Our exiting capital Amsterdam has become something of a victim of its own popularity. Therefore there has been a moratorium on the construction of new hotels in certain areas of the centre. And last autumn “tourist tax” on overnight stays is being raised to as much as €10 per night.
So we suggest: visit another Dutch city instead.
For example unsung Rotterdam. The gate of Europe has long been something of a back-water in terms of European tourism. Netherland’s second city is now very easy to reach by train (Eurostar) in only 3 hours and 1 minute.
There are several reasons why you might considering visiting Rotterdam:
Visit one or more of the countless architectural masterpieces. For example, take a close look in a remarkable cubehouse, almost impossible architecture. Or visit industrial heritage: The famous Cruise terminal. From this spot thousands and thousands of emigrants left The Netherlands with a ship of the Holland-America-Line after World War II. The cruise terminal is still in use for cruise ships.
Hotel New York is also famous for it’s history: build in spectacular Jugendstil, one of the most beautiful buildings in Rotterdam. Nice place for lunch or dinner!
The Erasmus Bridge, across the New Meuse (Nieuwe Maas) river, is a symbol of the city’s development from swarthy harbour town to cosmopolitan hotspot. It was designed by the Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, and was completed in 1996. It is notable for the 456ft (139m) central pylon that supports its length – a graceful giant which has earned the Erasmusbrug the nickname “The Swan”.
The Markthal is a modern indoor market. It is a hive of humanity at weekends, when its fruits, vegetables, olive oils, cheeses and other delicacies are in wide demand. But it is also worth visiting on the attractiveness of its design alone. This complex, opened in 2014, looks like a grand horseshoe of steel and glass. It is also home to offices, apartments and contemporary artworks, making it much more than a place to buy some apples.
Interesting cities have interesting art museums. The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (one of the oldest museums of The Netherlands) offers you a collection running from the 15th century to the present day and also a of lot paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. Monet, Kandinsky, Dali and Munch are all here.
You can find modern art in The New Institute – Het nieuwe instituut- is a museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture
A synonym for Rotterdam is Gate of Europe. The mix of industry and nature makes the port a unique area. Nowhere else in the Netherlands you will find so much activity in one location. There are, of course, the ships: huge in size and rich in features. There is also the expansive nature, which is home to dozens of animals and plants. Hundreds of commuters, tourists and day trippers visit the port every day. Come and discover the port too! Make a spectacular harbour cruise through Europe’s largest port.
Eat – Drink
Rotterdam has many excellent restaurants, but the finest may be Parkheuvel, currently with two Michelin stars. For all its high gastronomy, it is (relatively) affordable. The price of a three-course lunch is fixed at € 57,50. An eight-course dinner menu, heavy on beef, oysters, snails and chicken, for € 140,00.
If you want an informal lunch, dinner or snack you should visit the trendy Pannenkoekstraat which stretches out just north of the waterfront. Option here is Pix, an oasis of small-bite pintxos and punchy cocktails where you can chat and sip amidst youthful locals.
But there are several more areas in Rotterdam where you can enjoy a drink or two, for example in the cafes and bars of the picturesque Oude Haven (Old Harbour).
- Hop on the water-bus to Dordrecht. Another example of a wonderful ancient city.
- Sail with an nostalgic ship directly to Kinderdijk with her 19 authentic mills surrounded by gorgeous nature.
- Visit Deltapark in Zeeland, only 1 hour driving away.