If you’ve tried Amsterdam, or decided maybe Amsterdam isn’t your thing, Rotterdam is an interesting alternative in the Netherlands. Unlike any other city in the Netherlands it was mostly rebuilt after being bombed in the second world war. The architects decided to build a modern city instead of rebuilding the old buildings.

This has resulted in a city that has some world renowned modern architecture, and this coupled with a vibrant youthful energy make it a great city to visit.

Rotterdam is easily reached from Schipol Airport by direct train from the airport station. You don’t need to go into Amsterdam centre. It takes less than an hour.

The city is built around the Nieuwe Maas waterway and the Erasmusburg bridge is one of the iconic sights of the city. Nicknamed ‘The Swan’ it provides fantastic views along the waterfront.

Hotels are much cheaper than Amsterdam, and a low cost weekend break from the UK can be had with a low cost flight from your local airport coupled with a reasonably priced hotel. Rotterdam can be reached easily by trains coming from all over Europe, and there is always the ferry from Hull to Rotterdam.

Exiting the station, you immediately see examples of the architecture which has made the city famous. The station building itself is an amazing piece of architecture and skyscrapers around the square outside make a great city vista.

There are many interesting buildings between the station and the waterfront you can walk by or you can hop on a tram to get there.

Rotterdam has both a tram network and a underground metro system. Best paid for by buying an OV card at the station and loading it up with credit. I put 20 euros on it and didn’t run out over a weekend. Some credit cards will also work, so you can tap on and off with them.

For getting around the waterways there are waterbuses from near the Erasmusbrug bridge, or you can get one of the speedy yellow and black water taxis. You can also do harbour cruises. I didn’t do these but I suspect they are more expensive than the waterbuses.

For eating and drinking there are many good restaurants or you can visit the Markthal which has stalls selling a wide variety of food. 55 Bombay Street was my choice and the food was excellent.

Witte de Withstraat is a good place for a drink and also has restaurants if you want to eat. It was close to my hotel so handy for a stroll in the evening to see the nightlife. There is also a well stocked Spar mini market there for some groceries and snacks.

If you want a birds eye view the Euromast is one of the tallest buildings in the city and you can gaze down at the city below.

For a few hours outside the city you can catch a waterbus to Kinderdijk which has examples of old Dutch windmills. Some are working and you can go inside. It is definitely not a hidden gem though as many tourists find it and it can be busy. You do still get the feeling of some fresh air in your lungs as the geese call to each other and fly by.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *