Incredible architecture, an international vibe and hip places to go: Welcome to the wonderful city of Rotterdam.
I have to admit that once again I fell in love with a Dutch city (sorry Utrecht for cheating on you – however you will stay my number 1 ;) ). And in just a few seconds I am going to tell you why. But first, let’s give you some information about this modern Dutch city:
Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands (just behind Amsterdam). It is located in South Holland within the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Rotterdam is well-known as a major logistic and economic center and also for Europe’s largest port. About 630’000 people (2017) are living in this vibrant city and it is also home to the Erasmus University, lots of exciting museums and a lively cultural life.
Almost the whole city center has been destroyed during the Second World War, therefore Rotterdam looks a little bit different than all those typical Dutch cities. Which makes it even more exciting as there is an actual skyline with sky-scrapers. We Swiss people are not used to such high buildings, so that’s why I am so fascinated by skylines and big cities.
So last Sunday, my lovely Polish friend Zuzanna, who I knew from our Erasmus semester in Utrecht, showed me around her new home Rotterdam. And this are the 10 hippest, coolest and most stunning places in Rotterdam she showed me. Enjoy!
The Erasmus Bridge | Erasmusbrug
The Erasmus Bridge is 800 metres long and connects the northern and southern parts of Rotterdam over the Maas River. It is also called „The Swan“ as the shape of the bridge remindes on a swan. (Wikipedia)
The Erasmus Bridge is THE icon of Rotterdam. I just love it! That’s why I have taken so many pictures of it. I think it is such a spectacular bridge and so picturess! Just that you know: It is bike and pendestrian-friendly – so we took a walk to the other side as the weather was good but you could also take the metro if you don’t want to walk or the weather is bad.
Hotel New York – Holland Amerika Lijn
„In earlier times, many Europeans escaped poverty and/or religious persecution by leaving from Rotterdam. These emigrants usually left for North America, hoping for a better life. In 1873 the Nederlandsch Amerikaanse Stoomvaart Maatschappij company was founded, officially renamed ‘Holland America Line’ in 1896. Emigrants embarked in Rotterdam in large numbers, most of them debarking in New York City on arrival in the ‘Promised Land’ of America. In 1971, after more than 100 years of transporting passengers, the Nieuw Amsterdam left the city on the Maas for its last crossing. An important episode in Rotterdam’s nautical history had come to an end.“ – Hotel New York Rotterdam
I was really impressed by this place when I heard the story about it. Right here, thousands of Europeans left Europe in Rotterdam for a better life in North America. They went on a ship, left everything behind and were hoping for a more peaceful life. They basically sailed off into the unknown. And a hundert years ago, there weren’t any WhatsApp nor Skype-messengers. I could listen to stories about emmigrants all the time as I am one of them, – okay I am a modern one – but still, I totally get why people leave their country and take risks.
Fenix Food Factory
„Under the name Fenix Food Factory entrepreneurs offer Rotterdam a culinary hotbed; a place to go shopping, learn how products are made and to experience craftmanship. Closed on Mondays only! So time enough to come again!“ – Fenix Food Factory
Rotterdam is just so hip, especially when it comes to market and food places. A bit outside of the city in Katendrecht you will find a lovely place called „Fenix Food Factory“, it’s a bit hidden but I totally recommend you to check out this trendy market hall to get some food, a coffee or a „lekker beertje“. Please check their opening hours on their homepage. And keep in mind: They are closed on Mondays!
Adress: Veerlaan 19D, 3072 AN Rotterdam, Katendrecht
POSSE | SHOP | GALLERY
The POSSE Shop Restaurant is also based in Katendrecht Rotterdam and just around the corner of the Fenix Food Factory. Here you can have a nice fresh meal in a quite special environment. The staff is supernice and speaks very well English. Lovely and crazy place! But just go and see yourself – I bet you haven’t eaten in such a place yet.
It is open from Thursday till Monday for Lunch, Diner and Drinks. More information about their menu you find on their page.
Adress: Veerlaan 19a, 3072AN Rotterdam, Katendrecht
Great, or St. Lawrence Church | Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
„Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is a Protestant church in Rotterdam . It is the only remnant of the medieval city of Rotterdam.“ – Wikipedia
There was a Swing Dance/ Lindy Hop Party going on when we were walking back to the city center so we spent some minutes watching people dancing and having fun. And suddenly I realized that there is this massive church behind us and I thought it has a funny shape . :)
Old Harbour Rotterdam
The old harbour is the oldest harbour in Rotterdam, it was built in the 14th century and when walking through it you can feel the unique atmosphere. However, what makes the old harbour really special is the mix of old and new architecture. Just next to the old harbour you can find the famous Cube Houses.
The Cube Houses Rotterdam
I think the cube houses in Rotterdam are famous all over the world because of their unusual design. That’s why this spot was also packed with tourist taking selfies. ;) It’s a crazy good photo spot and it’s just funny to know, that people are actually living in those little yellow houses.
Even a hostel is located here and you can visit one of the houses called the „Kiikkubus“ (Show cube) as a resident opened it to the public. I could have a look inside two years ago when I visited Rotterdam for the first time and it’s worth seeing! Entrance is about 2.50 Euro for an adult. The adress and prices you can find here.
The White House | The Witte Huis
This pretty white house is one of the only buildings which survived the bombing of Rotterdam during the Second World War. It was Europe’s first skyscraper (built in 1898) and has been the tallest office building with 43 meters in Europe for many years. It is located right at the Old Harbour.
The markthal Rotterdam is the best place to go when you are starving or craving for some really special food. They basically sell everything related to food here. Amazing place and the architecture – just wow! For more info click here.
Oh the Euromast Tower – definitely the highlight of this great day in Rotterdam. I love heights, towers and views – so the Euromast Tower was totally my thing. First, you take the elevator to the restaurant – 96 meters (reservations have to be made months in advance but I bet it must be so cool to eat up there! one day maybe!), then you go up some stairs to come to the first platform.
Funny enough, there is a hotel room located up there, for € 385.00 per night you can have the tower just for yourself – romantic, romantic. ;) On 112 meters you can enjoy the panormatic views and don’t forget to take the elevator to the top (185 meters) I somehow didn’t realize that you can go even further so I sadly missed that part but I am sure that I will come back one day to show someone else this wonderful Dutch city.
Adults pay € 9,75 for this breath-taking view over the exciting city of Rotterdam. The Euromast Tower in Rotterdam is open every day for the opening hours please check their page. Keep in mind that you can only pay by card there.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I am happy to get to know more places in Rotterdam. So tell me, what is your favorite spot in Rotterdam or what do you think I have to visit the next time I’m there?
Happy to hear your tips!
Stay connected and keep exploring!