Rotterdam is a city of many faces: a tough port city, a trendy nightlife city, a sophisticated shopping city, and a hip artistic city. Above all, Rotterdam is the architecture city of Holland that stimulates innovation. Its skyline is always changing. There are many things to do amid Rotterdam’s skyscrapers. You can go on a shopping spree, enjoy some excellent food, and visit a range of museums and attractions in and around the city center.
The best-known museums in town and two of Holland’s most sophisticated museums, Boijmans van Beuningen and Kunsthal, are located on the Museumpark in Rotterdam. Elsewhere in the city you will find even more museums and exciting attractions, such as the Scheepvaartmuseum shipping museum, Hotel New York, Spido and Steamship Rotterdam. If the cultural offering doesn’t convince you, the huge and varied shop offering will.
Rotterdam is the second largest city in Holland and unlike any other Dutch city. With its impressive skyline, Rotterdam is also called ‘the Manhattan on the Meuse’. Rotterdam’s skyline is completely unmatched and the city’s tightly woven high-rises look amazing from any distance. For a truly speculator view, head over to the Euromast and marvel at Rotterdam from the tower’s 96 meter high observation deck.
Rotterdam’s international port is Europe’s biggest harbour and among the world’s top five biggest harbours. It is an architectural and cultural metropole with countless attractions, festivals and museums. The city has a lively, young urban culture and an unmatched selection of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Rotterdam used to be a labourers’ city, which has lived on in its way of thinking characterized by honesty and hard work.
Rotterdam lost most of its pre-20th century architecture during World War II, when German airstrikes levelled the city. Afterwards, Rotterdam was rebuilt according to contemporary design standards leading to its current ultra-modern urban layout. Today, there are dozens of incredible buildings inside Rotterdam and the city has the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the Netherlands.
There are many architectural masterpieces in Rotterdam including the city’s famous Cube Houses. Furthermore, the 18 gigantic windmills also known as The Mill Network near Kinderdijk are collectively recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their cultural and historical significance.
Most of these mills were built in 17th century in order to drain waterlogged land and prevent flooding. Kinderdijk is within biking distance from Rotterdam and several frequent bus services run between both destinations.
HOW TO GET TO ROTTERDAM
- By Train: Rotterdam is connected by an international rail to Belgium and France. If you are travelling from Antwerp, Brussels or Paris, you can take the high speed train which takes around half hour, 1 and a half hour and around 2 and a half hour respectively to reach Rotterdam. Train is also available from Amsterdam, Gouda, Leiden, The Hague and Flushing among other cities. The rail link is preferred for a cross Europe tour and is a budget friendly way to reach Rotterdam.
- By Air: Rotterdam The Hague Airport is located around 7 kilometers from the city center and is connected to major European cities including Italy, France, Germany and United Kingdom. You can opt for a Tinker Taxi at the airport to take you to the hotel.
- By Boat: If you are travelling from the United Kingdom, ferries are available with overnight as well as day journeys and provide a bus shuttle service to take you to the city center.
- By Car: Major highways connect Rotterdam to cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Gouda and you can park on the street by using a Chip card sold at various points on the highway. Rotterdam is located 73 kilometers from Amsterdam (a little more than an hour’s journey), 27 kilometers from The Hague (30 minutes’ journey time) and 61 kilometers from Utrecht (around 1-hour journey time).
- By Bus: Eurolines bus service connects Rotterdam with neighboring cities like Berlin (12 hours’ journey time), Brussels (around 3 hours’ journey time), Frankfurt (8 hours’ journey time) and Paris (around 7 hours’ journey time) among other cities.
- Other bus service: Megabus connect the city to London (9 hours away) and Cologne (6 hours away) among other cities including Paris and Frankfurt.
Public transport in Rotterdam
It is easy to travel by metro or tram in Rotterdam. The water taxi is a special means of transport, taking you at high speed to over 50 spots in Rotterdam and the surrounding area.