Rotterdam, often overshadowed by its more famous sibling Amsterdam, is a hidden gem nestled in the Netherlands. With its wonderful mix of modern architecture, rich history, and cultural diversity, Rotterdam offers an unforgettable experience for travellers seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a foodie, or a history buff, this bustling city has something to captivate every visitor. Read on to find out more and it’s very likely you’ll decide that Rotterdam should make it onto your must-see list very quickly!
Rotterdam is renowned for its avant-garde architecture that stands as a testament to its resilience and vision. Start your architectural adventure by visiting the iconic Erasmus Bridge, a striking steel construction connecting the northern and southern parts of the city. Next, don’t miss the surreal Cube Houses, designed by Piet Blom, with their tilted and tilted structures that defy gravity. For a panoramic view of the city, head to the Euromast observation tower, where you can enjoy breathtaking vistas from its revolving glass elevator.
Art enthusiasts will be enthralled by Rotterdam’s thriving art scene. Pay a visit to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, which houses an extensive collection of art spanning from the Middle Ages to the present day. Don’t forget to explore the Kunsthal, a dynamic exhibition space that showcases a wide range of contemporary art, photography, and design. For a taste of Rotterdam’s street art culture, take a stroll through the streets of the Middelland district, where colorful murals adorn the walls, transforming the city into an open-air art gallery.
Step back in time and visit the picturesque neighborhood of Delfshaven, a well-preserved historic district that survived the bombings of World War II. Wander through the charming streets lined with 17th-century buildings, explore the Old Port, and visit the Pilgrim Fathers’ Church, where the Pilgrims set sail for America aboard the Mayflower. Delfshaven offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city center and provides a glimpse into Rotterdam’s rich maritime heritage. This is an ideal thing to do when you’re on a day trip from your PO Cruises ship.
No visit to Rotterdam is complete without a trip to the Markthal, a striking horseshoe-shaped building that houses a bustling market, shops, and restaurants. Browse the stalls brimming with fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, and international delicacies. Indulge in local specialties like stroopwafels (syrup waffles) and bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs) while immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. The Markthal is a food lover’s paradise, where you can sample flavours from around the world under one roof.
Escape the urban jungle and explore the city’s green spaces. The iconic Rotterdam Central Park, or Het Park, offers a tranquil retreat with its beautiful gardens, ponds, and winding paths. Take a leisurely bike ride along the Maas River and soak in the stunning waterfront views. Alternatively, visit the Blijdorp Zoo, one of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in the Netherlands, where you can encounter exotic animals and enjoy a day of family fun.