There really isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t visit Rotterdam on your next trip to The Netherlands. It definitely is the most exciting city in the country at the moment, with its groundbreaking architecture, sublime museums, and multi-cultural gastronomical scene.Aside from its fascinating port, Rotterdam also features some fantastic architecture like the modern cube buildings and the Euromast Tower, but also has a wonderful variety of museums, eateries and activities to enjoy.Many travellers don’t realise that Rotterdam is only 1 hour by train from Amsterdam and has far more to offer than being the largest port in Western Europe. Since Rotterdam was badly bombed during the Second World War the city is now basically an open-air museum of modern, cutting-edge buildings, dramatic bridges, street art and rejuvenated industrial areas.
The Rotterdam zoo which is also known as the Diergaarde Blijdorp, kept on going for many years despite having to change locations during WWII to avoid bombing. The zoo is in great condition and features a Botanical garden and Oceanium and also operates breeding programs to help endangered species such as the Red Panda.It is split into several different themed areas which include a Chinese garden, a Malayan Forest, Mongolian Steppes and a crocodile river.Ones of our favorite animals that you can actually see in this zoo are Black Rhino, Greater Kudu, Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant and the Amur Leopard. The zoo it self is really a fantastic place for both children and adults to spent their evening having fun with such adorable animals.
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
The permanent collection holds the best Dutch and European art throughout the centuries. The Marriage Feast at Cana by Hieronymus Bosch and Portrait of Titus and Man in a Red Cap by Rembrandt are absolute must-sees, while the collection of surrealist works is equally impressive. This museum actually holds the largest number of works by Dalí, outside of Spain, pretty impressive to see.
The Erasmus Bridge
The iconic bridge is literally a highlight on the Rotterdam skyline. The locals have nicknamed it The Swan, as from afar it really does look like a large white bird landing on water with its wings spread out. The bridge connects the centre of Rotterdam with the trendy Kop van Zuid, full of theatres, museums and bars.
Stunning piece of architecture constructed back in 2009 which serves as both an office building and a marketplace. The design is quite unique with a large semi-circular grey façade and a large windowed section facing out to the surrounding courtyard. The inside of the structure has some amazing artwork by Arno Coenen and shows various colourful fruits, plants, insects and flowers.
This tower is an observation station that was created in 1960 to provide panoramic views of the Rotterdam Cityscape. The towers stands at 606ft and with its antenna it is the tallest building in Rotterdam. Here you can find also a restaurant, a conference room for business meetings, a hotel suite besides the observation deck.If you are looking for a little adrenaline action you can even zip-line or abseil from the tower!
The Maritime Museum is one of the largest of its type in the world with a huge collection of cartography, maritime memorabilia and art. The museum is located in central Rotterdam near the Markthal and the Cube houses.Some of the interesting exhibitions include a controversial paiting of the Battle of Trafalgar, a collection of figureheads from various ships, different navy uniforms and flags from sea battles.
The latest addition to the Rotterdam brewing scene is situated in an old fire station, so it is fitting that the beer is pumped directly from the enormous onsite brewing tanks.
Fenix Food Factory
Few years ago the city council started to redevelop this once industrial part of the city, so instead of rough Rotterdam neighbourhood it became a safe place for people to shop. In a former waterfront warehouse market collective, Fenix Food Factory opened its doors and is now one of the most popular places for lunch, afternoon snacks and drinks. In this place local vendors sell artisan cheese, meat, bread, and coffee.
The bright yellow cubic houses were built in the 80’s so close together than they remind you a little of a forest, or maybe a bunch of yellow tulips.The cubic houses (or kubuswoningen in Dutch) were designed by architect Piet Blom. It’s possible to visit one of the cubic houses and you can even stay in one during your visit to Rotterdam as a hostel is established in one of the bright yellow buildings.
Summer (although summer in Holland is always a gamble of course haha). The Dutch love a warm summer’s day, so you’ll find them out in force if you happen to be there during a day of 25 degrees and sunny! It always makes for a nice atmosphere.