Visit the historic centre of Rotterdam with many museums, the brewery and many authentic bars and restaurants.

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Delfshaven is a historic harbour and one of the oldest places in Rotterdam and attracts a lot of tourists. You will find many antique shops and art galeries in this area as well as the Museum Rotterdam and the famous Pilgrim Fathers Church.

History of Delfshaven

Delfshaven (which means harbour of Delft) started as a colony of the city of Delft in 1389 when Delft was connected to the river Maas. In 1795 Delfshaven became an independent city and nowadays it’s a district of Rotterdam. Delfshaven played an important role in history of the Netherlands. In 1577 Piet Hein, a famous Dutch naval officer and folk hero, was born here. Hein captured the Spanish treasure fleet loaded with silver during the Eighty Years’ War between Spain and Holland. You can see a statue of Hein and a replica of his birth house in Delfshaven.

Pilgrim Fathers Church

Another historic site in Delfshaven is the Old Church, better known as the Pilgrim Fathers Church. The Pilgrim Fathers did their last service in this church in 1620 before leaving Holland with the Speedwell on their way to America. After a stop in Southampton where most of them changed to the Mayflower ship they established the second successful English colony in America. Nowadays this colony is known as Plymouth, Massachusetts. There are still services in the church but you can visit the church between services as well.

Museum Rotterdam

Another place of interest in Delfshaven is the Museum Rotterdam, which is located in a historic warehouse. The warehouse was built in 1669 for the Dutch East India Company, which was one of the most powerful organizations in the world at that time. In the museum you can learn everything about the life of the Rotterdammers in the past and at present.

Old mill of Delfshaven

Other interesting sights in Delfshaven are the Rotterdam’s brewery, located in the former city hall of Delfshaven, and the historic mill called De Distilleerketel. You will find this mill on many post cards of Delfshaven. The mill processed malt which was used in the distilleries to produce genever, the alcoholic traditional liquor of the Netherlands. You can taste genever or one of the locally brewed beers in the Pelgrim brewery next to the Pilgrims Fathers Church.

Shopping, eating and sleeping in Delfshaven

You can find some nice shops in Delfshaven ranging from antique shops, fashion boutiques to charming shops with home accessories. In addition, Delfhaven is known for the specialized wedding stores selling bridal clothing, bridal shoes and wedding flowers. There are regularly fashion shows organized. For a bite to eat, there are a number of cafes and restaurants available. Delfshaven is also a popular area to stay: you can sleep in some of the historic homes because some of the owners run a bed and breakfast.