Rotterdam is a vibrant city with colourful and modern buildings, trendy shops and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. One of the most important port cities in Europe, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands.
Built on the River Rotte around the 1270 as a small fishing village, it became an international port between 1866 and 1872. During Second World War the old centre was destroyed. After that, it was reconstructed with an ultra-modern touch.
What to see in the centre
Travellers can easily move around, walking or renting a bike like the locals. Rotterdam offers audacious architectural highlights like the Markthal. This is a covered market with a distinctive arch shape. It is in the city centre and inside also there are luxury apartments and cafes. In addition, the inside walls have bright murals.
Just 5 minutes walk from the Markthal, visitors can discover the Cube Houses, another distinctive piece of architecture. Designed by the architect Piet Blom, this unique homes are cubes, tilted over by 45 degrees. “Living as an urban roof” is the idea behind the project and the structures represent trees. Therefore, the entire complex is like a forest. Nearby the cube houses, there the Oude Haven. This is the old central port, with cafes, restaurants and the entertainment hub for the locals.
What to see in the north
Moreover, travellers can visit Rotterdam North, where historical industrial buildings are now vintage boutiques and galleries. This part of Rotterdam has also trendy cafes and restaurants like the Op Het Dak – Schieblock Dakcafé. A rooftop organic farm and garden where visitors and locals can enjoy homemade breakfast or lunch. Moreover, looking down on the left side of the café, there is the Luchtsingel Bridge. This is a wooden yellow walking promenade above the ground, long 390 meters.
What to see in the south
After that, another hip neighbourhood of Rotterdam is Katendrecht. In the past it was the sailors’ district, now it is home to new restaurants, shops and bars. It is in a peninsula south of the city centre, connected through the Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge). Here there is the Fenix Food Factory, an old dock warehouse that now is a hip food market.
Family & children
Rotterdam is also perfect for families and kids. In fact it offers great family attractions like the Maritime Museum, an open-air harbour museum with ships, interactive games and maritime world exhibitions. In addition, Villa Zebra is a visual arts space with exhibitions, workshops and multi media projects. Moreover, in the north of the city there is the Zoo, Blijdorp and the indoor Oceanarium.
Photo credit: © Iris van den Broek, Ossip van Duivenbode, Jan Bijl and somewhere-unique