Rotterdam may be overshadowed by Amsterdam in popularity and activity, but it is by no means a less interesting Dutch city. Rotterdam, the second largest and most important city in the Netherlands after the capital, is chic, modern, cultural and absolutely beautiful. When visiting the Netherlands, you should definitely stop by this amazing city which is only an hour's train ride from Amsterdam and enjoy its lively streets, cafes, museums, culinary attractions and other famous places in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is best known for its amazing architecture. History will tell you that World War II was not pleasant for this Dutch city. He almost completely razed Rotterdam to the ground. But like the mythical bird, the city rose like a phoenix and built a completely new living space with modern and unique architecture.
Today you cannot miss out on the best architectural achievements of Rotterdam, starting with the Witte Huis (White House), Europe's first skyscraper from 1898. Other architectural sights are the cube houses near Blaak train station, the market hall, which for many is one of the unique architectural works of art in the world, and the magnificent Erasmus Bridge that connects the northern and southern parts of the city.
While you shouldn't miss these iconic landmarks, wait in Rotterdam even more attractions to you of you. You can start by exploring the busiest, trendiest and most artistic street in town, the Witte de Withstraat.
Witte de Withstraat
You can't and shouldn't miss this famous street, especially if you're an art junkie. The Witte de Withstraat is flanked by a number of museums, art galleries and cultural centers. It could be the busiest and busiest street in the Netherlands, mainly because of the vibrant nightlife, lovely cafes, bars, restaurants and numerous coffee shops. It is bursting with life.
So much is happening on this street all at once that it's hard to say where to start. Perhaps it is good to start your city adventure with a sip of delicious coffee in the Nieuw Rotterdams Café. It is located in the popular former office of the NRC newspaper.
Across the street is Café De Witte Aap, which was named the best bar in the world by Lonely Planet in 2010. This is a tiny bar but very entertaining and serves the best bar food and drink.
Another popular coffee shop nearby is Hopper Coffee & Bakery, which is actually on a side street off the Witte de Withstraat. Hopper was named the best coffee bar in the Netherlands in 2012.
For art lovers
Visit the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art to see the latest and ongoing exhibitions. It's housed in the same building as TENT, which has even more art.
Two other important art galleries are the Ecce Gallery, which has a great collection of contemporary art, and the Van Eijk Gallery, which offers modern art, paintings, sculptures, bronze and ceramic art.
If you are here in March, you can take part in Museumnight010. People look forward to this festival when dozens of museums and cultural institutions open their doors to the public from 20:00 p.m. to 01:00 a.m. the next day. You have access to all of them with just one ticket.
You won't run out of appetizing dining options here. Try the Eatery Bazar, considered by many to be the liveliest restaurant in Rotterdam. They specialize in exotic, affordable dishes and are best known for their cozy terrace.
If you want to eat Asian, especially Vietnamese, in the Netherlands, go to Vivu. Otherwise there are fantastic Italian dishes in the Oliva or some delicious bagels in the Bagel Bakery.
Famous places in Rotterdam for shopping
Rotterdam is known as a fun shopping destination with its unique boutiques and quirky shops. In the Witte de Withstraat alone you will find Marlies Dekkers, a famous lingerie store that sells exclusive lingerie by a top Rotterdam designer, the Betsy Palmer shoe store, which is known for its adventurous boots and pumps, and then RSI, which specializes in skates and snowboard clothing specializes in snowboards, roller skates, frisbees and kites.
Delfshaven - famous places in Rotterdam with cafes
Delfshaven is a historic district in Rotterdam that is known to be very pleasant and for the best cafes. The brick houses, cafes and the relaxed atmosphere are well worth a visit.
This is a small inner-city harbor with several historical buildings that give you a glimpse of pre-war Rotterdam. Unlike most parts of the city, Delfshaven was spared the bombing of World War II. Come here to see the Pilgrim Fathers' Church (Pelgrimvaderskerk), De Pelgrim City Brewery and De Delft, a replica of an 18th century warship, as well as the architecture, museums and the many bars and restaurants.
The Pilgrim Fathers' Church was named after the Pilgrimage who gathered in this beautiful church before crossing the ocean to America in 1620.
Aside from its historical and cultural importance, Delfshaven is also known for its local beer. Grab a cold beer at De Pelgrim city brewery and find out all about the brewing process.
Buy a guidebook to Rotterdam here
The Social Club – famous places in Rotterdam for connoisseurs
Rotterdam's Old Harbor or Oude Haven is famous for many things including museums and old seagoing ships. It is Rotterdam's first port and dates back to 1350. One of the best places to see this iconic port is from a seat in the Social Club and its lofty terrace in the famous cube houses. The Social Club spoils you not only with its fantastic menu, but also with a picturesque view of the Old Harbor and the White House!
The club's menu is popular for its seafood dishes, including sashimi, lobster, and crab. They also serve prawns, steaks, great desserts and cocktails.
Come here towards the end of the day. Dinner on the terrace of the Social Club promises a wonderful view of the sunset.
Before your wonderful culinary experience in the Social Club, immerse yourself in the eccentric beauty of the Rotterdam cube houses. These are real residences, but designed by the architect Piet Blom according to the concept of “life as an urban roof”. The entire complex is a high-density housing with sufficient space on the ground floor, which optimizes the living area inside. The houses are literally cubes that are tilted 45 degrees on their side.
Located near the Old Port, the cube houses remain one of the most eye-catching developments in Rotterdam.
One of the cube houses was converted into a museum, which today serves as a model house. Most of the dice are privately owned.
Bertmans on the Schouwburgplein – one of the famous places in Rotterdam
If the steaks and meat dishes in the Social Club are not for you, you should visit Bertmans in Rotterdam-Noord and a second location in the city center of Rotterdam on Schouwburgplein near the famous Central Station.
The Bertmans menu isn't entirely vegetarian, but it's known for its vegetarian, healthy, and organic options. They offer a great variety of healthy dishes.
The menu changes regularly, with fairly large portions, but at affordable prices.
The Schouwburgplein or Rotterdam's Theaterplatz is a square in the heart of the city, flanked by the city theater, concert hall, restaurants and cafes. The square is a 12.250 square meter open space specially designed by West 8 to highlight the importance of a void that opens up a panorama of the city's skyline. Schouwburgplein features an urban square design, bespoke furniture, iconic crane-like lights and a trademarked hardscape pattern that reflects the port of Rotterdam.
The course is experiencing a kind of revival, and Bertmans is part of its current success. People love to eat and sit at Bertmans while watching other people enjoy their time in the square.
This is what you need for a stay in Rotterdam
- You will be walking a lot in Rotterdam. Therefore you need comfortable shoes for the city, I myself have wide feet and have very good experiences with these shoes * .
- If you are planning an elegant evening, then you should comfortable pumps in the Luggage pack.
- Are suitable in summer sandals good for a city tour.
- A City backpack, in which you put everything you need for the day, does a good job.
- lightweight jacket that also protects against rain, fits in there as well.
- To capture your impressions, you should use yours Camera* .
It's hard to talk about Rotterdam without mentioning the majestic windmills of Kinderdijk.
The windmills here are probably the most imposing structures in the Netherlands and are only 20 km east of the center of Rotterdam. Nineteen gigantic artificial windmills in the town of Kinderdijk are a must see in this part of the world. You won't find so many and such grandiose windmills in any other place. The windmills, which were built along the canals in the Middle Ages and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are beautifully preserved and 14 are still in operation today. Two of them are open to the public.
Kinderdijk is a small but charming village and one of the leading Dutch tourist attractions. Plan your visit here in September to experience Mills in Floodlight, a popular and free event where the windmills are spectacularly lit up at night. Even though Kinderdijk is in a rural area, you can get there by public transport from Rotterdam. Get on bus 489, which runs twice an hour from Rotterdam Metro Station to Kinderdijk and on to Nieuw-Lekkerland.
When you are in Kinderdijk, you can have something to eat and drink at Café De Klok. This place is popular for its croque monsieur, salads, soup, pancakes, and beer; and their coffee is great. Guests also love interacting with the friendly staff.
Buena Vista is also a popular restaurant in Kinderdijk. All roads lead to this cozy restaurant, which is popular for its fish dishes, tapas, sandwiches, Caesar salad, Dutch pancakes and poffertjes as well as for beer, wine and espresso. This traditional Dutch restaurant is in a historic building on the main street not far from the windmills.
Above are just a few of the must-see places in Rotterdam that are famous. The city offers so much more. Come and explore Rotterdam, immerse yourself in the beautiful Dutch culture and try appetizing local dishes.
Biography of the author of Famous Places in Rotterdam:
Ask The Dutch Guy is your travel guide when it comes to the Netherlands. Ask The Dutch Guy aims to showcase the beauty of the Netherlands and inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy. Follow him Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- The closest campsite to Rotterdam is City camping. There are other campsites in the area. There you can after a day trip in a Dutch Oven on the portable grill to prepare your dinner.
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here as well as booking options. Or would you rather stay in one roof tent on the car? Also the overnight stay in camping tent is possible.
- Check our packing list for campersto see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- Here you find Tips for motorhome trips.
- Wild camping is illegal in the Netherlands. I admit that note. Campsite guide for Netherlands * you can buy it here.
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