Here’s why you should be visiting Rotterdam

In Europe, Mini Breaks, Netherlands, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A city full of surprises…

If you were in two minds whether to visit Rotterdam or not, then just stop right there and go and book your flight.

Quayside view, Rotterdam, Netherlands

First impressions portray a very modern architectural outlook, which initially may feel to lack the quaint charm of other Dutch towns and cities. However, woven in between the striking contemporary lines is a city rich in history with a vibrant culture.

An open mind

Gary and I have visited Holland on a few occasions and in 2017 headed there for a mini road trip. However, it wasn’t until we travelled to Rotterdam for the Traverse18 conference, that we delved deeper into Netherland’s second largest city.

De Splinter, Rotterdam, Netherlands
World Trade Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands

What did we find?

As you may expect with Rotterdam’s location being so close to the sea, it has a large maritime influence. In addition to the iconic canals so often found in the Netherland’s, it also has busy working waterways and harbours.

Vessel II and the Regentessebrug, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Any sign of water and I’m in my element, so to watch Dutch barges old and new manoeuvring around the rivers and quays was calming to see. One of Rotterdam’s museums is dedicated to all things “maritime” and gives a glimpse into its nautical past.

Leuvehaven, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Tempted to?

Discover more of Holland, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car. You can then visit the iconic towns of Edam & Gouda and also see the 19 traditional windmills at the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk.

SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Oude Haven

Not to be overlooked is Oude Haven (yes, I know another harbour) but you’ll be pleased you headed here, full of restaurants and bars, this area is a great place to relax and watch the world go by.

The Old Harbour, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Witte Huis

From here you can’t help but notice the impressive White House (Witte Huis) built in Art Nouveau style in 1898 and one of the few buildings in Rotterdam to survive the WWII bombings on 14 May 1940.

The Witte Huis across the harbour, Rotterdam, Netherlands

When the White House was built at the height of 43 metres (141ft), it was Europe’s first sky-scraper and sat only one metre above sea level.

Kijk-Kubus

Alright, so perhaps there is another eye-catching piece of architecture around here, the Cube Houses.

The Cube Houses, Rotterdam, Neterlands

Designed by architect Piet Blom in 1977, the 39 houses are tilted at 45-degree angle and are pretty amazing to see. However, not too sure if I could live in one.

The Cube Houses from the Old Harbour, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Spot of lunch

Just a short stroll from the Cube Houses and you are into another vibrant part of the city, Rotterdam’s Market Hall.

The Market Hall , Rotterdam, Netherlands

You must step inside to see the incredible artwork painted within the arched roof.

Opened in 2014, this colourful food hall has something for everyone especially if you are a cheese lover.

Inside the Market Hall, Rotterdam, Netherlands
A cheese stall inside the Market Hall, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Why not?

Start creating your own adventure and discover the delights of the Rotterdam for yourself, British Airways is just one of your options.

Or alternatively hop on the Eurostar for a direct train to Rotterdam and arrive in just over 3 hours.

A reminder of the past

Just beyond the Market Hall is a significant part of Rotterdam’s history, St. Lawrence Church. After partially surviving the WWII Rotterdam Blitz, during which the church was heavily damaged, restoration was carried out as a mark of resilience to the city.

Erasmus in front of Laurenkerk, Rotterdam, Netherlands

It just works

The mix of architectures within the city is fascinating, we loved the combination of old and new, blending with each other.

The car park, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Destroyed City monument, Rotterdam, Netherlands

We came across a circular multi-storey car park, that would now look very out of place in a lot of cities.

For more info

For further information on things to see and do in Rotterdam, take a browse around the Rotterdam Tourist Information website.

Life of the city

Any town or city that Gary and I visit we love to search out their local street art & sculptures, it really wasn’t difficult to find in Rotterdam.

The purple hat, Rotterdam, NetherlandsFikkie the dog, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Cascade - Public Art, Rotterdam, NetherlandsSanta with a suprise, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The artwork brings a place alive and gives an insight into the culture behind the city.

Louis Davids broken record, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Have You?

Strolled around the little harbours in Rotterdam, we’d love to know what you enjoyed about this vibrant city?

A must see

Now you’re here you can’t miss it, head to the tranquil Het Park to visit the Euromast observation tower with a viewing platform of 96 metres (315ft).

And for your efforts, you can stop at Dudok in Het Park for an indulgent piece of apple pie and cream.

Dudok's original apple pie, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Euromast, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Swan

From here wander down to the riverside to get an incredible view of the iconic Erasmus Bridge (nicknamed “The Swan”) which spans 802-metre-long (2,631ft) across the river.

Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam, Netherlands

It was also used in the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2010; however, it’s probably best we gloss over the contenders in that race.

A Brit in clogs

Ok, so I couldn’t resist it, I’m always one for a bit of a cliché.

Janis in clogs, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Take your time to enjoy it

Just like most cities the best way to see and feel the life of a town is just to stroll around and Rotterdam is no exception.

The Cheese Shop, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Wander the streets, admire the shops and boutiques and take the weight off your feet along Witte de Withstraat and enjoy a local beer.

Witte de Withstraat, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Our Memories

Our overriding memories of Rotterdam other than the fantastic architecture is the friendly atmosphere of the locals, nothing was too much trouble.

Where we stayed

Our accommodation while in Rotterdam, was at the Bilderberg Park Hotel. Very central location on the edge of the Cool District and ideal if like us you needed an onsite car park.

rotterdam: Get Your Guide

Inspired to visit Rotterdam?

Why not visit the Cube Houses or discover the quirky sculptures dotted around town?

Why not checkout the latest deals on Booking.Com?

Booking.com

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

Oregon Girl Around the World
About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Here’s why you should be visiting Rotterdam was last modified: October 28th, 2018 by Janis