Rotterdam City Guide

Thinking of the Netherlands, what first of all comes to mind are wooden windmills, canals and fields full of tulips. But Holland can do it differently, and that is most evident in Rotterdam. Almost completely destroyed in the Second World War, the Rotterdamers threw aside the old plans to rebuild the city and laid the foundation for the “Manhattan on the Meuse”. Today, Rotterdam is an impressive example of the fact that patchwork can also function in architecture and is probably the only city in the Netherlands that does not get older but gets younger over the years.

The cultural scene in Rotterdam is just as exciting as the modern, iconic architecture of the Erasmusbrücke, the market hall and the main train station: techno fans know the city as the birthplace of Hardcore and Gabber, while the market hall which opened in 2014 houses the largest artwork in the country and in the harbor a small forest floats on disused buoys.

Young and urban is also possible in the numerous restaurants and shopping streets. In addition to the international chains, there are also numerous concept stores and design and fashion shops in Rotterdam. If you want to experience and discover something new, you should make a quick visit.

Rotterdam on the Water

While in many places you only want to go to the sea in the summer, Rotterdam attracts you to the water with its impressive harbor, all year round. The hustle and bustle in the largest seaport in Europe is already an attraction in itself – over 460 million tons of goods are handled here every year.

But there is also much to see in Delfshaven, the city’s last historic Maas harbor. From traditional canals and beer breweries to an old shipyard, where a warship from the 18th century has been faithfully recreated.

These attractions are connected by the typical for Rotterdam water taxis. Assuming that you have a light seaworthiness, these small boats bring you here from A to B very quickly, and at the same time deliver an impressive harbor panorama.

Must Sees in Rotterdam

Markthal

Completed in 2014, the Rotterdamer Markthal is both a spectacle fort he eye and a culinary delight. The imposing arch spans a market area in which, in addition to around 100 market stalls and 15 food shops, there are also a few restaurants and a whole supermarket. There are more than 200 apartments in the arch itself, and then there is a four-storey cellar where archaeological finds are displayed that were discovered when the foundations were excavated. And of course the “Horn of Plenty”, the largest artwork in the country. Go, marvel and enjoy.

UfO Restaurant

A new amusement park is currently being built in the middle of the port of Rotterdam. The first attraction opened in the spring of 2018, the UfO restaurant. The circular disc picks up its guests for lunch, brunch or dinner on the ground and elevates them to a height of 42 meters, where it slowly turns around its own axis. And the food is excellent too!

SS Rotterdam

What do you do with a ship that is no longer needed at sea? A museum ship? A bar or a restaurant? Or a hotel? With the SS Rotterdam, which was launched in 1959 and until 1997 as a passenger and cruise ship sailed the oceans for the Holland-America Line, the new owners could not seem to agree what to do. So the ship is now a museum and a hotel with a bar and restaurant. A good decision.

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Delfshaven

As one of the few quarters of the city, which were spared by the German bombardment in the Second World War, Delfshaven on the Maas river even today shows its traditional Dutch face. Behind the colorful wooden facades, however, there are also young design and fashion stores, numerous bars and cafés, and one or two barbers. In retrospect, you only feel as if you are walking into past when you visit the “De Delft”: in a historic shipyard, where the warship from the 18th century is reconstructed in every detail.

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Splash Tours

Should one explore the city by bus, or on the water? Why not both? With the Splash Tours, you go on a sightseeing tour through the streets of Rotterdam, then the amphibious bus goes into the Meuse River and shows the breathtaking skyline of the city from the water. A little tip: The tours are very popular, so be sure to pre-register online at: https://www.splashtours.nl/en/

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