Rotterdam: a vibrant city expressed by colorful and modern buildings, trendy shops and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. One of the most important port cities in Europe, Rotterdam is the second largest city in the Netherlands.
Built on the river Rotte around the year 1270 as a small fishing village, it became an international port between 1866 and 1872. During Second World War the old center was destroyed and after was reconstructed with an ultra-modern touch.
It is easy to move around and to find in any corner some audacious architectural highlights like the Markthal , a mix of luxury apartments, food market and cafes. This unique cover market with a round shape is located in the city center and well known for the inside walls decorated with colorful murals.
Just 5 minutes walk from the Markthal, discover the Cube Houses, another distinctive piece. Designed by the architect Piet Blom, this unique housing was based on the idea of “living as an urban roof”: each represents a tree and all the houses together, a forest. The Oude Haven, an attractive inner harbor ideal for a walk or for a drink is just on the back of the Cube houses.
Rotterdam North is living an incredible makeover; historical buildings or sex shops were renovated and transformed into vintage boutiques and galleries. This district is also renowned for its trendy cafes and restaurants like the Op Het Dak – Schieblock Dakcafé, a rooftop organic farm and garden where to taste homemade breakfast or lunch. Looking down on the left side of the café, you can see the Luchtsingel Bridge, a wooden yellow walking promenade above the ground, long 390 meters.
Known in the past as the sailors’ district, Katendrecht is now one of the hip neighborhoods of Rotterdam. Set in a peninsula south of the Erasmusbrug (Erasmus Bridge), this area recently become home for new restaurants, shops, coffee bars and home of the Fenix Food Factory, a dock warehouse transformed into an indoor market with fresh foods and authentic products.
Rotterdam is also a perfect destination for kids and offers great family attractions like the Maritime Museum, an open-air harbor museum with ships, interactive games and maritime world exhibitions; Villa Zebra, a visual arts museum with exhibitions, workshops and multi media projects and, in the north of the city in the district of Blijdorp, the Blijdorp, the Rotterdam Zoo and the indoor Oceanarium.
Photo credit: © Iris van den Broek, Ossip van Duivenbode, Jan Bijl and somewhere-unique