Rotterdam is a young vibrant city with a perfect combination of street art and a stylish modern architecture, a great food scene and a cool young vibe. It’s probably my favourite city in the Netherlands. Amsterdam is very beautiful, unique and classy, but Rotterdam is definitely its cooler younger brother.
Why you should visit Rotterdam?
For its stylish architecture
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Rotterdam was a very typical Dutch city, with its small brick houses and a cosy town feel. However, most of the old city centre was destroyed in bombing during the Second World War. The decision was made immediately there will be no restoring of the old buildings. Instead, Dutch authorities saw it as an opportunity to rebuild a new modern city. Soon they started to rebuild the city which became a modern architecture hub in the Netherlands.
# – White House
However, the first skyscraper was built already at the end of the 19th Century. It’s known as the White House (Witte Huis in Dutch) and it was the first skyscraper and the tallest building in Europe when it was built. Definitely a forerunner of the modern skyscrapers the city will become so well known for later on.
# – Gebouw Delftse Poort
Gebouw Delftse Poort next to the Rotterdam central train station was built in 1991. The twin buildings were among the tallest office buildings in the Netherlands for a long time.
# – Cube Houses
Cube Houses are among my favourite buildings in Rotterdam. The idea was to create a ‘forest of houses’ inside the city. When you’re looking to them you can see that each of the houses represents a tree. One of them is open to visitors so you can see their interior and furniture. Some of them were turned into a hostel, so if you really want to feel some of the cool Rotterdam’s architecture, this could be a great place to go.
# – Erasmus Bridge
One of my favourite bridges is also located in Rotterdam. Built in 1996, Erasmus Bridge is renowned both for its beautiful design, but also because it’s the largest and heaviest bascule bridge in Western Europe.
*TIP: You’ll find boats next to the Erasmus Bridge that will get you on a tour around the port of Rotterdam. It’s one of my favourite activities there. And I’m strongly recommending it!
# – Market Hall
And finally, the coolest building in Rotterdam! A combination of residential apartments, offices and a market hall beneath them, Rotterdam’s Market Hall is really one of a kind. You can find all sorts of food here, from Portuguese wine to a different kind of fruit you’ve never heard of. There is a huge mural on the Market Hall ceiling made by Arno Coenen, named Horn of Plenty. The building was built on the archaeological site of the 14th Century village. You can see some of it next to the central staircase beneath the Market Hall.
For its modern and street art
# – Street art
It’s not by a surprise that this vibrant and modern city has a great street art, too. You’ll stumble upon many graffiti while walking around Rotterdam. If you find some especially interesting to you, you can always use the Rewriters App to see who is the author and to learn more about it.
And same as with the architecture in Rotterdam, I’ve found its street art to be very stylish and well thought in terms of its design. It’s very different from London’s street art, for example. And, of course, you can find it at all sorts of places, like that silly octopus on a boat on a photo below.
# – Museumpark
Some of the street art in Rotterdam was made by some very famous artists. So don’t be surprised if you’ll run on Picasso at streets of Rotterdam. His sculpture ‘Sylvette’ depicting a young woman made in 1954 is just one of many modern statues located all around the city.
It’s located next to Rotterdam’s Museumpark, a lovely place to spend a sunny day. I’ve visited Museum Boijmans van Beuningen there and was amazed with its architecture, beautiful park and a collection itself. Especially with some unusual Van Gogh’s paintings, they have over there.
Rotterdam is definitely a great city of street art and a stylish modern architecture with amazing things to see and do. It’s a city you should definitely visit soon.
*TIP: Would you like to get free public transport and a discount for museums during your visit? Check out Rotterdam Welcome Card then and save some money!
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