Rotterdam, located about an hour south of Amsterdam by train, is often called the gateway to Europe. This port city is full of old world charm, but most of all, it is a wonder of modern architecture and design. During World War II, Germany attacked Netherlands and as a part of their strategy, the heart of Rotterdam was totally destroyed by an extensive bomb attack. Clearing away most of the disaster took over a year and since then Rotterdam has gradually rebuilt itself into an impressive modern city. The Rotterdam municipality is the second largest in the Netherlands, with a population of more than 600,000. The metro population approaches 1.5 million inhabitants. The big port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and from 1962 to 2004, it was the world’s busiest port until surpassed by Shanghai, China.
How to reach
Rotterdam can be accessed in many different ways: by plane, train, car, bus and boat. There are regular flights from all major cities in the neighboring countries to Rotterdam Airport and the city itself has an extensive network of buses, trams and metro. The Hague, Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Maastricht are the nearby airports to Rotterdam in Netherlands. If you prefer it by train then the Eurostar is the ultimate high speed train with daily services to Ebbsfleet and Lille to Brussels South. By car, Rotterdam is easy to access from Germany via the A15 or A16 and from Belgium via the A16. Rotterdam is very easy to reach by boat from England. Once you’re at hook of Holland, Rotterdam city centre is only half an hour away.
Things to do
Kinderdijk is one of the best places in the Netherlands to see some of the most beautiful windmills in the entire country. There are 19 windmills here and some of them are hundreds of years old and you can take tours inside the windmills to discover how they work. If all that isn’t convincing enough, listen to the UNESCO World Heritage site badge of Kinderdijk which is around 15km east of Rotterdam.
Go to Oude Haven
Known as ‘Old Harbour”, it is a beautiful area of Rotterdam which mixes old and new, with ships lining the waters and modern skyscrapers towering above you. It is the perfect place in Rotterdam to wine and dine, especially in the summer when you can sit out on the patios and bask in the sunshine.
Amazing Huis Sonnevenld
If you are a little into architecture, then Huis Sonneveld is one of the most important things to see when in Rotterdam. The museum has been full refurbished in recent years, with interesting features and decoration.
Visiting the SS Rotterdam is much more than just have a poke around an old boat. Not only you can see this beautiful boat which sailed from 1959 to 2000, but you can also enjoy some entertainment like you can get married on it. You can stroll along the deck in the sunshine, have a drink or meal in one of the ships several restaurants and bars. Guess what? Admission is also free.
The View of Erasmusbrug
Known also as Erasmus Bridge, It is one of the iconic landmarks of Rotterdam. It is a cable style bridge in over 800 metres long and has a nickname of ‘The Swan’ because of its asymmetrical style. It looks really stunning at night so you can take a stroll down to the river and admire its beauty in the evening, seeing the Erasmusburg all lit up.
Located between several of Rotterdam’s finest museums, the aptly named Museumpark is the perfect place to stroll around if you have gone a bit crazy going round museums all day. Make sure you keep your eyes wide open as you wander round the park as there are several pieces of artwork dotted around that are worth stopping at.
Most of us love skating at any day. Skatepark Westblaak in central Rotterdam is a heaven for skaters. The free facility was conceived by skaters and caters for skateboarders, in line skaters and BMX enthusiasts. The striking stainless steel half pipes attract both riders and spectators.
Go to Cube Houses
They are a city landmark near the Old Harbour, the elevated, tree house like yellow cube houses which were designed by Dutch architect Piet Blom in the early 1970s.
The Euromast Space Tower
Your visit to this exciting city will never be complete without a climb to the Euromast Space Tower. Here you will find a grand view of the entire city while you are 605 feet high off the ground. Once you have gotten tired of taking in the sights at such impressive heights, you may want to relax for a while and taste culinary delights that tickle your fancy at an impressive restaurant that’s located midway in the tower.
Nights in Rotterdam are as entertaining as the days since the nightlife in this city is never dull or boring. From clubs to cocktail bars to all sorts of cinemas, you can keep yourself and all your companions entertained until the wee hours of the morning. Just remember to avoid dark alleys and streets around midnight as pickpockets and drug runners are known to roam the area at this time.
There is just so much to see and do in this vibrant city so just start planning for your Rotterdam, Netherlands trip today and experience the excitement yourself.