Are you interested in a weekend away in a city other than Amsterdam? A modern destination full of cool architecture, culture and cuisine. The Netherlands has many cities to choose from on your visit. Check out what to do in the harbor city of Rotterdam.
Have Lunch at Vessel 11
On top of a ship deck, this has to be one of the coolest places I’ve had lunch on. We stumbled upon this after strolling along the harborside. You are literally sitting on top of a red ship in water with a rustic setting which makes for the best atmosphere. The food is delicious as they serve English dishes from a traditional English menu. I would also recommend their craft beer, especially the stout!
Admire this Architectural Wonder
No trip to Rotterdam is complete without visiting the famous Cubic houses (Kubuswoningen in Dutch). This eccentric landmark was designed by Dutch Architect Piet Blom. The idea of these tilted cubes is that they look like a tree and all together appear like a forest, called Blaakse Bos. Sounds a bit strange but the reason for this is that it represents a village in the city.
Did you know that you can see the inside of the house? They have turned it into a museum that you can visit. While it’s only three euros I personally don’t think it’s worth it. It is super cramped, full of tourists, and has a very short tour time. Additionally, you can actually spend a night at one of the houses via Airbnb or Booking.
Take a Water Taxi
Forget about the bus and metro! The water taxi is such a fun way to get around Rotterdam. You’re able to sightsee around the harbour and get to your destination much faster. There are about 50 stops throughout the city that you can boat to. You can easily spot these black and yellow taxis speeding through the water.
Visit the Hotel New York
This is an absolute must-do when visiting Rotterdam. This was a former ferry terminal for Holland America Lines where boats docked before venturing to the United States. The hotel holds so much history and charm – when you walk in it feels like you are walking into the past nearly 100 years ago. Try food at the restaurant or have drinks by the terrace and enjoy the sunset. The best way to get here is by water taxi so you can enjoy the ride and view.
Most people will say to visit Markthal which I definitely think you should. But if you’re interested in exploring something different I would recommend Fenix Food Factory. Located close to the Hotel New York, this trendy space in an old warehouse has an eclectic variety of cuisines to choose from. We grabbed beer from which has a selection of over 30 beers and drank them by the river.
See the Windmills at Kinderdijk
Only a short distance from Rotterdam this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must see. Come witness how the Dutch have been managing and controlling surrounding water for a millenium. These historic windmills date back to the 18th century and are wonderfully preserved and restored, with some of them still operating. It’s wonderful because you can explore the windmills by your choice of foot, boat or bike.
Take Photos on Luchsingel Bridge
If you want to take photos or update your Instagram then come visit this notorious yellow bridge! It’s a 400 metre pedestrian bridge named ‘Luchtsingel’ which translates to ‘canal of air’. As a fully crowdfunded public infrastructure that reconnects to a local neighborhood, it gives you a different view of Rotterdam.
Have Breakfast by the Water
Spend your last morning in Rotterdam by having breakfast at The Mainport Hotel. It’s located right on the river and is the perfect place to enjoy your meal by the waterfront. They have a buffet where the chefs cook live which you can also enjoy with a glass of champagne.