I found the actual TI which has 2 computers inside with free internet access. I got a free visitor's guide, but also spotted a "Vermeer guide" which retails for € 2,20. I bought the Vermeer guide, which in retrospect was not worth it. It lists the approximate locations of where Vermeer had lived, and a few other sights. It also lists the shooting locations of the movie "Girl with a Pearl Earring." Unfortunately, I hadn't seen the movie, so I didn't bother checking out the film locations. Given the limited time I had, I also skipped touring the porcelain factories. With a real map in hand, I set off for some sightseeing.

Delft is a beautiful and tranquil town. I fell in love with it the moment I arrived. There were almost no tourists around, though I have to admit it was rather early when I got there. I headed to the Markt where the Nieuwe Kerk and the Stadhuis are located. It was so quiet there that I couldn't even find one person to take a picture of me!

Nieuwe Kerk (€ 2,50; includes admission to Oude Kerk) houses the tomb and mausoleum of William of Orange. It is very elaborate, and has been a tourist sight ever since the death of William of Orange. At the bottom of his feet lies his dog, which died a few days after him.

I strolled around, following the "Vermeer" guide. Visited a few addresses where he used to grow up & live. None of the houses survived from his days. I then went back to the Markt and checked out De Porceleyne Fles's store. The store has a photo of Bill & Hilary Clinton, who visited Delft back in 1997. I couldn't leave the store without buying some Delftware.

I headed next to Oude Kerk and found both Vermeer's and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's tombs. Leeuwenhoek was a friend of Vermeer and the executor of his estate after Vermeer's death. He also invented the microscope, and was thought to be the person depicted in Vermeer's Astronomer and Geographer.

Time flew by very quickly in Delft, and I was very sad when I had to leave 2 hours later. I'll have to return in the future and spend much more time there to truly absorb its ambience.

With Robyn's (artstuff) advice, I opted to take Tram #1 to Den Haag instead of the regular train. There is a stop for Tram #1 just one block west of the Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsnhof (where William of Orange was assassinated). The tram route is very scenic, and took 25 minutes (and 4 strips on the strippenkaart) to reach Den Haag. I arrived in Den Haag at 11:50am.


Author: yk
Date: 05/29/2005, 11:05 am
May 25, Day 6
Part II - 5 hours in Den Haag, 3 museums

I got off Tram #1 in Den Haag at the stop right after the Centrum stop - just past the lake. It was lunch time, but what/where to eat? I vaguely remember 111op mentioned in a thread about some fried fish near Binnenhof. As soon as I got off the tram, I saw a guy in business suit passing me with a tray of fried fish in his hand! I stopped him in his tracks and demanded him to tell me where he got it. He pointed to a stall next to Binenhof, and I let him go. I ordered the fish at the stall and ate it on a bench facing the lake. For € 3, I got about 7-8 pieces of fried fish (I think it's herring). It was a rather filling portion, and I was convinced I had clogged up any remaining arteries that weren't clogged up the day before with the fries.

I walked past Binenhof's courtyard and headed straight towards Mauritshuis. I arrived there at 12:15pm.

Museum #1: Mauritshuis
Mauritshuis is named after Johan Maurits, who was governor of Brazil for about 8 years. Interestingly, his grandfather was the brother of William of Orange. Anyway, the attraction of visiting Mauritshuis is obviously its Vermeers.

Mauritshuis (admission € 7,50, free with NMC) owns 3 Vermeers, but currently, the "Vienna" Vermeer - The Art of Painting is on loan at Mauritshuis.

I got the audioguide, which is only € 1!

Currently there is an exhibit titled, "The Eye Deceived, Trompe-l'oeil paintings by Cornelius Gijsbrechts" on the first level. He was a 17th-c Flemish painter who painted for the Danish court in Copenhagen. He was known for painting scenes that appear 3-D. I found it quite entertaining.

The floor above is where the permanent collection resides. The first room is the Vermeer room with 4 paintings hanging one on each wall. The painting that caught my eye immediately was View of Delft.

I have seen numerous reproductions of the painting in various books before, but none of them did any justice to the actual painting. I find this painting truly exquisite: the light effect, the blue sky, the dark clouds, the shimmering of the water... Now I finally understand why Marcel Proust was so taken by this painting and called it "the most beautiful painting in the world." I wish I could turn the clock back to 1996 when 21 paintings of Vermeer were brought together on exhibit, so that I could attend.

I found Girl with a pearl earring wonderful also. This work is known as a "tronie," meaning that it portrays a certain type of character rather than a portrait. It was interesting to read in the catalog that the true bright colors finally emerged after the painting was restored in 1994. They removed the darkened varnish so that the reflections on her lips and the pearl once show again. It is her glistening, slightly parted lips which I find so captivating.

The other 2 paintings, The Art of Painting and Diana and her nymphs are far less exciting.

Moving on, other highlights include:
- Rogier van der Weyden's Lamentation - it looks like he had painted at least 3 different versions of Lamentation, one at London's NG, one at Brussels' Royal museum, and one here. I guess I saw all 3 on this trip!
- Avercamp's On the ice - another one of his winter ice-skating paintings. This one he painted a woman falling on the ice with her buttocks exposed!
- more Saenredam and Jan Steen
- Gerard ter Borch's The Louse Hunt
- Rembrandt's Anatomy lesson of Dr. Tulp - a commissioned painting which made him famous in Amsterdam. The painting was done in the building now known as "De Waag," which housed the Guild of Surgeons back in the 17th-c.

Paintings missed:
- Rembrandt's Self Portrait in 1669, believed to be one of his last self portraits. The painting is undergoing restoration.
- Carel Fabritius' The goldfinch - I don't know how I could have missed it! This is one of the most famous paintings by Fabritius, and he was a student of Rembrandt and thought to have influenced Vermeer on the play of light. He died young at an explosion and had an oeuvre of about a dozen or so paintings.

Museum #2: Escher Museum at Het Paleis
The Escher Museum (admission: € 7,50, not covered by NMC) is a short walk from Mauritshuis, near the US Embassy. Before the trip, I read (well, 2/3 of it) a book titled, "Escher on Escher," which is a collection of his lectures (he never gave the lectures becase he fell ill). It gave me a good idea of his works and the book has plenty of illustrations.

I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. Most of the works on view are the ones I had already seen in the book. Slightly more interesting were his early works, before he became known for his repeated patterns and illusions. His early works were etchings of places which he had visited.

The 3-D virtual reality experience on the top floor was interesting. However, I get motion sickness very easily, and I got nauseated halfway through the "movie" and really didn't enjoy it.

The most interesting aspect of the museum, IMO, is the 15 huge chandeliers hanging in the rooms, designed by Hans van Bentem. Each one is of a different shape, inspired by Escher's works. There's sea-horse, upside-down umbrella, skull, bird, amphora, pipe etc.

Instead of spending 2 hours in the museum which I had allocated, I was done in 1.

Museum #3: Gemeentemuseum
The Gemeentemuseum (admission: € 8, free with NMC) is located outside the city center, but easy to reach by tram #17. There is a tram stop on Korte Voorhout, about 50 yards down from the US Embassy, and it drops me off right in front of the museum entrance. The museum was the last building designed by Berlage, who also designed the Beurs van Berlage building in Amsterdam.

The main attraction (for me) is its Piet Mondrian's collection - the world's largest - and Victory Boogie Woogie, his last work which remained unfinished when he died of pneumonia in 1944. Other highlights of the museum include a fashion/costume section and a collection of musical instruments.

I was very disappointed when I arrived. The museum is preparing an exhibition, so over half of the museum was closed! No costume section, no musical instruments section, and just a handful of Piet Mondrian (instead of 9 galleries of Mondrian as described on its website). Fortunately, Victory Boogie Woogie is on view.

I was surprised by the piece. On reproductions, it looks like the painting has just different "blocks" of colors. Looking at the real thing, a lot of these blocks are not paint, but colored tapes! Some even have multiple layers of colored tapes.

The rest of the display was rather dull for me, except for a room display of Delftware. The current exhibition is on Kees Verwey, whom I have never heard of nor interested in. I ended up going to the museum cafe and had a tea and a piece of pastry. I was in the museum for no more than 1 hour.

I took tram #17 to Den Haag's central station and took the train back to Amsterdam.

Here is the link to my full trip report:
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