Located 35 mi/55 km southwest of Amsterdam, Delft, the City of Tiles, is delightfully captured in Tracy Chevalier's novel Girl With a Pearl Earring. It has quaint shops, restaurants, windmills, canals and, of course, the famous Delftware pottery.

The Huis Lambert van Meerten Museum (Delft tiles) and the Legermuseum (the Royal Army and Weapon Museum) are well worth visiting. So is the De Koninklijke Porcelyne Fles (ceramics factory), which has been in business since 1653—you can see its museum and working areas. In the fall, Delft hosts the annual Old Art and Antiques Fair, a combination exhibit and auction. Allow a full day for Delft.

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