We recently spent a lovely weekend in Rotterdam, and had the pleasure of staying in a lovely AirBnB overlooking the river and the Erasmus Bridge! Although it rained for most of our stay, we did not let the weather put a damper on our adventures, and were still able to take in all the magnificent things this city had to offer!
We have put together a list of our top 5 trips with the hope that you will also take the opportunity to explore Rotterdam, and see that there is certainly more to the Netherlands than just Amsterdam!
1) Euromast Tower
One of the highlights of this city is definitely being able to take in the view from above! Sunday morning we headed up the Euromast tower for an incredible (although windy) 360 degree view of Rotterdam, its unique and trendy architecture, and the shipping ports. We recommend you get there early in the day, as it can get busy later on. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even zipline from the observation deck down to the ground! (Let us know if you were brave enough to try it- we weren’t!)
2) Erasmus Bridge
This bridge is right at the center of the city and even lights up at night to make it look even more magical! The first thing we did when we arrived was walk across the bridge to the cruise ship port, where there was a ship docked and getting ready to depart. Our first impression of this area was that it reminded us so much of New York (a city we both love!), and if you walk to the end of the pier you can see the old ‘Hotel New York’ and the S.S. Rotterdam. If you are a photography lover, the bridge is not to be missed!
3) Boat Taxi ride
When we finished taking in the views from the Tower on Sunday, we decided to catch a boat taxi to take us back to our apartment, since it would have been about a 35 minute walk. This ended up being one of our favourite experiences, as not only is it a unique method of transportation, but it also felt like a high-speed boat ride as we drove through the waves! Make sure to switch things up when you’re traveling throughout the city, as it also allows you to see the city from a different perspective!
4) The Markthal
The Markthal in Rotterdam is certainly a spectacle of its own! The architecture is amazing, like a big horseshoe standing up, and is colourful and filled with dozens of delicious market stalls inside. We honestly had such a hard time deciding what to eat, between the many meat, spices, fish, cupcakes, desserts, and unique stands! We settled on churros and poffertjes (tiny and fresh Dutch pancakes with butter and powdered sugar= incredible, be sure to try these). Since we were there on a Saturday, there was also a massive market outside the market hall, with vendors selling fruit, vegetables, meat, baked goods, crafts, and more!
5) The Cube Houses
Right next to the Markthal there are some of the most uniquely shaped houses we have ever seen! The bright yellow cubes are aligned very crookedly, and it really makes you wonder how people could even live in there! There is even a museum cube so that you can experience what it would be like to live in one for yourself!
Bonus List– Things we wanted to do but did not have a chance
(If you have the opportunity to experience these in Rotterdam, we would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!)
1) The Pancake Boat
Parked right outside of the Euromast tower is a Pancake boat, where you can eat unlimited amounts of pancakes while cruising around the Rotterdam harbours! We unfortunately had just eaten when we saw it on our last day, so decided to add it to the list for next time (we will definitely be returning, since we loved the city so much)!
2) S.S. Rotterdam
The Historic S.S. Rotterdam was the first ship in the Holland America cruise line, and is docked in Rotterdam. You can explore the old cruise port and enjoy the open-air café on the top deck of the ship! Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal for us to do this this time around. There is even a hotel on board so you can get the full cruise experience!
3) Vessel 11
Docked in the Old Harbour of Rotterdam, the bright red ship named Vessel 11 cannot be missed! It is a restaurant with some English-style dishes and looked to be a lovely place for dinner or an evening drink. We missed out this time around because it gets busy, and we did not think to make a reservation in advance! They even have ‘hot tugs’ which are basically hot tub boats, and look like they would be so much fun for a party or group of friends!