Rotterdam is an original and interesting Dutch city with its bridges, designer buildings and pleasant streets. This is also the architectural capital of the Netherlands with its interesting design structures. Wherever you look, you see the best examples of contemporary architecture. Rotterdam, which is the second largest city in the country after Amsterdam, is a Dutch city that should be visited with its architecture, entertainment venues and cultural events.
The history of the big city, which grew around the fishing town, dates back to the 14th century. While being a small fishing town in one of the branches of the Rhine delta, Rotterdam experienced difficulties in accessing both the sea and the river, and experienced quite a few troubled times due to the constant relocation of the canals. At that time, the neighboring cities of Dordrecht and Delft were more important than Rotterdam.
Rotterdam Travel Guide
Having one of the largest ports in the world, Rotterdam has developed both economically and culturally with the presence of the Port of Rotterdam, which has an important role in world trade.
Petroleum, which constitutes a large part of maritime traffic, is processed at the refineries in the Port of Rotterdam, which is among the largest in the world and is very active throughout the day. In addition to foreign trade, the port also hosts cargoes carried on the Rhine River and its associated waterways.
Positioned at the mouth of the Rhine and Maas Rivers, you might think that Rotterdam owes its current strength to the natural advantages of its location, but it is not. The history of the metropolis, which grew up around a fishing town dating back nearly 900 years, dates back to the 14th century. Rotterdam, experiencing the difficulties of accessing both the sea and the river, has also experienced quite difficult times due to the constant relocation of the canals. At that time, the neighboring cities Dordrecht and Delft were more important than Rotterdam.
Rotterdam, which became a municipality in 1340, was one of the first Dutch cities to revolt against Spanish rule in 1572. The city hosted the Dutch assemblies that met in 1574. With 15,000 inhabitants until the 1600s, Rotterdam, as the second city of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century, began to feel the commercial spirit from its built shipyards rather than its regular buildings.
The city began to smile with the construction of the New Waterway, an artificial canal, in 1872. With the completion of the canal, it opened to sea routes and introduced itself to the world as a port city. Taking full advantage of its position with New Waterway, Rotterdam started to compete with its rival Antwerp in real terms.
With its port facilities expanded, the processing industry (oil refining, food processing) and shipbuilding areas developed, the city became increasingly important, leaving behind cities such as Schiedam and Vlaardingen, which were established from a small settlement on the north bank of the river. But the biggest change has been on the south coast, which since 1890 has expanded into the sea, islands and deeper waters.
Until 1940, the medieval plan gave Rotterdam a different feel with its crowded settlements, intersecting canals and piers. Unfortunately, however, this fabric was destroyed when the Germans destroyed the old city by bombing on May 13, 1940. Although 320 hectares and more than 30,000 structures were destroyed, reconstruction plans were soon put in place.
Although the port was severely damaged in 1944, the city of Rotterdam became a good example of reconstruction, and large areas of the city that had been bombed were expropriated. Thus, the authorities prepared their reconstruction plans without having to come to terms with thousands of owners. Many old piers and ditches were filled to make way for new roads in the city centre, so new buildings were built.
1. Cube Houses
Cube Houses were designed by Piet Blom in the 1970s and were brought to life by building several cubic houses in the Helmond area. Standing at a 45-degree angle in the city center of Rotterdam, the interesting hexagon-shaped cubic houses each represent a tree, and together they represent the forest. Blom, who designed the entire complex inspired by the forest, also created his works from wood. Cube Houses can be visited between 11:00 and 17:00, 7 days a week. Cube Houses entrance fee is 2.50€, children between 3-12 years old are 1.50€.
2. Rotterdam Market Hall
The Markthal , Rotterdam’s new indoor market space , makes you feel like huge fruits and vegetables fall from the ceiling as soon as you walk in, and you slip into the rabbit hole in wonderland. There are more than 20 shops and 9 restaurants in the market place. A great place to eat, drink and shop. Tulips identified with the Netherlands, the country’s famous delicious cheese varieties, and vegetable and fruit aisles are listed. The Markthal can be visited free of charge on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 20:00, on Fridays from 10:00 to 21:00, and on Sundays from 12:00 to 18:00.
3. Erasmus Bridge
Erasmus Bridge , which is considered among the symbols of Rotterdam , was officially opened by Queen Beatrix on 6 September 1996. The first vehicle crossed the bridge in October of the same year. Even though it’s not a very majestic bridge, cross it.
4. The Euromast
Built as an observation tower and added to the 100-meter-high Euromast in 1970, the 85-meter-high Space Tower gained its current form. Euromast, which can be seen almost everywhere in Rotterdam today, is an important center of attraction, especially with the lighting made when it gets dark. We are waiting for those who like to watch the city from above. Euromast can be visited between 09.30-23.00 in the April – September period, and between 10.00-23.00 in the October – March period. Euromast entrance fee is 9.75€, children aged 4-12 are 6.25€.
Ultramodern Spido boats take you on a 75-minute journey between the shores of Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world. It is possible to see the silhouette of Rotterdam and the harbor surroundings on the tour (11,75€). I didn’t really enjoy it because of the drizzle and the gray weather. Maybe you like it.
6. Hotel New York
Hotel New York is located at the top of the Kop van Zuid District, on the site of the formerly Holland America Line headquarters. Once upon a time, ships departing from Wilhelmina Harbor here have been traveling to and from New York for a hundred years. Tens of thousands of people once went from here to America, the land of opportunity, in hopes of finding a better life. Later, The Holland America Line closed and the building remained empty until it became Hotel New York in 1993. I think it’s a great place to take a coffee break.
7. Kunsthal Rotterdam
Being a very cosmopolitan country, the Netherlands hosts many festivals with paintings that do not fit in museums and shows by local and foreign artists. It has a room with all kinds of art; old, new and experimental art, photography, design and anything else you can think of. Kunsthal can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00, and from 11:00 to 17:00 on Sundays. Closed on Mondays. The Kunsthal entrance fee is 14€, free for visitors under the age of 18.
8. Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum
Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum , located in the Museumpark District , is one of the most important art museums in the country. One hundred and forty thousand works by artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Dali and Cézanne are exhibited in the museum, which has a wide collection from the Middle Ages to contemporary art. A place that should be on the radar of art lovers. The museum can be visited between 11:00 and 17:00 every day except Mondays. Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum entrance fee is 18.50€, free for under 19s.
9. St. Laurenskerk
Located in Rotterdam, St. The Laurenskerk (Great Rotterdam Church) is the only surviving medieval structure in the city. Although it was damaged in the bombings in 1940, it was restored to its former glory with the restoration in 1952. The church, which is a perfect example of Gothic architecture, is also one of the most important symbols of Rotterdam. The church is open to visitors between 11:00 and 17:00, 5 days a week except Sunday and Monday. st. Laurenskerk entrance fee is 3€, visitors aged 13-18 are 2€.
10. Witte de Withstraat
Witte de Withstraat is a street in the very center of the city, known for its magnificent galleries and world-renowned museums. Do not forget to take a look at the Bazar Hotel and Restaurant on the street. I really liked this oriental atmosphere in the atmosphere of the grand bazaar.
You can also visit the Netherlands Architecture Institute . In addition, TENT and Witte de With , one of the city’s most provocative modern art gallery, are also among the places worth seeing. Rotterdam Zoo and Oceanium, Maritime museum, Villa Zebra are recommended for those who have more time.
Wandering its streets, going to an exhibition or an art discussion is one of the best things to describe this city. Not only that, it is also a pleasure to eat at many restaurants in historical buildings and to stay in modern buildings. Rotterdam is not a big city and can be explored by metro, tram, bike or even on foot, but the most fun are arguably the water taxis.
You can choose the boutiques around Meent and Pannekoekstraat , where you can find much smaller but more original and beautiful products, rather than shopping at the big chain stores in Lijnbaan .
After Galerie Puur , where you can find finely crafted elegant jewellery , you can go to Delfshaven , which has quite beautiful canals and survived the war without injury .
It is possible to find many maps of the first ages of discovery in the shop, known as Delfshaven for short, where you can find marine objects, ceramics and antiques .
After dark, Rotterdam turns into one of the hottest club destinations in Europe. Thalia Lounge is a good address for nightlife with its sophisticated client portfolio and bar above the dance floor. In Off-Corso , on the other hand, DJs appeal to younger audiences with their newest shows. When you think of cocktails, Soho always comes to mind. With its white walls and futuristic designed bar, it’s like a giant yeti cave!
Rotterdam eating and drinking
In addition to traditional Dutch cuisine, there are plenty of French, Chinese, Moroccan and Turkish cuisine options in the city. Rotterdam is at least as ambitious as Amsterdam in nightlife. With its huge roses on the wall at the entrance and its large window overlooking the Nieuwe Mass River, Blits is a place that appeals to the eyes as well as the palate.
Chef Glyn Stoker’s creative Japanese-North African mix menu draws attention to the quality of the food, which is the most important element in a restaurant. Try the andtabbouleh salad with spicy tuna here.
With the best view of the city, Euromast offers brunch on Sundays with prices starting from 19.50€. In the evenings, there are also opportunities to enjoy dinner and wine by the lights of the city.
Lulu , one of the best restaurants in the city , offers the most delicious examples of modern Asian cuisine in a seductive room with saffron and red painted walls, with floor-to-ceiling shoji displays. Delicious meals are served on Indonesian floor tables, accompanied by candlelight and sake.
Level , located on Pannekoekstraat 76a street, is my advice to those looking for a friendly warm place. You can also check the prices on the website . Do not forget to make an appointment for all restaurants.
Rodin restaurant at Schilderstraat 20a 3011 ES Rotterdam is also a preferred place for lunch. Rodin is a wonderful place to quench the hunger during the day or to enjoy yourself with a nice champagne and delicious snacks.
For a different experience, stop by Westelijk Handelsterrein . In 1894, a covered warehouse was converted into a complex that now houses many galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs. The pleasure of dining at Restaurant Rosso , which offers the tastes of Mediterranean cuisine and with its stylish brick masonry walls, turns into a sexy midnight pleasure after 10 pm.
Rotterdam accommodation recommendation
Citizen M , a small chain with hotels in many European cities, is a fantastic design hotel for accommodation. The design and experience of both the lobby and the room is extraordinary. Its lobby resembles a cafe with plenty of books, unlike the lobby of luxury hotels we know. Its rooms, on the other hand, have a small but cute design, controlled by a tablet, where you control the colorful lights and the curtain digitally. I was satisfied. It is located right in the heart of the city.
How to Get to Rotterdam
With Turkish Airlines, it is possible to go to Rotterdam The Hague Airport with direct flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which take approximately three hours and forty minutes, five days a week. The airport is 10 km away from the city center and you will be at Rotterdam Central Station in half an hour by bus 33.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is only 80 kilometers away from the center of Rotterdam. There are trains between Rotterdam and Amsterdam every 15 minutes. It is possible to fly directly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Atatürk Airport, with Pegasus Airlines from Sabiha Gökçen Airport every day of the week, and with KLM Airlines, with flights of approximately three and a half hours, two days a week.