It is Holland’s second largest metropolis and has one of Europe’s busiest ports. Even though the WWII bombing resulted in a full reconstruction of the city, it still tells a lot of history. The city is an open-air gallery, combined with contemporary constructions, like the Markthallen and Erasmusbrug.
Rotterdam is an important commercial center for The Netherlands, which makes it a vibrant and dynamic place to be. Great place to visit for some shopping, museum visits and clubbing.
Even though Amsterdam is close by, it is not even close to the look and feel of the city. Skyscrapers and bright colored towers are visible when entering the city by boat, car or train. The full redesign of the city makes it a unique, urban and modern city. Exceptions can be found just outside the city center, like the Oude Haven, the oldest port of Rotterdam, and a buzzing area to be during the evening.
During summer the city brights up with festivals like the North Sea Jazz Festival and of course it’s well-known Summer Carnival.
We stayed in the Nhow hotel, which is located at the other side of the Nieuwe Maas, which is connected to the city side by the Erasmus Bridge.
The hotel is a modern, design hotel with a perfect location. Don’t expect high-end service, but the rooms are simple and comfy and all you are really looking for when booking a city break.
After your breakfast, walk over the Erasmus Bridge towards the city. Make sure to come back through this way by night. Looking over the city’s skyline and looking up the 139 meter high pylons is just impressive!
You can visit one of the museums, like the World Arts Museum or Kunsthal, visit the Rotterdam Zoo or go shopping in the big shopping street. Enough choice for everyone’s taste. The most famous shopping streets are Lijnbaan, Koopgoot, Hoogstraat and the Meent. More exclusive shops can be found at the Van Oldenbarneveltstraat and the arty/creative shops can be found at the Witte de Withstraat.
A climb in the Euromast is something you must not miss! Take the elevator and enjoy a 185m height lookout over the city. The glass-walled tower is offering amazing 360 degree views! For the adventure seekers, you can go zip lining from the top to ground floor if you wish. For the others, just take the elevator back down.
Tickets and info via Euromast. An adult ticket to go up is 9.50 Euro and the zip lining experience is 52,50 Euro per person.
After the thrills of heights, you are ready for some food! Go for lunch at Bertmans. The place for breakfast, brunch or lunch, but you are more than welcome for a cup of coffee or glass of wine too! Great buzzling vibe with gorgeous food! A must must go!
Save some space for some small bites at one of Rotterdams markets. There is a market almost every day of the week in Rotterdam. The biggest market in Rotterdam is located at Binnenrotte, next to station Blaak up to shopping street the Meent. The well-known indoor market and architectural masterpiece called the Markthal is located at Marktplein and is worth a visit. Even if you don’t go in, just seeing the building itself and the design of it, is worth the walk.
During the summer months, you can visit the Zomer zondag markt (Summer Sunday market) on a Sunday at Marktplein. A lifestyle market, the Swan Market, is organized a couple of times during the year in a weekend and can be found at the Grotekerkplein and at Museum park. View the Rotterdam agenda for an accurate overview.
The place for dinner is Holy Smoke; the all day drinks and food bar. Go for the Surf & Turf and add a G&T to it. Success guaranteed!
Wine lovers must visit 1Nul8 or go to one of the many secret hidden bars, like Docter Cocktail and the Suicide Club. We have visited the last one. Getting there was an experience on its own, but once up, the view is fabulous and the drinks are even better!
Pic credits: Entree magazine
Rotterdam has its own airport and therefor easy to reach by international travelers. Even budget airlines like Ryanair are flying into Rotterdam airport.
With its many train stations, the city can easily be reached from national cities or international cities like Brussels and Paris. Arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Amsterdam city will easily and in around 30 minutes take you to Rotterdam central. Trains in The Netherlands are comfortable, they ride on time and frequent for a reasonable price. More info and tickets, visit the website of the NS national rail system.
We hope you’ll enjoy Rotterdam as much as we did! Make sure to leave your must do’s and tips in the comments below.