Rotterdam’s famous Cube Houses (Kubuswoningen, built in 1984) in the largest port in Europe – The Hague is not the only Dutch city to successfully experiment with modern architecture. Photo by Hanselpedia.
Dates from 1260 when the first dam was built and Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ second largest city and contains more non-native Dutch than any other city in the country with large communities of Turks, Surinamese and Moroccans.
A popular saying by citizens of Rotterdam is: ‘Money is earned in Rotterdam, divided in The Hague and spilled in Amsterdam. ‘
However these days Rotterdammers are doing a good job of €uro-spilling themselves with dramatic urban renewal projects, excellent museums, fine home-grown music – both orchestral and youth oriented rock/hiphop/blues/whatever – and masses of local festivals. It was European Capital of Culture in 2001 and has a reputation as one of the Europe’s best clubbing cities.
Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge, Erasmusbrug, also know as The Swan (De Zwaan), linking north and south parts of the city. From this angle that looks more like a ballerina’s leg to us.
Top sights arethe magnificently modern structures alongside a few fine old buildings, notable museums such as Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum (for great masters but they also have a modern wing featuring surrealism), the Kunsthal (for contemporary art and design exhibitions) and the Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute) previously known as NAI.
The Euromast Tower is great for a panoramic views of the city and has some high altitude accommodation.
One less attractive aspect but a major source of income for Holland is Rotterdam’s petrochemical refining. Photo by CherryX.
The Delfshaven district. Photo by Dickelbers
Rotterdam’s old port, Oude Haven. Photo by Michiel1972.
There is no shortage of ancient architecture in Rotterdam to compete with the avant-garde.
Beaches, however, are hard to come by. From time to time the local council builds artificial beaches but with little success as sand is shallow, waters polluted and the next storm frequently removes the sand anyway. The Hook of Holland is the nearest beach destination.
As with all cities in the Netherlands a bicycle is the best way for a tourist to get around, with masses of dedicated tracks. The city also offers efficient metro, trams and buses.