Holidays in Holland: 10 things to see and do in Rotterdam

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

1. Marvel at the Markthal

Even though it only opened in 2014 after five years of construction, Rotterdam s Markthal has already achieved architectural cult status. This daring arch of truly titanic proportions stands out even in this city of ground-breaking architectural gems. Spanning over 11,000 square metres, the hall s massive ceiling offers up the world s largest work of art. In fact, the colourful mural by Dutch artist Arno Coenen is somewhat immodestly referred to as the Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam. As amazing as the architecture and art may be, in the end the point of a marketplace is the products, and Rotterdam certainly has plenty to offer. The Markthal has 96 market stalls across a football pitch-sized area selling everything from fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and cheese, to flowers and other specialities from near and far, and also boasts 20 stores and restaurants. Definitely not one to be missed!

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

2. Get a head for heights at the Euromast

Every city has its landmark. There s the TV Tower in Berlin, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Euromast in Rotterdam. The distinctive tower was built between 1958 and 1960 according to the designs of Dutch architect Huig Maaskant to celebrate the Floriade, an international garden show that takes place once every ten years. The name of Rotterdam s tallest building is a testimony to the city s cosmopolitan nature and international focus: Euro refers to Rotterdam s location at the heart of Europe, while Mast was chosen because the word appears in many languages besides Dutch, including German, English, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Take the high-speed lift to the viewing platform and enjoy the amazing view, which on a clear day stretches all the way to The Hague1 and Antwerp, enjoy the panorama with some food and drink at the brasserie located 100 metres above ground level and, if you re not afraid of heights and are feeling a bit more daring, forget the lift and abseil your way back down.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

The SS Rotterdam is the largest passenger ship ever built in the Netherlands, and is yet another record holder in the city. As the former flagship of the Holland-America Line, it sailed the Rotterdam-New York route before being converted into a cruise ship due to increased competition from air travel. The ‘Grand Dame’ of Rotterdam was retired in 2000 and has since lain majestically at anchor in the harbour of its namesake city. It s free to visit, and a stroll or aperitif on deck with a view of the Maas and the skyline of the city is an experience in itself. Even more exciting are the daily tours dealing with the art or technology on board or exploring the bridge and engine rooms. If you want to delve even deeper into the nautical experience, you can stay overnight in one of the 254 modern hotel rooms which now make up the ship.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

4. Hop aboard a sightseeing bus tour

Rotterdam is full of impressive sights, which are best discovered via a bus tour. Starting from Rotterdam Central train station, the route heads to the Museumpark, home to the Boijmans van Beuningen and Kunsthal Rotterdam art museums. Next up is the iconic Erasmus Bridge by the harbour, yet another of the city s architectural highlights and landmarks, followed by the Euromast.

Then comes the Kop van Zuid, home to the cruise ship terminal, followed by a final stop at the Rathaus before returning to the train station. Naturally, you can get on and off at any stop you like.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

5. Check out Kop van Zuid

The spectacular Erasmus Bridge connects the city centre to the Kop van Zuid, a relatively young neighbourhood defined by its dynamic cultural scene and impressive architecture. Previously a wasteland of industrial docklands, it was redeveloped in the 1990s and transformed into a lively, cosmopolitan nightlife district with theatres, caf s, restaurants and bars. Some buildings were renovated and re-purposed while others were built from scratch, all with a sense of exciting architecture this is Rotterdam after all. The neighbourhood s highlights include the Hotel New York in the former headquarters of the Holland America Line, the World Port Center designed by Norman Foster and the steel and concrete Montevideo, the Netherlands second-largest apartment building.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

6. Fill your boots at the Fenix Food Factory

The Fenix Food Factory in the Katendrecht neighbourhood is the city s newest port of call for gourmets. The atmosphere in the renovated warehouse, which faces the Hotel New York and the rest of Kop van Zuid, is relaxed and casual – it’s also the prefect place to spot hipster’s and Rotterdam’s latest breed of trend-setters, the Yuccie2. Inside you will find a brewery, butchers, bakery, cheesemongers, delicatessen, coffee roaster and Holland s first specialty cider shop, altogether offering high-quality goods and a passion for excellent food and drink.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

The St. Laurenskerk church is a reminder of the past in a city bursting with innovative modern architecture. In fact, Rotterdam s Grote Kerk is the only remaining medieval structure in town. It was built between 1449 and 1525 in a late Gothic style, heavily damaged by bombs during the Second World War and then rebuilt from 1952 to 1968. Its highlights includes the graves of seafarers Kortenaar, Van Brakel and Witte de With, its four organs, including the country s largest, and the bronze doors created by Italian artist Giacomo Manz , added in 1968.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

8. Find alternative souvenirs in Meent

Rotterdam is a city full of energy, and you’re going to need plenty of it if you’re planning on picking up a bargain in Meent, one of the city’s hottest shopping districts. It doesn t boast any massive shopping centres or mainstream shops, but is instead home to concept stores and single-brand outlets attracting a young, hip and trend-aware clientele with its own individual tastes. The Meent area stands out not just due to its great shops, but also due to the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of its many trendy caf s and bars.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

9. Art in the park at Museumpark3

This lovely park in the centre of Rotterdam unsurprisingly owes its name to the many museums in the area. One of the best is the Boijmans van Beuningen museum which houses 140,000 works of art, including works by Rubens, Fabritius, Ruisdael, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Kandinsky, Magritte, Dal , Kokoschka and many more. The Kunsthal Rotterdam, known for its progressive and daring approach, hosts more than 25 exhibitions per year over its 3,300 square meters of space. The paintings, drawings and sculptures of Dutch expressionist Henk Chabot are presented in the Chabot Museum, located in an eye-catching white villa in the Museumpark. Other sights worth visiting include the Netherlands Architecture Institute and the Rotterdam Natural History Museum.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

10.

See the city from the water’s edge on a Spido Harbour Tour

Rotterdam s nautical side is best experienced from one of the Spido Harbour Tour boats. The tour takes you through one of the largest harbours in the world, past docks, container ships, the Euromast and the SS Rotterdam, all with the city s impressive skyline as a backdrop. The tours last 75 minutes and run all year long.

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

Looking for more Discount Holidays © holiday ideas?

There’s still much to discover in Holland:

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

Holidays In Holland: 10 Things To See And Do In Rotterdam

Skyscanner is the world s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights4, hotels5 and car hire6.

References

  1. ^ The Hague (www.skyscanner.net)
  2. ^ Yuccie (www.skyscanner.net)
  3. ^ Museumpark (www.kunsthal.nl)
  4. ^ flights (www.skyscanner.net)
  5. ^ hotels (www.skyscanner.net)
  6. ^ car hire (www.skyscanner.net)

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