The second largest city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam is a dynamic, modern urban centre, and completely distinct from the rest of Europe. The second largest port in the world (after Shanghai), among Rotterdam’s unique architecture is found a multicultural community, fantastic nightlife, a wonderful arts scene and a fleet of world-class museums. Bombed until almost a flat surface in World War 2, you will find very few classic Dutch buildings. The city was rebuilt from the ground up with typical Dutch optimism and artistic flair, until today it is a place of exceptional skyscrapers, contemporary bridges and eye-pleasing design unlike anywhere else in the world, let alone any other Dutch city.
Rotterdam is better to visit in the spring or summer time, as it can become rather rainy in the cooler months. And with lots of open-air markets scattered across town, a summertime break adds an entire new depth of appeal to this ‘City of Architecture’.
Like any city, but perhaps more so than some, Rotterdam is best enjoyed by those looking to explore cultural heritage, shop in trendy areas, enjoy the luxuries of city life and enjoy the culinary delights on offer.
Holiday in Rotterdam
The dynamic optimism of the Rotterdammers permeates everything from their football supporters to their waiters and public servants. The locals are very friendly – as long as you don’t bring up their rivalry with Amsterdam – and exploring any of the residential areas like Kralingen or Hillergersberg will let you see what the locals like to do to relax and the places they like to go.
However Rotterdam does have one thing in common with most Dutch cities: it is incredibly bicycle friendly. The entire town is criss-crossed with bike trails, and every park, scenic side street and bustling pedestrian area can be explored while balancing on two wheels. If you cycle up to Delfhaven you can enjoy the few remaining 17th century buildings, and park your bike outside one of the area’s terrific bars or restaurants.
Being a music and arts epicentre, there are a number of notable events throughout the year. Of particular note are World Port Days and the International Film Festival Rotterdam, but it’s always worth checking before you arrive if there are any events happening that you would like to see.
Dedicated to architecture, maritime, locomotives, natural history and even chess pieces; a culture delve into Rotterdam’s museums can definitely take longer than you initially intended. Make sure to visit the zoo and botanical gardens if you’d like to soak up the Dutch sun while exploring.
Renting holiday accommodation in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is famous for the architecture of its buildings and houses. There is no better way to soak up the fresh and contemporary of this jewel of a city than by staying in a holiday rental. As an added benefit this gives you more space than you could ever have for the same money in a hotel. Being in a home allows you to live like a local, and explore the nearby area to find the most authentic spots to enjoy your stay.