The Euromast is a tower designed by Hugh Maaskant. It was constructed between the years 1958 and 1960 with a height of 185m and a diameter of 9m. It was built for the Floriade, an international exhibition of floristry and gardening which is held every ten years. Just 120m away, we came across the restaurant, and on its summit an observation deck. It is part of the World Federation of Great Towers.
Rotterdam is a city that will catch your attention right from the first moment you see it, because of its modern buildings. Admittedly, it shows that there is an effort to try and make the architecture different here, something that has really helped the city forget the fame of the industrial port in order to become a modern and edgy city. These "cube houses" are a clear example of this contemporary style. Comfortable or not to live (accessibility is not his forte), the truth is that they are, at least, shocking. And although they seem almost like a museum (actually, you can visit one of them), the fact is that they are inhabited and also are not cheap. Highlighted pretty much for their geometric shape and colors, as well as interior design, logically adapted to their peculiar shape. I do not know, it was very curious. I would not like to live in them, but I recommend them without hesitation.
If this place is incredible during the day, at night it's even better. Buildings with moving lights, illuminations, strange buildings, but all in harmony. And the water is beautiful. I recommend this city because it is young, modern, and attractive. Just so you're clear, there are (I think) three historic buildings only, so it's not a good place to see sights, but for everything else it's great.
As I said in my experience of the Erasmus bridge, Rotterdam seems to be the city of bridges. Perhaps it's because of the contrast between the white of the Erasmus bridge and this one, I'm not sure. Or perhaps it's my memory of crossing it by bike (fully recommended, by the way) and climbing up this bridge's enormous hill, which you can't appreciated from afar, but with Dutch bikes, you can. You can honestly see it's majestic outline in almost all profiles of the city and it lends a touch of colour to this beautiful modern and edgy city.
A visit in April led to the discovery of the exhibition taking place "GEK", devoted to surrealism. It was one of the largest collections of Surrealist work (over 300 pieces) for any exhibition to come together under one roof boasting the work of Dalí, Magritte, Erst, Miró, Chirico, Bretton, Picasso, Man Ray and countless more. It was one of the best I'd ever had the fortune of seeing, and so well curated. The space is large lending enough room to enjoy each artwork without feeling claustrophobic.
The Admission is a bit pricey for an adult at 15.00 Euros but if you're a student it drops to half at 7.50 which isn't bad at all. You can check your hostel or Hotel because they may have coupons lying about that will take a couple of euros of the regular price, definitely helpful.
Rotterdam was bombed during World War II, and much of the city was destroyed. At the time of rebuilding the city after the fateful May 14, 1940, they chose not to build canals, so Rotterdam is one of the few Dutch cities that does not maintain its traditional look of canals and bridges. Still, you'll find remnants of the past (buildings, canals and springs) throughout the city that show how it was before the bombing. A clear, popular, and very beautiful example is Oude Haven (meaning old port in Dutch). Right next to the cube houses (the Kubuswoning, designed in 1984 by architect Piet Blom), is the area of bars and terraces where you can stop for a drink or relax while overlooking old ships, the Witte Huis (it means home White Dutch and was the first skyscraper in Europe built between 1897, and 1898) or Willemsbrug bridge. It is the oldest port in Rotterdam, from the fourteenth century, which probably started the commercial port and city life. Go there during the market (in Binnenrotte, Tuesday and Saturday) and sunny days, as well as night when its livelier. You can choose between places like Kade 4 Nielson, Stookholm, Mooii or Maritiem, among others.
Rotterdam Blaak is a railway station a few meters from the cube houses, the library, and the new Blaak Market. It's both a train and metro station and connects Breda and Dordrecht. On May 2, 1877, the first railway, the Beurs Rotterdam, was opened. After the station was destroyed during the Second World War, a new station opened in 1953, called Rotterdam Blaak. In 1993, they added the metro station.
On one side of the Erasmus bridge, there are different boats docked at the pier, and info for various tours. On the old cruise ship "Nehalennia", you will sail for 3 hours to the "Kinderdijk" which is a famous heritage site because of it's 19 mills. If you're on a tight budget you can make the journey in a regular boat, catch a bus, and then another boat. Another day trip to consider is going to Dordrecht, which is an interesting and monumental city. The waterbus takes you there in less than an hour.
The village of Kinderjick is about 25km from the city of Rotterdam, and the best way to get there ... is by cycling! It's a small town, which wouldn't be on the tourist track at all were it not for the nineteen mills. The oldest dates back to 1740, and today this area has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Netherlands. As we approach, the sight is really impressive. In order to really get a good idea of the place, it's not enough to take a few photos; you really have to sit down, get your feet wet in the canal, and appreciate the masterpiece of engineering. On the way back to Rotterdam, we can always stop in one of the villages that the route passes through and get some sun in one of the many huge parks surrounding the lakes!
They say that Rotterdam only has three old buildings, and the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is one. It suffered serious damage during the bombing of the second World War, but it has been perfectly reconstructed. The architecture is Gothic and aside from religious acts, it also hosts concerts, parties, and cultural events.
Het Nieuwe Instituute, "The New Institute" in English, is a museum, research facility, and archive focusing on architecture, urban planning, and digital culture. It's only a few minutes walk or bike ride from the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.
They have free exhibits taking place that are really conceptual and informative relating to design and architecture. A nice book shop type space is located just within near the entrance of the institute hosting an abundance of architectural literature, and if they don't have something you need, they'll order it.
Great place to catch a free architectural exhibit in the city, and a book shop to attend to your inner Urbanist, or architectural needs! Good for both artists, architects, and non architects alike.
De Doelen was an old auditorium that was destroyed during the war, but in 2000 the city build convention halls in the old courtyards and finally renovated the large hall in 2009, creating a new home for the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
According to many, the De Doelen has some of the best acoustics in the world.
Witte de Withstraat is a lively little street popular with young people due to the high concentration of bars and contemporary art venues. The red brick Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is an arts and cultural center where avant-garde exhibits are held throughout the year. The only downside is the somewhat pricey fee of €5.00 (if I recall correctly).
It seems incredible that the Het Witte Huis was once the tallest building in Europe, and even more incredible that it miraculously survived bombing during the war. It's a hallmark of Rotterdam's historically progressive architecture and was designed by Molenbroek in 1897. If you want to visit, I'd suggest going to the Modernist cafe on the ground floor for lunch or a coffee.
One of the most famous places to visit in Rotterdam is its port, Europoort. It is the largest port in Europe and the second largest in the world. Set in the west end of the canal and built in the 1960s, many tourists start their day of Rotterdam activities with a tour here.
Nearby is another of the top attractions in Rotterdam, the Erasmus Bridge. This bridge connects the Kop in the south with the center of the city on the north side of the river. To get the best views of what to do in Rotterdam, climb the Euromast, a futuristic tower 185 meters high which allows visitors to see the city from above. It is the tallest tower in the Netherlands that is open to the public. From this amazing vantage point you'll see all the attractions in Rotterdam.
As for the monuments, the Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk is one of the top things to see in Rotterdam. It is the only building from the Middle Ages still preserved in Rotterdam. It is a late Gothic church. Another of the more interesting Rotterdam attractions is Standhuis, built between 1914 and 1920 and one of the few buildings still standing after the bombing of May 14, 1940. Hoofdkantoor HAL should also be on your list of things to do in Rotterdam; it is a monumental building depicting the maritime history of the city.
For even more stuff to do in Rotterdam, check out what minube's community of seasoned travelers have to say!