5 tips for Rotterdam

Rotterdam Skyline
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The second largest city in the Netherlands is no longer an insider tip. Rotterdam is becoming increasingly popular and a city trip to the port city is an experience for young and old.

Just a few years ago, Rotterdam was a port city with rather boring 50s architecture. Today Rotterdam is a mecca for lovers of modern and innovative architecture.

The metropolitan skyline on the water and the cosmopolitan life in the streets convince more and more tourists. A city break to Rotterdam, the city on the Meuse, is becoming increasingly popular. Word has spread about the advantages of this wonderfully innovative city.

Rotterdam offers exciting sights as well as great art and culture. Wonderful things can be marveled at and experienced in Rotterdam’s numerous museums, galleries and concert halls. Spectacular architecture can be discovered in many places in the city.

There is a colorful output life, excellent restaurants and diverse shopping opportunities for all tastes.

Tip 1: Market Hall

The concept of apartments spanning the market hall in an arch shape creates a large open space inside, with room for 80 permanent market stalls, plus restaurants and cafes.

Rotterdam Market Hall
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The market hall is 120 m long, 70 m wide and 40 m high and is truly unmissable. Nevertheless, the building blends in perfectly with the surrounding buildings and appears very transparent thanks to the huge glass facades.

So even from the outside you get a view of the special interior of the building and the colorful artwork that spans the entire market hall.

“Horn of Abundance” is what artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam have called their work, which adorns the arched ceiling of the market hall. And when you stand beneath it and see the oversized fruits, fish and vegetables in all colors pelting down on you, you can’t think of any other name for it.

But you can not only get your fill in the market hall, you can also eat your fill.

The market hall is open every day and special food of all kinds is offered there. Vegetables, fresh fish, organic meat and nuts from all over the world. In addition, typical Dutch, such as Stroopwaffeln and of course cheese.

On the roofs of some food stalls there are terraces for sitting and also in the outskirts of the market hall there are some restaurants, bars and cafes with seating.

Tip 2: Cube Houses

Each cube house is modeled after a tree, with the entrance and staircase in the “trunk”, the lower part made of gray concrete block. The “crown”, the cube turned 45 degrees, houses the actual apartment over 3 floors.

Cube Houses Rotterdam
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The kitchen and living room are on the lowest floor, above are two bedrooms and the bathroom and at the very top, with windows all around, can be a bedroom or children’s room or simply a very sunny lounge, ideal for reading and listening to music.

By nesting the individual buildings, a whole forest is created, spanning a busy road. The area between each building is open to the public and functions not only as a safe crossing of the street, but also as a communal outdoor space for the residents.

A Hostel has taken up residence in the 3 larger cubes. So whoever wants to sleep in a cube is at the right address there. Another cube house, the Kijk cube, is set up as a museum and can be visited.

Tip 3: Euromast

The Euromast was built in the 60s on the occasion of the garden exhibition Floriade.

At that time, the tower was only 101 m high, and it was not until the 1970s that the “Space Tower” was added on top of it with a further 84 m.

Euromast Rotterdam
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With the elevator one reaches in short time the large visitor platform on 96 m height. From there you have a beautiful view of the entire city and the Rotterdam harbor. On a clear day, you can even see the North Sea coast, which is about 30 km away.

If you want to go even higher, you have to climb some steps and sit down in the glassed-in cabin of the “Euroscoop”. In the rotating cabin, one rides all the way to the top and has a spectacular all-round view through the glass walls.

The ride on the Euroscoop is included in the entrance fee, but use is not possible in stronger winds for safety reasons.

Once back on the visitor platform, you can stop in the restaurant and enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the great view.

If you can’t get enough, you also have the option of spending the night on the Euromast. There are 2 suites with all comfort and luxury and of course a stunning view. Not quite cheap, but also something very special.

Tip 4: Depot Boijmans van Beuningen

The Dutch port metropolis of Rotterdam has a new eye-catcher: the depot of the Boijmans Van Beuningen art museum is the latest addition to the spectacular skyline. The fully mirrored round building is also said to be the world’s first museum depot that is fully accessible to visitors.

The Museum Boijmans’ precious collection includes some 151,000 works spanning seven centuries. Paintings, photographs, objects, ceramics, design, drawings and prints are stored, conserved and restored in the depot – before the eyes of visitors. Visitors can look behind the scenes and at the same time get an impression of the collection.

Depot Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam
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Normally, museums only show six to ten percent of their collection to visitors. The artworks are not displayed as they would be in the museum itself. They hang on large sliding metal grids, lie in drawers or on shelves.

The building in Museum Park Rotterdam was designed by an internationally renowned architectural firm. The façade reflects Rotterdam’s skyline and the park’s trees. The building blends in with its surroundings. Trees were also planted on the 35-meter-high roof terrace.

Central to the interior are the wide staircases. They crisscross the atrium, six stories high. From the stairs, there is a view of 13 floating glass showcases containing works of art. Among them are a painting by Carel Fabritius and a bust by Auguste Rodin.

The objects are stored in five different climatic zones, depending on their material and size. They can also be restored in the depot.

Tip 5: Harbour

With a throughput of around 450 million tons per year, the port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe. For a long time, it was even the largest port in the world. The port area covers 12,500 hectares and has a total length of about 40 kilometers.

From the center of Rotterdam, the various harbor basins stretch for almost 40 km out to Hoek van Holland on the North Sea. Until a few years ago, Hoek van Holland was the outermost tip of the mainland jutting out into the sea, but the new port area Maasvlakte 2 has overtaken it. The 2000 hectare port area Maasvlakte 2 was newly created by flushing.

Old Harbour Rotterdam
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To get a glimpse of the port of Rotterdam, there are several options. From the city center, for example, you can take a harbor tour by boat or rent a bicycle and take a bike tour along the container terminals and industrial facilities. Since the view from the water and from the land is very different, a combination of both is highly recommended.

If you want to see the very large container ships, you have to go to the new port facilities of Maasvlakte 2, where the largest container ships, carrying more than 20,000 containers, can also dock.

Besides the modern seaport of Rotterdam, there are still some remains of the historic port. In the ‘Oude Haven’ behind the cube houses, there are always some historic ships at anchor, which make a nice backdrop for the cafes and restaurants around. The Veerhaven or the harbor in the Delfshaven district, from where pilgrims used to set out for America, are also worth a visit.