Rotterdam, Antwerp, Delft and/or ?

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Jun 13th, 2018, 06:22 AM
  #1
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Rotterdam, Antwerp, Delft and/or ?

We will be ending a cruise in Amsterdam in early October and have 3 days thereafter there. Since we've been to Amsterdam itself often and recently we would like to do day trips out of the city for all three days. The places I've been considering are:

Day 1--Utrecht after disembarking the ship so will probably only have a little bit more than a half day
Day 2--Rotterdam and Delft Reasoning: they are only 15 min apart and though I've recently seen interesting developments portrayed about Rotterdam in travel mags, I'm thinking that if we don't get excited about it, we can move on to Delft or remain in Rotterdam for the whole day
Day 3--Antwerp, I've become enamored of pix I've seen of their train station and want to see it and their double decker canals

Issue: I've been reading here so many posts in praise of Delft that I'm reconsidering whether I shouldn't plan to definitely include it on the itinerary rather than have it only as a "filler" if Rotterdam proves to be of only minimal interest. The question then becomes how to do that. To make this all work, must I bite the bullet and sacrifice one of the other three, if so which? Or is my basic plan ok, i.e. can I pretty much count on seeing the highlights of Rotterdam in a half day and move on to Delft with time still remaining to explore its highlights? Or should I combine Delft with Utrecht instead of Rotterdam, though that will mean an extra hour of train time?

Along the way I considered and then gave up on Waterland as not being as cute in October as the summer pictures show it. Anything else I might consider to cloud this issue even more?

As usual, I thank you who have already posted so much to get me to this point in my planning and look forward to your help with my current dilemma.

Last edited by JulieVikmanis; Jun 13th, 2018 at 06:26 AM. Reason: typo
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Jun 13th, 2018, 06:43 AM
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Delft would be my choice first and if have time move onto Rotterdam - Delft is a quintessentially cute canal-laced Dutch regional town and if into Delftware visit the factory/museum just outside city center - making that a full day for sure. Rotterdam is nice to visually take in but the city has so many neat museums of all types it begs for a whole day. Utrecht too. Anway train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam - for rail info check www.ns.nl - another choice for Rotterdam is to twin it with Kinderdijk the largest collection of behemoth wooden windmills in Holland - take a boat there from central Rotterdam.
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Jun 13th, 2018, 06:52 AM
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Delft and Rotterdam are 15 minutes apart by train! It's not an either - or situation at all. You can spend a morning in Delft, move to Rotterdam for the afternoon and evening. I don't like Delft much, but PalenQ will tell me I haven't got the correct eye for it, being an insider. It's nice for a stroll in the morning, coffee, looking into its little, quirky shops and then move to Rotterdam.

Kinderdijk from Rotterdam is a day in itself: you can't combine them if you only have a day at your disposal.

Rotterdam - Amsterdam is 40 minutes by Intercity Direct.
I wouldn't combine Delft with Utrecht though: you'd have to connect through either Rotterdam or The Hague, so there's some backtracking involved. I think Utrecht is the outlier here. Then again, it's about 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam and 45 minutes to either The Hague or Rotterdam.
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Jun 13th, 2018, 06:55 AM
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I mixed a bit of The Hague with Delft too - the Mauritshuis and some old royal residence near it and then took tram to Delft - nice ride thru streets of towns, etc. I got a walking tour of Delft from t.office and really had neat time visiting old convents, neat museums, etc.
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Jun 13th, 2018, 10:06 AM
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I don't like Delft much, but PalenQ will tell me I haven't got the correct eye for it, being an insider>

Yes hard for me to believe the average American tourist looking for dreamy old towns would not like Delft - easy to see why a local may as they have seen many towns like that - and I can see many Americans looking for old-world charm not really liking Rotterdam for being too modern. Different viewpoints and I do put a lot of faith in menachem's takes - invaluable inputs from locals. Years ago I took thousands of American bikers thru Rotterdam and Delft and they liked both but really thought Delft was someting special.
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Jun 13th, 2018, 01:00 PM
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I used to live in Rotterdam, and Delft wasn't my favorite day out. I really like Utrecht, and also the Hague. Dordrecht, Leiden, and Haarlem were other favorites.

Even though Utrecht could easily occupy several days, I think a few hours there could be enjoyable. It's a very attractive place.
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Jun 13th, 2018, 02:16 PM
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The Hague and Delft also a great combination. And if you want to do a bit of a scenic detour, take the #1 tram to Delft, right from the The Hague city center. You'll see some suburbs, a great ride along the Vliet and then you'll be in Delft.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 02:30 AM
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Thanks for your help. I went to Kinderdijk on a cruise so I don't need to try to factor that into the plan. Have been to Den Hague and was not too excited about it, so I think I'll stick with combining Rotterdam and Delft, but, as you suggest, start with Delft, so I ensure it ample time, then move on to Rotterdam, rather than the reverse order as I'd earlier planned, Sounds like a full day should afford me some time in both and I'm thinking that finding dinner in Rotterdam before returning might be a great idea. I like both charming/old and vibrant modern and since Rotterdam appears to have the most exciting new market, this could well turn out to be a "best day" for us. Happy, too, to get some good endorsements for Utrecht.

So I think I'm set and feeling very good about this 3 days thanks to all of you. One more question though. I've been checking on Foodhallen in Amsterdam and then noticed that there is supposed to be another in Rotterdam that may or may not yet be finished. I'm amazed that with the fabulous market hall that Rotterdam has already they are adding a second. Or do I have things slightly mixed up? Does anyone know anything about a second market in Rotterdam called Foodhallen (like that in Amsterdam) and if so where it is and whether or when it is set to open?
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Jun 14th, 2018, 05:00 AM
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Amsterdam's Foodhallen is a poor imitation of Rotterdam's Fenix Food Factory, an old coffee warehouse on Katendrecht, where there are many small and artisanal producers. Rotterdam is a showcase of locavore and urban agriculture initiatives and FFF is a major outlet for those. Foodhallen is a commercial real estate provider to mediocre food stalls, in FFF it's the producers themselves who operate the space: much more interesting. You can combine food from any stall and then go have a beer at the Katendrecht brewery that occupies a prime spot. Very good charcuterie and cheese and a decent baker. Also a good stall with Moroccan food. Plus comfy couches for lounging, sipping and nibbling. There are plans for an invasive, Amsterdam centric Foodhallen in the old warehouses opposite the cruise terminal, lot of opposition as it is seen to be in direct competition with FFF, so expectations are that a permit will not be granted so readily.

Dinner suggestions for Rotterdam

(but book ahead, Rotterdam has a vibrant after hours scene)

Fitzgerald on Gelderse Plein just off Blaak (Markthal): expensive
Amarone on Meent (michelin star, book ahead)
Dertien on Schiedamse Vest (book early, very popular, good food, convivial atmosphere, and Pepijn Schmeink brings big flavors and textures)
Lux on 's Gravendijkwal ( a bit further afield, a solid Rotterdam favorite)
Bistrot Du Bac on Sumatrastraat, just opposite FFF
De Matroos en het Meisje, Deliplein, also opposite FFF

Newly opened where I live
The ultra slick and chic Héroine (Kipstraat in the Industriegebouw, newly restored)
Old Scuola, Achterklooster, also in Industriegebouw: exceptional pizza
Jarmusch, Goudse Singel, also Industriegebouw, a new style diner

O'Pazzo, Mariniersweg, longtime favorite Italian restaurant
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Jun 14th, 2018, 07:01 AM
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In Delft, you will want to visit both the Old Church ( Vermeer is buried here) and the New Church where the Dutch royals are buried. They have a combo ticket that includes entrance to both; each church offers a different historic period.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 08:07 AM
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menachem, thanks so much for such complete info on dining in Rotterdam and for the insider's skinny on markets there. I got quite excited about Fitzgerald only to realize its closing days conflict with our schedule. Damn! Sure would like to try it. Thanks for furnishing so many alternatives. I should be able to find something to assuage my disappointment.

HappyTrvlr, appreciate the money saving tip on church visits in Delft. Glad to see that they charge admission. I think all churches should

Thanks to you two and to all who provided such useful info. Off to have fun as I plan, as Swandav would say.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 10:39 AM
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Dertien is the family favorite, also because my nephew works there as a sous chef. We've been a fan of Pepijn's style of cooking and it's such a hospitable place, largely due to Pepijn's generosity as a chef and a host.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser..._Province.html

Last edited by menachem; Jun 14th, 2018 at 10:41 AM.
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Jun 14th, 2018, 01:38 PM
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Antwerp's double-decker canals? Please enlighten me - stayed very often in Antwerp but years ago and don't recall many canals - are those the ones that have been covered and you can walk thru? Curious - Antwerp is neat but the combo of Delft/Rotterdam is neater IMO - Delft the old-world look and Rotterdam ultra-modern one.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 01:17 AM
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I'm saving this information, Menachem, because I'm planning to return to the Netherlands for a visit before long. Actually, I had hoped to go there this summer, but we have too much else on our plates. I want to see my old haunts once more.

I lived in Rotterdam for a year long ago (1986, on Jaan ter Laanplaats). At that time Rotterdam didn't have a lot to offer in the way of restaurants. It seemed to me that all the sauces were sweet and they put pineapple in nearly everything. And the Chinese takeaway had cheese in it! I loved the poffertjes, though! (Tiny ping-pong ball pancakes.) I bought a special griddle to make them when I returned to the US. Unfortunately I had to leave it behind when I moved to Italy. I hope they still make poffertjes. And I'm looking forward to the current restaurant scene in Rotterdam.

My children and I shared a house with a Dutch family, and they made a supper dish I really liked: stamppot boerenkool. They used a delicious white sausage that I couldn't find in the US. I still make it, using whatever sausages I can find. It's a perfect winter meal, Dutch comfort food.

I was working in the Hague that year, commuting from Rotterdam, and for one month I house sat for a colleague in the Hague.There were some great restaurants in the Hague at that time.

People I worked with kept recommending Indonesian rijsttafel restaurants. I didn't care for them, but someone would say, "Oh, you must try this one! It's really authentic!", and they would drag me to yet another rijsttafel. I think it's the whole concept that damps my enthusiasm, so authenticity didn't ring any bells for me.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 01:20 AM
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And how could I forget the Hollandse Nieuwe! Raw baby herring on a hot dog bun. Dutch sushi! What is the season for Hollandse Nieuwe? I'll have to time my vacation to coincide with that.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 02:18 AM
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PalenQ, sorry to be confused--and to pass my confusion on to you.. It is Utrecht, not Antwerp, that has what my guide calls "double-decker" canals with an upper walkway and a lower wharf with restaurants, etc. Be assured that regardless of what I decide to do about Antwerp and Utrecht, I will definitely fit in both Rotterdam and Delft.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 02:34 AM
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menachem, Thanks for the additional info on Dertien. When I looked through your recs it definitely appealed to me. Not quite as certain about DH who isn't as foodie-inclined as I--but he is Latvian and we've never found Latvian wine on any menus in Europe in nearly 50 years of travel there so I may be able to entice him with that info alone. I was unable to find an English version of their menu but from what I gathered via Google translate their menu is ever changing--not just day to day, but even within a day--and can be read on their giant white board. I could not tell whether you can order ala carte or if everything is menu only. Can you enlighten me on that? Location of the place looks good for what I have planned in Rotterdam. Thanks for your help.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 02:43 AM
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Nothing to add. My previous post got submitted twice, and I could edit it, but didn't see a way to delete. So this is a submission that I hope won't be rejected as too short .

Last edited by bvlenci; Jun 15th, 2018 at 02:47 AM.
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Jun 15th, 2018, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
And how could I forget the Hollandse Nieuwe! Raw baby herring on a hot dog bun. Dutch sushi! What is the season for Hollandse Nieuwe? I'll have to time my vacation to coincide with that.
If you want to post information please can you make it accurate?
It is not sushi and no "hot dog bun" either.

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Jun 15th, 2018, 04:54 AM
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Joking aside......Season depends on the weather but normally June
The offical period is fish caught from May until End of June . May is usually very early and as the year progresses less and less of the catch is called Hollandse Nieuwe. But you can purchase until September.
These days the fish must be frozen for 24 hours to kill the Herring worm.

Last edited by ribeirasacra; Jun 15th, 2018 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Corrected dates.
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