10 things to do in Rotterdam
Rotterdam is having a well-deserved second. With a direct Eurostar service from London, a slew of latest openings – fashionable eating places, cool inns, up-and-coming breweries – the Netherlands’ plucky second metropolis ought to positively be on the shortlist to your subsequent brief break.
Listed here are the perfect 10 methods to whereas away a visit.
Structure by bike
Amsterdam doesn’t have a monopoly on bicycle tradition – the remainder of the Netherlands is bike mad too, Rotterdam included. And probably the greatest methods to see town’s various structure, from Seventies classics (Piet Blom’s distinctive yellow dice home) to modern-day masterpieces (the sharp-angled Centraal Station, opened in 2014), is from the saddle.
Hop on two wheels and discover by renting a motorcycle, or e book onto an structure bike tour with UrbanGuides – €25 (£22) for two.5 hours.
Craft brewery crawl
Overlook the normal pub crawl – Rotterdam has sufficient thrilling craft brewers producing inventive, small-batch beers to make sure you can go a complete journey with out touching a drop of Heineken. Kaapse Brouwers, which is on the forefront of the Netherlands’ burgeoning craft brewing scene, might be discovered at Kaapse Maria, its low-key bar-cum-restaurant, and Fenix Meals Manufacturing unit, a cooperative of entrepreneurs all working out of an outdated port warehouse that has rejuvenated the world of Katendrecht to the south. Transfer from there to up-and-coming brewery/bar Thoms, the second brewery within the Netherlands to serve its beer unpasteurised and unfiltered onsite.
Seize a fork
It’s an thrilling time in Rotterdam’s restaurant scene, with loads of new openings and modern eating choices. For a tour and a meal mixed, climb aboard Rottertram – a classic tram not too long ago transformed right into a connoisseur restaurant that goes across the metropolis whereas a 4 course dinner is served. Op het Dak, in the meantime, is a café overlooking the Netherlands’ first city rooftop farm, which makes use of the backyard’s contemporary greens and herbs in its wholesome dishes.
For fancier fare strive De Jong, an insouciant but welcoming restaurant housed underneath one of many repurposed railway arches as a part of the stylish Hofbogen improvement. Head chef Jim de Jong’s championing of native, contemporary produce means menus change incessantly – and every is a shock. Diners choose whether or not they’d like 4, 5 or 6 programs, share any dietary necessities after which await their destiny.
Return in time
Rotterdam was famously bombed within the Second World Battle. It used to look not in contrast to Amsterdam, however Hitler put paid to that, and futuristic structure sprang up the place conventional Dutch buildings as soon as stood. However you’ll be able to nonetheless get a window into the previous and get your repair of quaint canalside views by heading over to Delfshaven within the west of town – it has fairly gabled buildings, a canal and even a windmill, all only a tramride away from town centre.
The town’s superior sense of humour is evidenced by its museums: the Pure Historical past Museum Rotterdam has a everlasting exhibition known as Lifeless Animal Tales, which chronicles uncommon methods creatures kicked the bucket, together with a hedgehog completely preserved with its head caught in a McFlurry container. There’s even a plaque to commemorate when a duck flew into the constructing and died, earlier than it was topic to the, ahem, sexual advances of one other male duck. It was allegedly the primary time an act of gay necrophilia was witnessed within the species.
Galleries abound in Rotterdam, however a visit to Kunsthal is a should – not least as a result of the constructing itself is an architectural gem. Its daring design raised the profile of architect Rem Koolhaas, founding associate of Dutch structure agency OMA, when the constructing was first opened in 1992. Field-shaped and industrial, it leads guests by way of seven exhibition areas through a sloping, spiralling ground. Entry to the gallery is €14.
Rotterdam is all about water – it is Europe’s largest port, doncha know. Reap the benefits of this by travelling in type and catching a water taxi to get round. These black and yellow boats clip alongside at 50kph and cease at 50 completely different places alongside the port. Passengers can e book on-line or by telephone; a brief boat journey for 2 prices about €12.
To market, to market
The town is residence to a number of meals markets, every with its personal distinctive flavour (pun supposed). Markthal is undoubtedly essentially the most eye-catching, housed in an enormous, glass-fronted horseshoe with an outsized art work of technicolour natural world adorning the ceiling. Tons of of stalls, eating places and outlets are crammed inside, from sit-down locations, to seize and go.
The most recent idea on the block is Foodhallen on the bottom ground of the Room Mate Bruno lodge on Wilhelminakade. It’s Rotterdam’s very personal reply to Lisbon’s widespread Time Out market: a cool industrial area with communal seating within the center and outposts of a number of the metropolis’s best-loved eating places lining the perimeters for choose’n’combine road meals.
Lastly, Fenix Meals Manufacturing unit might have been plucked straight out of east London, with naked bulbs strung throughout concrete partitions and mismatching squashy chairs strewn between stalls promoting every little thing from vibrant Moroccan spices to exotically flavoured stroopwafels
Not crusing, however abseiling. Rotterdam’s Euromast provides daredevils the chance to leap off and dangle 100m all the way down to the underside. In case you’re sport, it is €57.50pp.
Most cities can boast an honest inexperienced area, however what number of can say they’ve a floating park? Rotterdam’s Recycled Park is a revolutionary idea, which makes use of plastic garbage and particles collected from the Nieuwe Maas River to create a 140m-squared stretch of octagonal buildings that float attractively within the water to the east of Wilhelminapier.
In addition to trying good, the islands act as a habitat for minibeasts resembling snails, flatworms, larva, beetles and fish.
Eurostar operates two companies from London St Pancras to Rotterdam a day, with a journey time of just below three and a half hours; from £35 one-way.
Room Mate Bruno has doubles from €90, room solely.