I wanted to visit Rotterdam for a very long time. When my birthday came along in February my darling showed his good listening skills and gifted me a weekend trip to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the second biggest city of The Netherlands. It’s conveniently located at only 1 hour from both Antwerp and Amsterdam. Although I wouldn’t spend a week there as I easily could in Amsterdam, Rotterdam certainly had its charm for a mini-trip. The city is famous for its architecture and food, two of my favorite things. Read along to discover more of what to see and eat during a mini-trip to Rotterdam.
DO & SEE
Katendrecht// This once rough neighbourhood is now becoming one of the hippest places in Rotterdam. Small shops, Pinterest worthy interiors and great food makes it the ideal place to spend a couple hours and have lunch.
Witte de Withkwartier// This is the place where the art scene meets the party scene. This neighborhood is filled to the brim with trendy bars, galleries, restaurants and shops. If you’re looking for an area to get lost with not much of a plan, this is where you need to be. But keep your wallet close, because you’ll be tempted to buy everything on your way!
Museumpark// As the name already gives away this calm park is surrounded by museums. You should visit the Kunsthal if you’re into modern art. The Rotterdam National History Museum is perfectly tailored for kids. The huge skeleton in the window will surely catch your attention. At the other edge of the park you can find the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. It’s one of the oldest museums in Rotterdam, which takes you on a journey through the history of art.
Sonneveld House// Designed in 1933, the Sonneveld House is one of the best-preserved modernism homes. The interior still breathes the original style of the house. It’s conveniently located next to the Museumpark.
Cube Houses// Rotterdam was massively destroyed during WO II. This gave the city the opportunity to reinvent itself and gave space to some very out-of-the-box architecture. The most famous ones are definitely the Cube houses. These yellow, titled cubes immediately catch your attention but I’m still not sure if I like them or not. You can visit the inside of one of these houses at the Kijk Kubus.
Old Harbour// This is the place where you truly feel in a Dutch city, next to the water, watching boats passing by with a beer in your hand. This is a perfect spot to take a rest. You can spend some time studying the details from the Witte Huis in Art Nouveau style that’s located across the pond.
Erasmusbrug// This bridge is one of the main landmarks of Rotterdam. It reminded me a lot of the famous bridge in Copenhagen but then in a smaller version. You can conveniently cross the Erasmus bridge if you’re going from the city center to the Katendrecht neighborhood.
Euromast// Definitely a tourist attraction but if you want to enter a moving tower (or better a moving part attached to a small needle) to get a panoramic view of Rotterdam, Euromast is the place to be.
EAT & DRINK
Camaron// We arrived around 10pm in Rotterdam, so what better place to have a late dinner than in a Spanish tapas restaurant! We were so lucky to find Camaron on the corner of our Airbnb. I would definately go back for their chorizo with dates and their chicken tapas.
De Bakkerswinkel// Great place for breakfast, dinner and everything in between. De Bakkerswinkel has two locations in Rotterdam, one in the popular Witte de Withkwartier. We went to the second, quitter location on the Schiedamse Vest. I can totally recommend their quiche and sandwiches. Fun fact: we literally bumped into one of the Dutch ex-colleagues of my darling in front of De Bakkerswinkel. Such a small world!
Posse// Located in the hip Katendrecht area, Posse is a unique mix of bar/shop/gallery/restaurant. You won’t know where to look first when you enter the space. I could highly recommend their vegetarian lasagna. They also have a nice outdoor area when the sun is out.
Fenix Food Factory// Right next door to Posse is the Fenix Food Factory. The place looks like a small market. You get a wooden board (Plank in Dutch), order some bread at the bakery stand and than stroll the rest of the market for meat, cheese and every other kind of topping you could imagine. It’s like the Dutch version of tapas.
De Pasta Kantine// If you’re into pasta, De Paste Kantine is your gem. The menu is filled with almost every kind of pasta dish. You can choose between a small and a large portion, depending on your appetite. Be sure to make a reservation in the weekend as this restaurant fills up pretty quickly.
Supermercado// Famous for its convenient and tasty Latin American (Tacos! Ensaladas! Ceviche!) food, Supermercado is a relaxed place to start your evening. If you’re not that hungry (or already ate at another hotspot), you can enjoy a delicious cocktail at the bar like we did.
De Witte Aap// Lonely Planet readers choose De Witte Aap as the greatest bar in the world. I guess this is enough reason to check it out, right? It’s conveniently located in the Witte de Withkwartier, so you’re probably already in the neighborhood anyway.