Last week offered insanely great weather for sightseeing, so a friend of mine and me decided to go see the Netherland’s second largest city: Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is home to Europe’s largest port, and the city’s economy and history is largely tied to the shipping industry. It definitely is a city of big business, with skyscrapers and big cargo companies being visually present.
We did a tour around the port on the Spido boat. The cruise was pretty long, about one and a half hours, and veeeeery windy, so definitely bring suitable clothing! We got to see a lot of huge cargo ships, the shipyards of big companies and also some abandoned ships. The whole time I was wondering whether this actually is where all my AliExpress purchases reach European mainland.
The Markthal is an insane work of modern architecture, both its interior and exterior are unique. There’s an abundance of food stalls inside, all of them looked interesting and each offered a different type of cuisine.
Rotterdam is different from Amsterdam in many ways. Even though it officially has less inhabitants than Amsterdam, it feels like a ‘big city’. The streets and places are way more open-spaced and everything just looks large-scale. The architecture is very modern, with some classical buildings and houses inbetween.
The Erasmusbrug was definitely the highlight of the daytrip. It truly is an iconic work of craftmanship amongst Rotterdammers. When we went there, luckily, there was not a alot of traffic and hardly any bikes around, just some old men fishing at the endings of the bridge. It was really calm too, considering this is one of the city’s major transport hubs.
In conclusion, I think that Rotterdam has a whole different mindset compared to Amsterdam. It definitely has a more modern and industrial feel to it, which is a big contrast to hipstery and old-fashioned A’dam.
Here’s some info on visiting Rotterdam
- I think a full day is necessary to really explore the city and make the most out of your daytrip.
- Trains to Amsterdam (and pretty much to any other major city in the Netherlands) run about every 15 minutes and are rather inexpensive, the return fare was 30€ if I remember correctly.
- No bike is needed in Rotterdam, it is more convenient to take the tram or just walk.
- The spido boat cruise was 13€ and it was well worth it.